Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,236 / Araucaria

Posted by Eileen on February 3rd, 2011

Eileen.

What a treat! This took a while to get into but, once I latched on to the theme – right up my street! – it was rather plainer sailing for me than for our hero. Some lovely penny-dropping moments, eg 4dn and 22dn. I know this one won’t suit everyone but I hope most readers enjoy[ed] it.

Across


1   STYGIAN
: STY [hovel] + GIAN[t]
2   CREVICE: C [number] + RE [dealing with] + VICE [bad habit]
10  EMMA: an old signaller’s name for the letter M
11  TELEMACHUS: TEACH US around LE M [little gentleman from Paris]
12  SUITOR: SUIT [clothes] + OR [gold in heraldry]
13 PENELOPE: PEN [write] + ELOPE [‘run away with me’]: hurrah for an ellipsis that means something! Penelope was beset by a succession of suitors during Odysseus’ twenty-year absence.
14  EARLY DAYS: anagram of LADY and YEARS, with the hilarious indicator ‘Gaga’ : Edit: it is I who am gaga – please see comments 3 and 4!
16,17: JAMES JOYCE: I think this is [Henry] JAMES + JOYCE [Cary]?
19  OUT OF TOWN: double / cryptic definition: reference to the nursery rhyme:
The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown
The lion beat the unicorn all around the town.
Some gave them white bread, and some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum cake and drummed them out of town.
23 TENNYSON: TENNYS [homophone of ‘tennis’ [court affair broadcast] + ON [continuously]: Tennyson wrote the poem ‘Ulysses’ after the death of his close Cambridge friend, the poet Arthur Henry Hallam.
24 YAHOOS: YA [consent of some!] + HOOS [homophone of ‘whose’]: the yahoos were, originally, savage creatures in ‘Gulliver’s Travels’.
26  WATERCRESS: anagram of WAR SECRETS
27  MAME: anagram of EMMA: Jane Russell’s role in the 1953 film, ‘The French Line’. Jane Russell and Lady Gaga in the same crossword – typical Araucaria!
28  ULYSSES: [j]ULY [much of summer] + SSES [sounds like SEAS [on]: ‘much of’ seems to be doing double duty here. Ulysses is one Latin version of Odysseus.
29  HYDRANT: HYDRA [many-headed monster] + N[o]T


Down

2   TEMPURA: UP + ME in ART [skill] all reversed
3   GRANT: double definition: Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President [1869-77] of the United States.
4   ATTIRED: A T[i.e.] + TIRED [limp]
6 ROMANY: RO [sounds like ‘roe’ [deer] + MANY [in large numbers]
7   VACILLANT: AC[count] in VILLA [house] + NT [books]
8   CRUMPLE: RUMP [bottom] in [cir]CLE
9   FLOPSY BUNNIES: LOPS [cuts] + YB [BY being turned] in FUNNIES [comic strips]: The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies is a story by Beatrix Potter.
15 LICENSEES: L [one studying – I think this is OK in these days of the written driving test] + ICEN[i] [Boudicca’s tribe of ancient Britons] + SEES [observes]
18  OVERALL: double / cryptic definition: reference to dressing ships ‘overall’ on ceremonial occasions.
20  ODYSSEY: typical Araucaria!: sounds [sort of] like ‘ODD, is he?]: the story of Odysseus’ wanderings.
21  WOODMAN: WOO [court] + anagram of MAD + N[ew]
22  PSYCHE: [to]PSY [‘growing girl’ in ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’] + CHE [revolutionary]: CHE and EMMA in one puzzle!
25  HOMER: double definition

79 Responses to “Guardian 25,236 / Araucaria”

  1. Ian W. says:

    Many thanks, Eileen. Got 19a from the crossing letters but had never heard of the nursery rhyme, so thanks for the explanation.

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks Eileen. This was good fun – my way in was via JAMES JOYCE (“Cary” made it obvious for me) and much of the rest of the thematic stuff followed.

    28ac – the SEAS is SEASON without ON, so “much of” only applies to JULY.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eileen
    Your parsing of 14ac may be correct but the anagram indicator is in-between the two fodder words and ‘audience’ is not accounted for. I parsed this as EAR (audience) *(LADY) YS (years).

    In 28dn, ‘much’ is not doing double duty. SEAS[on] is ‘season not on’.

    You have a typo in 15dn, the answer is missing the final ‘S’.

  4. jim says:

    Thanks Eileen – I thoroughly enjoyed this.
    14: I took this as ear = audience, LYDA = anag. LADY and ys = years. Otherwise, what’s audience doing in the clue?

  5. molonglo says:

    Thanks Eileen. Ran through the NE and SW corners, fell over at the 28 theme (the “not on, they say” in that clue was the problem there – thanks Eileen and Andrew) and limped across the line unaided nearly an hour later with 11a and finally 9d – only true eccentrics (us?) could be equally at home with both of those.

  6. Martin H says:

    An excellent puzzle which needed some intuitive solving to get going. Once SUITOR was in the theme clicked – a fertile one too. You comment Eileen on the odd couples here, but don’t mention James Joyce and Beatrix Potter, perhaps the most unlikely of all.

    The ‘Odyssey’ homophone is very much a ‘sort of’, as you say. Watercress and war secrets – a great anagram (and another odd couple).

  7. beermagnet says:

    Thank you Eileen and of course Big A.
    This was a crossword and blog to learn much from, particularly with access to encyclopaedia to check and discover areas of knowledge not previously discovered.
    The Wikipedia pages on Ulysses and Odysseus are highly illuminating.

    Your blog resolved a few that I couldn’t fathom e.g. where PSY of PSYCHE came from, and I’d like to second the thanks for the ‘lion and unicorn’ rhyme.

    Started the comment to confirm Joyce Cary, and discovered I was thinking of Joyce Carey Film actress, but Joyce Cary seems an interesting fellow! Wiki page

  8. Conrad Cork says:

    beermagnet is right about interesting. Joyce Cary was a wonderful novelist, who I have loved since I was at school. Try The Horses Mouth for starters.

  9. Eileen says:

    Thanks Gaufrid and jim for the enlightenment re 14ac – amended now.

    Andrew and Gaufrid

    I’m not feeling very bright this morning [I didn’t see TELEMACHUS until I was typing it – trying to make something of TEL[l]US!] but I can’t quite get my head round 28ac. I realised SEAS[on] was ‘season not on’, hence my brackets, but surely the two parts of the clue are separate – otherwise it’s ‘season’ that’s doing double duty?

    [Please don’t try to explain any further – I’ll go and lie down in a darkened room until it comes to me!]

    Martin H

    Just for the record, re the pairs: I was really referring to the fact that Araucaria, at very nearly ninety years old, can include Lady Gaga in a puzzle, along with one of his old-time cinema favourites. The other was just a wry comment on the ubiquity of CHE and EMMA in crosswords. At least Joyce and Potter were pretty much contemporary!

  10. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. As soon as I worked out the theme, I was hoping you’d get to blog this one, as I was sure you would enjoy it! My way in was ODYSSEY. I needed your explanations for the wordplay in a couple of places.

    I was also v amused to see Lady Gaga and Jane Russell in the same puzzle. Thanks, Araucaria!

  11. Robi says:

    Thanks Arucaria and Eileen for an illuminating blog.

    Not being a classicist, I struggled with this and had to use the check button fairly frequently at first. I don’t particularly like puzzles where one clue refers to another, as I found it difficult to get started, although I did persevere with 28 until I got it.

    Challenge 10/10; enjoyment 6/10, although not the Reverend’s fault :) – I’m just a dumb scientist.

    BTW, I did not think 2d was very accurate as this can be a vegetarian dish, although I appreciate it can also be a ‘fishy dish.’

  12. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Eileen, Like Liz, I was wondering if it was your turn today.

    My way in was 28 directly, though I didn’t know Tennyson had also written about him, so had to wait for the crossing letters there. Also, I didn’t know how to spell Telemachus, as Spanish has a way of simplifying things. Like you, I was trying to justify “tell us”, so thanks for that.

    My only problem here was Ms. Potter, as she was banned from my childhood, as was a certain Mr. Disney. My Mum considered we had plenty of time to learn the cruelties of life, without having it ruin the pleasure of reading too early on :)

    Thanks for reminding me of the rhyme at19ac. I once knew it by heart, but again needed all the crossing letters for the penny to drop.

    All in all, great fun, thanks Araucaria.

  13. Stella Heath says:

    BTW, with apologies to Gaufrid, I’d like to send my best wishes to liz and hers down under.

  14. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Araucaria

    It took me quite a time to get started and solving interrupted by a trip to the dentist’s.
    Another super puzzle.

    Vacillant and Penelope came first and then the theme.

    Like Eileen I needed Gaufrid and Jim to make proper sense of 14a and I needed Eileen for her sense of 16,17.

    However I discover that there was an author and translator called Henry Cary who may have translated the Odyssey.
    cf the list at the bottom of https://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/homer/homertranslations.htm

    I too liked 4d, and also Woodman (I always think of Spare that Tree!), and Homer (again reminded of Kipling’s “When ‘Omer smote his Bloomin’ Lyre”).

  15. Eileen says:

    Hi Robi

    For me, ‘dumb scientist’ is a contradiction in terms!

    You’re quite right about 2dn, of course: I meant to mention it, so thanks for that.

    Hi Stella

    I think you mean Monica – but, yes, of course, our thoughts are with her and her fellow Queenslanders, again, so soon.

  16. Eileen says:

    Hi tupu

    That’s an interesting link – thank you. But it must surely be coincidence, since I can’t see that, alone, it would lead to the answer JAMES JOYCE!

    I’m not happy with that clue – it reads rather oddly, if my connections are right – and I expected there to be more comment.

    [I hope it was just a check-up at the dentist’s. ;-) ]

  17. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Eileen.
    What a super puzzle!
    Got EMMA and WATERCRESS on first run through and was then stuck for about 10 minutes.Once I got the theme the rest soon fell into place.Took a bit longer to actually work out the wordplay,but that is part of the fun with Araucaria.
    21 down took a while as I was convinced CS(Forester) was in there somewhere.
    As you say,the range of references in this puzzle are amazing.Araucaria will be 90 on the 16th February.Long may he continue to amuse,educate and baffle us!

  18. Dave Ellison says:

    Managed most of this on the bus on the way in, albeit after a slow start; I was just about to take a rest when I got 28ac. I already had 3d GRANT, but that was no help. I (a scientist/mathematician) knew or could recall most of the Odyssey. The only connection I didn’t know was Tennyson, but it was guessible. No cheat books today! A very enjoyable solve.

    The “OUT OF TOWN” quote occurs, of course, in the rhyme in the chapter on the Lion and the Unicorn in Alice in Wonderland, from which I remember it.

  19. JS says:

    Thanks Eileen (as you say “What a treat!”) and of course Araucaria.

    Scarpia #17.
    Interesting you should mention C S Forester in connection with 21d.

    Richard Woodman is a novelist who has written a series of books featuring Nathaniel Drinkwater a fictional Royal Navy officer at the time of the Napoleonic Wars – similar to Forester and Patrick O’Brian. So perhaps he could be referred to as the ‘new Forester’ – I wonder if Araucaria had this in mind, I wouldn’t bet against it!
    More info here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Woodman

  20. Scarpia says:

    Thanks JS.
    “I wonder if Araucaria had this in mind, I wouldn’t bet against it!” – I wouldn’t either!

  21. Eileen says:

    Hi Scarpia and JS

    Many thanks for that – it seems eminently feasible, particularly with the capitalisations in the clue, which I’d presumed were just a misleading reference to the New Forest, but would, of course, be obligatory if A. intended to refer to the author. It certainly makes a rather run-of-the-mill clue into a very clever one indeed.

    I thought I was on firm literary ground with this puzzle but I’ve never read any Forester and I’m afraid I hadn’t even heard of Woodman.

  22. tupu says:

    Hi Eileen

    Thanks. I’m sure you are right – it not an alternative solution, as I should have made clear.

    But like Scarpia and JS re Woodman, I wonder whether our revere(n)d polymath setter knew about it, and if it had played a part in the ‘history’ of the clue, rather than being just a coincidence. I suppose we will never know.

    Thanks too about the dental visit. I returned un’armed but not untoothed!

  23. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Araucaria and Eileen for your beautiful blog especially the nursery rhyme at 19ac that I
    didn’t know. 27ac MAME- my original thought was the Reverend was confusing Rosalind Russell and Jane Russell. Then I checked a search engine and learned about Mame in The French Line. I didn’t get to see that movie – much too scandalous for a 13 year old!

    Cheers!

  24. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks for the blog Eileen. You certainly get your moneys worth with Araucaria.

    Not being versed in the Classics it took me ages to get going & I got stuck with the bottom right corner for a long time till it fell into place.

    I fitted in 19a OUT OF TOWN but have never heard of the nursery rhyme. Retired & still learning!

  25. Wolfie says:

    I agree with all the comments about this very enjoyable puzzle. As further evidence of Araucaria’s range of knowledge I would add a note to the parsing of 29a: reducing NOT to give NT is probably a reference to the chemical process of reduction, which is the removal of oxygen from a compound (the opposite of oxidation).

  26. Eileen says:

    Hi Wolfie

    Many thanks for that – I’m only a ‘dumb classicist’!

    That disposes of a slight unease I had, which I nearly mentioned in the blog. I’d have expected ‘not reduced’ to be NO.

    In fact, my first thought for 29 ac was INFERNO [which would have fitted in brilliantly with the Ulysses theme] but I couldn’t make INFER equate to ‘monster’ [although it proved to be a bit of one on Monday! ;-)

  27. walruss says:

    How splendid to see the Old Master with Gaga!! Excellent puzzle, providng fun and cmplexity in equal measure.

  28. Gaufrid says:

    Eileen
    Why the unease? Not is regularly reduced to n’t as in hadn’t, shouldn’t etc.

  29. mark says:

    Impossible.

    I should know better but thought I’d have a try. I even realised there was an Odyseus theme but still got hardly any.

    11a – LE M is little gentleman from Paris? Come on.
    14a – YS for years?
    16A – Joyce Cary that well known writer?
    24a – Ya is consent of some…why some?
    28a – July is most of summer?!? So summer isn’t three months any more?
    18d – what?

    I give up and yes I can well see that I’m in a minority of one.

  30. John says:

    Whilst I understand that this setter is rightly afforded a certain amount of latitude in return for his other obvious merits, I would still like to ask:
    Where is the definition in 29 ac? Neither “fire” nor “following fire” works.
    How does watercress work with “have”, when it’s singular, not plural?
    Does “encouraging car use” really equate to OUT OF TOWN?

  31. Martin P says:

    Don’t worry Mark I wouldn’t have finished it either without lots of searching. I think some of the 1950s Hollywood references are past it now in particular. I don’t have a problem with “le M(onsieur)” though.

  32. Dave Ellison says:

    Hi, mark @29.

    I think in 11a, LE M refers to THE and to LITTLE GENTLEMAN in French

    14a I suppose Y is YEAR and the s added for plural

    I agree with you about 16a – Peter would have sprung to my mind, but that would have been the wrong spelling

    24a Only some people would say YA for Yes

    28a The clue actually says MUCH not MOST, so July is a fair portion of summer, and then (as I think Eileen was pointing out before she lay down) MUCH does double duty with July to give ULY

    18d I read this as “The commander in chief should be in command over all his people”, and he should be wearing overalls? Eileen gives an additional explanation. I don’t think this was the best clue of the day.

  33. Martin P says:

    John the word hydrant is usually seen following the word fire, it’s as banale as that I think.

    Latitude needed for 26a, once the letters are rearranged, they “have” a pungent taste!

  34. blaise says:

    John at 5:35
    …it’s just that the word “hydrant” almost always appears following the word “fire”…

  35. Martin H says:

    mark @29

    M is short for Monsieur

  36. Brian Harris says:

    Finished this, but as usual, there were some very iffy clues. 29ac for example doesn’t really have any kind of definition. Is T really an abbreviation for Tie? In what context? 14ac is hard to figure out what “audience” is doing there.

    Liked the Homeric references, though. I was looking for Ithaca*

    *as was Odysseus!

  37. Eileen says:

    Hi Brian

    4dn: I perhaps didn’t make it clear enough: it’s TIE minus IE [‘that’s’]

    Re ‘audience: please see comments 3 and 4 – I certainly didn’t make that clear!

  38. Robi says:

    Brian @36; I took the ‘tie that’s gone’ to mean ‘tie’ with ‘i.e. [that’s]’ removed (gone). I think that is what Eileen was indicating in the blog.

  39. Robi says:

    Eileen; crossed again :)

  40. Duncan Shiell says:

    Brian Harris @ 36

    I don’t think T is being used as an abbreviation for TIE

    I think by putting [i.e.] in brackets after T in the parsing of 4 down that Eileen was illustrating ‘tie that’s gone’ as “TIE” excluding [gone] that’s [that is; id est; i.e.], leaving just the T.

    At 14a, I think comments 3 and 4 above explain how ‘audience’ is used. I think it just a coincidence that the answer is also an anagram of LADY YEARS

  41. Duncan Shiell says:

    Oops – a triple cross

  42. Robi says:

    Mark @29; I’ll paraphrase what Dave @32 said about 18d: a commander-in-chief would ‘be in’ [attired] overall command.

    I wouldn’t have got anywhere with this puzzle either, had it not been for my trusty computer!

  43. Geoff says:

    Out all day so only just got round to this.

    I enjoyed the multiply stranded Odysseus theme, although this wasn’t my favourite of Araucaria’s recent offerings – there are five clues with homophone components (23ac, 24ac, 28ac, 6dn, 20dn), which is a bit excessive.

    On the other hand, I don’t have a problem with 18dn. ‘Overalls’ (plural) is the commoner term, but OVERALL (singular) is defined by the SOED as ‘a protective outer garment; now esp. a loose coat or smock worn to keep the clothers beneath clean’. Hence punningly appropriate attire for someone who is in charge OVER ALL.

  44. morpheus says:

    I agree with some of the critical points above. There seems to be a tendancy with this setter (in view of his undoubted strengths) to equate the difficulty of solving some of his clues with cleverness in setting them when in fact many of the clues are simply badly constructed in a way that no amount of libertarianism can really excuse. I’d say it’s a similar (but opposite) error to the criticisms that are made of Rufus in assuming that the ease of solving some of his clues reflects lack of care in their setting.

  45. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Imagine a situation that you don’t have any access to resources whatsoever, and imagine that in a situation like that you can’t spot the theme either.
    Well?

    Nine and a half clues after one hour. :(
    I admit, we should have been able to find a few more.
    And possibly a lot more, when discovering the Ulysses connection.
    [when I was at school (a long long time ago), I read (parts of) it – in Greek!]
    But it went wrong from the very first moment with ‘Cary’ which we translated into GRANT [and why not, there’s no ‘by example’ indicator], creating an obscure writer (James Grant) and making 3d an impossible one.

    Eileen, honestly, I fully understand that this was right up your street.
    Happy for you and all the others that enjoyed it, but for us it was a struggle.
    Very unsatisfying, and annoyingly so.

    I think it’s pointless to make any critical remarks about the clueing as Araucaria beat us by miles and miles and miles today.
    But one Lady Gaga doesn’t make this a sparkling puzzle (although I found that one (14ac) one of the very best).
    Alas, here we go again: we’re all different , aren’t we?

    Wonder what the Man in the Street thought about it today.
    I’m not sure.

  46. Carrots says:

    Whew! Auntie E you must have been up half the night! It took three of us and a portable magic box over 90 minutes to crack this, notwithstanding the fuel of pintas to keep us going!

    What completely threw me was 19Ac. I just couldn`t get the detritus of a half-forgotten ditty out of what remains of my brain:

    “Were you ever off Cape Horn…Where its always nice and warm….Where there`s a lion and a Unicorn, riding on a donkey”

    Needless to say, I was up an Auracarian gum-tree. I think I`ll ask Tupu (who knows all things) where this comes from.

    The next time you feel the need to lie down in a darkened room I will send my Avatar around to pat your fevered brow. But, having had some experience of the little b****a, it might be wise to keep your twelve-bore handy.

  47. Paul (not Paul) says:

    One for the experts. Way too hard for me. After 30 minutes I had Watercress to show for my effort. Some very tenuous cluing for some pretty obscure words. What is a Stygian?

  48. JS says:

    @Paul (not Paul) #47

    Stygian is not ‘a thing’ – it is an adjective that refers to/is related to the River Styx which in Greek Mythology was the river that surrounded Hades (Hell) – so something that can be described as ‘stygian’ is hellish or dark & gloomy etc.

  49. Paul8hours says:

    Great puzzle for me, although I can understand the reasons for the complaints above and my kids would have had no hope. 10 ‘Y’s in a grid, 3 used twice. That doesn’t happen too often.

  50. MikeC says:

    Thanks Eileen and A. I enjoyed this a lot, although my “successful” completion was based on two errors – I had Eileen’s Lady Gaga problem, and I thought that the heroine of the film Gilda, who sings “Put the blame on Mame” must be Jane Russell (it’s actually Rita Hayworth, as I ought to have remembered!). 8/10 for me, plus good marks for effort?

  51. Brian Harris says:

    @ Eileen, Robi, Duncan – ah, thanks for the response about “tie that’s gone” being T. I get it now. It seems a rather awkward way of cluing the letter T to me.

    And it turns out I didn’t finish, as I put MIMI instead of MAME, having never heard of MAME.

  52. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Eileen, I needed help to get the last couple of answers.

    What a really great puzzle!

    I don’t really have much sympathy for either of the ‘I’m not a classicist’ or ‘I’m not a scientist’ style of complaints. Isn’t one of the biggest enjoyments cryptics is that you learn a whole load of new stuff that you might otherwise not come across?

  53. tupu says:

    A late comment. I encountered the Odyssey at school, but it was not simply a children’s story for the Greeks and I would respectfully recommend it, in a good translation, to anyone (younger or older) both as a tale of adventure and as one with deeper questions lurking about as well.

  54. Carrots says:

    Hi Tupu…please see my note at 46. I really would like to know where my incorrect reference to The Lion & The Unicorn comes from and if anybody would know, you would. All I know is that it is a snatch of a playground song from the late forties/early fifties. Good to meet you, however briefly, in Derby!

  55. Scarpia says:

    Hi Carrots.
    Just in case Tupu misses your question what you are quoting is from a song called Donkey Riding,which i think is a traditional folksong/nursery rhyme.
    There are quite a few different versions around.I have copied one below.

    DONKEY RIDING

    Were you ever in London town
    Where the girls they do come down
    To see the King in a golden crown
    Riding on a donkey

    Hey ho away we go
    Donkey riding, donkey riding
    Hey ho away we go
    Riding on a donkey

    Were you ever off Cape Horn
    Where it’s always fine and warm
    And seen the lion and the unicorn
    Riding on a donkey
    Hey ho away we go

    Donkey riding, donkey riding
    Hey Ho away we go
    Riding on a donkey

    Were you ever in Cardiff Bay
    Where the folks all shout hooray
    Here comes John with his three years pay
    Riding on a donkey

    Hey ho away we go
    Donkey riding, donkey riding
    Hey ho away we go
    Riding on a donkey

  56. Gaufrid says:

    Carrots
    If you google “Were you ever off Cape Horn” you will find several references to this tune. It is variously listed as a traditional English sea shanty and a guide/scout/campfire song, though the number of verses seems to differ from one source to another.

  57. Carrots says:

    Scarpia & Gaufrid: Many thanks your most helpful replies…and apologies for going a bit off-topic. Although I had forgotten most of it, Scarpia`s version is almost exactly the song we used to sing in a skipping game which, alas, I`ve long forgotten the name of! A “Rosebud” moment!

  58. Roger says:

    Agree entirely, PeeDee, about learning a whole load of new stuff that you might otherwise not come across . Classical ‘stuff’ is for me a good example of where research prompted by cryptics has opened up new worlds. Maybe now is the time, as you suggest tupu, to get down and read The Odyssey and see what I’ve been missing ! Any recommendation as to a good translation ?

  59. Scarpia says:

    Hi Roger.
    It seems as if Tupu must be out.
    It all depends if you want a poetic translation or a prose translation.I prefer prose myself and can recommend E.V Rieu’s translation (recently revised by his son)which is available through Penguin books.
    It comes with a very helpful introduction and plenty of explanatory notes.
    There might well be newer translations available but I have always been happy with the Rieu and have found it a pretty easy read.
    I have not read any of the verse translations so am unable to give a recommendation.

  60. Eileen says:

    Hi Roger

    I’d go along with Scarpia’s suggestion – it’s a classic. [Or, talking of classics, there’s always Chapman, who inspired Keats!]

    http://www.bartleby.com/126/24.html ]

    If, in the meantime, you want a sample, there are [free] versions online:

    This prose version has very useful highlighted notes:

    http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Greek/Odyssey1.htm

    Or, if you prefer verse:

    http://records.viu.ca/~johnstoi/homer/odyssey1.htm

  61. Roger says:

    Thanks Scarpia. I was a little confused yesterday when I found several translations in Waterstones, including the one that you mention, and didn’t know which to go for. A prose version will I’m sure be easier to read so will probably try the E V Rieu, I think. Thanks again.

  62. Roger says:

    Hi Eileen. Somehow or other your reply didn’t display when I submitted mine to Scarpia and I have only just seen it. Sorry about that. Gremlins, no doubt !
    Thanks for the links, very handy. I once knew the Keats by heart having spotted some of the lines in a title sequence for University Challenge and then seeking out the full poem. It’s good to be reacquainted with it.
    … and no excuses now, of course, for not to reading the work in question. Time will tell whether I thank or curse Araucaria for setting me on this path !

  63. Roger says:

    Thanks for your e-mail, Eileen. Definitely gremlins, I’d say !

  64. Eileen says:

    Hi Roger – if you’re still around

    Apparently the hiatus was because I dared to include three links in my post – beware!

    I think it’s sufficiently past the sell-by date of this puzzle to come back to the Keats [my favourite poet]. I remember a bit of discussion here about this very puzzle [to do with the spelling of Cortez [Cortes?] but, maddeningly, I can’t find it in the archive!

  65. Eileen says:

    Sorry – in the third paragraph, for ‘puzzle’ read ‘poem’.

  66. Eileen says:

    I decided to have one more try, using different search words – and found it!

    http://fifteensquared.net/2010/01/21/financial-times-13280-dante/

    I’m sure no one else is interested but it means I can go to bed without having to worry about it!

  67. tupu says:

    Hi Carrots

    Nice to meet you too.
    Sorry to let you down about the verse – but Gaufrid et Al came galloping to the rescue. I did not know it ( :)or at least remember knowing it!), so I am glad you asked because I learned something new and amusing.

    Hi Roger

    I only just saw your query. Like Scarpia and Eileen I would also have recommended Rieu, but I must confess it’s a long time since I read it.

  68. Roger says:

    Thanks for that, Eileen, and as you say, a lovely poem. Sleep well.

  69. Roger says:

    … and tupu. Rieu it is then. We might yet get into the 70’s with this strand !

  70. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Keats, Gremlins, Chapman [Graham?], Araucaria, Cortez, Rieu [André?].
    I repeat wholeheartedly, yes, wholeheartedly:
    “Wonder what the Man in the Street thought about it today. I’m not sure”

    When you don’t get any answer related to the theme (as we did), this crossword is extremely inaccessible.
    Enhanced by the fact that there is quite some ‘iffy’ clueing along the way.

    Discussion on the Odyssey and other nursery rhymes ( :)) is fine by me, but please do realise that it’s not really relevant to solvers that are not familiar with the theme [probably at least half of the Guardian readers].

    Even on hindsight (after kicking ourselves), we thought this wasn’t a good crossword.
    Clever but not good.

  71. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Post #70 must be one of a Bad Loser! :)

    Saying this crossword wasn’t good, is a bit harsh, isn’t it.
    But I still think that it didn’t give a fair chance to solvers who didn’t find any access to the theme. The clues ánd the solutions in the grid were so much linked that it was nearly impossible to open up the puzzle.

    That hardly anyone else had that problem, was because the theme was cracked, which makes solving very different and certainly more enjoyable.

    Of all the regulars we were probably the Unhappy Few today.
    Can happen.

  72. Huw Powell says:

    A fun and interesting puzzle. 16/17 cracked the theme for me – I was close at “James Boyce” when the shilling dropped like a thunderclap. Next was the obvious ULYSSES, although I still don’t see why “seas” sounds like “sses”??? Somehow I knew TELEMACHUS, and of course, as with any of these themed multi-referential puzzles, one goes from having four answers to fourteen in a hurry. GRANT came very slowly to me, but with a big smile when it did. Lots of wonderfully twisted clues here.

    I think “out of town” is “encouraging car use” in that if something is out of town one is more likely to have to drive oneself there rather than take the train or bus or bicycle.

    I really enjoyed ATTIRED >> OVERALL, too.

    Thanks Eileen for some parsing I wasn’t solid on (ATie, for example), and Mr. A. for yet another treat. Someday perhaps I’ll get the “SSES” bit…

  73. Eileen says:

    Hi Huw, if youre still there

    Just say ‘Uly-sses’ to yourself.:-)

  74. MartW says:

    Sorry to be so late submitting a comment but this was partly because I was struggling with the puzzle for so long, getting nowhere fast as it were. I agree with most of what Sil @ 71 says and I have ended up being another of the unhappy (not so) few!

  75. Gordon Roy says:

    Hi Eileen

    As usual a bit late from me as this was the Guardian Weekly puzzle.

    I just wanted to give you an example of how it is possible to convince oneself of the correctness of a wrong answer.

    I was aware that there were several authors lurking around the puzzle, and I had done only about 5 or 6 clues. Two of these were 2D TEMPURA and 4D ATTIRED, which gave me -U—R for 12A.
    I therefore solved this as ‘AUTHOR’ which seemed to fit the theme of the puzzle. I ‘easily’ parsed this as well as ‘Clothes with gold’ being gold both at the front and back of a solution, so AU at the front and OR at the back. This left ‘TH’ to explain. I had this as ‘One of many’ as in Thirtie[th] Ten[th] N[th] etc.

    Okay it didn’t have a separate definition left for ‘AUTHOR’ but as it was a run-on clue with 13A that started with ‘Write’, I thought it was just Auracaria’s quirkiness. So in went ‘AUTHOR’. I was very pleased with myself.

    Because of that I struggled mightily for anything that would fit 3D even though I could see ‘GRANT’ as an obvious solution, I felt it had to be something else. Eventually, after getting STYGIAN I realised it had to be GRANT so that my lovely ‘AUTHOR’ must be wrong. I then got the correct answer of SUITOR.

    I actually like my solution and am proud of it! [Even though it is wrong].

    Great blog as usual from you.

  76. Eileen says:

    “I actually like my solution and am proud of it! [Even though it is wrong].”

    So do I and so you should be! It’s always good to hear how others, too, go chasing wild geese or red herrings.

    It must be quite frustrating for you not being able to join in the discussion on the day but don’t forget that the blogger, if no one else, always sees your comments, so keep them coming! :-)

  77. rfb says:

    Also a latecomer via the Guardian Weekly. I found the crossword initially very frustrating, then highly enjoyable. Because it’s Araucaria, I persevered and was rewarded :-). The only clue that I would have a minor complaint about is 27A. Surely Rosalind Russell (“Mame”) or Rita Hayworth (“Put the blame on Mame” in “Gilda”) would be more recognisable to 99.99% of the populace than Jane Russell. I looked up the relevant movie in Halliwell – perhaps the 3D made a big impact on an impressionable younger Araucaria!

  78. Eileen says:

    Hi rfb

    I’m afraid I had to google this one: they’re all equally [un]familiar to me!

  79. Ken says:

    The Guardian Weekly crosswords reach us late in Africa. My daughter got 9dn as follows. Potter’s bunnies are Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail. The last two are cut in the comic strip Bunny Suicides, leaving only Flopsy Bunnies – the story by Beatrix Potter!

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