Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,154, Rufus: That’s neat that’s neat

Posted by michod on August 13th, 2007


My favourite clues combine Rufus’s trademark cryptic definitions with wordplay, so as to keep you guessing for longer – 5 and 11 across require unravelling, whereas 17 across couldn’t be anything else.

5. O(X)TAIL (hom. tale). A lot going on in this clue, with ‘love story, say’ giving O TAIL, but the beauty is in the definition. Had the clue been simply ‘Neat ending’ I would have looked immediately for a CD and felt less satisfied.
9. WHI(L)ST.
10. NEATNESS (SEAN SENT*). Is this the beginning of a theme?
11. AN ON. Very simple wordplay, another neat definition – ‘name-dropping’.
17. PRIVATE EYE. CD which, on its own, leaps straight out at you.
13. PACE SETTERS. Rufus avoids the obvious self-reference offered by ‘setters’.
23. GLANCE. Ref glancing shot in cricket and shooting a glance at an attractive leg.

2. BIG TOP. As in a spinning top.
3. PLEASANT (AT NAPLES*). Good surface.
5. ON HAND. I think this is it, but don’t see why it’s ‘next door’, except in the same sense as it’s ‘present’, but that would hardly be a double meaning.
7. E S SAYS. Goood misleading surface using dual meanings of ‘tracts’ and ‘states’.
15. REP EATER. Chambers says it’s a watch that repeats, but I’m not sure what that is exactly – does it mean I can have my time over after all?
17. TRACES. As in ‘kicking over the traces’.
20. SIGNET (hom. CYGNET).

5 Responses to “Guardian 24,154, Rufus: That’s neat that’s neat”

  1. bracoman says:

    RE 15D, a repeater watch is one which will strike the last hour, quarter or even minute depending on the complexity of the mechanism. They were useful before electric light when they provided a means of telling the time in the dark.

  2. Simply_simon says:

    It being dark, and in the absence of not only electricity but of a lit candle, or a bright moon, it was important to distinguish hours and quarters, which was done by different tones. It’s quite a complicated business. For example, a half-quarter repeater function strikes the hours and the quarter-hours but uses a high tone to signal that the half-quarter has just passed. Using 3:40 as an example, this repeater would chime as follows: bong, bong, bong, silence, then bing-bong, bing-bong, then bing to indicate that a half-quarter has just passed. Itwould not give an exact time, just a time accurate to the nearest quarter.
    Thank goodness we have electricity.

  3. muck says:

    5dn: has to be ON HAND, but…

  4. Rufus says:

    My definition of ON HAND came from Collins Thesaurus which includes:”close, near, nearby” -which I thought near enough, or close, to “next door”. Collins Dictionary has: “close by”.

  5. muck says:

    Thanks Rufus for another enjoyable Monday!

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