Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Prize Puzzle No 25,376 by Araucaria

Posted by bridgesong on July 23rd, 2011


With help from my friend Timon, this took us less than an hour to complete, although getting started took me longer than usual.  No particular theme (as far as I can see) but the usual mix of brilliance and liberties.

1 COMEDY COME, D(i)Y. Took me a long time to work this one out. “Come” means “by the time that” in the sense in which it is used in phrases like “come winter, the water will freeze”.
4 EPIPHANY H(ot) PIPE reversed, ANY
9,10,11 PARTY POLITICAL BROADCAST PAR, TYPO, LIT, I, C A L, B-ROAD, CAST. A brilliant and typically Araucarian charade.
10 See 9
11 See 9
12 OVOLO O, VOLO (Latin for “I fly”)
13 OPEN SENTENCE OPEN (prison), SENTENCE. Double definition, I suppose or perhaps triple would be more accurate. Apparently in mathematics it means a statement with an undefined variable which is therefore neither true nor false.
17 INCORPORATED * (DOCTOR PAIN RE). “Firm attachment” presumably refers to the fact that “inc.” follows the firm’s name (in America, anyway).
20 TOP UP TO PUP: Double definition.
21 KNIFE-EDGE FEED in *EKING. At first, I thought this was an indirect anagram, but it’s not, so I won’t complain.
24 PROUD Double definition.
1 COPYBOOK Could be transformed (at a stretch) into BOOKIE/COP, but I don’t think it’s a true Spoonerism.
2 MOREOVER MORE, OVER. Brilliant economy of words.
6 PATROL CAR P(e)TROL CAR. “Traveller on the beat” is a very nice definition.
7 ANCHOR ANCHO(vy), R. A fairly loose definition here perhaps explains the question mark in the clue.
10 PRAWN COCKTAIL R in PAWN, COCK, TAIL. I wasn’t sure about TAIL, until I realised that a following is a noun, although in the clue it is used as an adjective.
14 SANDPIPER Sounds like “SANDPAPER”, which is something you rub with.
15 STUDIOUS STUD, IOUS. The fact that the “u” in stud is pronounced quite differently to the “u” in studious helped to puzzle me for a while.
16 ADDENDUM MUD, ‘N, EDDA (all reversed). Edda is the name of two books of Scandinavian myths.
18 STIFLE F in STILE. I got held up here by inserting MUFFLE, on the basis that a mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey!
19 SPIRIT I in TRIPS (reversed). The key to 3 and 5 down.
22 EMPTY (att)EMPT, Y(ours). Purists will sniff at “head” for the first three letters of a seven letter word and I wasn’t familiar with Y as an abbreviation for yours.


Hold mouse over clue number to see clue.

20 Responses to “Guardian Prize Puzzle No 25,376 by Araucaria”

  1. Biggles A says:

    Thanks Bridgesong,

    5 held me up for a while, thinking that PUZZLE and in this case PRIZE were synnymous and trying to find room for ‘spritzer’ which I know isn’t really a spirit.

    In 22 I think TRY is TEMPT which avoids the excessive guillotining.

  2. Biggles A says:

    In 23 is not CHALLENGED an anagrind? It’s not quite the same as REVERSED.

  3. molonglo says:

    Thanks bridgesong, including for the 1a parsing. I wondered whether 1d was a true Spoonerism, too. Chambers et al define it as when the positions of the first sounds (underline two) in a pair of words are reversed; the Shorter OD says ‘the initial sounds, or other parts'; and Webster’s OL has ‘a play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched.’ Fair enough, I suppose – and anyway I liked it. As I did DRYAD in 3d, and much else. Not sure about ANY = never mind what, in 4a.

  4. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Bridgesong, Timon & Araucaria.

    If, as I suspect, your friend is Timon of Athens then he’s probably feeling very chuffed now that Greece has apparently been rescued from its financial crisis. Well done Germany!

    As to the Puzzle, this was truly Wonderful! A great bag of tricks without any obscure chemicals, capitals, etc. This was a perfect example of A’s craft and very enjoyable.

    However, having his choice of music on Desert Island Discs, I sure hope that I never get cast away on any desert island with him – unless I’ve got some ear plugs.

  5. Robi says:

    A very enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks bridgesong for the blog. It doesn’t much matter, but in 9,10,11, I parsed pound=LB and way=ROAD. As you say 1d is not really a Spoonerism as we usually understand it. I liked your alternative ‘muffle’ for 18, although maybe the clue would have read ‘very loud’ for that.

    OVOLO and EDDA were new to me. I thought 9,10,11 was ‘stage POLITICAL BROADCAST’ at first with the reference to actors. INCORPORATED was nicely misleading with ‘doctor’ not encoding the usual abbreviations.

    GYPSUM took a while until I got the crossing ‘y.’ I particularly liked the simple TOP UP and 9,10,11 for the clever construction.

  6. bridgesong says:


    I thought of TEMPT as well, but struggled to equate it to TRY. However, the annotated solution suggests that you’re right, as indeed you are with FIREPLACE. Who’d have thought you could make an anagram of a 2 letter word!

    Molonglo, I don’t suppose there can be an official definition of a Spoonerism, but I prefer those which simply swap the initial consonant(s).

  7. bridgesong says:

    Having now had a quick look at the annotated solution, I should point out that it includes an error: INCORPORATION for INCORPORATED.

    Robi, you are clearly correct about lb/broad.

    I won’t be able to post further comments until much later today, if at all, as my wife and I are preparing to go to a wedding and then we go on holiday to a place (Scotland) where our internet connection is likely to be unreliable.

  8. Davy says:

    Thanks bridgesong,

    I enjoyed this immensely and like you I found it difficult to get into. It was indeed Thursday before the last clue went in. The last two were COMEDY where I did understand the wordplay and DRYAD where I didn’t. I still don’t understand !. After substitution, 3d becomes “Spirit poster disparaging spirits ?”. I can see poster=AD and DRYAD is a spirit but where does the rest fit in ?. Perhaps someone could enlighten me.

    The clues I particularly liked were FIREPLACE, ENTIRELY (excellent surface), COPYBOOK (not a conventional Spoonerism) and SANDPIPER which amused me. Thanks for all the fun Arry.

  9. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Rightback.

    No comments on the Spoonerism, since I found it a brilliant clue, and as has been suggested, the definition can be quite loose.

    I agree with Robi re LB/ROAD. As for INCORPORATED, I think “attachment” refers to the fact the such a firm ‘incorporates’ more than one company.

    In 14d, I think “vulgar parlance” refers to the way Eliza Doolittle would have pronounced “sandpaper” before her transformation. I often heard this sort of, for me aberration growing up in North London.

  10. Stella Heath says:

    BTW Davy@8, a “poster disparaging spirits” is a ‘dry ad’, or an advertisement for abstention :)

  11. Davy says:

    Thanks Stella,

    It’s so obvious once you can see the correct interpretation. I was trying to make a charade of Spirit=DRY and poster=AD whereas it should be Spirit=poster disparaging spirits. How to be baffled by four simple words. Ah well, one lives and learns…..occasionally.

  12. scchua says:

    Thanks bridgesong, and Araucaria for the challenge.

    Not the most difficult Prize puzzle, but it did some time to get into. I liked 4A EPIPHANY, 16D ADDENDUM and STUDIOUS, among this lot of clever surfaces and definitions.

    Re 17A INCORPORATED, I think attachment refers to the fact that “inc.” is placed after the (any such) company’s name, as an attachment, you might say.

  13. chas says:

    Thanks to bridgesong for the blog. You explained several answers that I had put in without knowing why.

    I messed up properly: I put Overt for 24a and this totally messed up the SE corner for me.

    I liked Party Political Broadcast even though I did not work out the parsing at the time.

  14. Biggles A says:

    The OED defines TEMPT as ‘to test, put to the test, try’.

  15. Geoff says:

    Thanks, bridgesong.

    I enjoyed this a lot – and found it much easier than Araucaria’s offering on Thursday. The clues are (generally) inventive and succinct. Loroso had GYPSUM in yesterday’s FT crossword, with a much less transparent clue.

    My first attempt at 8d was CALLOW, but this was quickly abandoned when I got 4a.

    Good to see a clue for PULITZER PRIZE which doesn’t rely on a homophone!

  16. timon says:

    Pleased, as ever, to help out bridgesong who was under a bit of time pressure this week, hosting wedding and birthday anniversaries. Only fair to admit that he is often quicker than I at spotting the answer but we complement (and compliment!) each other well at deconstructing the clues.

    Bryan@4 makes the obvious connection about my pseudonym, but it is purely an abbreviation, albeit fortuitous. (But if you ever see a puzzle by “Athenian”…)

    Thanks to all for the additional thoughts and insights.

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    A very enjoyable solve, rather superior to today’s example from Paul.

  18. stiofain says:

    Have to disagree RCW i thought todays Paul was 18ac.

  19. Martin H says:

    1a : ‘come’ might mean something like ‘by the time that’, but can’t be substituted for it; in the example you give, bridgesong, you would still need the verb: ‘by the time that winter comes’.

    14d: I never like regional pronunciation ‘homophones’, and this was no exception – and if you do rub with sandpaper that makes you a rubber, not the sandpaper.

    Otherwise this was most enjoyable: TOP UP, PBB, DRYAD, MOREOVER four among many excellent clues. I too had a brief go at ‘muffle’ (18d). I thought the parenthetical ‘music’ was odd here. ‘Loud’ is commonly used for ‘f’, but if A wanted to use ‘music’ for the surface, why put it in brackets?

    1d: ‘copybook’ is by no stretch of lexical laissez-faire a true Spoonerism, which is no doubt why Araucaria gives us the surface ‘Perfect example of a Spoonerism….’

    Thanks to A, and both for the commentary.

  20. bridgesong says:

    Thanks, all for your comments. Nice to spark a debate.

    Stella @9 I think you’ve got your bloggers confused; Rightback hasn’t blogged a Saturday prize puzzle for some months now, but I have no doubt he would have polished this one off in under a quarter of an hour. As for INCORPORATED, I’m with scchua @12. Would it be fair to classify “vulgar parlance” as hackneyed in this case?

    Martin H @19, Chambers offers this definition:” when (a certain time) comes (as in Come five o’clock, it will be dark outside)”, classifying it as a usage of the 3rd person singular, especially in the subjunctive. I accept however that the clue is defective, which may explain why it took me so long to parse it.

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>

6 + seven =