Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,392 – Araucaria

Posted by manehi on August 4th, 2011


Found this on the easy side for an Araucaria, which still meant a pleasant challenge. Favourite clue probably 14dn.

1 ANNE FINE 2001-2003 Children’s Laureate. [ch]ANNE[l] + FINE=excellent
5 GLIDER =aircraft. LID=cover in GER[man]=partly foreign
9 TUTELARY =Protective. TUT=”expression of disapproval” + rev(ALE) + RY=railway=line
12 GOOD HEAVENS the “general exclamation of the rectory” of Plumstead, much repeated in Trollope’s Barchester Towers
15 NAKED sNAKED losing the snake-shaped “s”
17 MERRY HELL =Havoc, as in “played merry hell”, and potentially a pleasing alternative to Heaven
19 EARTH as in connecting an electrical circuit to the ground. Hidden in hEAR THings
20 BRESSINGHAM My last in, having not heard of this garden centre. S[econd] + SINGH=”name of Sikh” in BREAM
24 OBJECT double definition
25 SUBSONIC (us nobis)* + C[irca]=”more or less”
26 DURESS DRESS as in arranging troops into ranks around U[nion]
27 REVERSAL FOE=antagonist=1 down, leaving foR EVER SALe
1 ANTAGONIST ANT=social worker + A GO + N[orthern] I[reland]=Ulster + ST[reet]
2 NETWORKERS =people who work from home via the Internet=”Those linked at home”. (know trees)* around R[iver]
3 FILTH L[eft] instead of r[ight] in FIrTH=estuary
4 NORMAN MAILER wrote The Naked and the Dead
6 LIFESTYLE Tate & LYLE sugar, around I=one + FEST=party
7,22 DEAD WOOD Deadwood is a town in the Black Hills, South Dakota, and is the setting for a rather excellent TV series of the same name.
8 RARE double def
11 PEER PRESSURE =”difficulty with nonconformity”. PEER=Lord + PRES=French for “near” + SURE=certain.
13 HEAR THINGS HEARTH=domestic setting + IN + G[rammar] S[chool]
14 ALCHEMICAL Saddam’s henchman” might show up in an index as ALi, CHEMICAL – take away the “I”
16 DRAWBACKS =Snags. Spoonerism – “Bore Drax
21 NASHE Thomas Nashe wrote “Spring, the sweet Spring…”. NE=North-East=direction around ASH=tree
23 AJAR or A JAR

29 Responses to “Guardian 25,392 – Araucaria”

  1. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks manehi.

    There was a lot of inspired guesswork on my way to completing this puzzle, and your links have helped to improve my understanding – I hadn’t heard of the gardens or Drax, but found the answers from the wordplay, which in the case of the former opened up the SE corner for me.

    Yet one more example of GOM’s mastery.
    Many thanks, Araucaria.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Manehi & Araucaria – this was very enjoyable.

    NORMAN MAILER & LIFESTYLE were my favourites along with DEAD WOOD which reminded me of Calamity Jane with its Deadwood Stage and The Black Hills of Dakota.

    I’ve never heard of BRESSINGHAM – why even Norfolk itself is obscure. However, I do have a Sikh friend whose middle name is Singh.

    What’s more I bet that you can’t buy an Araucaria in Bressingham so I hereby rule Bressingham as ‘Totally Out of Order!’

  3. Mystogre says:

    Thank you manehi. Although it took me a while to get started (nothing unusual in an Araucaria by the way) but, once I was it all seemed to fall into place. I got 16d in the opposite way to you (Drax bore) but your way makes more sense. I had to trawl through power stations and garden centers for this crossword, which wasn’t too bad. They were probably the hardest parts. Strangely, ANNE FINE I found much easier as the clue was so good.

    12 & 17ac made me smile, coming from the rev. They had me looking for more things along those lines, which probably made me take longer than I needed to overall. I was looking for something that wasn’t there. Still, the whole thing was a pleasant way to spend close to an hour watching the rugby.

  4. molonglo says:

    Thanks manehi. Like others, I got through this easily enough with confident guessing. Education came afterwards with research on Anne Fine, Bressingham and Nashe, and the Trollope and South Dakota references. Really liked PEER PRESSURE and ALCHEMICAL.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Manehi.

    I enjoyed this. LIke Mystogre, I smiled at GOOD HEAVENS and MERRY HELL – and even more so at ALCHEMICAL.

    I’m rather surprised that ANNE FINE and BRESSINGHAM weren’t better known – but then I’m not sure that I knew the name of the power station that must be the one I’ve seen countless times from the A1 on the way to the Yorkshire Dales.

    I liked the double duty of ‘in translation in 25ac, NOBIS being Latin for ‘for us’.

  6. Stella Heath says:

    I thought you’d appreciate that one, Eileen :)

  7. tupu says:

    tupu says:
    August 4th, 2011 at 11:20 am
    Thanks manehi for an excellent blog and Araucaria for a VG puzzle.

    I enjoyed this which was all solvable from the word play etc. despite a couple of gaps in my knowledge. I had to check Anne Fine, and did not recognise the Plumstead ref. I missed the inclusion of ‘reversal’ which I took simply as an anagram of ‘for ever sale’ minus ‘fo’ and the first ‘e’.

    A small quibble – was slightly sorry to see ‘certain’ used twice for ‘sure’ (18a, 11d).

    Ticked 10a, 20a, 25a, 13d and 14d(!!) but others (e.g. 11d and 7,22 also pleased. In the latter case I had to move mentally from Wales to Dakota. I confusedly thought of Annie Oakley whose connection to Deadwood was rather less strong than Calamity Jane’s. (‘Trivium’ of the day – Oakley acted in a play called Deadwood Dick and her career as a sharpshooter apparently began when she replaced John Graham in Butler’s wild west show).

  8. Robi says:

    Thanks Araucaria, although as Mystogre @3 I found it difficult to get started.

    Good blog manehi; the Plumstead reference was, of course, completely lost on me, and I didn’t know of BRESSINGHAM. I saw the ha in REVERSAL, but not the foe.

    I particularly like ALCHEMICAL and AFFAIR.

  9. Roger says:

    Thanks manehi for your concise breakdown. Today I was introduced to Thomas Nashe and learned that there’s more to Plumstead than Steve Davis. Uncertain TREA(sure) is clever at 18a , like DRAWBACKS and AJAR (When is a door not a door ? When it’s …)

    Wonder if the EARTH connection (literally) at 19/13 was intentional.

  10. Roger says:

    Tupu @7 … Araucaria in a wild west show … now that IS a juicy bit of trivia (and makes him older than we thought !).

  11. Bryan says:

    Tupu @ 7

    John Graham never mentioned his appearance in Butler’s Wild West Show when he was on Desert Island Discs.

    I wonder what else he left out?

  12. otter says:

    Thanks for the blog, Manehi, and thanks to Araucaria for an enjoyable tease. Brain seemed more in gear this morning, as I was seeing word plays far easier, and able to think of synonyms more easily than normal. Thanks for the parsing of REVERSAL, which I didn’t get. DEAD WOOD was a bit of a guess from crossing letters and the definition, as haven’t heard of the town in Dakota. (Is that the TV programme with Ian McShane in it? Supposed to be good, but I’ve not watched it.) Of course there’s the Deadwood stage, which comes rumblin’ over the plains, or whatever it is. I also hadn’t heard of Bressingham (well, it’s a familiar name, but I couldn’t have told you anything about it), but it was clear from the wordplay that it would be S + SINGH in a fish, and as ‘-ingham’ is a reasonably common ending to place names, bream came fairly easily. Also didn’t know the Plumstead reference (Barchester being yet another thing I’ve never read) but this didn’t hinder me.

    Agree that 14d was the most fun clue.

  13. otter says:

    Oh, also hadn’t heard of Nashe, and my first guess was Noake, also plausible.

  14. crypticsue says:

    On the easier side of Araucaria I thought but I did enjoy myself. Thakns to him and Manehi too.

  15. Disco says:

    It’s a rare day when I manage to complete an Araucaria. It’s even rarer when I complete it and understand everything before reading the blog. Well, today was half way there, at least. Far too many obscure references for me and I had to rely on wordplay and guesswork.

    Thanks manehi for filling in the gaps!

    14d had me laughing when I worked it out.

  16. chas says:

    Thanks for the blog manehi. You explained a couple of things I had not understood e.g Good Heavens. It is many years since I read any Barchester, so Plumstead passed me by.

    I liked Chemical Ali!

    As for 1a: I tried to fit a poet laureate in there without luck. I know that nowadays there are several other laureates but that was no help.

  17. scchua says:

    Thanks manehi, and Araucaria.

    Even when I can complete an Araucaria, there’s no way of rushing it. I liked 14D ALCHEMICAL, 27A REVERSAL and 18A STREAKIER. I thought that the enumeration for 7,22 DEADWOOD should have been 8, ie. one word for both metaphor and town. And I didn’t know that, besides myself, there were others who liked Calamity Jane, one of the first movies I saw as a kid.

  18. caretman says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    When I solved 16d I thought that the Spoonerism of DRAWBACKS would be ‘broad axe’ and figured that ‘broad’ must be a Yorkshire power station, since axing it would certainly make holes. I was so convinced of this that I never tried to confirm that ‘broad’ indeed could have that meaning.

    For an Araucaria it certainly was easy. Usually with his puzzles I’ll get only a handful of clues on first reading, and then gradually work through it. Here I got going much more quickly and hit a snag only around the ALCHEMICAL light.

  19. Geoff says:

    Thanks, manehi.

    Good one from A, which I didn’t find as easy as most other posters (some of his other recent puzzles have fallen out much quicker for me) but which yielded steadily. Lots of varied references, which is always entertaining.

    I put DEAD LOSS in for 7,22 – and hence 26a looked like STRESS, which I couldn’t parse. No excuse for this really, as I have actually been to the town of Deadwood, SD – very interesting and worth a visit if you happen to be in the area. I suppose I was decoyed by the enumeration (as scchua notes at #17).

  20. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks manehi and of course Araucaria

    I have to disagree with the general concensus as I found this one quite difficult. Not having heard of ANNE FINE and BRESSINGHAM did not help.
    I struggled for ages to get into it and NORMAN MAILER certainly helped. Last in was PEER PRESSURE.

    In the past I have seen puzzles described as difficult which I thought were a breeze. Peoples brains must all be wired differently.

  21. tupu says:

    Re 7,22

    As the definition seems to be ‘useless people’, the enumeration 4,4 is correct, I think – at least that’s how I remember seeing it in that sense. My Chambers (not the lastest) gives ‘dead wood’ or ‘dead-wood’ and my COD only gives the former. OED gives all three possibilities with relatively old quotes. I suppose a ? could have been useful though for the SD part of the clue.

  22. Derek Lazenby says:

    Had to get the other half to do the last 6, sigh.

    Only query though, wasn’t 16 rather more nadgering than implied by Spooner?

  23. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Disappointingly easy for Araucaria.
    Stillsome nice clues especially 14d.
    I certainly do not pronounce bore as baw but I guess it’s geographical.

  24. Mr Beaver says:

    On first looking at 16d, and thinking of Yorkshire power stations, I came up with Ferrybridge. Aha! I thought.. Bury fridge! Which would be a great spoonerism – if only it baw any relation to the clue :)

  25. Eileen says:

    Hi Mr Beaver

    Brilliant – if only! [Another landmark on the way to our beloved Dales. :-) ] [I think you should patent that idea!]

  26. PeeDee says:

    Hi Eileen, Ferrybridge/BuryFridge is the powerstation you see on the A1, my wife worked there for a while. Drax is quite a long way away to the east.

  27. Carrots says:

    A leisurely and most pleasurable solve after a physio session with Torquemada this afternoon. Pleasurable, that is, until I confidently put in SHERRINGHAM instead of Bressingham. (fish: Herring/Sikh:Sham`m/Norfolk`s “Garden Resort”. No, I agree that it doesn`t quite work, but it seemed near enough for me).

    Once again I find myself wondering just how the canny devil does this: lead one up the garden path and into the wishing well with an obliging grin on one`s face.

    Went to DEADWOOD once…I think it`s where Wild Bill Hickock was shot in the back during a cardgame….or was that Tombstone? I wonder if Mr Graham plays poker?

  28. stiofain says:

    I didnt bother continuing after seeing the offensive Ulster=NI erroneous chestnut, this really needs banned.

  29. Mark says:

    One quibble: In 8D, “often” is an adverb, but “rare” is an adjective. Is this the sort of looseness Araucaria is known for?

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