Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,546 – Araucaria

Posted by Uncle Yap on January 31st, 2012

Uncle Yap.

What a privilege to blog another Araucaria puzzle. As expected, it was a display of The Master’s dexterity and artistry with the English language. I quite enjoyed being teased and tantalised …

1 QUADRILATERAL QUAD (An all-terrain vehicle aka a quad, quad bike, three wheeler, or four wheeler, is a vehicle that travels on low pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control) + ins of LATER (subsequently) in RIAL (Iranian money) for a four-sided geometric figure
10 UTRILLO Ins of RILL (brook) in *(OUT) Maurice Utrillo, born Maurice Valadon, (1883–1955) was a French painter who specialised in cityscapes
11 MASTIFF MA’S (parent’s) TIFF (quarrel) for a thick-set, powerful breed of dog, often used as a guard dog.
12 ORION Rev of NOIR (black, French) O (circle) A constellation popularly known as The Hunter
13 SACRE BLEU The butterfly, Celastrina argiolus is better known as the HOLLY BLUE which becomes HOLY BLUE after removal of L (left) which, in French is SACRE BLEU for a French exclamation of surprise. In the English-speaking world, it is well known from Agatha Christie’s books about the fictional Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
14 EDICT ha
16 BARCELONA *(Answer to 13, SACRE BLEU minus USE) ON A for the Spanish city, well known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics
18 NON-HEROES Ins of ON HER (the lady) in NOES (they voted against)
19 GO FAR The other way of FARGO is GO FAR. Wells Fargo & Company is an American multinational diversified financial services company with operations around the world (started as the famous stagecoach company)
20 OBVIATION Ins of B (second) and I (first) in OVATION (applause)
23 SLANG dd past tense of SLING (chuck)
24 RHOMBUS Ins of MB (doctor) in *(HOURS) for a parallelogram (answer to 26)
25 GARMENT Ins of ARM (member) in GENT (fellow)
26 PARALLELOGRAM Ins of ALL in ARE (live) + LOG (record) -> ARALLELOG, which is inserted into PRAM (perambulator where the baby is) for a quadrilateral, with opposite sides being parallel

2 UKRAINIAN UK (United Kingdom, this country where the Guardian is published) RAIN (wet weather) IAN (Scot)
3 DYLAN ha alluding to both BOB Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman in 1941, an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and painter and Dylan Marlais THOMAS (1914–1953) a Welsh poet and writer
4 IRONS cd
6 EASTER EGG *(TEAS) ERE (before) GG (childish term for horse) with quite a novel def
7 ARIEL ha for a fairy character in William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest
15 THE GAMBIA *(africA MIGHT BE A) for the small African country named after its river
17 OFF-CAMERA Ins of CAM (projection) in OFFER (present) A (indefinite article)
21 VIOLA dd the other being the main character (a lady dressed as a boy) in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.  Thanks to the erudite NeilW@1
22 NIGEL NIGER (African country) with Left substituted for Right
23 SHRUG SH (quiet, don’t talk) RUG (warmer)

Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
rha = reversed hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

36 Responses to “Guardian 25,546 – Araucaria”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks UY.

    Just got in from an early meeting. 21 is just reference to VIOLA from Shakespeare’s 12th Night.

  2. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I’m finding Araucarias increasingly easy to do, but then there’s richness in finding out exactly why the obvious answers (like 13a) are what they are, and looking up the references. I confess to missing the great anagram in The Gambia; ‘wild’ bothered me there as ‘black’ did for Niger, in 22d: no need for the latter. On OBVIATION,how does the I=first work?

  3. NeilW says:

    Hi molonglo. Roman numeral I = number one, thus first.

  4. Miche says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Re 23: SLANG is not the past tense of sling. Maybe (“old English”) it was once? Hard to search for an answer, as slang the noun dominates results.

    Niger (22d) is, of course, Latin for “black” as well as an African country.

  5. andy smith says:

    Thanks for the blog. FWIW I read 18 as NO-NOES, don’t know if that was correct or not.

  6. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks UY.

    15d was very clever, indeed: as you said, an anagram, a river a country; but also at the western tip of Africa.

  7. Miche says:

    PS re SLANG: I found one instance of “slang” as past tense of “sling.”

    1Samuel 17:49
    And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

    [King James Bible]

  8. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for very clear blog.
    Found this one of Araucaria’s easier puzzles as well … albeit the clever 15D and 21D showed his classic twist in the parse!
    Had an issue with OBVIATION though … doesn’t that mean the prevention / elimination of a problem or a block ?

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Araucaria

    A very good puzzle harder for me than some recent ones.

    Some remarkable anagrams perhaps especially the unlikely ‘might be a’.

    I was puzzled by 4d ‘irons’. There is a nautical expression ‘to be in irons’ meaning to make no headway directly against the wind but I did not know this before checking Collins.

    I had to check Blue Holly before understanding the answer which was pretty clear from the grid and the French surprise ref.

    I liked slang in 23. Thanks Miche for the quotation.

  10. Robi says:

    Fairly gentle Araucarian with not much specialist knowledge required.

    Thanks UY; unaccountably, I did not see Fargo in GO FAR! Like Andy Smith @5, I thought of NO-NOES, but I think UY’s parsing is better. Tupu @9; people get ‘clapped into irons’ i.e. restrained, so they don’t go very far. Just to be pedantic, I think the question mark in 23d is in the wrong place. Shouldn’t it be at the end? (I can’t see that following a question mark with a comma is correct.)

  11. Tom_I says:

    20a: OBVIATION, you could parse as OVATION with the insertion of the second letter of “with” and the first letter of “both”.

    Clue reads “Blocking of applause with both second and first entries”.

  12. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog. You explained a couple of cases where I was unable to parse them.

    on 12a: how are we supposed to know that a French word is required?

  13. Ian Payn says:

    Hmm. Good crossword, but I think “non-heroes” is a rubbish expression.

  14. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Tom_I@11
    I get the parsing and the use of the term blocking to insert the B and the I into the OVATION.
    I don’t get where the meaning of OBVIATION is within the clue – I thought that it would have meant more like UNBLOCKING … or clearing.

    To anticipate and dispose of effectively; render unnecessary. See Synonyms at prevent.

  15. Robi says:

    Block is listed as a synonym to obviate at:

  16. Robi says:

    Chas @12; it does say: ‘French surprise’ in the clue.

  17. tupu says:

    HI Robi @10
    You may be right, but people get put in chains and they don’t get very far either. If that’s all there is to it, I don’t think much of it.

  18. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Robi@15 … it’s getting late down here now … and the brain has started to fade :(
    Have a great rest of your afternoon.

  19. Thomas99 says:

    I’ve seen “irons” in the nautical sense in crosswords before and I’m sure that’s what’s intended here. It literally means the boat is making no progress, as it’s facing straight into the wind, and makes for quite a nice DD, drawing on two different areas of usage. As tupu says, the other interpretation would make for a rather boring clue.

  20. MikeC says:

    Hi tupu (@9 and @17)

    This irons thing came up in a crossword a while back. I looked it up then and found the sailing expression you mention. It seems a bit archaic now but I can imagine that tacking a large, heavy ship through the wind (or rather, failing to, and ending up head to wind) could indeed feel like being a captive – as well as, of course, making no progress.

    I found this quotation, from Hornblower and the Atropos:

    “The quartermaster at the wheel was croaking with anxiety; she would be in irons in a moment. The headsails were flapping. From the feel of her she was losing her way, sagging off to leeward; she would be aground before long.”

  21. Ape says:

    Agree that NON-HEROES is a rubbish expression, and I think if it means anything it means
    antiheroes which doesn’t really fit the definition given.

    Favourite clue was THE GAMBIA.

  22. Mitz says:

    I felt like a complete plank about half way through this. I had made decent progress on the across clues (my habit is usually to sweep through all clues once to start with to hoover up any easy ones) and had solved 24 by deducing the anagram before getting 26. But then for some reason I can’t explain I was convinced that the answers to 1 and 26 were the other way around and spent ages trying to justify that before spotting the obvious. Also for 18 I spent far too long trying to mangle either ‘hoi polloi’ or ‘the proles’ out of the clue – I feel only slightly mollified to find that several others agree with me about ‘non-heroes’ being the weak link in this otherwise marvellous puzzle.

    Thanks Rev, and UY for the blog.

  23. Valentine says:

    What does Shady Lane have to do with either of the Dylans?

  24. Mitz says:

    [sha]DY LAN[e]

  25. Robi says:

    I don’t think there are many other words with N?N?E?O?S. I’m not sure anyone would have been much happier with non-serous or non-venous. So perhaps A. did the best he could under the circumstances.

  26. Allan_C says:

    Further to Miche’s research, ‘slang’ appears as and alternative to ‘slung’ (though not marked as archaic as one might expect) in this article:

  27. John says:

    Is there possibly a misprint in 3dn?
    I don’t get “Bob for Thomas from Shady Lane” whereas “Bob or Thomas” provides a smooth surface.

  28. Mitz says:

    John @27: I agree. Does look like a clear case of classic Grauniad.

  29. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all.
    Perhaps the rather nonsensical form of 3d is appropriate since ‘Shady Lane’ is such a song.It even contains the expression ‘a whiter shade of trash’ which recalls perhaps the greatest ever nonsense lyrics.
    I enjoyed this one, Araucaria at near his best.
    Last in ‘obviation’ followed by ‘viola’. Latter was just about remembered as an example of WS’s much over-used transgender ploys.

  30. chas says:

    To robi @16: my question was about clue 12. Your answer quoted from clue 13.
    My question on 12 remains: how were we supposed to know that a French word was required?

  31. Mitz says:

    chas @30: Noir is a common enough expression (as in film noir, cafe noir and pinot noir for example) and although obviously French in derivation can be found in English dictionaries, meaning black. And surely most people have heard of Orion the Hunter. I thought it was the easiest clue in the puzzle.

  32. Gervase says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Good example of late period Araucaria. I had a bit of trouble with the perimetric answers, which were amongst my last entries; RHOMBUS gave me 1a and 26a and I needed all the crossing letters to get 8,9.

    I’m no great lepidopterist, and I didn’t check the butterfly reference to 3a, but SACRE BLEU was obvious from the ‘French surprise’, confirmed by the partial anagram for 16a. I presumed that SLANG was an old past tense of ‘sling’ (by analogy with sing, sang, sung – the ablaut pattern of English strong verbs has wandered a bit over the centuries). Last in was IRONS: I missed the nautical reference and thought it was just a rather weak cd.

    Favourite was 15a for its multiple layered construction of three definitions and a most unlikely anagram.

  33. chas says:

    Mitz @31: certainly I know of the constellation Orion the Hunter – that’s how I was able to fill in the answer.
    Now you have reminded me of café noir etc I do now remember that noir means black :(

  34. Davy says:

    Thanks UY,

    I totally agree with your assessment of this puzzle and definitely thought it was the most enjoyable A. for a while. I also completed it without aids which is very rare. I didn’t know UTRILLO but put it in anyway because it fitted the clue and sounded right. I couldn’t parse SACRE BLEU but BARCELONA confirmed that the answer was correct – as I knew it was anyway. The long anagram soon revealed itself when HUMAN was a possibility for the fourth word.

    Favourite clues were EDICT (so simple), GO FAR (raised a smile), SLANG, UKRAINIAN, EASTER EGG (loved ERE GG) and BIODIESEL (good anagram).

    Great stuff Arry.

  35. slipstream says:

    Valentine @23, John @27:

    DYLAN is hidden in shaDY LANe.

    Bob Zimmerman changed his name to Bob Dylan in honor of Thomas Dylan . . . the “Bob for Thomas” is a reference to the incomplete name change.

  36. RCWhiting says:

    Dylan Thomas perhaps……… (see Mitz @24)

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