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RIP Araucaria

(28 Posts)
Rowlers Tue 26-Nov-13 22:51:32

From a crossword fan to the best setter ever.
I remember my parents looking forward to the crossword, even more so if it was set by Araucaria. And when I grew up enough to 'get' the whole cryptic crossword thing, I too appreciated his talent. A very sad loss.

Pooka Tue 26-Nov-13 23:02:37

RIP indeed.

Excellent puzzles. I flit between the guardian weekly ones and the times jumbo, definitely finding the times easier (perhaps just because it tended when I was younger to be a big family collective job).

Met Azed of the observer at a funeral once - fascinating to talk about the art of crossword setting.

Araucaria was my brother's all time favourite setter. sad

MadameDefarge Tue 26-Nov-13 23:04:22

Oh yes. A very very sad day. going to be odd to never have a weekend without him.

Hope so much, as my cousin said, he has left us with one last xmas special.

RIP Auraucaria.

MrsBobHale Tue 26-Nov-13 23:06:09

Very sad news. He was my favourite setter and I particularly loved the jigsaw ones.

What an amazing and brilliant man. I hope my brain is still half as active as his at that age.

gwenniebee Tue 26-Nov-13 23:07:22

Oh sad! sad

Rowlers Tue 26-Nov-13 23:09:15

Yes he was certainly brilliant wasn't he? His clues always made me smile, they were so clever. His crosswords just felt right. Funny, I really do feel very sad. End of an era. Hope he didn't suffer too much.

ParsingFancy Tue 26-Nov-13 23:14:36

Very sad in this house. He announced a while back - in a crossword - that he was receiving palliative care.

So we've been savouring every crossword from him. While cursing and feeling murderous over the fiendish clues, of course.

MadameDefarge Tue 26-Nov-13 23:15:24

I know its a bit ridiculous, but solving his crosswords made me feel like a human being through all the dark days of PND. Even if I only got a few, it felt like I was still me. IYSMIM.

Rowlers Tue 26-Nov-13 23:26:40

There is a lovely write-up on Grauniad website. 10 of his 'best' clues made me smile.

SoMuchToBits Tue 26-Nov-13 23:35:04

My sister will be very sad about this. Sis is very intelligent crossword woman who is the only woman ever to win the Times crossword championship. I struggle to get any clues at all in a cryptic crossword, so can only admire her.

I remember Araucaria setting crosswords in the 1970s (even though I had no idea what to do with them!)

HectorVector Tue 26-Nov-13 23:38:04

I don't know Araucaria but crosswords fascinate me, I just can't do them at all, but really wish I could.


Fiderer Wed 27-Nov-13 06:40:58

Madame Not ridiculous at all, doing the Guardian crossword books was a treat when I was really homesick, especially Araucaria.

In the Guardian article Simon Hoggart talks of Araucaria's "warm, nimble, generous yet invariably cunning mind." I enjoy the fact that each compiler has their own distinctive 'flavour'.

BerryLellow Wed 27-Nov-13 07:43:13

Oh sad his were my favourite. In the interview after he announced his illness he said he had a lot of crosswords compiled and 'in Stock'as it were.

Rowlers Wed 27-Nov-13 07:46:50

I saw that interview. As well as being brilliant, he came accross as a very lovely man. As much as I hope he's left some crosswords, it will feel sad completing them.

Oh how sad. I completely do not have a cryptic crossword brain, but my mum and sister do, and I know the pleasure he brought them.

hackmum Wed 27-Nov-13 09:44:28

Yes, Araucaria was my favourite too - cryptic but not impossibly hard. What a clever mind he must have had.

Rowlers Wed 27-Nov-13 10:57:43

I love this one. Typifies him.
of, of, of, of, of, of, of, of, of, of (10)

Fiderer Wed 27-Nov-13 16:14:02

I didn't get the nun one - anyone help?

Rowlers Wed 27-Nov-13 17:27:39

semi-automated - something perhaps done repetitively which one does as a creature of habit and nuns wear habits

Rooners Wed 27-Nov-13 17:32:39

Oh he was my favourite too. I used to love his ones when I was in a phase of doing them constantly about 15 years ago.

Rest peacefully old chap, and thankyou xxx

Fiderer Thu 28-Nov-13 07:40:51

Thanks Rowlers - I was thinking maybe semi meant half of automated.

I do love the way cryptic crosswords make you think every which way - and there's nothing like the feeling when you finally figure out the answer to a tricky clue. Especially if it's taken me days grin

Bloodybridget Thu 28-Nov-13 12:26:47

I too was sad to see that he had died. I hope he had an easy and peaceful end to his life.

eddiemairswife Fri 29-Nov-13 15:59:41

Lovely tribute crossword in today's Guardian. It's making me feel sad just reading the clues(and solving some of them).

Rowlers Fri 29-Nov-13 19:07:05

Just had a go at it. Made me even more sad as I didn't really like it! Best clue for me was 7 down. That, for me, was an Araucaria clue.

ipadquietly Fri 29-Nov-13 19:50:03

Also sad. I was really touched by the crossword that announced his terminal illness. What an amazing brain. RIP.

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