Crossword puzzles by Araucaria

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Crossword puzzles by Araucaria

Post by tocyvi on Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:23 pm

Anyone who is keen on crossword puzzles will probably have heard of Araucaria, a frequent compiler for the Guardian. Indeed, if you've heard of him and endeavoured to tackle his crosswords, you will have held him in deep affection, albeit interspersed with feelings of deep frustration, verging on inwardly-directed anger at failing to solve his cryptic clues. You will also know that he passed away in November last year and I came across a poem that his wife composed as a tribute to him, which demonstrates that she was no slouch in the etymological sphere either. I attach it here for your pleasure. When read fast, you could be forgiven for thinking it had been composed and set to music by Gilbert & Sullivan:

He understands the meaning of Hamartia and Hendiadys,
Can name the Tribes of Israel and inform you what a Naiad is,
He soars above our dullness like a gleaming helicopter, a
Magician, or an eagle, or those curious Lepidoptera,
Which gaily cruise the continents, though storm winds seem implacable
And only by the experts can their enterprise be trackable.
As one who scarcely has the skill to trace a parallelogram
And from the dear familiar ounce has never learned to tell a gramme
I can't decide if knowing him is pleasanter or scarier –
The man a famous critic calls 'The Mighty Araucaria'.

I think it's perfectly lovely and a fitting tribute to a very gentle man who brought pleasure to many people.
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Re: Crossword puzzles by Araucaria

Post by Amber on Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:54 am

Very good and as you say in the style of the brilliant G & S. Very Happy 

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Re: Crossword puzzles by Araucaria

Post by Inkflo on Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:55 pm

... and he was the very model of a wordsmith quintessential.

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Re: Crossword puzzles by Araucaria

Post by Amber on Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:50 pm

lol! Excellent Inkflo!

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Re: Crossword puzzles by Araucaria

Post by tocyvi on Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:55 am

You've probably heard the following anecdote but I'll post it for those who haven't:

While Gilbert and Sullivan were in New York performing "Pirates", a lady gushingly informed Gilbert that his friend Sullivan's music was really "too delightful". It reminded her of "dear Bach".
"Do tell me," she asked, "what is Bach doing just now? Is he still composing?"
"Well no, Madam," Gilbert replied sardonically, "just now as a matter of fact dear Bach is by way of decomposing."
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Re: Crossword puzzles by Araucaria

Post by Amber on Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:55 pm

lol! 

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Re: Crossword puzzles by Araucaria

Post by Inkflo on Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:47 pm



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Re: Crossword puzzles by Araucaria

Post by tocyvi on Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:06 am

Inkflo wrote:... and he was the very model of a wordsmith quintessential.

and certainly no apologist
for those lesser etymologists
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Re: Crossword puzzles by Araucaria

Post by Inkflo on Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:07 am

G & S eat your hearts out!

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