Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,124, Rufus: Crossing the rubicon

Posted by michod on July 9th, 2007


Rufus at his best. Took about 15 minutes, with fewer cryptic definitions than usual, but his skill in that department evident in the ordinary definitions – well concealed, with a high proportion using ambiguous words to mislead.  


1. RUB ICON. The Italian river that gave us the phrase ‘crossing the rubicon’ when Julius Caesar crossed it in 49BC as an act of war (so says Wikipedia anyway).

9. TEAM MATE. Excellent clue. I first thought of ‘cold cuts’, then an anagram of ‘meats’ – in fact it’s two anagrams of ‘meat’. 

10.S(ALL)OW. I wated this to be mallow, but this is a name for a willow, and the greedy creature is ‘sow’. 

12. COLD SHOULDER. Two defs – one of them being ‘cut’.

17. RIO. I assume, but can’t see why. I’m sure it’s nothing to do with Duran Duran.

22. EXTRA SPECIAL. Both words for a late edition of a newspaper.

26. RANK ER. I was called by this name the other day, by a funny chap who couldn’t pronounce his Rs.  


29. THE(AT)RE. AT in ETHER*.


2. B(E)AR. I think it’s this, anyway – I can’t quite see how ‘show’ defines ‘bear’, but both words have so many meanings that it seems quite possible.

3. COMPOUND. Again, the second definition seems close but not exact, but I may be wrong.

7. SOLIDARITY. IS ADROITLY*. Nice anagram.

11. WHEELS. The last one I got. Ref ‘wheels within wheels’.

13. FATAL ERROR. CD, true in the literal sense!

14. IM(P)ORTANCE. (CREMATION*). Another misleadingly deployed definition. 

16. SCRAPE. Lovely stuff – a scrape you get into is a jam, but you can also have ‘a scrape of butter’.

21. GATEAU. Maybe the weakest link for me – ‘Nice’ refers to the French town.

24. KNOT. Two defs – it’s a seabird.

25. ADZE. Sounds like ‘ads’.

5 Responses to “Guardian 24,124, Rufus: Crossing the rubicon”

  1. ilancaron says:

    17A: it’s [ma]RIO[n]

  2. michod says:

    Thanks Ilan – I should have spotted that. ‘…escapes from man’s clutches’ I would have got, I’m sure!

  3. Rufus says:

    I like the look of Ilancaron’s “escapes from man’s clutches” – can you give me the whole clue for RIO, together, hopefully, with permission tomuse it sometime?!!

  4. Rufus says:

    Oops yet again! Michod’s clue.

  5. radchenko says:

    I thought show for BEAR was as in “bear witness”.

    I didn’t get 26ac, 11dn, 14dn. With the explanation I can see I’d have been up all night trying to get them. I guessed IMPORTANCE but did not connect it at all with moment. Got nowhere near the other two, although I think the misdirection in 26ac was ‘fairer’ — are wheels within wheels intriguing, or complicated?

    I thought 12ac and 16dn were both very good.

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