Never knowingly undersolved.

Prize Crossword No 25,442 by Araucaria

Posted by bridgesong on October 8th, 2011


A very characteristic offering from Araucaria this week with one of his long poetic anagrams and some typical charades.  It took me a little over an hour to complete without resort to a dictionary or  a computer until after I had completed the grid. However the wordplay has eluded me at 10 down, so assistance please.

1 TOAD OF TOAD HALL TO ADO FT O *HAD ALL. The reference is to the play by AA Milne based on the characters from Kenneth Grahame’s classic Edwardian children’s book, Wind in the Willows
8 FRAUD FRAU D(eutschland).
9,1down,27 TOMORROW TO FRESH WOODS AND PASTURES NEW *(US NOW TOWARDS POET’S DREAM OF SORROW THEN). A classic Araucarian anagram. The quotation is from Milton’s Lycidas. I confess that I guessed “pastures new” from the crossing letters and then deduced the rest.
11 EPSTEIN EP STEIN (German for stone).
12 OVERALL ER in OVAL L. “For protection” is the definition – arguably a little imprecise.
13 HAD UP ADU(lts) in HP (sauce).
15 CHEMISTRY Double definition – one of two clues in this puzzle exploiting the names of subjects taught in schools.
17 ON THE SPOT Definition and cryptic definition. A very easy clue, given the enumeration – it leapt out at me as soon as I read it.
20 SORDO *DOORS. A musical term meaning dampened.
23 BOLIVIA LOB (reversed) I VIA.
25 MIGRAINE I GRAIN in ME. The last clue to go in for me – I wasn’t entirely happy with I for “a”.
26 BOXER Double definition
27 See 9
1 See 9
2 AMASS This is a reference to a quotation attributed to King Henri IV of France: “Paris vaut bien une messe” but I freely admit having to look it up on Wikipedia.
3 OLD PEOPLE (worl)D in *(POLE, POLE).
4 TITANIC Double definition
5 ARMHOLE RM in A HOLE. HM(reversed) in A ROLE.
6 HORDE Cryptic definition referring to Sir Hugh Orde, reportedly a recent candidate for the post of Metropolitan Police Commissioner
10 PLAY FOR A DRAW Again I fear that I can’t explain the word play here. “Play” is a reference to the play mentioned in the clue to 1 across; there are plenty of artists called Ward, but that may be irrelevant.
14 DETENTION D, 10 TEN in *TEN . (10 x 10)/10 = 500.
18 PHYSICS Definition and cryptic definition. The other clue involving a school subject and a nicely misleading one, using the old definition of “physic” as a term for medicine.
22 SCRAP Double definition
24 VIXEN V IX E N. I like “earth mother” as a definition.


Hold mouse over clue number to see clue.

14 Responses to “Prize Crossword No 25,442 by Araucaria”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    It’s a bit late in the evening/morning now, but still I would like to make two comments at this stage.
    PLAY (1 across, maybe) + DRAW (to attract) after (following) FO (of, retiring) RA (artist).
    I think it is D (10 times 10 times half 10) + {ETN (otherwise 10) around (divided by) TEN and IO (10)}. What Araucaria doesn’t tell us is that ETN is divided by TEN and 10 in two separate chunks.

    As there is something more to say about this puzzle, I will come back to that later.

    Thanks Bridgesong, for now.

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks bridgesong. I had the same experience with this as you for this likeable puzle. The last letters of 19, 16 and 24 down were enough to give the substance of the neatly anagrammed but never heard-of long quote, and the other lengthy ones came similarly. It took a while at the finish to see how 10d worked out. The play is 1a, as you note. ‘For a draw’ breaks down as FO reversed/retired; RA artist; DRAW= attract. I couldn’t however be bothered to untangle the intricacies of the obvious DETENTION so thanks for that, nor to verify the obvious 6d until afterwards when Google did the trick in a trice.

  3. molonglo says:

    Re 2a: I got this straight off, recalling the mischievous misquote in “1066 and All That” of Henri’s noted saying: “Paris is in rather a mess.”

  4. John Dean says:

    I was surprised how quickly I solved this. Indeed, I got the first four across clues straight away, without even grappling with the wordplay at 1 and 9 and before I’d picked up a pen. That gave me starting letters down the left hand side and across the top and it all flowed from there.

    10 across I see as
    “Aim to share points with” – definition
    “1 across, maybe,” = ‘PLAY’(Toad of Toad Hall is the dramatic version of Wind in The Willows)
    “to attract” = ‘DRAW’ (as in drawing a crowd)
    “following” ie ‘draw is after’ “of retired” = FO and “artist” = RA.

  5. Biggles A says:

    Thanks bridgesong. This fell into place quite readily for me too. I didn’t find the quote for 2 but whiled away some time quite pleasantly in revisiting the Judgement of Paris.

    14 needs two anagrams of TEN and I suppose ‘otherwise’ could extend that far.

  6. bridgesong says:

    Thanks all for explaining 10 down; I saw all the pieces but couldn’t put them together. And my explanation of 14 down is probably too cryptic, so thanks Sil for the additional explanation.

  7. scchua says:

    Thanks bridgesong and Araucaria for an enjoyable prize puzzle.

    Couldn’t figure out the parsing for EPSTEIN (might have been fairer if some indication had been given of the German involvement), AMASS and HORDE. SORDO was guesswork which I couldn’t confirm, but which now I see is the (Italian) root word (meaning deaf) for sordina, sordine or sordino, the musical terms. But still, a joy to solve.

    Re 25A MIGRAINE, I think that “a very small quantity” = 1(one) GRAIN = IGRAIN, which gets over your objection for I = 1 = A.

  8. chas says:

    Thanks to bridgesong for the blog. You explained why I had the correct answer for 6d. I was also unable to explain 10d even though I had deduced its answer from the crossing letters.

    I loved 14d with all its different uses of 10 :)

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks bridgesong and Araucaria

    An enjoyable enough puzzle.

    I read 1d as John Dean @4

    I naturally entered amass in 2d but failed to get the reference. I came to the conclusion that it might be connected with the fact that the official unit of ‘mass’ – the reference kilogram – is housed in Sevres, Paris! :) The ability of the mind to make ingeniously wrong connections never ceases to surprise me.

  10. r_c_a_d says:

    Thanks. I liked DETENTION too, which also has DEN (Maggie’s den, number ten) and TON (ten times ten) to confuse: very clever to use half the clue’s complexity on the first letter.

    Otherwise quite doable, although my resident musician told me Sordino was a musical term and had not heard Sordo.

  11. Gervase says:

    Thanks, bridgesong.

    Rather a good Araucaria, with some nicely misleading clues.

    I recognised the Henri-Quatre quotation, but the ‘Lycidas’ one I couldn’t recall exactly; however, ‘pastures new’ leapt out with a few crossing letters and the rest wasn’t too difficult to piece together.

    I took the parsing of 10d as John Dean @4. I confess I didn’t bother to work out the parsing for 14d, except that it contained a couple of TENs, and I had forgotten about Sir Hugh, so I couldn’t work out why 6d was HORDE – I was convinced ‘Met man’ had to be either a meterorologist or an opera singer. Duh!

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    As announced in my post @1, I would like to say a bit more about this puzzle or, actually, about a specific thing that happened in one of the clues.
    In 3d Araucaria clued ‘two poles’ for POLE+POLE, which was then used as part of an anagram.
    Has anyone else noticed that Araucaria has done a thing like this quite a few times in recent weeks?
    On Aug 19th we had A/CLAN+A/CLAN, clued by ‘a clan repeated’.
    Sep 17th gave us POT+POT [simply described by 'pots'].
    The use of ‘fools’ for ASS+ASS on Sep 2nd was slightly different as there wasn’t an anagram involved [it was part of ASSASSIN).
    And I am quite sure there was another example of it (although I couldn't find it), because I remember us (my PinC and me) discussing this unusual 'device'.
    I wouldn't be surprised if Araucaria did all this deliberately to let us become familiar to a new setter's tool [that is, it feels like new, but one can't be sure in Crosswordland].
    If that was/is his intention, then he succeeded because yesterday we had another one: ‘two acts’ for ACT+ACT as part of the anagram for ‘antarctic’, but this time we were alert!

  13. FlutterBy says:

    An excellent and enjoyable Araucaria, unfortunately marred in my opinion at 6D (HORDE).

    Several people have commented that they hadn’t heard of or didn’t remember Hugh Orde, and I am another such. This is such an ephemeral reference. It wasn’t even big news at the time.

    Please, please, please, dear Araucaria, do not include references to ‘topical’ news items and personalities who will be forgotten within months (or even a year or two). Your crosswords are so wonderful – such works of art – that I want to think of someone enjoying solving them for the first time ten or twenty years from now. (I am still working through the back catalogue on the guardian website, finding ones I’ve missed and getting a lot of pleasure from them.)

    Here ends heart-felt plea from a loyal fan.

  14. RCWhiting says:

    Ref: Hugh Orde
    It is a difficult case to make about how famous someone is.
    For seven years he was chief of the Northern Ireland police and hence in the news frequently.He is now head of ACPO and again frequently interviewed.
    How does this compare to (say) poets, artists etc from 100 or even 1000 years ago.
    What happens to people’s fame in the future is something we cannot know.

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