Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Prize Puzzle 25,652 by Araucaria

Posted by PeeDee on June 9th, 2012


Another great crossword from Araucaria.  In my paper copy of the Saturday Guardian the wrong crossword was printed (yet again) so I got this one from the Guardian website.

I’ve said this before, but I find it amazing how Araucaria manages to keep his crosswords fresh and interesting after producing so many over so long.  I think much of this is down to the word selections for the grid and the cross-referencing of the clues.  One gets the feeling that he’s just writing in words and clues as they pop into his head, and serendipitously they just all happen to fit together into a grid.  I know the reality of the process is much more prosaic, but the result is the same.

Hold the mouse pointer over any clue number to read the clue.

9 EGOMANIAC (COME AGAIN)* inclined=anagram – definition is “I’m all right Jack”
10 ABHOR AB (able seaman, sailor) with HO (house) on R (river)
11 See 24 down
12 TRAVERSED VERSE (lines) in TRAD (traditional, square)
13 BROTHER R (right) in BOTHER (trouble)
14 BACKLOG BACK LOG to get GOL (endless gold)
17 TABLE double definition – board and list
19 See 24 down
20 MOSSO MOSS O (zero) – a rolling stone gathers no moss, ‘mosso’ is a musical tempo marking
21 See 22
22,21 CHINESE LANTERN (ENTIRE CHANNEL’S) – 7 is ‘physalis’ a genus of the nighshade family, one species being Physalis alkekengi commonly known as the chinese lantern.  I think there is also a cryptic nod to nightshade here, a chinese lantern being a (light) shade used at night.
24 GOLDENEYE GOLDEN (or) EYE (private eye, dick) – a type of duck
26 STRAW STRAWberry – traditionally a constituent in brickmaking
28 See 6
29 CORPOREAL PORE (breathing hole) in CORAL (sea creatures) – definition is ‘material’
1 KERB K ER (king, The Queen, royals) B (born)
2 TOMATO MA (mum) has T (time) inside TOO (as well) – botanically a fruit, cullinarily a vegetable, could be a ‘cherry tomato’.  Unclued we also have 26 28 2 (STRAWBERRY TOMATO) which is another 7.  Thanks to eagle-eyed Eileen for spotting this.
3 HARD CHEESE double definition – ‘too bad’ and Philidelphia is a soft cheese
4,22 WINTER CHERRY INTERConservative (leader of) in WHERRY (boat) – common name for various species of physalis
5 SCRAMBLE double definition – rapid take off of aircraft and to cook (eggs) with butter
6,16,28 CAPE GOOSEBERRY CAPE (cover) GOOSEBERRY (unwanted third) – another species of physalis (… indicates the following solution)
7 PHYSALIS troPHY SALISbury – any plant of the physalis genus of the nightshade family
8 See 27
13 BETEL BE (take part of, in play) TEL (Terence)
15 COMMISSION (I’M SO I’M SO)* twice, anagram=bad in Cable News (opening letters) – definition is something ‘obtained by officer’
16 See 6
18 BUNGLERS N (name) in BUGLERS (brass)
19 TENDENCY TEN (10) and C (100, a number) inside (about which is) DENY (disown, to say one has no) – definition is ‘inclination’.  I can’t come up with an actual example where the phrase ‘to say one has no’ could replace the word ‘deny’.   Is this just Araucarian vagueness or have I missed something here?
22 See 4
23 EARNED E (English) Thomas or Michael ARNE (composer) D (died)
24,19across,11 GO BY THE BOARD double definition
25 EMYS in thE MYStery – a genus of turtles. What does ‘plays’ contribute here?
27,8 WELL BRED WELL (source of drink) and BRED (sounds like bread, food)


18 Responses to “Guardian Prize Puzzle 25,652 by Araucaria”

  1. Biggles A says:

    Thanks PeeDee. Another very good offering I agree. I never came to terms with 24 having overlooked the significance of OR and went off on a fruitless investigation of James Bond adventures.
    I rather think 19 is, as you suggest, down to vagueness but I didn’t give it much thought at the time. Looking at it now I can’t immediately think of any better phraseology.

  2. KeithW says:

    in 19d I thought inclination was doing double duty: both as the definition and as part of “to say one has no inclination” giving deny. But by that stage I was beginning to grasp at straws. Thanks PeeDee for putting me right about the rest.

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, PeeDee. I know what you mean by your preamble!

    Araucaria delighted us yesterday with his mini-theme of SYRINGA, LILAC, MOCK ORANGE, PHILADELPHUS – and we have a similar thing here, with varieties of PHYSALIS. I was aware of the CAPE GOOSEBERRY / CHINESE LANTERN connection but not WINTER CHERRY and, when I was checking in Chambers, I was very impressed to find that another variety is STRAWBERRY TOMATO, which is also in the grid, but not so obviously and not referred to.

    There’s no need for double duty for ‘inclination’ in 19dn. Chambers has deny = disown and ‘to deny knowledge of’ is surely a common enough expression?

  4. PeeDee says:

    Thank you Eileen, deny = disown fits the bill nicely. I hadn’t thought of that meaning.

  5. chas says:

    Thanks to PeeDee for the blog. I had got GOLDENEYE as a type of duck but quite failed to see the ‘or dick’ side of it.

    I liked 14a – when I had cracked it. It reminded me of one of my favourite single-word clues: nommag leading to backgammon :)

  6. Robi says:

    Good crossword that I found difficult to get into with all the cross-referencing, especially as I didn’t know PHYSALIS or its other incarnations. MOSSO and EMYS were also new.

    Thanks PeeDee; I didn’t see the or=gold in 24a. I thought it had something to do with the following from Wiki:
    ‘The name “GoldenEye” pays homage to James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming. While working for British Naval Intelligence as a Lieutenant Commander, Ian Fleming liaised with the American OSS to monitor developments in Spain after the Spanish Civil War. The operation was codenamed Operation Goldeneye. Fleming’s estate in Oracabessa, Jamaica is also known as Goldeneye.’

    The clue for BACKLOG was amusing.

  7. r_c_a_d says:

    Thanks for the blog. Too many new words here for an enjoyable solve – reference material working overtime.

    The print screw-up was outrageous.

  8. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Due to misprint my grandson made me a copy from the net which I didn’t get until Sunday – my big party day- so I solved it on Monday.
    Found it all pretty straightforward except a considerable hold up at the end with 29ac. I was conviced from first reading the clue that it would be c?rnose?l.
    Overall, quite enjoyable.

  9. FlutterBy says:

    A really enjoyable Araucaria. Like others I couldn’t explain GOLDENEYE.

    Last two in, a long time after all the rest, were:
    (a) BACKLOG – causing a groan and a smile (“Fair enough!”)
    (b) SCRAMBLE which I think not fair, sorry to say. They’re not called scrambled eggs because of the butter, are they? Still, I will forgive the Rev because the overall experience was most enjoyable.

  10. PeeDee says:

    My initial reaction to SCRAMBLE was that it was bit dubious too, but when I looked it up in Chambers it gives ‘cooked in butter’ as a significant part definition, so fair enough.

  11. tupu says:

    Thanks Peedee and Araucaria

    Another good one from Araucaria. I first thought 29a should end with ‘seal’ with O representing a hole but couldn’t find a suitable word to start it. A very good clue. I also ticked 14a and 6d etc.

    I was stumped by ‘or dick’. I had a final ‘think’ on the matter but only managed to wonder briefly if Goldeneye Dick might be a gentlemanly relative of the scurrilous Deadeye.

  12. FlutterBy says:

    PeeDee @10. You are very generous, methinks. My Chambers has “to beat (eggs) up and heat to thickness with milk, butter, etc.” The scrambling is essentially the beating up, surely? The butter is a long way down that sentence…

    I begin to wonder if the Rev has converted to Islam (secretly) and deliberately includes one dodgy clue per crossword – like the deliberate mistake in Persian carpets – because only Allah is perfect.

    My favourite was GREEK GOD. Very clever misdirection with Eros/cupidity. And ‘turn’ to clue ‘go’ was nice, too.

  13. Wolfie says:

    Happy birthday RCWhiting!

    I enjoyed this puzzle too – though still fuming about the cock-up with the print edition.

    Thank you PeeDee for the blog.

  14. PeeDee says:

    FlutterBy – you are quite right of course, it is not a fair definition. I think that my take was that it was just enough to validate the aircraft refernce without giving away anymore than he had to. Perhaps it would have been better just to use another definition altogether.

    What is the GREEK GOD stuff about? Are we talking about the same crossword here?

  15. FlutterBy says:

    Aargh! Brain failure. Ignore the Greek God. It’s from a different (very old) Araucaria I did after completing last Saturday’s. Perils of having to wait so long for the blog to be published on prize crosswords.

    My favourite from this (other than BACKLOG) would be WELL BRED – such a clever juxtaposition of “drink and food” which have nothing to do with one another really. The master at work!

    Anyway. Thanks for the blog PeeDee.

  16. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks Wolfie.
    My grandson,a boy of few words,signed my new Chambers “Happy Birthday, thanks for being a grandad”. Spot the missing word.

  17. William says:

    RCW @16 You should think yourself lucky. My son once wrote to me thanking me for… “being a Dad and a true fried”!

  18. brucew_aus says:

    Typically good fun Araucaria crossword which I found quite difficult to move on after getting away to a flier with the 24,19,11 first up. Broke open after getting the WINTER CHERRY and then all of the related clues. As did others, I laughed when BACKLOG went in.

    Was very pleased to have parsed GOLDENEYE although had only seen OR = GOLD before and strangely enough 18d was last in

    Did need some reference help initially with Physalis and had to check with EMYS as well though it seemed vaguely familiar.

    Thanks again A and to PeeDee for the blog – had not parsed STRAW properly having not heard of bricks being made with it – had used the STRAWBERRY (hadn’t heard of bricks made of them either :) – and settled for it having something to do with the colour red)

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