Posted by Eileen on September 24th, 2011
If I hadn’t seen the name on this puzzle, I think I’d have been rather hard put to it to guess that it was an Araucaria, let alone a Prize [though the appearance of the long clue at 22 etc might have been a give-away – but see later on that]. Many of the clues, such as 10, 13, 14, 21, 28ac and 1, 2 and 19dn, would not have been out of place in a Monday Rufus crossword. Not that there’s anything wrong with Rufus puzzles on a Monday morning, as I’ve said many times before, but this was not what I call a Saturday challenge. It’s rather like biting into a chocolate that you think is a hard centre only to find that it’s soft – not nasty but not what you’re expecting, therefore not really satisfying.
I solved this puzzle, as always, as soon as it was published but the blog has taken me all week to compose. Regular readers will know that I’m up there with the most ardent of Araucaria fans but I was disappointed in this one [and I can’t remember ever feeling that way before] which is unfortunate, since I’m blogging it! However, I realise that there will be many solvers who will be really pleased at, perhaps for the first time, solving a prize puzzle – and an Araucaria at that – and I don’t want to spoil things for them.
I realise that I may well be out on a limb here and I’ll be very interested to hear others’ reactions. I’m ready to be shot down in flames – please be as frank as you like [as I know you will be!].
[Fortunately, today’s [Friday’s] puzzle has completely restored Araucaria to his life-long high place in my estimation. ]
9 Original pots blended with rye 
Anagram of POT POT and RYE
10 Withdraw permission 
Double definition: [Coincidentally, I’d earlier in the week blogged Orlando’s double definition of this word: ‘Don’t take what’s taken on departure’ – which would make [almost] a quadruple definition, I think.]
11 African country with king called 19 
MALI [African country] + K[ing]
There’s no definition here for the fine actor called ART [19ac] The clue would make sense if he were African – but he isn’t!
13 Tense having nothing wrong with it 
14 It takes religious folk to be be spicy 
PI [religious] MEN [folk] TO: there’s often a query about ‘pi’ when it occurs, as it often does. It’s an abbreviation of ‘pious’, now used as a word in its own right. A rather dodgy definition, though.
17 Object of throw-in at last pull on line 
TOW [pull] EL [US elevated railroad]
19,8 Redcoat’s movement between wars [3.4]
Anagram [movement] of REDCOAT: ‘movement’ is doing double duty here.
20,6 Shade of debauchee exposed by all within [5,4]
Anagram [exposed?] of BY ALL in ROUÉ [debauchee]
21 In due course getting a pound on the side 
LATER [in due course] A L [pound]
22 New posh doctor with home note prescribing anaesthetic 
N[ew] U [posh] MB [doctor] IN [home] G [note] – a slight variation on ‘number’, the well-known crossword anaesthetic
24 Nelson writing for paper? 
Cryptic definition: another slight variation on a favourite device: I think ‘Nelson’ is usually the solution.
26 Scouts something to do with colour? 
Cryptic [?] definition, referring to the ceremony of Trooping the Colour
28 Beheading priest is a crime 
[p]ARSON: yet another old favourite device: in fact, just the day before, the FT puzzle had ‘Fire-raising by quiet man of the church ’
29 More haste to produce stable food 
Anagram of MORE HASTE
1 Plans to subvert unwanted mail 
Reversal of MAPS [plans]
2 It’s not so hot in clink 
3 Reserves magazine on river Amazon, perhaps 
BOOKS [reserves] ELLE [magazine] R[iver]
4 Bully for you! – first took part in races
Y [you first] RAN [took part] in TT [races]
This is more like it!
5 It’s exactly like a slow [not quick] cooker [4,4]
DEAD [not quick as in ‘the quick and the dead’ in the Creed]: SPIT [slow cooker]: an unusual device, to put the ‘not quick’ inside the ‘slow cooker’
7 Nothing but desire without consideration 
WANT ONLY [nothing but desire]: [coincidentally, this word appeared in Bannsider’s Prize puzzle in the Indy, on the same day, clued ‘Just after pasty, finish off dessert with abandon’.
13 Suffixedly seeking endearment 
At last, an Araucarian clue!
Double definition: the suffix ‘-petal’ is not in Chambers but it is in Collins as ‘seeking': I knew this from centrifugal / centripetal force and remember being fascinated at school how my Latin [fugere – flee / petere – seek] helped me to remember my Physics.
According to some google entries, PETAL is a North East term of endearment but I don’t know that that’s strictly true: it’s familiar here in the Midlands, I think.
15,18 Hamlet’s mother’s request to 19ac [4,6,4,4]
MORE MATTER WITH LESS [art]
A [not very cryptic?] reference to Gertrude’s reply to Polonius’ – he has earlier said that brevity is the soul of wit! –
‘Your noble son is mad:
Mad call I it, for to define true madness,
What is’t but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.’
16 Regulator for prisoner in camp? 
Cryptic definition, analogous to the regulatory bodies Ofsted, Ofwat, etc.
19 None left, which is good [3,5]
22,23,12,22,19across For a poet’s epitaph – Tarantino volunteer undertaxed at source [6,1,5,3,4,2,6,3]
NATURE I LOVED, AND, AFTER NATURE, ART Thanks, Tokyo Colin, for pointing out the stupid misquotation: it’s, of course., NATURE I LOVED AND, NEXT TO NATURE, ART
Anagram of TARANTINO VOLUNTEER UNDERTAXED AT
This wrote itself in, from the definition and enumeration – and ART already there: I would swear that I have seen this quotation used in a crossword before – and an Araucaria at that – but I’ve searched the archives in vain. It’s from Walter Savage Landor’s poem, ‘Dying Speech of an Old Philosopher':
I strove with none, for none was worth my strife:
Nature I loved, and, next to Nature, Art:
I warm’d both hands before the fire of Life;
It sinks; and I am ready to depart.
[It was used in the title of a novel [‘Next to Nature, Art’ by one of my favourite novelists, Penelope Lively.]
24,25 Pit company against drink, keeping little time [4,4]
CO[mpany] + ALE [drink] around MIN[ute] [little time]: I can see that ‘against’ is necessary for the surface, after ‘pit’ but it doesn’t work for the wordplay in a down clue, does it?.
27 Way to follow Psycho?
What do I call this? As in 11ac, where’s the definition?