Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 23974/Rufus – unfaulty

Posted by ilancaron on January 15th, 2007


I did the Times2 Concise today which is why “unfaulty” is on my mind. As per usual, I find Rufus’s style to be clean, with good surfaces and not very complicated wordplay. I tend to enjoy his puns which can be rather more subtle than might appear at first blush (e.g. 1A).


1 FLATTER – double meaning. Nicely misleading surface: “Not so high praise” which almost qualifies as an &lit.
5 CASCADE – another double meaning with a clever misleading surface. We all know that a cryptic “flower” isn’t a flower but somehow “flower sprays” had me thinking about bouquets until I managed to come to my senses.
11 BLOODY MARY – jokey cryptic definition of the drink (by contrast to vodka) and BLOODY for “Red” followed by Army*.
12 P(A,GOD)A – PA is “Pennsylvania” – it’s good to know your two-letter US State abbrevs (see if you can remember all the M’s).
14 GE,TS READY – rev(E.G.) followed by (rest day)*. The surface isn’t very convincing though.
16 LIBYA – (by ali)*: &lit? Not quite: all of N. Africa was transformed by Mohammed, not Ali, in the 7th century.
17, 7 IDEAL COMPANION – cryptic definition of “best of friends”. Anything else going on?
23 TRUSTEES – cryptic definition (you’re supposed to think tender nurses).
27 IRIS – double meaning &lit: a type of flower (not a river!) that is also called a flag that comes in many colours (e.g. yellow, blue). Also the IRIS in your eye comes in many colours.
28 HECKLER – clever cryptic definition: to barrack is Commonwealth for HECKLE: it shifts nicely from noun to verb.
29 ADMIRER – married* — an anagram that I’ve never noticed. Nice surface.


6 AUDITS – cryptic definition for what the tax auditor does to your “books”.
8 DORO,THY– door* followed by archaic “your” (“your old”). Definition is just the name of a “lady”.
9 COURT DISASTER – double definition with one meaning being cryptic: “ruinous to the litigant”.
15 SLAP,STICK – my last clue solved: I think I was put off by the capitalized “Ludicrous” in the online edition. Anyway, nice meaning shifts of “Staff” and “strike”.
21 EDIFICE – I suppose you could call this a surround clue (complements a hidden clue): “EDItor’s ofFICE”.
22 H(EARS)E – I think the definition could have alluded somehow to a HEARSE being “a kind of transport” with a specific purpose.
25 ALIBI – cryptic definition: “it wasn’t me, because I wasn’t there”.

4 Responses to “Guardian 23974/Rufus – unfaulty”

  1. says:

    There is an error in the Print Version on the website – the clue for 9dn is missing. It appears on the Interactive crossword, but not in the print version.

    As to the puzzle itself, there are one or two clues that I didn’t like – I agree that the surface for 14ac reads badly; 27ac – not sure that this is cryptic, even with the double definition thing going on; 6dn – “Examines book work” may have been better.

    On the other hand, some of the clues were very good. I especailly liked 23 ac and 3dn.

  2. says:

    Yes 3D was rather good: from my notes…
    TANG,O – it take “two” to TANGO… with a good convincing surface.

  3. says:

    15d – ‘Ludicrous’ is capitalized in the newspaper version too. Just a printing mistake or does it serve a purpose (which escapes me – can’t see it is necessary for the clue to work)?

  4. says:

    I see no purpose. Probably related to the other error: the missing 9D in the print version (and clue number in the online version) — which is the previous clue to 15D.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

six + 1 =