Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24106/Rufus

Posted by ilancaron on June 18th, 2007


A slightly harder than usual Rufus puzzle. I’m mystified by a couple of wordplays (8A and 12A) still. One weakfish cryptic def (1D) but a couple of hard clever clues as well.


8 KNITWEAR – cryptic definition I think but I don’t see it: “Cast-off clothing”
9 UNI,TED – TED’s our “man”.
11 REVOLUTION – not a bad double def with a convincing cooking surface.
12 EDISON – def is “a famous man” but wordplay? “A famous man, yet there’s no airs about him”.
14 TIDE-R=tried*,ACE – def is “current”
15 IN,ER(TI)A – rev(it) in IN ERA. A rare case I think of inaccurate Rufusian wordplay: looks like “in” is doing double duty – both indicating containment and being part of the container: “Lack of action, but in time it returns”.
20 DIVIDE(N)D – fine clue with smooth surface – made even better since often DIVIDENDs are paid out quarterly.
24 NEAT – simple but effective double def (recall that NEAT are cattle… somewhere in the dictionary, if not in the world).


1 SNOWED IN – cryptic def I suppose but not very strong.
2 STIR – two meanings: “can” and STIR are American prisons.
3 TEHRAN – my last clue: ([su]n[b]ather)*. Difficult to solve since “getting dressed” is the anagrind and the subtraction fodder doesn’t appear consecutively. Reader comments welcome as to fairness…
4 GRAV(IT)Y – “stock” is GRAVY this time (in 24A it was cattle).
6 VICTOR,I,ANA – def is “19th century objects” and I think we’re supposed to believe that “I” (Rufus) is still a “boy”! Clue would have been just fine as “Two men…”
13 STRAIGHT UP=”stray tup” – nice homophone.
16 ICE CUBES – DIES as plural of die which are CUBES.
21 I(BIDE)M – it’s what gets abbreviated as IBID. in textbooks.
22 S(WEE)TS – def is “children’s demands”.
24 N(E)AP – E (“point”) in rev(pan)

9 Responses to “Guardian 24106/Rufus”

  1. says:

    8A When you knit you cast on and cast off to start or finish a garment.
    12A Anagram of NO SIDE spelt backwards. Someone with no side has no airs about them.

  2. says:

    thanks Shirley for the clarifcations — I think I’ve encountered (and not understood) “cast off” in a knitting context before — and obviously managed to forget.

    Never seen “no side” in the “no airs” sense before… thanks! (is this a Brit thing? do you have a reference?)

  3. says:

    6D Surely the two boys are Victor and Ian and the “A” is in the a collection of 19c objects

  4. says:

    12A The Oxford English Dict says that “Side” is a Brit informal use to mean ” boastful or pretentious manner or attitude”. I think that could also be defined as having airs?

  5. says:

    You’re probably right about VICTOR,IAN,A — I fell in love ANA being a collection itself.

  6. says:

    Thank you, Shirley – right on both counts!

  7. says:

    I would describe 3d as “harsh, but fair” – I am definitely not calling foul, even though it was the only one I was missing. Anyone who thinks otherwise probably would happier with the Telegraph crossword-lite.

  8. says:

    Just a quick thanks to Ilancaron for suffering another Rufus and more thansk for introducing me to ANA – I’d never come across that before!

  9. says:

    Hardly suffering (though making mistakes in parsing wordplay in public is a bit embarrassing!). ANA is the kind of short word that American crosswords like a lot…

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