Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Genius 109 by Araucaria

Posted by bridgesong on August 5th, 2012

bridgesong.

Unlike most recent puzzles in this series, there were no special instructions.  It was just a tough cryptic (and here’s a link to the pdf of the puzzle), but made more difficult by what appears to have been an unusual error (which was subsequently corrected by the Guardian crossword editor, after I had pointed it out).  Some of the clues which comprised a phrase had the word “words” following the enumeration.  There appeared to be no reason for this, nor was there any connection that I could see between the answers.  There was a mini-theme and the usual wide range of literary references.

Across
1 LEPIDOPTERA LEP, I’D OP T’ERA. 7,12 and 14 across are all types of butterfly. It’s an amusing surface, but the wordplay seems a little strained.
9 OCTOPUS 0 C TOP US. A nice easy charade that got me started.
10 ADOPTER A DOPTER (hidden in LEPIDOPTERA).
11 TAROT CARD *(AT AT R(e)CORD).
12 COMMA M in COMA. I don’t think Araucaria intends to suggest that M is the centre of “number”; M here is the Roman numeral.
13 IDLE Eric Idle, of Monty Python fame. The reference is to this poem by Tennyson.
14 FRITILLARY TILL in FRIARY. The snake’s head fritillary is my wife’s favourite flower.
16 ECHOICALLY E CHOIC(e) ALLY. “By parrot” is the definition, but it’s a bit loose.
19 TEAR TEA R(iver).
20 HANOI HA(s) NO 1; Hanoi lies on the Red River.
21 NUMERO UNO *MENU, ROUN(d) O.
23 LAITIES LAIT I(E)S.
24 AGAINST A G AIN ST(reet).
25 GROUCHO MARX OUCH OMAR in G R(e)X. Luckily, I knew that Groucho’s real name was Julius.
Down
1 LATERAL THINKING LATER AL(l); THIN KING.  The reference is to the play “Fat King Melon and Princess Caraway” by A P Herbert.  The definition “good work” is a reference to Edward De Bono, who is credited with inventing the concept.
2 PIPIT PI PIT.
3 DESPAIR (i)DES PAIR. Giant Despair features in Pilgrim’s Progress.
4 PLAUDIT DUAL in TIP(all rev).
5 ELO SCALE OSCA(r) in ELLE. The ELO scale measures the ranking of grandmasters in chess.
6 AUTUMNAL EQUINOX *(MUTUAL AN(imals)) EQUIN(e) OX.
7 TORTOISESHELL TOR, IS E SHE in TOLL. A lovely definition (“to cover slow movement”).
8 GREAT YARMOUTH *(GO AT THE MURRAY).
15 FILIPINO IF(rev) LIP IN 0.
17 AMNESIC *(CINEMAS).
18 LUMBAGO LUM B(reast) AGO.
22 RUANA It’s a sort of poncho.  I think the wordplay is RUAN(D)A (now RWANDA).

6 Responses to “Guardian Genius 109 by Araucaria”

  1. PeterO says:

    Thanks for the blog, bridgesong, which I needed for 1D in particular. In 2D ‘lark’ for PIPIT is a little loose, even if the titlark is a pipit.

    Since the extraneous ‘words’ appeared in two-word answers, I suspect that the original intention was to give enumerations such as (11, 2 words) instead of (7, 4), for example; and when the normal enumeration was decided upon, the words ‘words’ were left in in some (but not all) of the clues. Note that when the correction was made, the Grauniad said that there were four alterations, when there were actually six!

  2. Paul B says:

    Classic stuff. In every way!

  3. Gordon says:

    Well done Bridgesong.
    I found this very hard and failed to make much progress on it at all. It is the first Genius in over a year that I have not completed. Maybe it was not on my wavelength or I’m getting ‘past it’.

  4. Judge says:

    With 12A, I thought the definition could be the punctuation mark, which appears in the centre of the last four words?

  5. bridgesong says:

    Judge @ 4: I agree with you, as that would explain the lack of a definition (other than the one implied in 1 across). We did have “question mark” clued this way in a recent daily puzzle.

  6. Thomas99 says:

    Rather late to be adding anything, but a small clarification on 1d: the definition is “translated from good work” – “from good” when translated gives “De Bono”, so it becomes “De Bono work” = Lateral Thinking (still in print).

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