Posted by loonapick on March 5th, 2007
Ah Rufus! You either love him or hate him! I counted 11 cryptic definitions/double meaning type clues in this puzzle. I think one of my fellow bloggers commented a couple of weeks ago that a small number of such devices in a puzzle makes it fun (4-5 possibly), but some others disagreed with him. Personally, I think it depends on how clever they are, and some of Rufus’s are very good, others not so. There was a run of down clues that struck me as particularly poor (see below)
In the end, this was a very easy puzzle (solving time – approximately 7 minutes), so there is very little to comment on.
1 KISMET – First clue, first CD.
9 JOYSTICK – Very good clue, especially liked Air Traffic Control as the definition.
10 BICEPS – One of the CDs that doesn’t really work for me.
13 EPHA – (heap)* – Hebrew measure of dried goods, but you’d need a dictionary other than Chambers (2003) to get the reference to “bushel” (eg dictionary.com)
20 CLOCK-WATCHER – a CD that just isn’t difficult enough.
23 SAPELE – (please)* – A sapele is a hardwood tree, a bit like mahogany.
25 SKY PILOT – “Sky pilot” is an informal name for a clergyman, especially in the military.
3 MUSIC HALL – (much as I)* + LL – why can’t more of Rufus’s clues be like this. A good &lit. clue.
5 MAKES A NIGHT OF IT – (on takes him a gift)*
7 CACTI – C-ACT-I – not happy with this one – where’s the definition – “raising awkward points”? (can’t be surely), and if it’s supposed to be “one raising awkward points”, then that really is unforgivable, as CACTI is plural and the I is part of the wordplay, and can’t therefore be used as part of the definition as well. Am I missing something here?
8 EXPRESSION – another poor definition in “it might alter”.
12 UPHILL TASK – yet another one I don’t like, although I can’t quite put my finger on why.
15 LOGARITHM – (oral might)* – OK, I hope people don’t think I have it in for Rufus, but the “be” in the clue is superfluous, leaving “set” as the anagram indicator. “might be set” is normally an acceptable anagrind, but not here, as “might” is part of the anagram fodder.