Araucaria 94th birthday crossword by Penko
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
For Penko’s debut he has prepared a special puzzle to celebrate what would have been Araucaria’s 94th birthday. Expect the clues to be a little more libertarian than is customary in these puzzles. As usual, the setter will be delighted to receive feedback from you, the solvers. I do ask that you remember that for most setters this is a new experience, so please only offer constructive criticism.
A review of this puzzle by Proxlic follows.
Welcome to Penko with a themed Araucaria (8d 3d 1d) crossword to celebrate what would have been his 94th 5d. Araucaria was a noted crossword setter whose puzzles frequently appeared in the 16d. One of his well known clues in relation to Granchester and Lord Archer is alluded to in 21a “Poetical scene with surprisingly chaste Lord Archer vegetating (3, 3, 8, 12)”.
As befits a crossword celebrating this setter, the cluing style is of a freer style that you would find in the Times or some other newspapers. I have indicated where some of the freer style of cluing occurs. In practice, there were very few of these.
The whole crossword was put together very well even if there were probably 18 too many exclamation marks.
9 Ramshackle and dilapidated, RD Laing treated such patients. (3,4)
RUN DOWN – The two letters R and D are expanded from the abbreviated form. RD Laing was a Scottish psychologist who wrote about and treated patients with mental health issues though whether describing them as ramshackle and dilapidated is fair, I leave to the reader. It is usual practice to omit full stops at the end of the clue.
10 Pressecho with gold ingot mineral. (4,3)
IRON ORE – Split pressecho into press and echo. Take a synonym for press and the letter represented by echo and insert (in – got) one of the abbreviations for gold. This clue contains a number of constructions that highlight the differences in setting between the strict Ximenan and freer style of clueing:
- Pressecho is a made up word. Even with the freer style of cluing setters should try to avoid making up words to fit the wordplay.
- The form of lift and separate where you take a word like pressecho and have to split is without indication is not favoured by all editors.
- Another lift and separate of having to split ingot to in-got and use this as an insertion indicator would also not be looked upon kindly by some editors.
11 For crying out loud- in church! (7)
HOSANNA – A simple cryptic definition of a shout of praise used in church literally meaning “Lord save us.”
12 Football operated machine altered? (7)
TREADLE – … something operated by the ball of the foot. An anagram (machine) of ALTERED.
13 Film Danes frolicking near Sherwood Forest! (9)
MANSFIELD – An anagram (frolicking) of FILM DANES.
15 Banker has endless sex – that’s wrong! (5)
FALSE – The name of a river in the South West of England followed by the first two letters (endless) of sex.
16 Stylish appearance?- good for Dorothy! (7)
GLAMOUR – The abbreviation for good followed by the surname of an actress first name Dorothy. As others have pointed out, the “for” is not universally approved of as a wordplay indicator as a connector or replacement of the first name with the surname.
19 1880 ——- Kelly died and longed for! (7)
YEARNED – 1880 is the year in which Ned Kelly died. Put the year and Ned together.
20 Area of London home to Dr Strangelove? On the contrary! (5)
ANGEL – The answer is hidden in STRANGELOVE. The on the contrary tells us that Strangelove is the home to the answer contrary to what is written in the clue.
21 Can “Tab” locate leading Crossbowers and Archers’ village ? (9)
CAMBRIDGE – The first letter (leading) of crossbowers followed by the name of the village where the Archers is set. The definition here is “Cantab”, the Latin designation of the university. Again, splitting the definition into two unrelated words would not find favour with all editors.
25 Condescends to accept second plans. (7)
DESIGNS – A word meaning condescends goes around (to accept) the abbreviation for second.
26 Make good resistance to stereo malfunction (7)
RESTORE – The abbreviation for electrical resistance followed by an anagram (malfunction) of STEREO.
28 Living on water, heavy drinkers (with 50p perhaps) have the odd twitch! (7)
AQUATIC – The abbreviation for a teetotallers’ organisation includes (with – this would usually be a charade indicator rather than an insertion indicator) half of quid (50p is half a quid!) followed by the odd letters of TwItCh
29 Hero of July’s sesame seed harvest! (7)
ULYSSES – The answer is hidden in (of) JULY’S SESAME. The word “seed harvest” are padding for the surface reading. Again, not all editors would accept the use of padding words in this way.
1 See 3
2 “The Hun is on the attack and it is essential to be of one mind” (6)
UNISON – The answer is hidden in (is essential to) HUN IS ON. Again the “on the attack and” are padding that would not find favour with all editors.
3/1 On Radio, Lou Grant is 60% a bad actor in “Mr Monkey Puzzle“! (4,6)
JOHN GRAHAM – Another word for toilet (on the radio Lou gives Loo) followed by 60% of the word grant and a word for a bad actor.
4 “I hear your friend from the pub is a jailbird!” (6)
INMATE – A homophone (I hear) of INN MATE – your friend from the pub.
5 There’s no money in brandy but instead a third fermenting gives a cause for celebration!” (8)
BIRTHDAY – Take the currency of South African out of Brandy and include in their place (but instead) an anagram (fermenting) of A THIRD.
6 15 next business 16 3-7 (4,6)
LOVE AFFAIR – In tennis, the score before 15 followed by another word for business. The definition is the 3rd to 7th letters of the answer to 16a.
7 Bland boy blowin’ – in the wind! (3,5)
BOB DYLAN – An anagram (blowin’) of BLAND BOY.
8 Forever, endlessly, eternally, always a place for a preacher! (8)
REVEREND – The answer is hidden (a place for) in forever endlessly and the rest is padding.
14 Review ways to get out of the country and also to get back in (10)
FOOTLIGHTS – A way to get out of the country by plane includes a reversal of a word meaning also (also to beg back in). As others have pointed out “Footlights” was a revue and “review” is not supported by Chambers. There is a reference in Mrs Bradford’s book but this is the only reference to review being used in place of “revue” that I have found.
16 Scott’s trusted minder! (8)
GUARDIAN – A cryptic definition to the owner of the newspaper.
17 In the summer holidays, we founded the Roman Empire! (8)
AUGUSTUS – The summer month followed by US (we – when us and we are used interchangeably we will mourn the death of grammar!) Apparently he founded the Roman empire.
18 Fight fire with – old bag! (8)
RUCKSACK – A word for a fight followed by a word meaning to fire or dismiss someone. I would dispute the fact that the bag is an old one.
22 Two identical gifts heard to speak quietly! (6)
MURMUR – A homophone (heard) of MYRRH MYRRH.
23 Malaise leading to butterfingers? (6)
DROPSY – A cryptic definition of someone who drops things.
24 Nevertheless, the night before the partners met with love (4,2)
EVEN SO – A word for the night before followed by bridge partners (the THE is misleading as they are not the partners to the exclusion of any others.) followed by the abbreviation for love.
27 Island programme “Pothead on holiday!” (4)
SKYE – Remove the P (pothead – A construction some editors would frown) from SKYPE. A minor point but programme is used for TV or radio and program is always used for computer software.
To download Penko’s notes, click here.