Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24202/Rufus – a gentle workout…not!

Posted by linxit on October 8th, 2007


Solving time 15:33

I was racing through this in the usual quickish time of about 6 or 7 minutes, when I finally got to 24A/D and ground to a halt. It must have taken me nearly 10 minutes to get those last two, with the only checking letters ??E? and ??A?. Fairly obvious when you finally see them (and they are good clues), but an unexpected sting in the tail for me.

8 MEGAS(games*),TAR
9 UTOPIA – first cryptic definition, and an old chestnut. Thomas More wrote the book.
10 TYRE – ancient Phoenician city now in Southern Lebanon.
11 ANTITHESIS (is hesitant)* – clever clue, because “quite the contrary” or “on the contrary” is normally an instruction to reverse the word order in the clue to get the answer. Here it’s just the definition.
12 HEAD-ON – I laughed when I got this one. Very good.
15 A,LAM,ODE – I had always thought LAM was short for lambast, but according to Chambers lambast is “perhaps from lam¹ and baste³“.
17 TYPE,SET – impressive as in “printed in a press”.
20 WAXWORKS – great cryptic definition, had me barking up the wrong tree for a while.
23 MA(GI)STRATE – GI in matters*
24 BLEW – “blue” as in an Oxford or Cambridge Blue. Took me a long time to get that.

2 CANE – I think this needed “perhaps” at least. There are a lot of types of cane that aren’t sugarcane.
3 STRAIN – very weak cryptic def, as a strain is a stress injury! A good entry point for beginners I suppose.
13 DUMB WAITER – another CD. I thought this was just a food lift, but it’s also a food trolley.
18 ELE(MEN)TS – MEN inside sleet*
21 AMAZON – I haven’t seen runner for river much at all lately. It used to be quite common.
22 TO,ECAP=pace rev.
24 BEAT – double definition that had me stumped for ages.

5 Responses to “Guardian 24202/Rufus – a gentle workout…not!”

  1. rightback says:

    Similar pattern for me, except that I spent 15+ mins on 24A/D and only got BLEW; don’t think I’d ever have got BEAT as I didn’t know the game-rousing meaning and was sure ‘raise’ was a reversal indicator.

  2. radchenko says:


    Except I was also stuck on the NW corner, with just ?Y?? AND ?A??. And gave up.

    This grid is quite nasty as it can leave those nasty four letter clues dangling with only one cross-checking letter.

    I still don’t get 24D though. Please explain.

  3. muck says:

    24dn: People are employed to make a lot of noise and hit the ground, to persuade pheasants and grouse to fly up, to be shot at. These are beaters, so to BEAT is to raise game.

  4. radchenko says:

    Thank you kindly.

  5. struggler says:

    I got 24D fairly quickly, and could have done the same with 24A if the clue had used ‘was’ instead of ‘is’.

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