Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,022, Rufus: The Rufus paradox

Posted by michod on March 12th, 2007


Doing better than last week – I’ve managed to post in the morning even though the paperboy delivered the Telegraph with ‘Sorry, no Gaurdian’ written on it (no irony intended, I assume).

Sorry if it’s a bit of a recurring theme, but once again Rufus frustrates, tantalising with some nifty wordplay, a couple of very clever punning definitions playing on the paradoxical double meanings of words, but spoiling the fun for me with several cryptic definitions that barely merit the c-word. Any takers for 23ac?


1. GRATER (hom. greater). Simple, but a very nice pun.

5. AIRS TRIP. ‘Aircraft base’ as definition is surely too close to the solution.

9. AC QUAINT. ‘Get bill reduced’ here gives AC, usually clued just as ‘bill’, so the wordplay needed a little unpicking.

11. CLIFFHANGERS. Perfectly reasonable CD – bluff as in cliff.

14. APOSTLES. CD, I presume., but equally could be a straight definition… is there something clever going on here?   

17. CANNIBAL. CD. Obvious once I realised I had 16dn wrong.

20. SCAN DIN AVIAN. Beautifully simple charade.

23. ?O?T?A. Any offers? Portia’s the only person I can see who fits, but I don’t think she was a barmaid – or even a ‘barmaid, say’. And surely there should be an L somewhere.

24. EVIL OMEN. OLIVE<MEN. Good incorporation of a cryptic definition for ‘olive’ withing the wordplay – that’s how I like to see them used.

25. RHEOSTAT. OTHERS AT*. And here the CD is backed up with an anagram.

26. EF(FOR)T. An eft is a newt.


2. ROCK. It’s stable, but rocky… clever, eh?

3. TRUNCHEON. But this one is less so.

5. ACT OF PARLIAMENT. And again. Maybe it’s because I think in headlines, but this clue screamed the answer at me in 72-point.

6. RADIATOR. Whereas this is very neat, another paradox.

7. THING. NIGHT*. As remarked before, I’m OK with nounal anagram indicators in principle, but I don’t see how ‘work’ can be one except as a verb.

12. BROADCLOTH. As in the Norfolk broads.

15. TAKING OFF. What next? ‘End of flight’ for ‘landing’?

16. OBEISANT. OBE IS ANT. I initially put ‘hesitant’ – IS THE* (after an order) + ANT. The definition’s a little strained (‘Bolton are holding back, Gary, showing Arsenal too much respect’) but it kind of works.

21. N(OT) S (j)O(b). Nice wordplay, I like ‘job centre’ for O.

7 Responses to “Guardian 24,022, Rufus: The Rufus paradox”

  1. says:

    Re 23a – Portia in the Merchant of Venice disguises herself as a male lawyer – hence ‘barmaid’ and the argument is over Shylock’s pond of flesh.

    As a fan of Rufus, it wont come as any surprise that I enjoyed this.

  2. says:

    ‘pond’? That should be ‘pound’ of course. It is Monday…

  3. says:

    Of course, thanks for that – I was thinking Julius Caesar.

  4. says:

    I didn’t do the puzzle, but saw it in a guardian someone had left behind in a pub. The clues read pretty well- at the expense, judging by the blog, of crypticity.

  5. says:

    My clue for 1 across was
    A speaker who is skilled at splitting alternatives

    I can’t see how grater would fit???

  6. says:

    Sometimes the online puzzle has one or two different clues from the paper one – I guess your version had ORATOR as the answer (AT splitting OR and OR).

  7. says:

    When I checked the answer the following day it was grater as well not orator as I thought.

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