Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Prize No 25,286 by Araucaria

Posted by bridgesong on April 9th, 2011


Solving time: about 40 minutes (I expect my predecessor Rightback completed it in single figures!).  There’s been some comment on the site in the week that this puzzle appeared about how some weekday puzzles are far harder than some prize puzzles; I think this puzzle provides more ammunition for that view.  Certainly I found this puzzle much easier than Puck’s puzzle from the previous day.   The vast majority of the clues are charades, with only 4 anagrams (and three of them are partial).

7 START UP A typical Auricaurian charade to get us going; a tup is a male sheep
8 BOHEMIA HEMI in BOA. Quite how this central European country came to be a metaphor for an unconventional style of living is not explained by the Wikipedia entry, but is attested by Chambers
10 AS WELL Another very easy charade (a swell)
12 POLL POLL is a word with several meanings, two of which feature in this clue, and a third as part of the group of solutions which provide one of the puzzle’s themes
13 CARDIOLOGY CAR with O, LOG in DIY. I liked “homework” for DIY
14 MEMENTO MORI Traditionally a skull was used as a reminder of mortality. MORI here also refers to the opinion polling company
19 TRIPPERISH Another charade (TRIP, PERISH) made a little more difficult by the relative obscurity of the word
22 MIMI The heroine of Puccini’s opera La Boheme, the name can of course sound like me, me
23 KEEPSAKE Yet another charade, with the definition by cross-reference
24 ANNALS Anna is an old Indian (or Pakistani) coin, LS = pounds sterling
25 OPINION OP, 10 in INN. A clever charade, but easily guessable if you have already solved 3
26 STREWTH ST (saint), * THREW. Apart from 4 down, one of only three other anagrams (and a partial one at that) in the whole puzzle
1 ATISHOO AT 1, SHOO. I only had to look up the definition of “sternutation” in Chambers to guess this
2 TRUE BLUE TR(o)UBLE, with EU inserted. Lovely surface reading
3 PUBLIC PUB, LIC(ensed). Another very easy clue
5 REPEAL Another charade: re-peal
6 LIVINGS The reference is to the playwright
15 ELEVATOR E, LEVA(n)T, (n)OR(th).  I think that OR for “North’s part” is outrageous, even by Araucarian standards
16 REMINDER Yet another charade
17 PRE-EMPT * (PEER), MP, T. The reference to “the other place” is to a parliamentary convention by which peers, when speaking in the House of Lords, do not refer to the House of Commons by name
18 EMULATE And another charade
21 HEARTS HEAR, TS (Eliot)


Hold mouse over clue number to see clue.

20 Responses to “Guardian Prize No 25,286 by Araucaria”

  1. Biggles A says:

    Thanks bridgesong. I agree that this one surrendered rather too easily. I didn’t like 24 much, it had to be ANNALS of course but the currencies are the wrong way round.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Bridgesong

    As you say, this was easier than others we have met mid-week and, like you, I had never heard of Sternutation.

    MEMENTO MORI was my last entry after having first convinced myself that it was something MARK.

  3. tupu says:

    Thanks Bridgesong and Araucaria

    A pretty straightforward puzzle compared with yesterday’s.

    Re Anglo-Indian. Following BigglesA, I have just tried to do some checking on this since Araucaria usually does his homework. As far as I can see, the Anna is an Anglo-Indian coin introduced by the East India Company. The Government also later introduced a gold sovereign. However, there is also a q mark in the clue.

    23a, 18d (cheeky!), and 20d pleased.

  4. chas says:

    Thanks to Bridgesong for the blog.

    I was puzzled by 3d: the clue seems incomplete to me as I cannot see what indicates ‘pub’.

  5. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks bridgesong,

    I did this in a holiday cottage without any ‘aids’ and therefore was unable to finish due to the obscurity of LIVINGS. I couldn’t see why ‘clergy’ formed part of the clue.

    Chas@4, I assumed ‘briefly’ was serving double duty, PUB short for Public House and LIC for licensed.

    12a I figured was the ‘head of’ Polly.

    13a Also liked DIY for homework and 23a KEEPSAKE was neat if obvious once the mini theme was spotted.

    All in all a typical mixed bag.

  6. Dad'sLad says:

    Chas @4 my post above should have read “..short for (Public) House….”

  7. Robi says:

    I agree with tupu @3 that this was relatively easy compared to yesterday’s puzzle, but still entertaining.

    Thanks bridgesong for the blog. I took the ‘LS’ in 24 as pounds and shillings, but it makes little difference. It took me a while to realise that the 10 in 25 was, in fact, ‘IO,’ but that made it a nice clue. TRIPPERISH sounds like a word that few would use. I’m not sure what the last ’10’ is doing in the clue to 15; does it add anything?……. maybe I’m missing the sense.

  8. malc95 says:

    chas @ 4. –

    In the old days before “pubco’s” it was common to refer to a pub by the brewery who owned it; e.g. Not worth going in there, it’s a Watney’s house – let’s go to the Bass house down the road.
    Maybe that’s what the Rev had in mind.

  9. malc95 says:

    Robi @ 7. –

    15d – I think he means an elevator takes one down “as well” as up.

  10. Bryan says:


    The popularity of the metaphor is attributed to Henri Murger:

    However, use of the term “Bohemian” to describe counterculture artist types was not original or unique to Murger. In 19th-century France, people commonly associated gypsies with a region then known as Bohemia (now, generally, the western area of the Czech Republic), and the term “bohemian” became a metaphor for living an unconventional life, as young aspiring artists often do.

  11. Eileen says:

    Thank you for the blog, Bridgesong.

    Re ‘the obscurity of Livings': Araucaria clued ‘playwright Henry’ in puzzle 24,539. I hadn’t heard of him then, but remembered the name, because it was unusual and also because his widow wrote to the Guardian, saying how delighted she was:

  12. bridgesong says:

    Thanks all for your comments. I don’t think that there are any queries that haven’t already been answered and I’m away now until Sunday evening without guaranteed internet access so may not be able to respond to any more comments until then. It’s too nice a day (here in England, anyway) to stay indoors…

  13. tupu says:

    Henry Livings whose ‘obscurity’ is quite belied by the link provided by bridgesong,was was an important, award-winning member of the very active northern tv and theatre drama world of the 1960s and 1970s that included Alan Plater. Araucaria of course devoted the Bank Holiday Jumbo (28 Aug) to Plater. This and the reference Eileen kindly provided suggests he has a soft spot for that group of dramatists.

    Hi Dad’s Lad
    As I imagine you figured out, ‘livings’ is the word for the postings (with income/property) that clergymen, like Araucaria in his time, obtain in parishes.

  14. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks tupu, I’ve never come across ‘livings’ in that context before so that’s a helpful explanation.

  15. Bryan says:

    In case you don’t already know, there’s a very enjoyable Cinephile puzzle in today’s FT.

    And Cinephile is, of course, Araucaria’s alter ego.

  16. Andy B says:

    I think I rated this more highly than most people commenting here – there’s a rather luke warm ambience. I found it was one of those puzzles where I couldn’t get very much at all on a first pass through all the clues, but then it all fell rather nicely into place. 14a and its various relationships were very good (I got it after the ones it connected to and felt nicely misdirected). 5, 13 and esp 19 were very nice, I thought

  17. Davy says:

    Thanks bridgesong,

    I quite enjoyed this puzzle but was surprised that TRIPPERISH is actually a word. It just doesn’t sound right.
    I don’t think it was one of Arry’s best but certainly vastly more entertaining than today’s Bonxie.

  18. Geoff says:

    Thanks, bridgesong.

    I rather enjoyed this one. Not an Araucarian classic, but there are some nice surface readings (most of his recent puzzles have not been so distinguished!) and some fun words as solutions and parts of charades – ATISHOO, TRIPPERISH, STREWTH and the lovely use of ‘DIY’, ‘hem’ in ‘boa’, and ‘tup’ (to coincide nicely with ‘Lambing Live’ on BBC2).

    Odd that we consider BOHEMIA to be Central European – in Soviet times it was even thought of as Eastern Europe, despite Prague being more westerly than Vienna. Since Europe is generally considered to be that part of Eurasia west of the Urals, there is far more of it to the east of the Czech Republic than there is to the west.

  19. tupu says:

    Hi Geoff
    Interesting re Bohemia (nb ‘hemi’ in ‘boa’). I wonder whether its partly ‘central’ simply because its so far from the sea in all directions. But you are clearly right re Soviet influence on the ‘eastern’ definition.

  20. Ian says:

    Thanks bridgesong.

    By the setters own standards I will acknowledge that it was relatively easy when compared to some of the recent weekday puzzles.

    However I did like the way it started with 7ac. In the NW of England, the newly gentrified town of Ramsbottom, has always been known as Tups Arse. Long may that continue.

    Much fun with words Atishoo and Strewth.

    When I lived in Manchester in the sixties, I remember taking in a couple of Henry Livings plays at the Stables and Library theatres. They were OK.

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