Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,380 / Araucaria

Posted by Eileen on July 21st, 2011


Certainly the toughest challenge of the week so far, with some typically Araucarian liberties which will be a step too far for some. I’ll say no more at this stage!


  DECLARE: double definition:  voluntarily end an innings at cricket / make a statement of goods at customs
5   BUS STOP: BUSS [kiss] TOP [spinner]
9   ORMER: OR + MER [French for sea: the answer to 20dn is ABROAD]
10  CYRENAICA: anagram of CE [Church of England] and CANARY I[sland]: Cyrenaica is a region of Libya, in Africa [3dn]: I don’t much like the use of ‘by’ here.
11  MISCHIEF-MAKING: seeing ‘stirring’ at the beginning of a clue for a long answer like this in an Araucaria puzzle suggests ‘Anagram’ – but this time it’s the definition: CHIEF [leader] MA [mother] in SKIN [hide] all inside MIG [aircraft]: [why ‘leader’s’ and not, perhaps ‘leading’?]
13, 1dn TRAP DOOR: reversal of ROOD [measure – the same as a rod, pole or perch] and PART [piece]
14  LOTHARIO: LOTH [unwilling]  + A RIO [a river abroad {Spanish}]
17  GUIDANCE: this is naughty!: GUID [Scottish ‘good’ {virtuous}] + N[ame] in ACE [winning serve in tennis]
18,22 ETON MESS: anagram of SEMITONES minus I [one]
21  CANTERBURY BELL: CANTER [move fast] + BURY [deal with dead] BELL [ringer]: this time ‘flower’ means just that – and I liked the ‘dead ringer’.
23,8 ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND: ADVENT [coming] + U [posh] + REPLAY [second match] + GROUND [put through the mill]
24  OXEYE: X [unknown] in O[ld] E[nglish] + YE [solvers]: ‘Old English’ is doing double duty here. Another genuine flower!
25  TANCRED:  sounds like tank [military vehicle] read [studied]
26  DODGEMS: DO + D [number] + GEMS [jewels]


2   COMBINATION OVEN: BIN [throw away] AT I[sland] in COMO [lake] + NOVEN[a]: a novena is not exactly nine days but a devotion consisting of a prayer repeated on nine successive days.
  AFRICA:  A + FRICA[ssée] [saucy dish]: definition ABROAD [20] – surely the greatest liberty of this type ever!!
4   EUCLID: reversal of CUE [prompter] + LID [cover]
5   BAREFOOT: A REF [a judge] in BOOT [advantage]
6   SUNBATHE: SUN [tabloid] + B[ask] + A THE [articles]
7   TRINITROTOLUENE:  all right, I pressed the ‘cheat’ button on this one – a completely alien word for me and I didn’t  have time to work out all the possible anagrams of E[nglish] TUNNEL RIOT RIOT!
12  STAGECRAFT: STAGE [where to land] + CRAFT [boat]: you would learn stagecraft at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
15  TAVERNER: double definition: I initially thought [and I should have known better: Araucaria takes sometimes outrageous liberties but he doesn’t usually make mistakes] that we had here a misspelling of the name of the great contemporary composer Sir John Tavener  but the clue has ‘made’ and refers to this Tudor composer
16  ICEBOUND: ICE [diamonds] + BOUND [jump] – and it’s an anagram of NO CUE BID
19  FRIEND: FRI [piece of AFRICA {3dn}] – no comment! + END [last]
20  ABROAD: A BROAD [a woman, translated twice] [I really  hate that word]

58 Responses to “Guardian 25,380 / Araucaria”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Eileen, this sure was a toughie and – for me – more of a strain than a pleasure.

    Like you, I cheated on CYRENAICA and 7d – which (I guess) is usually known as TNT. Now that I could have handled.

    Happily, Araucaria set a very good Prize Puzzle last Saturday and – at least – I’d like to say thanks to him for that.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Eileen for the blog, and Araucaria for a typical one.

    Didn’t take that long after about halfway through. Favourites were 9A ORMER, which led me to the one that I shan’t mention (btw, why are there 2 foreign phrases, when one would suffice?); 23A,8D ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND, and 7D TRINOTOLUENE, liked “riots” = RIOT RIOT.

    A small niggle about 26D DODGEMS being a plural, is “vehicle” being used as a collective noun?

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi Bryan

    Just for the record, I ddn’t say I cheated on CYRENAICA! :-)

    [But I certainly never knew what TNT stood for.]

  4. Conrad Cork says:


    I suspect you know 7 down better as TNT.

  5. Conrad Cork says:


    Sorry, crossed in the post!

  6. Brian with an eye says:

    Bryan(1) – in this paranoid surveillance society, it’s a bit risky to say you “could have handled” TNT. Thanks for the blog, Eileen. Araucaria’s always such fun, a few liberties are forgiveable.

  7. Median says:

    It’s odd how our knowledge differs – TRINITROTOLUENE was my first entry. But then my first degree was in chemistry. :)

  8. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen, and for explaining the anagram fodder for 7d. I didn’t cheat, just started putting in the missing letters until the word began to sound familiar, but I couldn’t quite see where they came from.

    Never heard of 10ac, which I worked out from the anagram fodder after trying all possibilities for the second letter until I came to the ‘y’.

    I’m no more fond of the word in 20d than you are, in fact it raised a groan when I saw it. Still, it was a good clue. I think the use of two phrases was to indicate a general, rather than specific, other language.

    Thanks to Araucaria for a challenging work-out

  9. Geoff says:

    Brava, Eileen.

    This was a real struggle for me. I’m a long-standing fan of Araucaria, but this puzzle had just too many of his trademark obscurities, off-beam definitions and complex charades with nonsensical surface readings to give me any pleasure.

    I only had about half a dozen answers before resorting to a word search program to get something of a purchase on the rest of the crossword. One of the words I sought help for was 7d – there aren’t so many 15-letter words and I had a couple of crossing letters. So, well done Median – I have a first degree AND a PhD in chemistry but TNT didn’t leap out at me, even though it is a familiar word. ‘Riots’ for RIOTRIOT is not obvious (that’s my excuse).

    However, I managed to parse all the answers eventually, apart from GUIDANCE – thanks for that!

  10. Eileen says:

    Hi Geoff

    Well, I, too, am one of Araucaria’s staunchest apologists but I think this puzzle was one of the severest tests of my loyalty to date!

    You certainly make me feel better about TNT but Median’s quite right, of course, about our areas of knowledge: having insisted that I didn’t cheat on Cyrenaica, I have to confess that I only knew it from antiquity – I didn’t know it still existed. [Odd that a few Saturdays ago it fell to me to blog the SIRENIAN / Cyrenian homophone.]

  11. Eileen says:

    Apologies for the typo: Cyrenean, of course.

  12. molonglo says:

    Thanks Eileen. Didn’t find this as tricky as others. But it did occur to me that when Araucaria uses fractions or fragments (as in 3d and 19d), look out. He clued OXEYE last year (puzzle 24975) as “Bit of CO” which prompted blogger Rightback to comment “outrageous.”. I agree “guid” in 17a is at least naughty, as is the only guessable 18, 22 . Still, enjoyable, doable.

  13. crypticsue says:

    I too found Araucaria to be very challenging today and needed Eileen’s help to get 10a, thank you. Great fun as well as hard work – I particularly liked 20d.

  14. Steve R says:

    I echo what has been said. This crossword was not enjoyable. Rather technical, and no smiles at all. Araucaria in a bad mood, I think.

  15. Ian says:

    Just going against the flow, about the only thing I remember from O Level Chemistry is that TNT stands for Trinitrotoluene!

    I didn’t have any great problem with the puzzle, either in solving it or aesthetically. That said, however, I am neither a purist nor a great one for parsing clues once I’ve got the answer, so I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it crossed the line here and there. I found it fair, though, only really stumbling at the last man down, Cyrenaica, of which I’ve never heard.

  16. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. Mm, yes, quite a few liberties in this one!

    I eventually guessed that 7dn would be the full name of TNT and googled it for the answer. (Just as well, as I failed to guess the correct anagram fodder).

    Like Stella @8, I played around with various second letters at 10ac, but finally had to admit defeat and use the cheat button. The place name is unfamiliar (and to be honest likely to remain so!).

    Missed the parsing of 17ac — GUID indeed!

    I liked 20dn.

  17. Martin H says:

    I think you have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy Araucaria at his most…..well, Araucarian. Luckily I was today, so found this a tough, enjoyable solve. A at his best. Some of his less attractive (to me) habits – long quotes filling a quarter of the grid; dodgy homophones; celebrity names – were absent.

    There was nothing really outrageous, although I snorted inwardly at ‘guid’ (last in), and at ‘broad’, though not for the same reason – horrid word, I agree Eileen. Africa = abroad? Hmmm, yes, OK, getting on for outrageous. One other quibble: what was ‘level’ doing in 5d? It didn’t improve the surface – just there to thicken the plot, I suppose. Cyrenaica’s been in the news lately, so was not unfamiliar; and they have a good Eton Mess on the menu at our local, so that was one of the first in.

    There was a good mixture of clue types, and, a characteristic strong point with A, you usually have to work to know what sort of clue it is. As for the ‘nonsensical surface readings’, Geoff, that’s always one of the things I like with A.

    Thanks, A – and Eileen; sorry your loyalty was tested, but I can’t imagine the feeling will last.

  18. Robi says:

    I thought this was more difficult than the Araucaria prize puzzles, so this was a struggle, only made more possible by a word search program. Can anyone actually do this crossword without any aids? :(

    Thanks Eileen – I failed to see the anagram or parse CYRENAICA. Different strokes for different folks but I am amazed that people don’t know that TNT=trinitrotoluene, but then I’m a scientist who didn’t know about half the other words (ORMER, CYRENAICA, ETON MESS (maybe), CANTERBURY BELL, OXEYE, TANCRED.) I was a bit confused by TRAP DOOR – the clue order seems to be back-to-front. Is this catered for by ‘the wrong way’ doing double duty? Presumably, ‘bask’ also does double-duty in 6.

    I was convinced that 2 was going to have AGA for two-way cooker, but no! No wonder the NW corner took so long.

  19. Robi says:

    P.S. In a less grumpy frame-of-mind; some of the down clues seem to be connected: BAREFOOT FRIEND, SUNBATHE ABROAD, PLAYGROUND MESS, but I’m struggling a bit with ICEBOUND EUCLID, AFRICA TAVERNER and STAGE{CRAFT} DOOR. Any connection – humorous or otherwise?

  20. Robi says:

    ……….. of course, the Euclid Public Library has a copy of icebound – I should have known that!

  21. Dave Ellison says:

    Yes, Robi@18, I was on the bus so did it all with no aids (except my brain), and except for 10a which I couldn’t be bothered to work out (I was actually trying to make an anagram of CE and (GRAN) CANARIA). 7d was one of my last few in, but I spotted the LUENE from E TUNNEL, and the rest of the clue followed quite easily, then.

    I enjoyed the Xword very much and also found it fairly easy, certainly easier than yesterday’s. And I enjoyed the liberties wherever they were.

    20d I have a feeling we have seen it clued this way before, or similar – does anyone remember?

    Thanks Eileen, needed explanations for 17a and the CUE part of 3d

  22. Ann Kittenplan says:

    @Robi (and others)
    To answer your question I had to check CYRENAICA or CYRANEICA and ETON MESS (but it couldn’t really be anything else) but that was it.
    FWIW I think an important characteristic of a good crossword is that you should be able to solve it w/o reference works – that said you’re then in the grey area of what constitutes ‘general’ knowledge – for me this crossword falls well outside that category. It was very hard work (but satisfying to complete). BTW I’m no fan of Araucaria – in fact if I could remember I’d check when he was the setter and not buy the paper that day.

  23. Dave Ellison says:

    I, too, dislike the word BROAD in this meaning, but I don’t seem to have a good explanation why this should be.

    I was surprised no one commented (till now) on the use of RETARD in 2d yesterday, which I found objectionable. I did try to find a “nicer” reading of the clue but couldn’t do so.

  24. killorglin says:

    just wondered, did anyone flirt with LADIES for 20 down? or is it just me?

  25. Geoff says:

    Martin H @ 17:

    Generally I agree with you about Araucaria’s surface readings – they often have a pleasantly surreal quality.

    However, I find it difficult to make any sort of mental picture of clues like: ‘Coming to posh second match and put through the mill with climbing frame etc.’, and (especially) ‘Two-way cooker to throw away at island in lake, taking nearly nine days’.

  26. chas says:

    Thanks Eileen for the blog – you explained several cases where I had the right answer without knowing why.

    I wanted to start 7d with THUNDER but got nowhere. Eventually I had enough crossing letters to get the answer. I then took a lot longer to spot that riots means RIOTRIOT!

    I also wonder about 26a: Vehicle(singular) gives DODGEMS (plural). I consider this a mistake by Araucaria – but maybe somebody can explain it.

  27. chas says:

    As a separate matter: it seems to me that we have been having a lot of Araucaria recently: today plus the last two Saturdays – and I think there was one last week.
    I’m not complaining, just a bit puzzled.
    Could it be that a lot of the other compilers are off on their summer hols?

  28. don says:

    Perhaps I’m a Philistine, but after yesterday’s superb offering I have to agree with those that think this was awful.

    I can only claim to have finished by ‘Eileen’s Dispensation’ for 10 across [Carynciea].

    As well as the questions on ‘dodgem/s’, ‘leader’s mother’ = ‘chief(s) ma’, “Africa = abroad?”, [3 d] “the greatest liberty of this type ever!!”, “GUID indeed!” and [19 d]“no comment!”, surely doing something ‘at a canter’ is a task that is easily accomplished – ‘no sweat’, and a canter is an easy pace rather than ‘move fast’.

    Why does ‘boot’ = ‘advantage’?

    How obscure is ‘novena’: I thought ‘nearly nine days’ must be to do with a fraction of November – he wouldn’t do that would he?

    Geoff, please don’t try to make mental pictures out of Arry Kari’s surfaces – it’ll do you no guid!

  29. caretman says:

    Thanks, Eileen, for the blog and explaining COMBINATION OVEN that went in solely from crossing letters (even the definition was unfamiliar to me). I’m in the crowd who knew that TNT = TRINITROTOLUENE, but unlike the others here I wasn’t at all pleased with having to change ‘riots’ to ‘riot riot’ to make the anagram work; once one gets too far down the road of requiring translations of anagram fodder to make the anagram work you are reaching Indirect Anagram land. I think this clue was too close to that misbegotten shore, particularly for a word that, as is obvious from the comments here, was not known to many solvers. I also agree that the surfaces of several of the clues led to no mental picture. All that said, it was definitely a good workout for me (not nearly as easy as for Dave Ellison @21, say) and that’s what I do the puzzles for, so thanks to Araucaria for that.

  30. Derek Lazenby says:

    Well I wasn’t when I finished, but having read all the above now I am, feeling smug that is. The class dummy (plus his gadgets) actually finished a hard one of Mr. A’s, ye hah!

    I didn’t get the anagram, and only had T?I?I and the final N, but being one of those schoolboys who called Chemistry “Bangs and Stinks”, there was one fairly obvious big banger which fitted!

    There were several clues I took exception to. I dunno, maybe I’m getting old, but I can’t be bothered listing them. In any case there is the cricket to watch.

    Once again I learnt several words that I had no interest in ever knowing and will probably forget immediately.

  31. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Eileen, in two minds about thanking Araucaria. Got to this one late. What a struggle!

    Had to look up TRINITROTOLUENE. Never heard of ETON MESS but guessed it. I am always learning.

    Shouldn’t 25a be TANKRED? A Crusader in a computer game.

  32. gm4hqf says:

    Having Googled TANCRED, forget my last message.

    Wrong again!

  33. Robi says:

    Dave @21 & Ann @22; well done! I’m in competition with Derek @30 for class dummy, but I’ve been doing these for less than a year, so maybe I’ll improve with time!

  34. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Araucaria and Eileen. Finally finished this morning long after starting it. Didn’t use Cheat button but ample use of the Check button. Did know TNT but was educated about ETON MESS,DECLARE (in cricket), GUID. I thought 15d might be TAVERN (local) ER (boss – isn’t she?).


  35. Eileen says:

    Hi don @28 [sorry – I’ve been out]

    Re ‘boot': it’s an obsolete word for ‘advantage, profit’. It’s also a verb, ‘to be of advantage’, which I knew from Milton’s ‘Lycidas':

    ‘Alas! What boots it with uncessant care
    To tend the homely slighted shepherd’s trade,
    And strictly meditate the thankless Muse?
    Were it not better done as others use,
    To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
    Hid in the tangles of Neaera’s hair?’

  36. Derek Lazenby says:

    robi, you’ll need to do something startling to win that! For example, you’d need to wear with pride a Yahoo IM id such as my passingidiot.

    Um. If any the of the populace of these blogs are bored enough to want a natter, do feel free to use that information (or mail me via my web site).

  37. Carrots says:

    Uncle Yap has kindly shown me how to access both the Times & FT daily cryptics, so I went armed with copies of THREE puzzles to the pub. I needn`t have bothered: one Araucaria was quite enough!

    My solving time was limited due to meeting friends for lunch at a local Gastro-pub…where ETON MESS was on the dessert menu. I`ve only recently come across this dish and still don`t know what`s in it. As I fear it might give me a receding chin, unkempt hair and a penchant for corporal punishment, I don`t intend to find out.

    I finished the Araucaria after a short siesta (well, almost…the un-heard of/un-spellable/un-pronouncable CARYNCIEA beat me and had to await Eileen`s excellent blog). Even so, for me, the Old Boy can do no wrong.

  38. Jim says:

    Very tough.

    Having done ‘A’ level chemistry many decades ago, trinitrotoluene presented no problems. However, could only guess where the letters ACEY went in C?R?N?I?A to form an African city.

  39. Robi says:

    Eileen; re my comment @18, perhaps you could enlighten me: :) I was a bit confused by TRAP DOOR – the clue order seems to be back-to-front. Is this catered for by ‘the wrong way’ doing double duty?

  40. riccardo says:

    I can’t read any comments, so forgive me if this has already been mentioned… but I don’t like 26a; fair vehicles, plural, surely?

    10a stumped me, even though I had the right anagram letters.

  41. Eileen says:

    Hi Carrots

    You’ve given us some tantalising culinary hints lately, so I’m rather surprised you don’t know what’s in Eton Mess.

    On second thoughts, it’s probably much too simple for you: it’s basically a handy way to pass off a failed Pavlova. 😉

    Hi Robi

    I’m sorry, I missed your comment: if you write ROOD [measure] PART [piece] backwards, you get TRAP DOOR, so there’s no double duty here, but I agree that in 6dn the clue perhaps needs ‘bask with its leader’ which would give one of Geoff’s surreal surfaces!

  42. Brian Harris says:

    Enjoyed most of this, but an Eastern coastal region of Libya?? Ridiculously obscure. A bit too transparent that our friend was left with some crossing letters that left him limited word choices when constructing the grid. Either that, or he just likes to really upset solvers who hope to the complete his puzzles.

    The old definition of “boot” is still evident in the phrases “to boot” and “bootless”

  43. claire says:

    Robi – sorry I’m not Eileen but perhaps I can help (never get to 225 till after work when all the comments are exhausted and I’ve nothing to add).

    13, 1d is Rood (measure) part (piece) ROODPART all backwards.

    Loved this from Araucaria – apart from 10 across which I kind of gave up on and wish I’d persevered with now, particularly as it’s been in the news. Sometimes it’s too easy to revert to this blog (I don’t like doing the crossword on line – so the cheat button doesn’t tempt me)

  44. claire says:

    Ooops – the ether’s a bit slow tonight. Posted my previous before the other comments were showing and crossed. Apologies

  45. Eileen says:

    Don’t worry, claire – it happens to me all the time! :-)

  46. Wolfie says:

    Thanks for the excellent blog Eileen.

    ‘BROAD’ as a synonym for French ‘FEMME’ and German ‘FRAU’ is sexist and thoroughly offensive – though unsurprising from a setter who recently offered us a themed crossword based on jocular and demeaning synonyms for ‘wife’. And ‘AFRICA’ defined by ‘ABROAD’ is simply sloppy. But then it is clear that Araucaria is allowed to take liberties that would not be indulged from other setters.

  47. Dave Ellison says:

    Robi @ 33. Well, I seem to be on some compilers’ wavelengths sometimes, but never on others (eg Pasquale’s), despite doing the Grauniad Xword since 1963.

  48. Robi says:

    Thanks Eileen and Claire; I obviously wasn’t backward enough!

  49. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    I enjoyed this and found it fairly straightforward.
    I did need to consult my very tatty copy of The Penguin Book of Places (no longer available I am told, does anyone know differently) to check ‘Cyrenaica’.
    I understand the objections to ‘dodgems’ but it is possibly just acceptable if the term is taken to refer to the apparatus rather than the individual cars.

    PS My Name and mail boxes sometimes retain their contents from day to day, other times I have to re-submit them. Is this the general situation or can I make them permanent?

  50. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Perhaps some found this quite straightforward, but for us this was certainly not an Araucaria Lite. It took us a bit longer than Carrots’ delicious lunch (I presume).
    It was also a solve in two halves. About 25% of the solutions were found in the first half, the remaining 75% fell a lot quicker in place after the break.
    During that break we had a tea, and in ‘our’ Cambridge cafe they played Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night”. What a coincidence after this week’s Punk (aka Paul) in the Indy who had the late singer as one of the solutions – to most commenters a complete unknown, something that came as a real surprise to me.
    Anyway, back to this puzzle.

    After finding ABROAD (20d), halfway the first half, we were quite sure that there would be many objections tonight, but there weren’t. Although it is an original clue from a cryptic point of view, I am on Wolfie’s side in saying that Araucaria went a bit over the edge here. I will not use the word ‘sexist’ but ‘a broad’ is surely an offensive qualification. That said, I don’t think Araucaria is an offensive person.

    As other said, the use of ‘abroad’ in the puzzle was surely dubious in AFRICA (3d). We only found the answer in combination with 19d’s FRIEND.

    DODGEMS (26ac) for ‘a fair vehicle’ was, in our opinion, not right – but that’s no news either.

    We did the puzzle without any form of aides and, I would say, therefore got stuck in 10ac (CYRENAICA). We thought, if there’s a Tanganyika then there’s probably a Ceranyica somewhere in Africa. There wasn’t. On hindsight, I think, the answer is not completely unfair as this region was indeed in the news recently (it is the part of Libya linked with the Anti-Khadaffi resistance forces).

    In 16d (ICEBOUND) I cannot fully see why Araucaria wanted to have two constructional parts (other than the link ice/diamonds). For us ‘Jump in diamonds’ didn’t fully work because of that little word ‘in’.

    A funny thing happened in 4d.
    While the grid was hardly filled, my PinC said: I got 4d.
    Three minutes later, it was me: EUCLID!
    She was more or less surprised by that, thinking of FERMAT.
    ‘Fer’ being the reverse of ‘Ref’ (well, not really a prompter, but not a bad thought either) plus MAT (cover).

    A lot has already been said about TNT and its full name in 7d.
    As the answer was not that hard to find, one is probably inclined to accept ‘riots’ for ‘riot+riot’ too easily.
    I am completely with caretman @29.
    We had the solution, then worked backwards to see where the anagram exactly came from and discovered that it had to be ‘riot+riot’. That indeed raised a smile. Afterwards!
    But that’s not really fair.
    I wonder how many people thought before getting the answer that ‘riots’ was ‘riot+riot’. Not many, I guess.
    As caretman says, this is surely an indirect anagram, even a very indirect anagram.
    I have no problem with obvious partial indirect anagrams (using N=new, YE=the old or R=river) but, in my opinion, this one here is outrageous.
    On the one hand I like setters who follow their intuition to break some rules at times, on the other hand I think this is going too far.

    All in all, an exciting crossword, though. :)

  51. Scarpia says:

    RC Whiting @49 – “My Name and mail boxes sometimes retain their contents from day to day, other times I have to re-submit them. Is this the general situation or can I make them permanent?”

    It depends on how your browser is set up,or if you use a program like ccleaner.For your personal information to be retained you have to enable/retain the cookie from Fifteen Squared.

  52. Carrots says:

    Hi There Auntie E…..and thanks for the Delia link. Eton Mess seems scrumptuous and I will seek out some English Srawberries and ultra-fresh eggs (the secret of “never fail” Pavlova) on the market tomorrow.

    Delia too, can do no wrong…but, unlike Araucaria, would be welcome to share my cocoa any night.

    Not as many bleats over BROAD as I anticipated. I would have defended it by citing Raymond Chandler`s Philip Marlowe, who used the term to describe any woman worthy of admiration and respect.

  53. liz says:

    Carrots @52 As an American of *a certain age* (as my Yorkshire father-in-law used to put it) I don’t find ‘broad’ particularly offensive. As far as I can remember, it was always a term of affection and admiration, as you say. It seemed to imply feistiness and perhaps a down-to-earth quality. Perhaps the female form of ‘salt of the earth’.

    If I’m not offended, don’t see why any one else should be…

  54. Sil van den Hoek says:

    That’s fair enough then … :)

  55. Scarpia says:

    Well said Liz,totally agree with you.
    I think Wolfie@46 must be the most easily offended of all Fifteen Squared posters. :)
    It’s a good job (s)he doesn’t know the slang meaning of ‘ormer’as used here in Guernsey!

  56. Martin H says:

    I’m interested in this controversy about ‘broad’. I’d always thought it derogatory, but Carrots and Liz have made me look into it. There seems to be a sense in which it is just another word for a woman, but there is a consistent parallel sense of ‘prostitute, loose woman’ etc. For some of the more graphic derivations google ‘Urban Dictionary’.

  57. Carrots says:

    AWMIGAWD…Ive joined the pitknickers!

  58. Sylvia says:

    Isn’t it strange how our perceptions of difficulty vary? I found this to be one of Araucaria’s easier crosswords and completed without aids or checks. But I struggled with Philistine’s offering and even the explanations. It takes all sorts …

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