Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic 25698 Araucaria

Posted by scchua on July 26th, 2012

scchua.

It’s an encore from the Master after the FT yesterday.  As with all Araucarias, the key is perseverance.  One has to keep chipping away until the whole lot takes form.  Still, it was time well-spent, I thought.  Like yesterday, today’s has a mini-theme also.  The enumeration of the gateway clue helped with the answer, though it took a bit of remembering, to get the reference (one of them).  Where the definition is “16” in other clues, it refers to the answer to 16across. There was one clue, 23D, which left me wondering.  Thanks Araucaria.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[Each of the pictures at the bottom has an unidentified link with the puzzle.  As usual, please double-bracket any comments on these.]]

Across

9 Olympian learnt about sharing immortality (9)

COETERNAL : COE(Sebastian, former Olympian in 1980 and 1984) + anagram of(about) LEARNT.

10 Admit in different order to bay (5)

INLET : “let in”(admit) with the words reversed(in different order).

11 After a time a boy gets bubbly (7)

AERATED : TED(a boy’s name) placed after(after) [A + ERA(a long time period)]

12 Having fun catching copper in barometer, perhaps (7)

MERCURY : MERRY(having fun, resulting in being cheerful,merry) containingo(catching) CU(the chemical symbol for copper).

Answer:  An allusive reference:  one finds mercury in a barometer, perhaps  as not all barometers use mercury to measure changes in atmospheric pressure.

13 16 with shorts (5)

BOXER : An allusive reference to boxer shorts, loose undershorts for men.

14 Expanding carrier for body or brick (9)

STRETCHER : Double defn. 1st: A body carrier made of canvas stretched,expanded on a frame; and 2nd: In masonry, a brick laid so that its longer edge is exposed or parallel to the surface.

16 Mowers in song managing flock (3,3,3,3,3)

ONE MAN AND HIS DOG : Cryptic defn:  Reference to the song “Ten Men Went to Mow”, whose first verse contains the line “one man and his dog went to mow a meadow.”   The answer is also the title of the TV series about sheepdog trials, highlighting the skill of one man and his dog managingflock.

19 Marker for style of TV serial? (9)

SOAPSTONE : SOAP(opera, a kind of TV serial, exemplified by “EastEnders”, “Dallas” and a seemingly never-ending list)’S TONE(the style,manner adopted in discourse or conversation).

Answer:  An allusive reference to the soft rock that can be carved, and formerly used as tombstones,markers for graves.

21 Sound round gripped by gripper (5)

VOICE : O(the round-shaped letter) contained in(gripped by) VICE(or vise, an appliance for gripping an object between its pair of jaws).

22 Fool in face of using fingers (7)

DIGITAL : GIT(slang for a fool, derived from “get” in the sense of “to beget a bastard”) containing(in) DIAL(a face eg. of a watch,clock; and also slang for a human face).

Answer:  Using one’s fingers,digits.

23 16 sound of sound made by Jack (7)

RUSSELL : Homophone of(sound of) “rustle”(a sound).

Answer:  An allusive reference to the breed of terriers, formed by Jack placed before(by) the answer.

24 Drink at a play (5)

DRAMA : DRAM(a small drink of liquor) plus(at) A.

25 16 finds Brandreth’s upset having dropped aitch (2,7)

ST BERNARD : Anagram of(upset) BRANDRETS{“brandreth’s” minus(having dropped) “h”(letter aitch)}.

Down

1 Fight with reserves for albums (10)

SCRAPBOOKS : SCRAP(a physical fight) plus(with) BOOKS(reserves, eg. a table before going to a restaurant).

2 Bring up drink, keeping unknown under the boot, it may be (4,4)

REAR AXLE : REAR(bring up, eg. pets) + ALE(a drink) containing(keeping) X(in mathematics, a symbol for an unknown quantity).

Answer:  The “it” that is found under the boot (or trunk in N. America) of a car perhaps,may be as not all cars have their boot at the rear.

3 16 in Queer Street (6)

SETTER : Anagram of(queerSTREET.

4 Get fed up with girl (4)

ENID : Reversal of(up, in a down clue) DINE(get fed).

5 Scott’s reserve in reduced game (10)

SLIMBRIDGE : SLIM(reduced,now thin) + BRIDGE(the card game).

Answer:  The village where the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve, started by Sir Peter Scott, is sited.

6 Lots of words for music at party, awfully trite (8)

LIBRETTI : LIB(short for the Liberal Party) + anagram of(awfully) TRITE.

Answer:  Plural for,lots of the text or words sung to the music of an opera or similar extended musical composition.

7 16 inclined to hustle (6)

SLEUTH : Anagram of(inclined to) HUSTLE.

Answer:  Placed before “hound”, the Scottish term for the (almost same) bloodhound.  Generally used in the context of pursuing the trail of people (eg. Robert the Bruce and William Wallace in romantic Scottish poems), it metaphorically gave the word, “sleuth”,  a “detective”.

8 Remain in support (4)

STAY : Double defn.

14 Legendary sword: may yours never grow so! (10)

SHADOWLESS : Cryptic defn:  Reference to “The Legend of the Shadowless Sword”, a 2005 Korean film released on DVD in N. America, UK and Ireland.

15 Nigella coming from Lydd garage (6,4)

RAGGED LADY : Anagram of(coming from) LYDD GARAGE.

Answer:  Nigella damascena, the fennel flower.  Not to be confused with that other Nigella, (unragged) lady, though I don’t know whether the surface has anything to do with her.

 

17 16 gives some satisfaction when boy’s about (8)

ALSATIAN : ALAN(a boy’s name) containing(…‘s about) SATI(some of the letters in “satisfaction”).

18 Cart concealing poor view of road home? (8)

DRIVEWAY : DRAY(a strong cart for hauling heavy loads) containing(concealing) anagram of(poor) VIEW.

Answer:  The road in landed property that leads to the house,home.

20 16 consecutive letters between articles (6)

AFGHAN : FGH(consecutive letters in the English alphabet) containing(between) [A + AN](two articles).

21 Good guy in real dressing room (6)

VESTRY : ST(abbrev. for “saint”,a good man,guy) containing(in) VERY(genuine,real, as in “the very fool”).

Answer:  The room in a church in which vestments (among other things) are kept, and presumably used as a dressing room.

22 Number at a party going round the room? (4)

DADO : D(Roman numeral for the number,500) plus(at) A + DO(a party,function).

Answer:  An allusive reference to the lower part of the wall, decorated differently from the upper part, going round the room.

23 Take point afterward? (4)

ROBE : ROB(take illegally) + E(east, compass point).

Answer:  “robe” placed afterward” gives “wardrobe”.  What follows?

========================================================================

  

71 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic 25698 Araucaria”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua and Araucaria. This was very enjoyable.

    I guessed SHADOWLESS correctly but I’ve never heard of the Korean film.

    [[I recognise the statue from my several visits to Brazil. Obrigado! But I cannot associate this or any of the others to the Puzzle.]]

  2. Miche says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    Good fun, with nice variations on the theme. My last in was ROBE; its cheeky definition eluded me.
    Like Bryan @1, I got SHADOWLESS without knowing the reference. I thought there might be some part of the Excalibur legend I wasn’t aware of. Is that film well known?

    [[I see the two stars of Sleuth. Otherwise none the wiser.]]

  3. cholecyst says:

    Thanks Scchua. Pretty easy for an Araucaria but good fun nevertheless. I wonder what gave him the idea for the rather odd theme?

  4. aztobesed says:

    [I thought you might have gone for a photo of Richard Burton – the ‘Voice’ and starred in The Robe. Caine and Olivier were in Sleuth, Christ the Redeemer is made of soapstone and Chelsea are now so exalted that they cast no shadow? OK – the last is a guess.]

  5. Conrad Cork says:

    There’s an old Eastern (Persian or Arabic I think) saying ‘may your shadow never grow less’ and I expect this is what the clue refers to.

  6. cholecyst says:

    14 Legendary sword: may be a ref to these books, of which I’d never heard –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._V._Jones

  7. Miche says:

    P.S. “Queer street” for SETTER was in an Arachne puzzle a few weeks ago (July 9).

  8. Rog says:

    Very enjoyable, and just challenging enough for a Thursday. Thanks, sschua and Araucaria.

    [[There’s a St Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church in Chelsea, New York (now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe at St Bernard). Is that it?]]

  9. NeilW says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    I thought the marker in SOAPSTONE might be an allusion to the French chalk used by tailors for marking up alterations.

    By the way, you’ve a typo in 2 with the wrong unknown.

  10. Gervase says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    I spotted 16ac immediately, so most of this puzzle proved straightforward for me. Ingenious to have as a theme dog names which can also be interpreted as persons.

    SOAPSTONE and SHADOWLESS proved rather more recalcitrant, but I got there in the end.

    Favourite clues were 10ac and 23dn for their typically Araucarian inventiveness, and 9ac, which would be a great clue in anybody’s puzzle.

  11. scchua says:

    Thanks for all your comments. I too am not 100% sure about SHADOWLESS, but I was swayed by the setter’s love for film.

    [[Miche and aztobesed, you’re right about SLEUTH and SOAPSTONE (on re-inforced concrete, strictly speaking). Sorry, Rog, the Chelsea link is still up for grabs. Where are the Chelsea fans?]]

  12. Eileen says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    Lots of fun here: like Gervase, I was impressed by the clever use of ‘one man and his dog.’

    I laughed at the idea of posh Giles Brandreth being upset at dropping his aitches in 25ac. :-)

    Hi Miche @7

    You got there before me! I am not going to miss any opportunity to draw attention to the number of times this daft rule is / has been broken. I think NeilW’s comment yesterday [“One rule for the juniors…?” might well be true – but it seems so shortsighted and foolish to put unnecessary obstacles in the way of the bright younger setters like Qaos and Tramp.

  13. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    The enumeration curse strikes again (16ac), showing how even the best setters can so easily have their work ruined.
    I didn’t completely parse 23d. I, too,had never heard of 14d, but there were not many words that fitted!
    The rest was sadly obvious.

  14. aztobesed says:

    [[Samsung Digital? Chelsea’s sponsor?]]

  15. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the blog. It sounds like I don’t have to be too ashamed of not knowing much about “shadowless”. I had it down as a CD too, but haven’t really ever seen what’s so bad about not having a shadow. It worked for Peter Pan. There were a handful of really tough ones, I thought, and I didn’t know sleuth was a dog. I was trying to make “plough” work. I’m dog-ignorant and thought there were “plough-dogs”, like sheep-dogs, though come to think of it earth can’t need much herding. And you incline a plough to push through (“hustle”?) with it. And finally, Robbie Burns’ “Twa Dogs” features a pretty gabby, if not hustling, ploughman’s dog. Yeah I know, it’s rubbish.

    One small correction: to be fair to the setter, his “16s” do all refer to both a man and a dog, as has been mentioned – not just to the dog.

  16. Sylvia says:

    Haha – I was puzzled by 15d (Nigella) which I knew as Love-in-a-Mist, then found the clue had an anagram of Dagger Lady! Much later realised it was Ragged :-)

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Thomas
    The verb ‘sleuth’ means the same as the verb ‘dog’.

  18. scchua says:

    Thanks NeilW, I’ve corrected the typo, and I think you’re right about soapstone chalk as used by tailors and seamstresses.
    Thanks Gervase and Eileen for pointing out the man AND dog in the thematic answers (I’m still learning!).

  19. RCWhiting says:

    Ref:blog
    I think S.Coe IS an Olympian (not former).
    Once an Olympian always an Olympian. I think this is why sportspeople in general attach so much importance to ‘being there’.

    I was intrigued by your explanation of 2d “rear (bring up eg pets), true but surely children would first come to mind?

  20. Thomas99 says:

    RCW-
    Thanks. That is also new to me, although of course I know it in the more common sense of doing detective work in general. Once I’d looked it up I parsed it as sleuth=sleuthhound (see Collins), like scchua.

  21. martin says:

    “One man went to mow” is a song often chanted by Chelsea fans.

  22. ToniL says:

    [[Torres singing ‘We are the Champions’ (badly) on the Chelsea team bus]]

  23. ToniL says:

    [[Mercury]] ??

  24. aztobesed says:

    [[ Wkipedia is proving dangerous quicksand. Made in Chelsea is a Drama. The Village Voice has offices in Chelsea village NYC. Charles Russell had the title Viscount Chelsea and a certain Miss Chelsea Russell won the Miss Majorette USA title in 2006. Chelsea Clinton is not looking her best, I know but ‘ragged lady’ is pushing it.]]

  25. scchua says:

    RCW@19, “bring up, eg. pets”, I guess I had “dogs” on my mind at that time.

    [[Martin@21, you’re right, “Ten Men Went to Mow” is used as a chant by Chelsea supporters.]]

  26. Robi says:

    Nice one I thought and RCW will be pleased to know that the enumeration didn’t help me to get the thematic answer for a while.

    Thanks scchua for the usual immaculate blog. I liked some of the short answers, like DADO and ROBE, as well as MERCURY. Like Sylvia @16, I tried DAGGER LADY (is it just the way she sometimes looks at you?)

    [[I think Martin @21 has probably cracked the Chelsea theme?? If not, I’ll have to do some more homework]]

  27. Robi says:

    [[………. no more homework required, apparently!]]

  28. chas says:

    Thanks to scchua for the blog.

    I had not spotted that all the 16 references were men as well as dogs – so I was scratching my head all the way through :(

    I am pretty ignorant about flowers so the only Nigella I could think of was Lawson. Thanks to scchua for that information.

  29. Col says:

    Found it quite tricky, but rewarding. Realised soapstone was tailor’s ‘chalk’. Needed t’interweb to get 14d and even then was surprised how obscure it was compared to other ‘legendary weapons’ ;-)

    Managed to assume sleuth was correct, though I am Scottish and have never heard a bloodhound referred to as such.

  30. rowland says:

    Thanks scchua and to Araucaria for their puzzles! I loved the ‘one man and his dog’ theme, very nice indeed, and a lovely puzzle today. As I said yesterday I don’t always manage to finish the harder ones, but I did well here. It’s not going quite so well with the Indy at the moment!

  31. RCWhiting says:

    Robi, that Nigella look is far from daggers when I see it (via only the TV, sadly). More caressed with a sheath!

  32. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, scchua, and Gervase@10. I couldn’t believe A. was just referring to dogs, and like chas@28 I was also puzzling all the way through. Spotted 16a straight away, so I guess it made the solve easier.

    Very enjoyable puzzle.

    I agree with Eileen about “this daft rule”. STAY was in Chifonie on July 6, too.

  33. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Araucaria and scchua for the entertainment.

    First in was boxer and then I looked at 16 across, which made me smile. I thought 10ac was connected with bay as in a dog baying (a touch poetic, perhaps?).

    Like Sylvia @ 16, I thought of of Love-in-a-mist for Nigella but managed to work it out.I had considered it to be a wild flower, as I recall seeing it in the wild as a child. However,it is not listed as such even in my grandmother’s 19th century books.

    I thought 9ac was brilliant and spent ages thinking of the original Olympians before the penny dropped.

    Giovanna x

    In 12ac. I seem to recall somebody asking how the mercury was doing in reference to the barometer.Does this ring a bell?

  34. Derek Lazenby says:

    Hmm. There are some setters that some people here love to shred. One of the reasons is spurious words as cryptic clues are supposed to not contain them, so these people allege. But here nobody seems bothered by the fact that so many clues contain an implied and utterly spurious “one man and his” when just “dog” would have sufficed. Oh sorry, I was forgetting, this is sycophant’s corner isn’t it?

    (Lights blue touch paper and retires to a safe distance!)

  35. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks schuaa

    Finished the puzzle but had lingering doubts about SLEUTH and SHADOWLESS. Thought it was quite tricky for a midweek Araucaria.

  36. Norman L in France says:

    @34
    Er, isn’t the whole point that they’re all men AND dogs? Spurious?

  37. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yes spurious, the extra information was totally unnecessary in solving the clue, no matter how correct it might be. All I needed was dog. Did you actually need more?

  38. Gervase says:

    Derek: That’s why the Rev didn’t include BASENJI or SHIH TZU – which he might have done if he had been going for a pangram….

  39. riccardo says:

    I had to admit defeat on 5d and 14d

    I may not have got them anyway, but I was hamstrung by having SLAPSTICK for 19a – I still think that would be q valid answer…

  40. allan_c says:

    Eileen, Miche (et al)

    AS regards this so-called “rule” it has often been said that rules are made for the guidance of the wise and the obedience of fools. And I recall, many years ago now, the Telegraph having the same clue, “Boss of a horsey establishment? (4)” for “stud” on two consecutive days!

  41. Paul B says:

    A ‘silly rule’ indeed until the consequence of ignoring it is taken to an absurd extreme: same grid, same fill, same clues. And not even a certain compiler has come close to that (you churl, PB).

    I can see why an editor might want to prevent repetition wherever possible (why not?), but I think people here were getting hot under the collar more about an apparent incarnation of the ‘one law for the rich, another for the poor’ thing. It’s just SOOO unfair.

  42. rhotician says:

    Derek L: I so agree.

    1dn: ‘albums’ was all I needed.
    4dn: ‘girl’ was enough.
    8dn: ‘remain’ was sufficient. As was ‘support’.
    15dn: ‘Nigella’ was plenty.

    In fact, if you remove everything with Araucaria’s beloved allusions, most of the puzzle is spurious.

  43. RCWhiting says:

    Rho, I don’t think that you can get away with that. You should remember that you are addressing a world authority on ‘spurious writing’.

  44. rhotician says:

    RCW, I did try not to be contentious. For instance I refrained from asserting that the word ‘spurious’ does not mean superfluous, as he seems to think. I think it means false. But I can only cite Chambers in support of my view, and we all know how fallible these dictionary people are.

  45. rhotician says:

    scchua: Belated thanks. I’ve spent a little while pondering what word I want to follow very, other than good, nice, thorough, enlightening, whatever. I’ll settle for impressive.

    Gervase @8: 23dn ingenious? 23ac is ingenious considering the (self-imposed) constraints he was under. ‘sound of sound’ for RUSSELL is very good, fastidious even, because ‘sounds like sound’ doesn’t work.

    In 23d ‘take’=ROB + ‘point’=E. So ‘afterward?’ must be the definition for ROBE. Even allowing for the Man’s liking for allusion, I just don’t get it. And however it is supposed to work there is no thematic requirement, as there is in 23a, to justify not using something simpler. What am I missing?

  46. rhotician says:

    Sorry. For @8 read @10.

  47. Paul B says:

    You’re missing nothing. You is you, and it’s okay.

  48. scchua says:

    rhotician@45, thanks for the compliment (time zone difference accounting for this late/early response). Re 23d: I felt the same as you, hence the “What follows?” at the end of my explanation – I was expecting more to the clue than was there. (I realise now, I should have expressed it more clearly.) But going by earlier comments/lack of comments, it looks to be just a question of (accepting) A’s style.

  49. Paul B says:

    That’s my point really: you get stuff like that in A puzzles, so what’s the big deal?

  50. johnmcc says:

    23d – afterward comes robe. . . . Wardrobe. Some very snippy comments about the Rev’s work here. If you don’t like it then leave it alone. He brings great pleasure to many of us.

  51. rowland says:

    Agree with Scchua, Paul & John. Araucaria is the foremost of the lot in my book. Fantastic enjoyment over many years!

  52. Paul B says:

    I suggest, Johnny Mac, that these remarks are designed to devalue the 15^2 content, rather than make any serious point about a puzzle. But, as perhaps you’ll agree, it does feel to me very like being nibbled to death by a duck.

  53. rhotician says:

    Paul B: So what’s the big deal? Now you’re asking to be nibbled.

    “afterward comes robe … wardrobe” explains nothing. Can we expect more such “stuff”? Afterbirth comes mark … birthmark? For mark substitute place, rate, right, sign, stone etc.

    How is the unfortunate blogger to chacterize stuff like this? Stream of consciousness perhaps.

    I think that Araucaria is peerless but that doesn’t mean he can do no wrong. I have recently attempted, unsuccessfully, to defend one of his liberties on the grounds that, although a little “unfair”, it amused me. “afterward” is just annoying, and seemingly deliberately so.

    To answer your question, nothing is a big deal in CrosswordLand.

    I could say more in a general way but I must attend to Eileen’s blog of last week’s Prize.

  54. scchua says:

    rhotician@53, I like the measured tone in your response, a contrast to the ones you’re addressing. To sum up the question of “acceptance”, we’ll have to face the fact that it’s another “one rule for the senior….”, but this time by solvers.

  55. Paul B says:

    Refer the pair of you back to #50, for starters.

    The clue has a cryptic part and a definition part, the sort of definition part you very often get in an Araucaria puzzle, so it’s not about accepting anything. It’s about noticing the name of the writer at the top of the puzzle, and expecting clues in the style to which a very large number of people have become accustomed. That is to say, ‘what’s the big deal?’.

    And you can dump that sacred cow BS as well.

  56. scchua says:

    Let’s say you don’t know who the setter is, and without the enumeration, what does
    “Take point afterward” give? Normally, “wardrobe” I would think. But, as you say, you’ll have to note that this is a specific writer, for whom the definition “afterward” means (implicitly) a word that could come after “ward” and make another word. Something one (and a very large number of people) expects, and accepts (no point splitting hairs in this case). And yet I did not say or even imply there was anything wrong with such expectation and acceptance, just that the name of the setter makes the difference, something that you had already acknowledged, I thought.

  57. Paul B says:

    In a Guardian puzzle it might, as ‘after’ and ‘ward’ are, for some, unfairly joined together. But even that, with an enumeration of (8), would constitute the cryptic part only: you would be short of a definition, and in the clue singled out for criticism in the thread, there is one. It carries the same unfairness, but it’s not unexpected given the name of the setter.

    But there is nothing to accept about it, nor is it splitting hairs to make the distinction. That would be the case only where one is unfamiliar with some style, that of a new setter, for example. And if you’re unfamiliar with Araucaria’s style, you probably live in a wigwam.

  58. scchua says:

    I was thinking of it as a (slightly) cryptic definiton for the word itself (“xxxxxxxx”) given by the whole clue/wordplay.

    Er, one does accept the “unfairness” doesn’t one, expected as it may be, precisely because one is familiar with the setter and his style? (Whereas for a new setter, one may or may not accept it.)

  59. rhotician says:

    “the sort of definition part you very often get in an Araucaria puzzle”

    I have never seen that “sort of definition” in any puzzle. Perhaps you can provide some examples. It’s interesting that scchua provides a much better explanation than johnmcc @50. You offered no explanation at all.

    “a very large number have become accustomed”

    I’ve met people who have not become accustomed to Araucaria’s style. Some have been put off trying. Others I have encouraged to persevere. I prefer that to the sort of advice that johnmcc @50 has to offer.

    “it’s not about accepting anything”

    Yes it is. As I said, I recently tried to persuade some commentators that A’s clue about “dubious fun” was a legitimate liberty. They wouldn’t accept it. Lots of people on this forum continue to find individual clues unacceptable. I accept that. So should you.

    What I dislike about “afterward” is that it is unnecessary. He could have clued ROBE differently, or used something else like RUBY instead. He seems to have liked the idea of ‘take point’ for ROB + E and needed some way of signifying that it did not mean ROB + S.

    Let me repeat that I think Araucaria is peerless. I shall not be leaving him alone, in any sense.

  60. rhotician says:

    “that sacred cow BS”? – too cryptic for me.

  61. Paul B says:

    Andrew, go stroke your gonk, or whatever it is you do to de-stress.

    Scchua, I don’t think so. That (for WARDROBE) would have to be an &lit, and if it is I can’t see it.

  62. Huw Powell says:

    Thanks John @ 50 for explaining how ROBE was defined.

    I got Clara at 24 (it is a drink and a play), ruining all my hard work on DADO, which I should have researched (I was not familiar with the architectural term).

    Never in a lifetime would have got SHADOWLESS, it required knowing at least one of two obscure things. At least SLIMBRIDGE might have fallen – I could have guessed it from the clue and looked it up.

    16 came slowly as an alien in an alien land. SLEUTH was removed, researched, and reinserted.

    23 was excellent, and quite a few others were very nice, like 14.

    Got messed up early with 15, by marking the grid with a bar for (4,6)! Didn’t get it until I resorted to brute force at an anagram server and realized my mistake.

    I nice “one clue at a time” puzzle, though if I had known the theme answer, perhaps a bit fast to solve then. I don’t like themes where once you “get it”, the rest of the themed clues become trivial. For a while I had “tester” at 3, which seemed to go nicely with SLEUTH, since I had no idea what I was looking for.

    Thanks for the blog, scchua, and those of you who aren’t fighting; and for one more in a series of fascinating puzzles, Doctor.

  63. Paul B says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

  64. scchua says:

    One last comment.
    Paul B@61. Can’t one have a (however slightly) cryptic definition without it having to be an &lit?.
    For WARDROBE : What is the word given by “Take point” placed after “ward”.
    For ROBE: What is the word given by “Take point” that placed after “ward” gives another word.
    No &lit (nor partial &lit) in either case.

  65. Paul B says:

    Thing is, SCC, no clue can be definition-less. Perhaps I have this wrong, especially as I’m finding it rather difficult to understand your reasoning, but were you not looking at

    Take point afterward?

    as a clue of some sort for WARDROBE? If so, it has no definition part as an &lit or anything else that I can spot. By which I mean, in terms of wardrobe-ness, it’s as far away from Narnia as one can get. As a set of (bloody awful Guardianist) cryptic instruictions it does, or could, lead to WARD/ ROB/ E, I’ll grant you that. But then I’m feeling quite generous today.

    In all, we’re miles away from the original point about A’s clue for ROBE, aren’t we, which some people thought to be typically Araucarian, and so nothing out of the ordinary. Which in my view is exactly what it was.

  66. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Everyone knows that Araucaria is the mayor of Cruciverbia, a charming village that is the capital of Crosswordland.

    Because that can be a boring job, he every now and then allows himself to have some fun as a stand-in for the village idiot.
    He really likes this role, it keeps him alive.
    We like it too, but only because we know he likes it.

    But remember, as per definition, there’s no point in trying to understand or justify the escapades of a village idiot.
    Just shake you head or smile, then go on with life.

    Long may he be the mayor of Cruciverbia!

  67. scchua says:

    Hi Paul, hope you’re still feeling generous? Yes, I am looking at
    Take point afterward?
    To get WARDROBE, one takes the set of “(bloody awful Guardinist)” cryptic instructions, as I wrote in @64.
    To get ROBE, doesn’t one take a similar set of “…..” cryptic instructions, with a little more indirectness, given again in @64.
    Both cases are definitionless and no trace of &lit, but one is saved by it being Araucaria – and I say the latter in a neutral, matter-of-fact way.

  68. Paul B says:

    Well not really SC, and that’s the point, or even the two points: first, that there IS a definition part to A’s clue (‘afterward?’), and second, that there is something of a quite possibly neutral and matter-of-fact accusation of the equivalent of Bardolatry (whatever that is for St A-ists) implicit or explicit in some remarks, facile or not, hence the (in my view entirely justified) comment from whoever-it-was at 50. I love that bloke.

    You, or any of us, might not like that definition part, but it is unarguably there for ROB/ E, and (although perhaps not quite so unarguably given the content of the thread), typically Araucarian (and therefore not requiring acceptance from those expecting such typical tropes, i.e. Araucaria solvers, and not those who live in wigwams).

    (Time out.)

  69. scchua says:

    “Amen” before “Time Out”?

  70. Paul B says:

    Good idea! See you at the next one perhaps?

  71. Michael Gwinnell says:

    I found this quite hard, but although I hadn’t heard of 14D Shadowless as a sword, I got it from the remainder of the clue which was familiar from the quite recent Cinephile 14,047 10D,1D
    Thanks for the pictures!

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