Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,777 – Araucaria

Posted by Andrew on October 26th, 2012


A day for childhood reminiscences…

(see end of post for spoiler – for some reason I couldn’t stop it appearing in the preview when I put it here…)

12. DANDY Hidden in olD AND Young
13. DESPERATE ESP + ER in DATE, and Desperate Dan (“part of Dandy”) is in the Dandy
14. ALTER [h]ALTER – a halter is used to lead a horse
16. BANANAMAN BAN AN A MAN. This schoolboy superhero has appeared in other comics as well as The Dandy
18. ELLIPSOID LIPS (speakers) in OILED* - this seems the wrong way round: aren’t the LIPS “entertained” rather than “entertaining”? ignore that – I misread the word
19. OCTET ETC in TO, all reversed
20. EXPLOITER PLO (would-be liberators) in EXITER
23. HIPPO HIP (fruit) + PO (postal order). “Harry and his Hippo” was a strip in the Dandy
24. LANGUOR O in LANGUR (a type of Asian monkey)
25. PERGOLA Reverse of A LOG REP
26. TAKE THE DAY OFF (TOKAY HEATED)* + FF (“following pages” – as used in footnotes etc)
2. ANTENATAL ANTENNA less one N + TA + L
3. KORKY K[ing] + [G]ORKY. Korky the Cat was one of the original Dandy characters, appearing on the front cover for many years
5. HOARSENED ARSENE in HOD. “Aptly named” because Arsène Wenger is the manager of Arsenal.
7. WICCA Homophone of “wicker” (as in wickerwork)
8. FOND FAREWELLS FOND (French for “bottom”) + FAR EWELL’S, referring to the recent announcement that The Dandy is to cease publication after 75 years
9. INTERNATIONAL INTERN AT I ON A L, definition “Test”
15. REPRODUCE RE (concerned with) + PRO (in favour of, backing) + DUCE (Mussolini)
16. BLOWTORCH Reverse of (TWO LB) + OR + CH. Desperate Dan sometimes uses a blowtorch to shave with.
17. MOTHPROOF MO[u]TH + PROOF (evidence). Camphor is (or was) used in mothballs.
21. PANDA PAN (god) + DA (District Attorney, lawyer). A panda is a beast, and policemen used to drive Panda Cars .
23. HARRY HARRY – the Dandy character could be the one with the Hippo (see 23a), or the comedian Harry Hill, who features in a current Dandy strip.

…as Araucaria celebrates The Dandy – sadly soon to be defunct (see 8d). Most of the clueing here is fairly straightforward, but I needed a bit of help to confirm some of the more obscure references. Now, where did I leave that Cow Pie?

28 Responses to “Guardian 25,777 – Araucaria”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Andrew. I never read the Dandy but I guess a lot of the names are in popular (UK) culture. Anyway, it all seemed straightforward.

    I think you’ve misread the clue for 18ac – my version, at least, says “entering.”

    In 21dn, I thought that it was a pity A didn’t mention the police in the clue as it would go well with the tone of the puzzle – I presume in fact he means the Fiat PANDA?

  2. Andrew says:

    Quite right Neil – it is “entering”, not “entertaining”. Maybe I was confused by it appearing over a line-break..

  3. Rick says:

    Thanks Andrew! I’m not normally a fan of themed puzzles but I did enjoy this one. Given the theme, I thought that 8 down was particularly apposite. Outside the theme there were many great clues including 1 across, 20 across and 15 down. Yet another fine puzzle from Araucaria! (-:

  4. KeithW says:

    Thanks to the two A’s. I enjoyed this even though I was ever a Beano reader. Sadly today’s Dandy and Beano are pallid versions of their former glorious selves, outrageously expensive and won’t be missed.

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Araucaria

    An enjoyable puzzle, even if some of the characters seem to be after my time.

    Araucaria was certainly on form. I particularly liked 13a, 26a, 3d, and 16d as well as the general way in which the theme was handled.

  6. Eileen says:

    Thank you for the affectionate blog, Andrew, of a lovely puzzle.

    [I momentarily misread 18ac, too: I’ve just looked at the online version and the clue is all on one line there.]

    I’ve nothing more to add, really, to what’s been said. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for the nostalgia, Araucaria – I haven’t even seen a Dandy for decades!

  7. jvh says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    12A seems to have no indicator for the hidden answer. I wonder if you could read “Fine” in the sense of “Refine”, thereby making it an &lit.

  8. Mitz says:

    Thanks Andrew and Araucaria.

    Rattled through most of this. ‘Korky’ was my way into the theme as I didn’t get the key solution at 12 on the first sweep – I agree with jvh that there doesn’t seem to be an indicator for the hidden answer. Far be it for me to tell the Rev his own business, but would ‘Fine in part for old and young’ have done the trick? Too obvious for the key, maybe.

    Anyway, after that the rest fell into place 22-ly. I was only held up by the 23s – for 23D I tried ‘Bully’ first (there is a Dandy Character called Bully Beef) and that made 23A problematic until I saw the light.

    I failed to parse ‘international’ properly, thinking that ‘doctor’ was an anagrind, but it went in anyway. ‘Test’ as in ‘international sporting contest’ seems to be quite a common device latterly.

    Sorry to hear about the Dandy’s closure after 75 years, but if KeithW @4 is right maybe the time had come? Sometimes it is best for a well loved institution to come to an end before it has outstayed its welcome.

  9. Robi says:

    Dandy puzzle although I had forgotten/didn’t know some of the characters.

    Thanks Andrew; I also failed to parse INTERNATIONAL properly. Maybe ‘alike’ is the ha in 12 with the meaning of ‘in common.’

    I did like the simple OCTET and ALTER; the latter being the last one in, which caused me some puzzlement.

  10. apple granny says:

    We had only dim memories of Dandy, but we got 12a fairly quickly. Ended up on Wiki to check Harry and his Hippo and Bananaman. But quite a quick crossword for Araucaria, though none-the-less enjoyable. Favourites – 12a, 1a and 18a. Hardest was Wicca – an unfamiliar word.

  11. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Last was SE corner especially the two 23s.
    Like Mitz I started with ‘Korky’, which is rather odd since I had no idea of the theme at that stage.
    Of course the K then made 1ac a write-in and rather spoilt the puzzle somewhat.
    I thought 9d was nicely misleading and compact.

  12. muffin says:

    Apparently there are plans to continue to publish Dandy online – I discovered this through Google, when trying to find some characters that were also after my time!

  13. harry says:

    Thanks Andrew – just a thought re 12 ac. “dandy” is old-fashioned for fine “fine and dandy” etc, so could the clue just be read as “old term for fine and fine for young” as well as being a hidden word?
    And NeilW – I was a Beano fan as well. Never really took to the Dandy.

  14. harry says:

    Sorry, that should, of course, have been KeithW @13.

  15. Paul B says:

    I found 12A incredibly easy to understand, where the required word is ‘for old and young alike’, i.e. the hiding words share it. And if something is fine, it’s dandy (as in ‘just fine’, or ‘just dandy’), so a complete no-brainer.

  16. chas says:

    Thanks to Andrew for the blog. You explained a couple for me where I had the right answer but failed to parse the clues.

    In my youth I was never a regular comic reader but just came across them occasionally. Nevertheless some of the characters have stuck in my memory.

    I am a man who does not use a razor of any sort. I am horrified at the idea of using a blowtorch for the purpose – but I suppose this means I am not as tough as Desperate Dan :)

  17. Derek Lazenby says:

    I must have been on a rare clever cloggs day ‘cos I had 1ac as a write in from the start. It won’t last of course.

    Having attended far too many waiting rooms over recent years (and not just for me!), I’ve spotted the occasional Dandy etc. I have to say, on that basis, that I agree with the sentiment above, it’s time to go as the modern version won’t be missed, sadly.

  18. Ianh says:

    I was delayed on 16 down having convinced myself that Desperate Dan used an alternative method of shaving. Investigations revealed I must have recalled part of The Frozen Logger (James Stevens):-

    “He never shaved his whiskers from off of his horny hide;
    He’d just drive them in with a hammer and bite them off inside”

  19. dtd says:

    Synchronicity today re 15a. In the Times, the clue for 9a was “Copy expert breaking contract (9)”.

  20. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Araucaria and Andrew for a nostalgic puzzle. The Eagle was my favourite but I loved Desperate Dan, who is worth a comic all to himself!

    Giovanna x

  21. Martin P says:

    I doubt if today’s kids will miss The Dandy.

    However, if they’d had ‘em, they sure would miss spud guns, I think.

    (Remember? Those .38 size “cartridge” shells, with which one would scoop a slug of potato, expelled from the breach, by the gases of percussion caps?)

  22. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Nice puzzle from the Rev.

    I too started with an immediate write in of 1ac and several other acrosses.

    This led to a rather quick solve as Korky was then obvious leading to Dandy. Quick Google for the characters who came 20 years after my “subscription” ended.

    Only held up by the FOND FAREWELLS as the E_L_ ending had convinced me I was looking for a French _ELLE word regarding The Scarlet Pimpernel etc.

    Either brilliant misdirection or more stupidity on my part.

    Either way good fun, though rather less than I prefer for a Friday.

    Thanks to the two As.

  23. RCWhiting says:

    The disappointment with 1a expressed previously is another example of the weakness of enumeration. (4, 2, 3, 4) does in so many cases give away too much.

  24. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Totally off track and puerile so I apologise in advance.

    The previous talk of Desperate Dan’s blowtorch shaving exploits reminds me of another episode of DD I read as a callow youth.

    In this adventure Dan’s toenails were used to tip drills as they were harder than diamonds. I was puzzled then as to how they cut the said toenails to get them on the drills?

    I’ve pondered on and off about this for the last 50 years. Anybody know the answer? :-)

  25. Paul B says:

    Well, either having a ‘K’ (comment #11) makes 1ac easy, or the enumeration does. But would the substitution of ‘four words’ for (4,2,3,4) have made things all that much more difficult?

    Obviously not. But the point is that this is a daily puzzle, not one of Shiting’s beloved tougher jobbies. So please, RCW, bark up the right tree – or come clean about your desire to irritate as much as possible regardless of such classification.

  26. Paul B says:

    Btw apologies about ‘Shiting’ for ‘Whiting’ in the above. The two (W & S) are together on the keyboard, and I made a slip. No offence intended.

  27. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Re PANDA, I immediately had to think of something that Paul once said somewhere (but I don’t where anymore – sorry).
    That Araucaria on a particular occasion (perhaps it was his 80th birthday, but I may be wrong) turned up in a Fiat Panda.
    For some, perhaps, a negative remark (as a Fiat Panda is/was more or less the smallest of cars), for others (including me) showing a no-nonsense kind of modesty that I very much appreciate.

    BTW, very nice crossword.
    Including the nowadays familiar (and accepted, but probably not (yet) by The Times) device in 19ac, ie splitting words.

  28. rhotician says:

    Paul B @26 – Pull the other one. Or account for “jobbies” @25.

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