Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,248 – Araucaria

Posted by manehi on February 17th, 2011


Not a surprising choice of setter following yesterday’s rather special crossword – this puzzle looked a little daunting at first but wasn’t too tricky once the grid began to fill. Slightly unsure on a few of the explanations.

1 MAKE UP double def
5 GAME BIRD Such as the woodcock, or GAME=willing [jail]BIRD
10 RECITE or RE-CITE=”Repeat summons”
11 COMPANIONWAY A nautical stairway. COMPANION WAY might be the “style of value in MARRIAGE”
13,9 JE NE SAIS QUOI (Jacques I is one)*
17 HISPANIC HIS PANIC, with HIS implying “of Latino”
18,21 SNOB VALUE SNO[w]=”A lot of white” + BLUE=colour around V[ersus]=against + A=one
20 SILVER BULLET IL[l]=”somewhat sick” + VERB=”part of speech” inside rev(TELL US)=”from the right let us know”
24 CLARINET CLARET around [w]IN[e]
25 PEDESTAL PEAL=ring around DEST[iny]=”a lot of lots”
26 RELATE or RE: LATE=”about the dead”
3 EASTCHEAP relative to “West dear”. A London street and former location of the Boar’s Head Inn
4 PLUMMY P[iano]=Quiet + LUMMY which sounds the second part of the Cockney “Cor lummie!”
6,5 MARRIAGE GUIDANCE COUNCIL now renamed as RELATE. MARRIAGE=union + GUI which sounds like “guy” = “noisy fellow” + DANCE=movement + COUNCIL which sounds like “counsel” = audible advice
7 BACON The painter, or the essayist, and something idiomatically brought home.
8 RETRACTION RE=”in case of”[?] + TRACTION=pull
12 FELICITATE LICIT=permitted in FEAT=performance + E[nergy]
15 TEST TRIAL =”guide for international”? Two words meaning temptation, so “Temptations”
16 ENTREPOT (Potterne)*
19 ALTAIR A star in the constellation Aquila. ALT=high=upper + AIR=atmosphere
22,2 WENT AWAY WEN=London + WA[shington] in TAY [river]=flower

29 Responses to “Guardian 25,248 – Araucaria”

  1. molonglo says:

    Thanks manehi, especially for the DEST in 25a which I couldn’t explain. I’m still puzzled about the 26 in 6,5 – what’s it for? After yesterday’s celebration, this was a bit uneven. Someclues (1a, 10a, 26a and 15d) weren’t at all impressive. But there were of course vintage ones, like 13, 9 and 22,22.

  2. malc95 says:

    Hi Molongo,
    “Relate” is the new name for the MGC.
    Can’t get my head round 17a though.

  3. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi for a good blog and thanks Araucaria yet again.

    An enjoyable puzzle on the whole. I was left slightly unsure of 15d but read it as you did.

    I also understood Hispanic as Manehi did. Hispanic = Latino and also = His (Latino’s) panic.

    I most enjoyed 5, 11, 14, 18, 20, 6,5, 12, and 22,2.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Manehi.

    Actually the choice of setter was a surprise for me – or perhaps I should say ‘disappointment': I was hoping for a vintage [Araubetical?] Araucaria prize puzzle on Saturday, to end the week. : -(

    Ah well, we can’t have everything and we were certainly very well served yesterday by all three puzzles. I suppose today was bound to be something of an anti-climax and, as molonglo says, this was not one of Araucaria’s best, although I liked the ones he did [plus 22,2[ and WALLOP made me smile.

  5. Robi says:

    Nice to see Araucaria again after yesterday, and thanks to manehi for a good blog, especially explaining DEST in 25. :)

    This maybe too abstruse but as A is a classicist: HIS is an acronym for Hic Iacet Sepultus (Latin: here lies buried) – could it be that PANIC is buried here? Probably your simpler explanation is correct.

    Had to look up EAST CHEAP for the former location of Falstaff’s Boar’s Head Inn, and didn’t know WEN=London; I suppose this is often used in crosswords.

  6. Robi says:

    P.S. Maybe I should have said “may be” above?

  7. tupu says:

    Hi robi

    My recollection is that we had ‘wen’ = London fairly recently. The term was originally ‘The Great Wen’ and it was apparently coined by William Cobbett in c.1830. See

  8. Robi says:

    Hi tupu; thanks for the info. :)

  9. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks manehi, needed explanation for 2, 22 d – and I live overlooking the Tay!

    I enjoyed this more than yesterday’s offering, but I suspect I may be in a minority of one.

    If Di and other such should be put out to grass, can I suggest we add ALTAIR to it, since we have had a surfeit of it recently (7 outings recently). However, that may be difficult as _L_A_R has only one word that will fit according to

  10. Robi says:

    Dave @9; apart from surnames, there is ALNAIR . More stars though!

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    Just a small point: 13, 9 ac should be “jaques” and not “jacques”, manehi. I did wonder about the spelling of this when solving. When I typed “jaques” into Google just now it came up with no suggestions for it, but referred to “jacques”, instead

  12. Geoff says:

    Jaques is the character in Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ with the soliloquy ‘All the world’s a stage…’ – am I right in thinking that this should be pronounced Jay-kwis? – but it is certainly true that the French version of James is spelt with a c.

    Some very straightforward clues in this one, but 22,2 is lovely and I enjoyed 17. It would hardly be surprising if Araucaria were slowing down a bit, but there is still a lot of pleasure to be had from his offerings. We can only hope that they continue as long as possible and that we still get some alphabeticals and complex thematics now and then.

  13. Eileen says:

    Hi Geoff

    My first thought when I saw that spelling of Jaques [and the several words in the enumeration] on my first glance at the puzzle, was that we were in for the seven ages of man!

    That is the usual pronunciation but see here:,+as+you+like+it,+pronunciation&source=bl&ots=53u5ECPvD9&sig=DgVGiUGh9uX4WztLALJzUc0k8-0&hl=en&ei=PgNdTeO8PJ-qhAezru2pCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Jaques%2C%20as%20you%20like%20it%2C%20pronunciation&f=false [wow!]

  14. Roger says:

    Thanks manehi. I think Test Trial refers to those matches (for example Probables verses Possibles) played in order to help (guide) the selection of an international team. Read the RE in 8d as concerning (“in the case of”).

  15. William says:

    Perhaps birthday boy was not at his best after yesterday’s celebratory excesses! Probably not, but a nice thought.

    Eileen @13, we did the play a couple of years ago and recall being urged to pronounce Jay-kwis properly. Thanks also for your correction yesterday on the ROVERS RETURN clue – you’re quite right, of course.

  16. liz says:

    Thanks, manehi. I needed your explanations for some of the wordplay, at 25ac for example. Quite a gentle puzzle for Araucaria, I thought. I liked 3dn, 22,2 and 6,5.

  17. Derek Lazenby says:

    Gosh, finished this one too! Despite finding it heavy going. Didn’t know wen for London so I folloewed the link @7 (thanks tupu) and then follwed the subsidiary link for wen. Not being overly fond of our capital, I have to say I’m glad to have learnt this!

    Thought 18 and 20 a bit overly contrived having not understood the word play until reading the blog.

  18. Carrots says:

    There were a few answers that I couldn`t completely explain and still can`t really see “TEST TRIAL” although I am sure manehi is correct with “two temptations”. “ALT AIR” for me is carburettor heat….most frequently needed in the upper atmosphere!

    Tupu had explained The Great Wen last time that it appeared, otherwise I wouldn`t have (guessed) the correct answer.

    Anyone know how COMPANIONWAY got it`s name?

    Many thanks to the GOM and manehi for a very pleasant diversion.

  19. tupu says:

    Hi carrots

    Thanks for once again asking a question that leads me to find out (and share) something that I did not know before.

    I could not raise the OED just now but dredged the following up’ from elsewhere

    ‘com·pan·ion·way (k?m-p?n?y?n-w??)

    A staircase leading from a deck to the cabins or area below.
    Origin: From companion, framed windows above a hatchway, companionway, probably alteration of obsolete Dutch kompanje, from Old French compagne, steward’s cabin, storeroom, from Old Italian (camera della) compagna, (cabin for) provisions, pantry, from Vulgar Latin *comp?nia, things eaten with bread : Latin com-, com- + Latin p?nis, bread; see companion 1.

    Hope this is a help.

  20. malc95 says:

    Thanks Tupu @ #3, I’m still not thrilled with 17a though.
    13,9 – Dave E, Eileen et al. Jacques or Jakes is an old name for a privy, I believe.

  21. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, Geoff and malc95. Google seems to be almost as much as an ignoramus as I on Jaques; I found it eventually on the third page. Trying again with Jaques Shakespeare comes up with the goods straight away.

  22. RCWhiting says:

    “I enjoyed this more than yesterday’s offering, but I suspect I may be in a minority of one.”

    Dave #9 Two.

  23. Carrots says:

    Many thanks Tupu (I didn`t think you`d be able to resist temptation!) I shall sleep more soundly in my bed to-night, dreaming of being back on Queen Elizabeth 2 with my companion…and her unfathomable ways.

    You (and possibly others) my be interested to learn that I once had an Ol`Skool Chum named JAQUES (spelt without a “C”). It was his family`s surname.

  24. PeeDee says:

    Thanks manehi, didn’t know companionway or wen=London. I guessed Eastcheap, though the Shakespearean references were beyond me.

  25. Scarpia says:

    Thanks manehi.
    Perhaps not vintage Araucaria but still a very good puzzle.I really appreciated the complex wordplay of SILVER BULLET and SNOB VALUE had me foxed for a while,I wanted to put in book value but,of course,couldn’t make it fit the wordplay(or definition).
    Eileen @13 – that must be the longest link I’ve ever seen,it’s a good job we can cut and paste. :)

  26. Sylvia says:

    Carrots, your contributions invariably make me laugh! What an education this site is!

  27. Bob says:

    Carrots, I think I can expand on Roger’s explanation of Test Trial as those matches (for example Probables verses Possibles) played in order to help (guide) the selection of an international team. It’s specifically a match played to help pick the team for a Test Match (cricket or, I suppose, rugby).

  28. Carrots says:

    Bob@27: I`m indebted…and for once ahead of the pitnickers in congratulating you on inventing new categories of poetry: possible and probable verses. We`ve some way to go before equalling Spike Milligan`s Silly Verses fame but I`m sure we`ll get there if we keep trying. How`s this for starters:

    “There was a young solver called Bob,
    Who made a wee boob in his blog:
    He put in an “E”
    When all could see
    A “U” would have been just the job” (!?!?)

    Sylvia@26: I`m flattered….But I di`n`t get no Education (although Art Skool provided satisfaction galore). The real heavyweights (“The Usual Suspects”) on 15sqd. will have you losing sleep over linguistic and epistemological nuances if you let `em. So I just lob in the occasional hand grenade to see what happens. I should know by now: I get toasted alive.

  29. Huw Powell says:

    Considering how this was going from very early on (spent a lot of time staring at blank squares populated only by MAKE UP and RELATE), I surprised myself by actually finishing it (with some recourse to research, of course, there’s no way I would have heard of the MGC!). Thanks for the explanations of the wordplay in my pencilled-in PLUMMY, WENT AWAY (I suppose I could have googled WEN though), and PEDESTAL.

    It was a steady, slow solve, though, taking a few hours over the course of the day.

    So thanks, manehi, for the blog, and of course the Old Master for a finishable puzzle!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

8 × four =