Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,592 / Araucaria

Posted by mhl on March 31st, 2012


(Sorry to the lateness of this post – I meant to do it yesterday evening but it slipped my mind, I’m afraid.) This was an enjoyable puzzle, although we found it quite tough going, only getting the meaning of “T” rather late.

The rubric says “T has the same meaning throughout”, which turned out to be TRIANGLE. There were a couple of clues here that I thought were made rather difficult by overlaps between the defintion and subsidiary parts, or somewhat tenuous definitions. Also, I don’t understand part of 26 across, which no doubt someone will explain within moments of the post appearing :)

1. MONASTERIES ASTER = “flower” in MONIES = “cash”; “They provided Henry VIII with cash” (?)
9. BERMUDA Double definition: [TRIANGLE] and “like the rig?”
10. EATABLE E = “Early start” + A TABLE = “a[ ]board” (?); Definition: “food”
11. EPICUREAN EPIC = “Lengthy work” + (A RUNE)*; Definition: “a lover of luxury”
12. GET-UP Double definition: “Rise” and “rig”
13. SIGH SH = “Don’t talk” around I G = “one good”; Definition: “express regret”
14. WELL-EARNED LEW = “Grade” reversed (referring to Lew Grade) reversed + LEARNED = “scholarly”; Definition: “deserved”
16. PIANISSIMO PI = “front page” (Page 1) + A + (MISSION)*; Definition: “shortened as pages” – “pianissimo” is abbreviated “pp”, as is “pages” – rather harsh
19. HIND Double definition: “Backward” and “female”
21. LLAMA L = “left” + LAMA = “religious leader”; Definition: “Carrier”
22. ISOSCELES I = “One” + SOS = “appeal” + CELES[TIAL] = “over half heavenly”; Definition: “[TRIANGLE]”
24. SNOWING SNOG = “Make love” around WIN = “success”; Definition: “coming down from heaven?”
25. LEGLESS Double definition: “Drunk” and “as a snake?”
26. EQUILATERAL EQUI = “Horses (from the play)” (somehow?) KeithW suggests that the play is Peter Shaffer’s “Equus” (meaning “horse” in Latin – the plural would be EQUI) + LATER = “in due course” + A L = “a pound”; Definition: “[TRIANGLE]”
1. MARRIAGE A LA MODE MADE = “composed” around RR = “rights” + I AGE = “one-time” + “massacre scene” = ALAMO; Definition: “Hogarth’s”
2. NAURU K = “King” taken from Kenyan town; Definition: “island republic”
3. SCALENE SCALE = “to climb” + [o]NE = “one without leader”; Definition: “[TRIANGLE]”
4. ETERNAL TERN = “bird” in (ALE)*; Definition: “[TRIANGLE]”
5. INTEGRAL (TRIANGLE)*; Definition: “Essential”
6. SUBSTANTIAL MEAL (ALL MUST BE SAT IN A)*; Definition: “not a mere taster”
7. ABBESS AB = “Sailor” + BESS = “queen”; Definition: “queen over sister?” / “over sisters?” (quite a weak definition, even with the question mark, I think)
8. KEYPAD KEY = “Locker” + PAD = “flat”; Definition: “remote, for example?”
15. TIRAMISU (SUIT[e])* = “suite [(say)] endlessly adapted” around I RAM = “single male”; Definition: “Italian suite (say)”, sounds like “Italian sweet”. If I’ve parsed this right, “suite” is doing double duty, and you have to ignore “(say)” for “endlessly adapted” to operate on “suite”
16. POLISH Double definition: “European” and “refinement”
17. SPIEGEL EG = “say” in SPIEL = “what’s said about it?”; Definition: “German magazine”, referring to “Der Spiegel” (which translated means “The Mirror”)
18. MOONLIT (MILTON)* around O = “Love”; Definition: “Like the fairies’ ill meeting”, referring to Oberon’s line in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: “Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania”
20. DESIST Hidden in “spaDES IS Trumps”; Definition: “Refrain”
23. CIGAR [t]RAGIC = “Very sad — beheaded” reversed; Definition: “set alight, it may be”

20 Responses to “Guardian 25,592 / Araucaria”

  1. KeithW says:

    Thanks all for the nice crossword and thorough blog.

    26a – Peter Schaffer’s play Equus from the latin for horse – pluralised into EQUI?

  2. Mr Beaver says:

    I enjoyed this one – it was nice (for me) to have the odd mathematical word – I guess SCALENE may have been unfamiliar to many. But an Araucaria crossword is always educational – NAURU had elided my attention until now!

  3. Mr Beaver says:

    or even eluded !

  4. tupu says:

    Thanks mhl and Araucaria

    An enjoyable puzzle, fairly straightforward. I understood equilateral but hastily miscounted the ‘i’s when parsing pianissimo and thought P = front page, so extra thanks for that. I particularly liked 8d and 1d also pleased.

  5. pangapilot says:

    Really enjoyable, although I failed to parse 16a. Re 1a, can anyone parse it without using “with cash” twice? Ditto “suite” in 15d.

  6. Wanderer says:

    Thanks mhl and Araucaria.

    5d I thought particularly good as INTEGRAL and TRIANGLE are also anagrams of ALTERING, which was the indicator in the clue. I went from ALTERING to INTEGRAL via the def, essential, without even noticing that TRIANGLE was involved. My next themed answer in was ETERNAL, and I could see no connection between that and INTEGRAL. Only when BERMUDA went in did I finally twig. Excellent fun, and PIANISSIMO my favourite.

  7. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Very enjoyable and the theme was inoffensive since like wanderer I did not spot it until I was well into the solution.

  8. PeeDee says:

    Thanks mhl. I didn’t like the words doing (apparent) double duty either. Good crossword otherwise though, the red-herring ALTERING anagram threw me completely, took me an age to spot the theme after that.

  9. mhl says:

    @KeithW: Thanks – I knew of the play but (never having learned Latin) I wouldn’t have known what the plural of equus was… I’ll update the post.

  10. Mitch says:

    Enjoyable enough, but surely a tad easy for a Saturday puzzle? Once upon a time I used to wage war for most of the day but not anymore. T’is sad.

  11. RCWhiting says:

    Not as easy as today’s, sadly.

  12. r_c_a_d says:

    Thanks for the blog. I found this quite straightforward, finishing before tea on Saturday, which is unusual for me. Almost completed an Araucaria without reference material … but my geography fell short on NAURU.

    Favourite was PIANISSIMO.

  13. Mitch says:


    Agree with you about today’s. When a Saturday prize cross word is finished before the end of breakfast …

  14. chas says:

    Thanks to mhl for the blog. I had PIANISSIMO but quite failed to justify it.

    I have heard of Bermuda Triangle but Bermuda rig is new to me so thanks again to mhl.

  15. nametab says:

    As with Wanderer @6, it was solving BERMUDA that revealed the ‘T’. Had got integral and eternal earlier, but couldn’t imagine any commonality, then saw 5d triple anagram was very neatly parsed.
    Definition for MONASTERIES at 1a so obvious (a bit feeble really) – went in at first glance. 24d definition for SNOWING rather forced in order to suit parsing. Favourite was 16a. Rather taken with 8d. Never knew of Bermuda rig, but wikipedia did.
    Agree with others that Prize puzzles are generally easier now, but always look forward to Auracaria.

  16. Miche says:

    Thanks, mhl.

    I needed the internet’s help with 2d. I’d never heard of either place. Two of the definitions you disliked—”shortened as pages” and “over sisters”—were the ones I’d noted as especially pleasing.

  17. NeilW says:

    Mitch @13 and RCW @11 – this, March 24th’s, prize crossword you may remember was, to start with, an Orlando meant for the following Monday and those of us in the GMT++ longitudes all had to do this A crossword on the Monday, (no complaints.) I had a sneaking suspicion that the same intern was still in charge when I saw a (very typical) Gordius this week and have gone back several times to check if it’s been removed but no… Does it have something to do with today’s date?

    Back on topic, thanks mhl. Nothing to add to the other comments above or your excellent blog.

  18. mhl says:

    Miche: indeed, I seem to be very much in a minority about those clues given the comments here! I just tend to prefer stricter definition parts, where the definition could be reasonably substituted for the answer if it were to appear in a sentence. I did think “shortened as pages” was fun, just that it would be tough on newer solvers…

  19. RCWhiting says:

    Everything is tough on someone or vice versa.
    I wrote in Nauru almost immediately but unlike most of you I have been there. It was only a three hour stop-over and I spent most of it in a dental surgery but I saw what a sad desolate place it is.
    There must be a lesson for mankind somewhere in Nauru but I doubt we shall ever learn it.

  20. mhl says:

    I meant to mention that there was a story about the sad history of Nauru on This American Life, which I think is worth listening to if you otherwise didn’t know about it: Episode 253 – The Middle of Nowhere.

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