Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,076 – Araucaria

Posted by manehi on July 30th, 2010


Probably my quickest Araucaria solve to date, with several straightforward anagrams and the Keynes reference giving me the bottom half in next to no time.

1 BEHOLD EH=”What was that” in BOLD
4 STREAK Double definition.
9 ANON ANN around O=love
10 CRANESBILL or CRANE’S BILL=”Beak of wader”. Also known as wild geranium.
11 BUNYAN Author of The Pilgrim’s Progress. Sounds like “bunion”.
12 GERANIUM GEUM, a member of the rose family, around RANI, the feminine of raja.
13 EGLANTINE (inelegant)*
15 WORN AWAY I think this is (ran)*=”Ran off” inside WOW=”huge success”[?] + AY=aye=”Yes”
16 VOTE =”Put cross”. V[ersus]=against + O[ld] T[estament] + [servic]E
17 ABOLITION A BOON=”A blessing” around (“comprehending” in the sense of encompassing) some of LITI[gation]
21 CLEMATIS (climate’s)*
22 NOBODY Charles Pooter appeared in The Diary of a Nobody, and a ghost has NO BODY.
24 AUCTIONEER (one curate i)*
27 ANODES are conductors of electricity. AN=”a” + ODES=”poem”[?] Edit, thanks to Barbie: AN ODE’S = “of a poem”
1 BANDUNG An Indonesian city. BAN DUNG=~”No middens allowed”
2 HONEYSUCKLE HON[orary]=”Not getting paid” + (key clues)*
3 LOCKNUT rev(COL=pass) + KNUT, the bronze coin in the world of Harry Potter.
5 THEORY TORY=”blue” around HE
6 EBBING OUT BINGO=”Mild gamble” inside rev(TUBE)=”underground rising”
8 HANGING BASKET HANGING=”Capital punishment” + ASK=request inside BET=speculation
14 AUTOMATIC AU=gold + TOM=cat + ATIC, which sounds like “attic”=”top floor”
16 VELOURS (Louvre’s)*
18 LONG RUN such as a marathon. Referring to Keynes‘ remark, ever a favourite among my professors, that “In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is past the ocean is flat again.”
19 OLD MAN’S BEARD a type of clematis. (red salmon, bad)*
20 STROLL =walk. “St. Roll”=>”holy bread”.

51 Responses to “Guardian 25,076 – Araucaria”

  1. koran says:

    12ac stumped me. I was sure it was Geranium as it had ER (queen) in it but the rest Ganium was not a plant!!! Had I got Cranesbill (I thought Curlewbill) I would have been OK.

    Also didn’t like anodes (27ac) – surely odes can only be poems (plural)??

    I liked 18D though!

  2. Matt says:

    I’m new to this site and Guardian crosswords so bear with me!

    Agree with koran’s comments about 27a and 12a

    I wasn’t sure why (or if) “wanted” indicated an anagram in 24a – perhaps someone could explain for me? Thanks.

    Clue for 1d made me smile

  3. manehi says:

    Matt: re “wanted”, I don’t think I’ve seen it as an anagrind before. I suppose it could mean something like “[these] are the letters required [to make X]”.

  4. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks, manehi, for the excellent blog and specifically the explanation for 12A. Like Koran I searched unsuccessfully for the “ganium” plant. Also appreciate your explanation for 3D. Harry Potter is not in my ken. Should have consulted the grandchildren.

  5. rrc says:

    A pleasant solve although the lower half was complete before the top had even started!

  6. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Manehi.

    I managed this fairly comfortably but without quite knowing why in several cases that you have now explained.

    Surely, Harry Potter is just kid’s stuff?

    However, I did like 6d EBBING OUT.

  7. Barbie says:

    re 27a: I think that this indicates possession ie ‘of a poem’ = an odes

  8. Barbie says:

    Oh dear, I missed out the apostrophe.

  9. molonglo says:

    Good blog, manehi. I thought I, too, might break my Araucaria record but the top right corner bogged me right down. I finished within the hour, Googling CRANESBILL last to confirm it was a wild 12A: like others I worried about a GANIUM.

  10. MattD says:

    I’ve decided to grow ganiums. They sound pretty! Enjoyed this but share reservations about 27a and the final s although the explanation above seems correct.

  11. Myrvin says:

    27a is odd. A wouldn’t have needed a question mark for ‘Conductor of a poem’.
    Is Harry Potter so commonly known that we are expected to know TUNK? I don’t think so.
    “Ring a ring of geranium
    A pocket full of Uranium.”

  12. Mike says:

    Myrvin – it’s knut apparently (not tunk <), easy enough to figure it out although I have certainly never heard of it till today. I was trying to figure out what a German polar bear cub had to do with Harry Potter!

  13. tupu says:

    Thanks Manehi for an excellent blog and (as usual) Araucaria

    A pleasant short stroll through country gardens and woods etc. Common plant names are not my forte but they were all vaguely remembered and guessable enough. As others, I looked up ‘ganium’ even though I found it hard to believe and then realised I knew geum, so that was that. Rani was a very nice touch.

    I guessed locknut and had to check knut. I must confess not to have read these modern ‘classics’ but I have heard them highly praised by at least one very distinguished literary scholar as much more than ‘just’ children’s books.

    I guessed 22 from the letters and a vague memory (my mind gets ever more crammed with these) of the book’s title and its ‘hero’s’ name. Again a witty clue.

    22, 2, 5 and 6 all quite amusing also.

  14. Martin H says:

    Yes, a quicker than usual solve for Araucaria, but no less enjoyable for that.

    I didn’t know the Keynes quote, but the clue worked very well without it – perhaps better in fact.

    Thanks manehi for explaining 3 – I’ll tuck that away somewhere for future use – and for 5,25; that was my last to go in and I wasn’t entirely convinced: ‘frazzled’ feels more like ‘worn out’ than ‘worn away’.

    Both 1’s, 5, 11, 20 and 22 were all nice. I wouldn’t normally include cd’s and dd’s in a list of favourite clues, but some setters can make them work rather better than others.

  15. Dave Ellison says:

    A pleasant Araucaria finished easily on the way in.

    I would agree Barbie’s explanation for 27a would be fine, but then the ? is superfluous. I didn’t think too much about this when completing the crossword and took the ? to justify the use of plural ODES, as I think manehi does.

    I thought 5d was quite neat.

  16. tupu says:

    Hi Dave @15
    My own reading of 27 is like Barbie’s ‘an + ode’s’. I can’t see how a ? could justify a simple shift from singular to plural if that is your suggestion. I can only think that perhaps the ? justifies the use of an apostrophised singular form as part of another plural word ‘anodes’ by dropping the unprintable apostrophe. Perhaps that is what you mean? However I am painfully aware that one can get too tied up in such ‘angels on pin heads’ stuff and the ? is pretty harmless anyway.

  17. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog, Manehi.

    An enjoyable enough quick morning solve.
    I didn’t like ‘HON’ = “Not getting paid” and didn’t know either the Harry Potter or the Pooter reference, though. I also think 17ac was far too loosely clued.

  18. Myrvin says:

    27: Yes – an ode’s lines often rhyme. The lines of an ode often rhyme. It works.

  19. duncandisorderly says:

    no-one else got a problem with fabric = velours then? I’ll away to my chambers & seek reassurance/correction. satisfied otherwise, though distant alarms are starting to ring at the number of “contemporary cultural” references finding their way in. are our compilers, even the venerable reverend here, bowing to editorial pressure to “modernise” the CC?

    last day at work today. :-)


  20. Molenaar says:

    My first crossword by Araucaria. Most enjoyable. Already looking forward to his next.
    Barbie: Thanks for the additional explanation to 27a – completely plausible IMHO.
    Thanks too manehi, for the blog though I seem to be missing a explanation for 16a (?) and I was none too happy about my own :-(.

  21. Myrvin says:

    Against is V holy book is OT and end of service is E.
    The whole is put cross.

  22. Molenaar says:

    Myrvin, (21:)

    It was the “V” I still had to explain away. Hadn’t thought of “versus”. Thanks :-)

  23. Stella Heath says:

    Not much to add to the above. As far as I know, velours is a fabric, Duncan.

    Like others, I finished the bottom half in a surprisingly short time, and had by then latched on to the flower theme, so 8d gave me the ‘g’ for 12a. With only 10a left in the NE corner, I turned to my copy of Chambers and lo! ‘of the genus “Geranium” with seed vessels like a crane’s bill..’

    27a raised a query, but ‘a poems’ would have been impossible, unless it was a double genetive ‘of a poem’s’, but I was taught that was only applicable to people. Hence the ? (query) :)

  24. manehi says:

    Thanks for the comments and especially for Barbie’s explanation of 27a.

    Molenaar: sorry for the disappearance of 16a, my connection dropped mid-blog and it must have not made it to the autosave.

  25. Dave Ellison says:

    Hi tupu #16. I probably haven’t been too clear. I like Barbie’s explanation, and don’t like the plural thing. Giving tha answer was clearly ANODES I didn’t bother about working out the details and only glanced at the ? mark, before moving on to the next clue.

  26. otter says:

    First of all, I’d just like to say a big GRRRR! for the Harry Potter reference. Is this really something we’re assumed to know? How depressing. Fair enough if it’s something that most people will know because those books are such a phenomenon, but knowing the name of a coin within those books (which is what I assume a knut is) requires fairly intimate knowledge of the books.

    Anyway, thanks for the blog, which has explained a few things I didn’t get.

    This was another pretty straightforward puzzle from Araucaria. Has he been told to write more simple clues, or is he losing his touch? He did set a really nice one a couple of weeks ago, but more often than not in recent months I’ve found myself disappointed by his puzzles and looking forward to the next Paul. (I feel awful saying this… tell me I’m a bad person…)

    So, many clues at almost Rufus level of simplicity, straightforward anagrams, double definitions and ‘building block’ constructions. Most of the definitions also quite clear. I completed this fairly quickly, although slowed by the fact that I was listening to the test match at the same time, not ideal.

    The last ones for me to get were HONEYSUCKLE (don’t like ‘hon’ for not getting paid; is that a standard usage?), EBBING OUT and, last of all, LOCKNUT – for obvious reasons.

    I’m another who thought 12a must be ER in GANIUM. I’m no good at genus names of plants, so just assumed this was a valid one. Thanks for the actual explanation. I don’t know Geum either, but it’s a nice clue. One thing I have learned this summer is a lot about wild geraniums aka cranesbills, as there are a lot around my house. So 10a was filled in without even reading the clue properly.

    Thanks also for revised explanation of ANODES in 27a, which I wasn’t happy with when I wrote it in. I’m still not happy about VELOURS in 16d. Perhaps this is a French spelling?

    Ooh, another wicket!

    Anyway, a reasonably pleasant solve, but also disappointing because I always expect such great things from the Master.

  27. Dave Ellison says:

    ” I can only think that perhaps the ? justifies the use of an apostrophised singular form as part of another plural word ‘anodes’ by dropping the unprintable apostrophe. Perhaps that is what you mean?”

    Yes, I think that fleetingly went through my mind, but would a compiler bother about that?

  28. otter says:

    Sorry, should have clarified, I’ve always come across ‘velour’ as a fabric, and have never seen ‘velours’ before. I wonder whether ‘velour’ might be an Anglicisation of the French ‘velours’. In fact, I’ve just looked it up and the French is velours. Perhaps this is sometimes used in English as well.

  29. tupu says:

    Hi Duncan..
    Re ‘contemporary cultural’, there are also lots of complaints about the opposite – too many fusty old ‘classical’ refs. I suppose setters ought simply to try to get a balance. In this case, we have Pooter from 1888-9 and Keynes from the 1930s (?) plus Bunyan from C17 as well as Harry Potter.

    For myself, I seem to be stuck half the time between old things I misremember or have forgotten and new things I don’t know! And when I do know things I sometimes feel that my mind is (a la Steinbeck) like an ‘uncatalogued museum’. So I rather welcome the chance CCs provide to learn the new and relearn the old.

  30. John McDonald says:

    A tired puzzle from a tired setter

  31. manehi says:

    Dave #25: those were indeed pretty much my original thoughts on 27a as well.

    tupu: Keynes, 1923, Tract on Monetary Reform. I should probably worry about how easily that came to mind.

  32. tupu says:

    :) A tired comment from a tired solver? Apologies, that was naughty :)
    Not sparkling, but most of the comments are reasonably positive, several clues have pleased people, and the puzzle has sparked some interesting discussion.

  33. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi. Too many examinations?! Hope they went well!

  34. tupu says:

    Dave @27
    “but would a compiler bother about that?”. I don’t know, but as I said, we can easily get too engrossed in minutiae.

  35. Myrvin says:

    I don’t understand what the problem still is with 27.
    “an ode’s” is the possessive form, as is “of a poem”.
    We don’t put apostrophes in the grid, so, when it is written in, it looks like “anodes” – conductors.

  36. Roger says:

    It seems to be the week for GM (grammatically modified ?) anagrinds …
    for on Monday, from on Wednesday and now wanted.
    Bring ’em on. Love ’em !

  37. Paul (not Paul) says:

    When the Harry Potter references outnumber the cricket references in these puzzles then the culture snobs can have their whinge.

    An easier than average Araucaria but great fun all the same.

  38. tupu says:

    Hi Myrvin
    :) I don’t think anyone thinks there’s a problem – just a conversation – except perhaps for the ? which you and Dave raised @11 and @15 and I tried to elucidate @16 (and which seems pretty harmless anyway).

  39. Stella Heath says:

    I think I read somewhere that the ? is used when the wording of the clue is doubtful, which would seem to justify its use here. An ‘s’ on poem would have been totally ungrammatical, even with an apostrophe, as the double genitive is only applicable to people.

  40. muck says:

    Thanks for explaining 12ac, manehi.
    I was among many others looking for g(er)anium
    18dn LONG RUN was my clue of the day

  41. brr says:

    Thanks Manehi for the blog.

    My first ever Araucaria finish …. blimey I’m chuffed.

  42. tupu says:

    Hi Stella et al.

    I have been tempted by your comment to try to explore this ‘double genitive’ issue. Your basic rule about persons is more or less correct – at least it seems to have to relate to one or more of a number or set of things or persons attached/belonging to someone/something that has a special identity. Thus one can say ‘a friend of mine’ or ‘a friend of Stella’s’ but not ‘a supporter of policemens’, and I dare say it can be stretched to include animals with personal names e.g. ‘a calf of Daisy’s’. It seems hard to find acceptable examples with plants or inanimate objects – ‘the raven turned out to be an inhabitant of the old oak tree’s’ seems just beyond the boundary of acceptability.

    I find it interesting that I have not been able to locate any simple yet exhaustive explanation of the range of usage – perhaps you know of one? It seems simply to be part of English as a natural language, which we have an internalised feeling about. I found an academic article about it, but it was extremely complicated indeed. I suspect different connotations of ‘of’ are involved, especially the idea of ‘possession’.

  43. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Scarpia hasn’t been around so far, so I can still say some useful things. :)

    Well, I agree with everyone who thought this was a relatively easy Araucaria – a typical Araucaria Lite.
    A mix of giveaways and the usual Mr G quality stuff.
    Remarkably smooth surfaces in this crossword, too.
    Yep, CLEMATIS was one of these giveaways [one had only to swap two vowels] but its presence was justified by the nice surface.
    Other giveaways: VELOURS and EGLANTINE.
    One or two of you weren’t happy with HON for “Not getting paid’, but 2,26 was another fine surface, just like 17ac (ABOLITION).

    Yesterday we had a discussion on LIBRA (being a part of ‘Libraries’) which could have been ARIES too.
    I said something about clu[e]ing two different words with identical descriptions.
    Today I had to think about that again.
    9ac (‘Girl without love in due course’) gives us ANON, but ‘Boy without love in due course’ would have given SOON, which would have fitted too!

    Because English is not my first language, I will not interfere in the discussion on ANODES, but when I first saw it, I thought: this will give some trouble. And it did.

    As you will know, I’m from a country that gives us tulips, cheese and windmills.
    However, we have also a cultural background.
    Literature is flourishing, we have our composers – quality is high.
    But the difference with the UK is – apart from its universal language – the way the Brits care for their past. Let’s call it ‘tradition’.
    But at times I think the result of that is, that some people think in terms of higher and lower culture.
    I am surely not like that – just saw the Proms at BBC4 and was OK with the Pet Shop Boys coming after that.
    Why are Shakespearian references and today’s BUNYAN more ‘acceptable’ than Harry Potter or Beth Ditto [yes, I know who she is, but I don’t her music at all]?
    For me, (more or less) everything’s acceptable, including Rugby or American football teams [even though I know nothing about them]. I clearly remember – about a year ago – Gordius using a geographical name unknown to virtually all of us. But did I care? Not really. I just go to our friend Wiki and see if it leaks the word. I know, when it’s your lunchtime break, it’s annoying.
    But, wake up … Harry Potter obscure?
    And the world of music didn’t stop after The Beatles.
    It’s all about balance, and in that sense there’s not much wrong with the Guardian puzzles.

    My Clue of the Day is: 5d (THEORY).
    Simple, but such a neat surface with a splendid use of ‘true blue’.

  44. rrc says:

    I do not understand the problem with hon and unpaid. To me this is quite kosher

  45. Carrots says:

    Not a vintage Auracaria by any means…and quickly put to bed. The traditional vs. acceptable popular references argument is surely determined by the solution being divined by the subsiduary part of the clue? I wouldn`t know Harry Potter from a jersey cow, but for 3dn., LOCKNUT it had to be.

  46. Scarpia says:

    Thanks manehi.
    Not much left to say as Sil’s beaten me to it! :)
    Thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle,although it was one of Araucaria’s less difficult ones.I managed to complete it before work this morning and,like a lot of others here,wondered what a ganium was.
    Didn’t know the Harry Potter coin but the answer was pretty obvious even without that knowledge.I remember,from a few years back,a puzzle(by Araucaria I think) with a Harry Potter theme,which I was only able to complete by visiting the library – I had no internet connection then.
    I think Sil has a very valid point about what is and what isn’t acceptable in crosswords.As long as there aren’t too many references to an obscure subject then I think it’s probably o.k.[Except for American Football teams :)].
    I liked the link between common names and genera of plants.
    Only weak point for me was 13 across – I’ve seen that anagram too often.
    Favourite clues for me 1 and 15 across and 6 down.

    Quite a long post for a man with “not much left to say” :)

  47. Paul B says:

    Indeed. But I have nothing to say at all, apart from, ‘good puzzle’, and that’s taken 18 words.

  48. Paul B says:

    Well okay, two, I s’pose, if you’re being pedantic … and ’18’ isn’t really a word …

  49. Davy says:

    Re Paul B, it’s really nineteen (a real word) if you expand that’s to that is…ho ho.

  50. Davy says:

    Sorry, should have said “that has”.

  51. Huw Powell says:

    I actually not only started this the day I printed it, but also “finished” it that day. OK, except I failed on VOTE, but I was close with VETO (except the cryptic part didn’t work).

    Share the same issues with ANODES and GERANIUM as everyone else, thank you manehi, for making me remember a queen doesn’t have to be ER! I do like the possessive sense explanation of ANODES, although they aren’t really “conductors”, they are terminals.

    I really liked 17A, where the entire clue is the literal *and* the cryptic definition.

    So thank you, Araucaria, for a very enjoyable quizible!

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