Posted by Eileen on March 26th, 2011
Something of a treat for me, to blog an Araucaria prize puzzle. It’s one of those with a long answer, this time only a partial anagram, together with some rather nifty wordplay.
I managed to get this pretty early on, having E?E?Y for the first word and the straightforward clues for 16, 17 and 22dn giving L?T?L? for the last.
There’s a mini-theme, with two references to old king Cole, the lack of a capital letter showing that it’s neither the nursery rhyme character nor the singer, Nat King Cole, but the song-writer, Cole Porter.
There were several penny-dropping moments [notably 5ac, which took a while] and a few wry smiles along the way. An enjoyable Saturday diversion, I thought.
1 A raptor or two produces ecstasy — we all go mad (5,3)
EAGLE OWL : anagram of E [ecstasy] + WE ALL GO
5 Call from the pink for return of some US unions in the blue (6)
YOICKS: CIO [some US unions] in SKY [the blue] all reversed.
I eventually dredged this hunting cry ['call from the pink'] from the back of the mind, having met it just once before, in a Rufus crossword. Apparently it’s familiar to readers of P.G. Wodehouse, one of whom I am not. This obscure word is clued by a rather obscure reference to the CIO [Congress of Industrial Organisations] which amalgamated with the AFL [American Federation of Labor] in 1955 [!] to form the AFL-CIO – hence ‘some US unions’.
9 Cross between painting (with backing) and poetry (8)
TRAVERSE: reversal of ART [painting] + VERSE [poetry]
10 Ship’s company thus reported one who left it (6)
CRUSOE: sounds like CREW [ship's company] SO [thus]
12 Vulgar and somewhat adhesive … (5)
TACKY: double definition
13 … doctor is possible criterion (9)
YARDSTICK: anagram of TACKY + DR + IS
Ellipses in Araucaria puzzles are always there for a purpose!
14 Unit of charge on first base at old solver among kings (8,4)
KILOWATT HOUR: K [king] + I [first] + LOW [base] + AT + THOU [old solver] + R [the second king]
For once, there need be no arguing about electrical charges: this is the other kind of charge: it’s the unit of energy by which you are charged on your electricity bill.
18 The last at first amid vulgar praise (12)
COMMENDATION: END [the last] + AT + I [first - again!] inside COMMON [vulgar]
21 Painter of light held by old king Cole (9)
PORTRAYER: RAY [light] in PORTER
25 Cubic man spoken and translated as red (8)
RUBICUND: RUBIC: homohone of RUBIK ['cubic man spoken'] + UND [German 'and']
26 Correctly positioned for the pull shot? (6)
ONSIDE: A pull shot is apparently a cricketing term and onside is a ‘correct’ position in football.
I’ll leave it to someone more knowledgeable in either or both to explain more fully.
27 Thank you initially for embracing embracer with brutal violence (8)
THUGGERY: HUGGER [embracer] in T Y [thank you initially]
1 Houses in forest at Epping (6)
ESTATE: hidden in forEST AT Epping
2 Speedy butchers need good cutter (6)
GLANCE: G[ood] + LANCE [cutter]
I loved the ‘speedy butchers’ definition! For those still bemused by Cockney rhyming slang, it’s short for ‘butcher’s hook’ = ‘look’.
3,4,23,24 Film about light: one thousand sheep, for example, desirable extra concept in which I tell it afresh in old king Cole’s words (5,4,2,3,7,1,3,1,6)
EVERY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE I DIE A LITTLE: this became obvious when I’d got E?E?Y and L?T?L? – then there was the wordplay to work out: ET [film] around VERY [light - a Very light is 'a signalling or illuminating coloured flare fired from a pistol': Chambers] + I M [one thousand] + EWE [sheep] + SAY [for example] + GOOD [desirable] + BYE [extra - cricket again!] + IDIEA [I in IDEA, 'concept in which I] + LITTLE [anagram of TELL IT - 'afresh']: excellent!
This is arguably the classic rendering of this song, whose title appears here [and elsewhere] as ‘Ev’ry time we say goodbye’, but I’m not quibbling.
7 Unassailable study about being on the move (4-4)
CAST-IRON: CON [study] around ASTIR [on the move]
8 Grasses in footwear (8)
SNEAKERS: double definition, although I’m much more familiar with ‘sneak’ as the noun: ‘grass’ is slang for an informer.
11 Holiday finished with significant discovery (12)
BREAKTHROUGH: BREAK [holiday] + THROUGH [over]
15 Cheating couple with use of stopwatch? (3-6)
TWO-TIMING: TWO [couple] + TIMING [using stopwatch]
16 A majority of Juliet’s family have company in American resort (8)
ACAPULCO: A + CAPUL[et] [majority of Juliet's family] + CO [company]
17 Ex-professor rues time wasted (8)
EMERITUS: anagram of RUES TIME: a nice surface
19 24 (note time) (6)
MINUTE: triple definition, referring to 24ac [little]
20 Holiday appeal (6)
MAYDAY: double definition:
the Bank Holiday which may be moved to October
and the international distress signal
22 Dominated with lines (5)
RULED: double definition
[tupu, 'I saw this and I thought of you.' ]