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Araucaria Newsnight crossword

Posted by Eileen on February 7th, 2013


In response to a request in General Discussion, a blog of the puzzle, available here that Araucaria wrote for Tuesday evening’s ‘Newsnight’, in which he appeared. If you missed the programme, it can be seen here.

Well, this puzzle sums up Araucaria to a T – with the wide variety of witty, ingenious clues that are his hallmark, covering so many aspects of his life and interests with which we are familiar – the Church, the Bible, the Classics, King’s College, literature, music, art, film, etc, etc, and, I suspect, many more with which we are not [for instance, there are a number of names in the grid, which may well be significant]. This is another puzzle to treasure.

It was a real joy to see him on the programme, looking so well and in such good spirits, showing his determination to keep on entertaining us for a good while yet!  Huge thanks, Araucaria, for this and the thousands of others we’ve enjoyed.

[Many thanks to Gaufrid for accepting my offer to do this blog. Please forgive the inevitable mistakes occasioned by my inexplicably deleting the whole thing on the point of transferring and thus having to start from scratch, in a rush.]


1 … periodical for crosswords and powder
double definition – a reference to Araucaria’s magazine ‘One across’, in which the crossword announcing his cancer first appeared

5 Don’t start bread account where eggs are kept
[h]OVIS [don’t start bread!] + AC [account]

10 Chile pine by a river has Roman date base for a song
A R [a river] + AUC [Ab Urbe Condita – from the founding of the City- 753 BC, the traditional date for the founding of Rome: Roman date base] + ARIA [song] and, as we all know, Araucaria is the botanical name for the Chile pine, the monkey puzzle tree

11 Saucy crime?
double / cryptic definition

12 Home girl called Jones?
IN [home] + DIANA [girl] for the hero of a series of films

13 Titled man about to go slow in the English centre
BART [titled man] round RIT [musical direction – ritartando or ritenuto – to slow down] for the English centre Rugby Union player, Bradley Barritt

14 Holy man replacing student in classical inhibitive drug
ST [holy man] in place of L [student] in Latin [classical] for the inhibitive drug that so many of us have to take.

15 Boy from the heath or the rice fields
hidden in thE RICe – and also in ERICa, which is a type of heath

19 Sheila’s greeting to Mozart?
hidden in sHEILa – the German greeting for Austrian Mozart

20 Battle on stations or in court?
double / cryptic definition

25 Escape from plane but without a sign
BUT round [without] A LEO [sign] –  another reference to an incident in Araucaria’s life – see here

27 Figure of wild cat in Goon show?
anagram [wild] of CAT in anagram [show] of GOON

28 I leave Tim and Pru blended to be a winner
anagram [blended] of TIM and PRU minus i [I leave]

29 Film lover‘s FT version of the 2’s 10 (9)
Guardian’s Araucaria’s [2’s 10] pseudonym for his FT puzzles and, again as we all know, it’s an anagram of Chile pine – and I’ve never stopped marvelling at that, especially as Rev John is a film lover!

30 Shandy maker from Holy Loch?
ST [holy] ERNE [loch / lough in Co Fermanagh] for [Laurence] Sterne, author of ‘Tristram Shandy’

31 Some time passed at Ely in a sober sort of way
hidden in pasSED AT ELY


1 Sea mile in a knot with maize
anagram [in a knot] of SEA MILE

2 Title in loco parentis?
double definition

3 Prophet of the Old Testament taken from his car in unusual haze (9)
CHARI [chari[ot] – his car minus [taken from] ot [Old Testament] in anagram  [unusual] of HAZE – vintage Araucaria! [I’d love this to be an  &lit – Zechariah did have a vision of four chariots but I don’t think he was taken from one and haven’t time to research further]

4 Standard article on Wisdom?
NORM [standard] + AN [article] for the comedian Norman Wisdom

6… transport one up from 8
VI – the clue number – cf 1ac – + CAR [transport] for the step up from CURATE

7 Hope is magically derived from wisdom
anagram [magically] of HOPE IS – the name is derived from the Greek sophia = wisdom

8 First church job was a dog’s breakfast
CUR ATE = dog’s breakfast

9 Castle put lots of lawyers first
BAR + BAR = lots of lawyers + A [first] for the former Labour politician, Barbara Castle

16 Among people of intelligence a little bed needs little work — this is the ultimate badland (a tip: cocoa comes from it)
A COT [a little bed] + OP [little work] in [among] CIA [people of intelligence] – and it’s also an anagram [comes from] of  A TIP COCOA – how neat is that? – for the opposite of Utopia

17 Picture of what recessions do to credit, say?
recessions DIP tick [credit] which sounds like [say] TYCH

18 Extra large college for first leaders of 3
KING’S [college] + I [first] + ZE [first letters – leaders] of ZECHARIAH [answer to 3dn]

21 English chess player has drunk rye in convent
NUNN [John, English chess player] + anagram [drunk] of RYE

22 Subsides, having played with L. Olivier and J. Christie
A[lan] BATES played with L[aurence] Olivier in ‘The Entertainer’ in 1960 and with J[ulie] Christie in ‘Far from the madding crowd’ in 1967 and ‘The Go-between’ in 1970 – perfect!

23 Praise in church for French painter
LAUD [praise] in CE [church] for the French artist CLAUDE [Lorrain]

24 Name of beloved Scottish queen of style
Jo [Scottish ‘beloved one’] + ANNE [queen who gave her name to a style of architecture, furniture, etc

26 English painter or writer
OR PEN [writer] for Sir William Orpen, Irish portrait painter

6 Responses to “Araucaria Newsnight crossword”

  1. MikeC says:

    Thanks Eileen for the blog, and Araucaria for the puzzle, of course. Not one of the hardest (although I struggled with some and missed BARRITT completely) but admirably displaying the wit, intelligence and breadth of knowledge of the man. Thanks also for yesterday’s links. Given that it was for a general audience, I thought the Newsnight item was pretty good.

  2. Otherstuff says:

    Thank you Eileen for this blog, I put in the request on the General Discussions page and as I suspected there was quite a bit more there than I had noticed. Thank you too as well for clearing up the 13a riddle, not a rugby follower. I have to point out in relation to this clue/solution that neither bart nor rit are in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary 3rd Edn I am running out of margin space on some pages with all the additions I have made.

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi Otherstuff

    I’m delighted that you requested a blog!

    BART and RIT are in both Collins and Chambers as abbreviations. RIT crops up in crosswords fairly often. You were nearly right with your baronet. ;-)

  4. Otherstuff says:

    Oops I tell a lie, Bart is under Nobility, I looked under Titles

  5. Rishi says:

    In Chambers Crossword Dictionary, ‘bart’ is under Baronet as well.

  6. Tony Pay says:

    Eileen wrote: “…there are a number of names in the grid, which may well be significant” — two are TIM(othy West) and PRU(nella Scales), actor husband and wife and well-known fans of Araucaria.