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Guardian 24010/Rufus – a bit of a calamity but not too scandalous

Posted by ilancaron on February 26th, 2007

ilancaron.

Solving time: 16:49.26

I usually don’t time myself down to the split-second but I have a new desktop timer gadget thingy, with hundredths of a second which will be useful at the next Olympics. I got held up by the NW corner: 1A seemed a bit of a… well… stretch. And all my hard earned cricket knowledge suddenly vanished, making 4D a challenge.

Across

1 A,C(RE)AGE – Not too happy about ACREAGE for “stretch” where spread would have been more appropriate (but would have hurt the surface).
9 C(A,LAM)ITY – Is there some factoid about “York” that makes this a good clue? ”A strike in York, say, would be a catastrophe”.
12 GREASEPAINTS – (As in pre-stage)*. Good anagram.
19 NEE – Not the world’s most Ximenean clue, “Backing the poetic use of stillborn”, but I still like it: “born” is the definition and wordplay is: rev(still=e’en). Reminds me of the recent use of Putin to indicate putting “in” in.
20 STAGNATION – (not against)*. Nice simple anagram with a good consistent surface.
28 SYN=”sin”,ODS=”odds” – not a bad homophonic semi-&lit clue for what the Church has been saying for years.

Down

1 ARCS – my last clue. Maybe there’s something else going on but the penny never dropped for me here: ”They go round in circles”.
2 RO(L)E – A case of “X Y in” meaning “Y in X” which always seems a bit forced to me.
3 ARMS RACE – Clever cryptic definition… almost an &lit but there are members of the nuclear club all round the world.
4 EXTRA – it’s about time for me to immediately think of cricket but this took me ages…
7 BRAIN DRAIN – thinly veiled cryptic definition. Though you’d think they’d be coming back now given the strength of the pound sterling (hint to my father!).
13 SCANDALOUS – I like this clue: cryptic def ref. Sheridan’s “The School for Scandal”.
14 PAPER CHAIN – double/cryptic def. It takes some time for even a “press baron” to build up his CHAIN. I like this clue – I’m betting there’s some dig at the kind of “decoration” that the typical press baron would prefer to get.
24 EG,OS – “I say nothing” about this clue. Actually it’s quite good.
25 MEAN – 2 MEANings: quite different etymologically neither of which mean mean (miserly and average).

3 Responses to “Guardian 24010/Rufus – a bit of a calamity but not too scandalous”

  1. says:

    9ac I suppose the lightning strike on York Minster a few years ago could be a reference for this clue.

  2. says:

    Re 1d, in mathematics, an arc is the segment of a circle, so the arcs forming a circle would go round.

  3. says:

    1d arcs is also an anagram of cars which can go round in circles, not really defined as such but a thought none the less

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