Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25147 / Araucaria

Posted by mhl on October 21st, 2010


A fairly tough puzzle from Araucaria, I thought. Well, I found that filling the grid wasn’t too difficult, but there are a few I can’t explain…

The introductory text “A puzzle for today” refers to today being the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

1. OPTICIANS OPT = “Choose” + ICI = “industrial chemists” + ANS = “solution”
6. SIGHT Lord Nelson lost the sight in one eye; presumably “which could be jolly” just refers to the expression “a jolly sight [whatever]”?
9. SUM UP SUP = “Have a meal” around MU[ffins]; to digest a text is to sum it up
10. TRAFLAGAR [turne]R + ART “painting” reversed around (A FLAG)*
12. KISS Referring to Lord Nelson saying “Kiss me, Hardy” when close to death at the Battle of Trafalgar
14. IMITATE I’M = “setter’s” + I = “first” + TATE = “pictures”
15. HORATIO H = “hard” + ORATIO[n] = “part of speech”
17. LIEFEST A “romance” is a fictitious tale, or a LIE, so a “Celebration of romance” might be a LIE FEST
19,19down. ENGLAND EXPECTS ENGLAND = “Motherland” + EXPECTS = “is pregnant”, referring to Nelson’s famous signal “England expects that every man will do his duty”
20. EMMA Double definition; “Lord Nelson’s favourite” would be Emma, Lady Hamilton, while the novel is Jane Austen’s EMMA
22. RESPONDENT RESENT = “grudge” around POND = “water”; Chambers gives one definition of RESPONDENT as “a defendant, esp in a divorce suit”
25. LANGUE D’OC CODE = “Morse (say)” reversed after LANGU[r]; the definition is “Romance” as in “a general name for the vernacular languages that developed out of popular Latin […]” (Chambers); Langue D’Oc was one of these dialects
26. IDIOM I don’t get this one, I’m afraid: “Turn of phrase that shows who I am when I’m backed” Update: Andrew suggests that this is ID = “who I am” followed by MOI reversed
27. HARDY Double definition
28. YESTERDAY Double definition; the Beatles song, and a reference to “yesterday” repeatedly referring to different dates (?) Update: thanks to malc95 for pointing out that this yesterday was 20/10/2010 – a “repetitious” date indeed  :)
1. OUSEL OUSE = “river” + L = “lake”
2. TEMERAIRE The three rivers are the TEME, R and the AIRE
3. COPENHAGEN Presumably “11’s battle” refers to the Battle of Copenhagen, but I don’t get the rest of it: “horse in battle ten years after 10″ Update: thanks to HairyScot for explaining this: Copenhagen was the Duke of Wellington’s horse at the Battle of Waterloo which was 10 years later in 1815
5. SEA LOCH SEAL = “animal” + OCH = “Scottish well?” (as in the interjection)
6. SLAP PALS reversed
7. GIGLI GIG = “Musical engagement” + LI (L. 1) = “first line”
8. THRESHOLD “3 should” = THREE SHOULD without EU = “Europe” – a bit cheeky that the E and U are split
13. BRIGANTINE (GIANT)* in BRINE = “salt”
16. TRADE WIND TRADE = “Swap” + COIL = “wind”
18. TUESDAY (USED)* in TAY; a clue that only works on Thursday :)
21. MINOR OR = “part of indicatOR” at MI = “motorway” + N = “junction” (as in the neutral junction in electrics?) The consensus seems to be that this is just “motorway junction” = M1 N[orth] – I don’t like it much, but obviously it’s better than the alternative I’d suggested…
23. TOMMY Double definition
24. DUTY Double definition

43 Responses to “Guardian 25147 / Araucaria”

  1. HairyScot says:

    Copenhagen was the Duke of Wellington’s horse at The Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

  2. HairyScot says:

    and liefest is an old word ford dearest or beloved

  3. HairyScot says:

    Sorry hit submit too soon on previous posts (new PC)

    adj. liefer, liefest Archaic
    1. Beloved; dear.
    2. Ready or willing.

  4. Eileen says:

    What’s going on?

    My paper has the Bonxie puzzle that I blogged on 8th October!!

  5. Andrew says:

    Thanks mhl. I was puzzled by 26ac too, but reflection I think it might by ID (“who I am”) + reverse of MOI.

  6. rrc says:

    My paper is still downstairs but thoroughly enjoyed this the theme went in immediately and then had to think through the connections Most enoyable

  7. mhl says:

    HairyScot: I didn’t have any problem with LIEFEST – I didn’t think it was worth further comment. (Chambers gives “adv. willingly” for “lief”.) Thanks for explaining COPENHAGEN – I’ll update the post.

    Andrew: thanks – I considered but rejected MOI because it’s “me” rather than “I” and there’s no indication that it might be French (or pretentious  :)) Still with “ID” = “who I am”, it makes sense…

  8. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for a great blog, mhl.

    Having long ago been a sea ranger and therefore recognising the date, I guessed the theme immediately and from there it was pretty much plain sailing [sorry] apart from 26ac, where I think Andrew’s interpretation must be right.

    I think this link has been given before but today seems an appropriate time for another outing:

  9. Bryan says:

    Many thanks mhl. this was a real joy.

    I had opted for COPENHAGEN without being able to figure it out.

  10. malc95 says:

    28a repetitious date 20/10/2010?
    Spent ages on 3d looking for Bu(centaur)e ie French flagship!
    21d M1 Nor(th)?

  11. Eileen says:

    Well spotted re 28ac, malc95!

    So that’s yet more ingenious exploitation of the date – here and in the theme and, as mhl said, in 18dn – masterly!

  12. harry says:

    re 4 – Thank you Eileen, I thought I was starting to go mad!
    A problem in early editions maybe?

  13. mhl says:

    malc95: excellent – thanks for explaining “repetitious date”. I thought about M1 North, but I don’t think I’d ever refer to a junction like that – the junction would be “junction 3 on the M1″, and the route / road would be the M1 North.

  14. IanP says:

    My paper has the old Bonxie puzzle as well. I was doing quite well on it (having expressed a bit of surprise to myself that Bonxie had re-appeared so soon) until the penny dropped…

  15. malc95 says:

    mhl: re 21d I take your point. I was being too Londoncentric. Maybe if it had been part of “sign ” rather than “indicator”? Still not too sure about the “n”. What a great puzzle though – loved 17a, 3d & the Turner link between 10a, 14a and 2d.

  16. tupu says:

    Thanks mhl and Araucaria

    A very clever puzzle.

    It was a jolly sight easier to get the answers than to understand them.

    I had difficulties at first with ‘jolly’ but it must be as in ‘jolly sight’ above.

    3d is a remarkably accurate clue once one grasps it.

    I decided that 26 must be Id + moi reversed.

    28 I did not realise the 201010 link.

    Iac I missed the ICI + ans idea.

    21d My own conclusion was that Minor = MI + nor(th). Such signs (indicators) are quite common e.g AI south, M11 north etc.

  17. tupu says:

    My Guardian too had the Bonxie again. Took a minute or two to realise it was the old one but not as bad as with meaningless sudokus where I suspect I could solve one and not recognise it next day.

  18. tupu says:

    Re MI + nor(th). Perhaps I should have been more precise. Such signs are at the junctions onto rather than off the the motorway. Junction numbers are typically on signs on the motorways if I remember.

  19. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks for the blog, mhl. Like many, it seems, including yourself, I solved this reasonably easily, but couldn’t quite parse it all. so thanks to all bloggers for clearing up the doubts.

    This truly was a clever puzzle, with many cultural cross-references, and a joy to complete. I didn’t know the date – the Spanish don’t celebrate it! :lol: – but the penny dropped at the 19’s, and then the rest fitted into place with ease.

    Great link, Eileen, almost a shaggy dog story :D

  20. Stef says:

    I actually saw 7d as GIGI (the musical) engaging first of line, ie L, but this one works much better! Still got there though…

  21. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, mhl. I knew the anniversary (today is also my other half’s birthday!) so that provided me with an easy way in. Lots to enjoy, even if I couldn’t work out all the wordplay. Missed the 20/10/2010 reference at 28ac.

    I also very much enjoyed all the Turner links, really skilfully done.

  22. crypticsue says:

    Very enjoyable themed puzzle – it helped no end that we had recently visited Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

  23. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks mhl, needed you for 1, 17, 25 ac, all of which I got but either didn’t know the word or couldn’t figure it out.

    This was much more enjoyable than the doubly disappointning Bronxie, which, being trapped on the bus, I tried again. First disappointment: instantly recognised it was a recent puzzle because of the chain-linked across clues; second disappointment – still couldn’t finish it!

    I thought this A. was reasonably hard (63′)

  24. Dave Ellison says:

    This isn’t the first time a puzzle has been repeated in the paper. There was a Paul (I think) in about 2003) which I managed to finish in a “record” 7 or 8 minutes (the second time – oh! it had been the first).

  25. SteveTheWhistle says:

    I think that 21d might be:
    M1 + nor (= conjunction)

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    Um, yeah, finished despite being new to LIEFEST, GIGLI and ASTILIBE (hate gardening due to both parents being obsessed by it!). I’d heard of LANGUE D’OC, which is probably surprising having never once had any cause to use it.

    I gave up remembering dates just as soon as I’d passed O Level History, on the grounds I’d never need them again. That has been mainly correct, but not in this case. Hence, before I read a single clue, I searched for “on this day” and came across this site… As soon as I spotted Trafalgar I figured that was the most likely candidate, and was slightly disappointed to be correct as some of the other events could have been fun to explore.

  27. Daniel Miller says:

    I have always wondered if the derivation of Trafalgar comes from some proximity to the Algar(ve) – being as it was off the coast of Portugal. Can anyone help me?

  28. tupu says:

    Hi stevethewhistle

    I can’t see how the word ‘indicator’ fits with your suggestion.

    Once mhl’s worry about a road signs/ indicator ON the motorway is removed (as opposed to going ONTO it at a junction as I suggest), MI + NOR(th) becomes the most straightforward solution.

    I have a vague memory of something similar in an earlier puzzle this year?

    N = neutral (junction) seems too contrived.

  29. Stella Heath says:

    Hi, Daniel, it would appear you’re not far off, according to these Wiki entries:

    The Algarve (Portuguese pronunciation: [a???a?v(?)]) from the Arabic word (?????, al gharb) meaning “the west”

    Cape Trafalgar (36°11?N 6°2?W? / ?36.183°N 6.033°W? / 36.183; -6.033) (Spanish: Cabo Trafalgar) is a headland in Province of Cádiz in the south-west of Spain. It lies on the seashore of the Atlantic Ocean, northwest of the Strait of Gibraltar. The name is of Arabic origin, with the modern pronunciation being a corruption of ‘Tarf al-Gharb’ (??? ?????) meaning ‘Western Cape’ or ‘Cape of the West’.

  30. Stella Heath says:

    Sorry about the ??. The Arabic script looked good when I copied and pasted it. I should have previewed :(

  31. tupu says:

    Hi Daniel and Stella H

    Thanks for that. Very interesting. I have come across another cognate of Gharb (‘Magharibi’ meaning west in Swahili), but had not linked it to either Trafalgar or the Algarve – or them to each other. There is also Maghreb (Magrib) and, not surprisingly, a connection to sunset.

  32. Kate says:

    My Guardian had the Bonxie as well – luckily I was away the first two weeks of this month so I hadn’t seen it before!
    Great puzzle (as always) from King Araucaria – long may he reign!

  33. muck says:

    I too got quite a few of the Bonxie clues, although they seemed rather familiar, before realising!
    Then downloaded the Araucaria puzzle, which was superb. KISS-HARDY-EMMA-NELSON etc

  34. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks mhl and Araucaria. Tough puzzle but fun to work out. I have a geneology of Hopkins Family (my mother’s mother). It includes Lord Nelson and traces back to Yeovil in 1547. Some day I hope to visit the area.


  35. Davy says:

    Thanks mhl,

    Just finished it this morning with LIEFEST the last to go in. What a great puzzle from Araucaria with so many inter-related clues. It was quite tough (for me) but such a joy to finish. I don’t like to abandon a puzzle just because there is a fresh one today, so I stick with it until completed or totally stumped. I could not let a quality puzzle like this one slip away especially when some of the daily fare are so run of the mill.
    Many thanks to Arry.

  36. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Wanted to say something about this puzzle yesterday, but then the site wasn’t available for a while.

    This was certainly nót an Araucaria Lite – worth of the Saturday spot which was, of course, not possible because of the theme.
    A great Araucaria, even if the theme (Trafalgar) didn’t appeal to us that much – War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing [courtesy of Edwin Starr (and The Boss)].

    2ac and 3ac were the last to go in.
    Of which COPENHAGEN was not particularly great (nor cryptic enough).
    We had never heard of TEMERAIRE, instead considered – having T?M?R?I?? – to start with TAMAR (which is a river). Alas.

    We smiled at 5d (SEA LOCH) – Araucarian wit.
    And – on reflection – 28ac (YESTERDAY) is extremely clever.
    As is the related TUESDAY (18d).

    Only quibble for us, “brine” being “salt” in 13d.
    Chambers says “any saline solution” which is the nearest one can get.
    It didn’t spoil the party.

    Fine crossword!

  37. morpheus says:

    Just to remark on one more Trafalgar reference, The Fighting Temeraire is a painting by Turner (mentioned in one of the clues) depicting one of the gunships which fought there.

  38. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Re #37, I suspect Araucaria (unlike me) knew about this.
    And so, another plus for this great crossword.

  39. Contrarian says:

    Not too sure why there is much debate about 21 down.

    Tupu is clearly right.

    An indicator at a motorway junction is ‘M1 north’, and part of this is ‘M1 nor’.

    MHL’s explanation has the dual weakness that translating junction as ‘n’ seems very far-fetched, and that taking just the last two letters of ‘indicator’ as the transation of ‘part of indicator’ is very unlikely (could we take the last 1 letter?!).

  40. Huw Powell says:

    Whew. The previous day’s puzzle was my fastest solve ever, then THIS. After several hours of headbanging and about 3 clues entered, the next day I noticed the Special Instructions. I was hoping for Apple Day, but Trafalgar reminded me of the weird clue that went 4,6. I rapidly filled in a half dozen answers, while reading wikipedia’s very long articles on the Admiral and his last battle.

    Was constantly interrupted by echoes of “Kiss me Hardy… now put your hand on my thigh…”

    Finally “finished” (missed 25A and 13D) here 3 days later.

    I really liked the “buried” theme clues, specifically, HARDY and BRIGANTINE – “buried” in that they were clued without reference to other themed clues.

    Thanks for the various explanations, mhl, and the rest of you. I now know more about the Battle of Trafalgar than I ever needed to! Thanks to Araucaria, as well, for a wonderful exploit!

  41. mhl says:

    Huw Powell: well done for sticking with it! I don’t have anywhere near that persistence…

  42. Helen and Derry says:

    We live near Nelson NZ so Trafalgar refs all over the place and familiar. But it still took us ages and we never got Temeraire – as in 36 we got hung up on the Tamar. And still don’t understand Copenhagen as ’11’s battle horse’ when he was the Duke of Wellington’s horse?

  43. mhl says:

    Helen and Derry: you have to split the clue differently: “11’s battle” (the Battle of Copenhagen) and “horse in battle 10 years later” (referring to the Duke of Wellington’s horse).

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