Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24004/Rufus

Posted by Colin Blackburn on February 19th, 2007

Colin Blackburn.

As usual with Rufus cryptic definitions abound. There are no fewer than 6 straight CDs in this puzzle with a fair number of punning definitions playing a part in other clues. I’m not a great fan of the CD, the odd very good one now and then is nice but a couple in this puzzle didn’t seem to me to be much more than definitions. However, it’s not all bad! The non-CD clues were generally straightforward, as one would expect for a Monday puzzle, and there were some excellent anagrams.

Across
1 HONEST — HONES+T — nice surface with just providing the definition.
5 COMMUTER — cryptic def — this is a good CD.
11 ENTHUSIASTIC — (CUISINE THAT’S)* — a very nicely developed anagram Corrected, thanks to linxit. Not only had I spelled the answer incorrectly I had managed to get the anagram fodder wrong to match!
14 BLACKCAP — double def — the reference here is to the black cap a judge would wear when passing a death sentence, not a good omen for a criminal.
17 HELSINKI — HE + SINK in IL<
18 IBEX — I+BE+X — sometimes I don’t know my oryx from my ibex! I wrote IBYX in initially.
20 BLACK AND BLUE — double def — fans of snooker watching with 5 down will know that the blue ball is just behind the black ball.
23 AMOURS — cryptic def — I thought this was a very weak CD.
Down
3 ENTRE NOUS — cryptic def — another weak CD, entre nous means between us, ie private.
5 COLOUR BLINDNESS — cryptic def — I didn’t like this one either, it was just too obvious.
6 MARGINAL — (ALARMING)* — a nice semi-&lit with the definition wrapping around the wordplay.
8 ELUCIDATES — (EDITS A CLUE)* — another nice anagram with a good surface reading.
12 SPEED LIMIT — (SIMPLE DIET)* — ditto.
15 KNIFE EDGE — double def — a knife edge can be ground sharp. Finely balanced games are said to be on a knife’s edge.
19 SLUICE — (CLUE IS)* — a second clue about clues from Rufus. Technically a sluice is a water gate, but the clue is contrived! Very post-modern.
21 CLUMP — (c)LUMP — the definition clues both clump and lump.
22 PEWS — cryptic def — another nice CD to end on!

4 Responses to “Guardian 24004/Rufus”

  1. says:

    Spot on, Colin. The three cryptic definitions you mention were just not cryptic enough for me – foreign affairs as a definition with accompanying wordplay could have made a nice clue, but on its own? Entre nous, I’m not enamoured of it.

  2. says:

    Usual enjoyable fare from Rufus (unlike Colin, I am a fan of CD’s so the more there are, the better in my view!). I particularly liked 1a, 6d, 14a, 15d, 21d and 22d – clever, well-constructed clues.

  3. says:

    I’m with BenIngton here — Rufus is v. good about providing clean meaningful surfaces that have sensible but misleading context… which is more than I can say for some of his brethren at Guardian

  4. says:

    Pedantry mode: on

    11ac ENTHUSIASTIC – (cuisine that’s)*

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