Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23946/Rufus – silly goose

Posted by ilancaron on December 11th, 2006


Standard fair Rufus. A couple of containment issues below. Curious what people think about their soundness.


10 (victo)R+OUGH – Last letter of Victor followed by (Hugo)*. “Poorly” is the definition
11 NEED(L)ED – The syntax “containment-indicator X Y” to indicate that Y contains X is a little forced to me. But “outside left” was nicely misleading for those of us who remember when soccer was played 2-3-5!
12 AT STAKE – nice double meaning with two quite different senses of AT STAKE: being tied up, about to be burnt and placing a bet.
13 YAL+T.A. – rev(lay=set) with “back” as reversal indicator. The Territorial Army is often pressed into service as volunteers in crypticland.
16 NOT MUCH TO LOOK AT – clever double definition of the ugliness of latter-day TV.
21 SERVE – cryptic definition of what gets a tennis game going on court.
22 S(URN)AME – Another somewhat awkward containment clue: “X Y containment-indicator” meaning “Y contains X” – don’t much like this especially since “outline” is a noun and is a bit too cryptic to indicate containment for me.
24 GEESE – must be a double definition but I feel like a silly goose myself at the moment because I don’t see the other meaning (“but capital savers”).
25 CONSTANCE – double meaning: Lake Constance is large Swiss-German lake and a woman’s name. I really wanted the answer to be Windermere but I ran out of space.


1 GRANNY KNOT – Not a bad clue: whole thing is an ineffective knot thus doesn’t “really make fast” and the charade of “relative” (GRANNY) and “speed” (KNOT) is quite surprising.
5 ESCALATORS – (Seats Carol)* but the definition itself is a bit cryptic “nonstop flights”. Probably should have had a question-mark.
6 PROSPER+O – The clue has a rare Graudian typo: Shakespearian which should be Shakespearean. But maybe they’re both acceptable?
8 SH(O)E – not a bad clue: “pump” is the definition: it’s a bit hard separating it from “oxygen”.
14 AB+HORREN+CE – Canonic sailor (AB) followed by (Horner)* and canonic church (CE in England).
15 TITLE PAGES – Good clue: last one I filled in. But since the definition is a bit cryptic (“start work”) I’d have expected a perhaps or a question-mark, perhaps.
17 UNA+BATED – UNA is a frequent female visitor to the Land of Rufus.
21 SON+AT+A – rev(nos=numbers) followed by AT+A. But isn’t a SONATA a piece of music rather than a performance?
22 SAG+O – rev(gas) followed by O for “ring”. “It” is the answer.
23 AC+NE – AC is abbrev(account=bill) followed by NE for “born”. And since Bill’s a boy we use the French masculine form. To be honest though I think only the feminine form has been absorbed into English.

10 Responses to “Guardian 23946/Rufus – silly goose”

  1. says:

    Geese, by cackling, warned Romans of Gauls attacking the Capitol – or so Pliny the Elder tells us. Not at all obscure for a daily, but then GEESE is a hard word to split up. I’m also not sure whether ‘Capitol’ can legitimately be altered to ‘capital’ for this sense, but if it can, please say.

  2. says:

    Usual enjoyable Rufus, one of my favourite setters. Only quibble is about use of CAPITAL instead of CAPITOL (which is a specific building) noted above. ‘Shakespearian’ is accepted as an alternative spelling of ‘Shakespearean’ as far as I am aware.

  3. says:

    Forgot to add: Got 9a (ROOMMATES) and 4 d (STUD) from definitions but could not work out the cryptic part – any ideas?

  4. says:

    9a MATE (i.e. checkmate) in ROOMS.

    4d Double definition – a boiled shirt is one of those white dress shirts that have studs instead of buttons.

  5. says:

    Thanks for clarifying the cackling geese meaning: what I’ve found is: “”In 390 BC the besieging Gauls of Brennus were attempting to scale the Capitoline Hill, he [Marcus Manlius Capitolinus] was roused by the cackling of the sacred geese, rushed to the spot and threw down the foremost assailants (Livy v. 47; Plutarch, Camilus, 27).”


    Given that Capitol Hill is in the capital Rome, the use of capital is acceptable since after all it was Rome itself that was saved from the marauding Gauls.

    Oddly enough, I’m writing this from Capitol Hill myself… in Seattle.

  6. says:

    I assume that 7 down was humane, but I cannot make any sense of ‘put in the shade’ in the clue. What am I missing here?

  7. says:


  8. says:

    Oh dear, I really am a bit slow (spotted it after I posted, but thanks for confirming!)

  9. says:

    In mitigation – I found 15 across very straightforward (start work = appear at the beginning of a book).

  10. says:

    Sorry, I mean 15 down of course.

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