Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24314/Rufus

Posted by linxit on February 18th, 2008


One of Rufus’s easier offerings for the most part, with some real beginners’ clues. Look at the first 4 across clues – you have easy examples of the 4 basic clue types: anagram, charade, cryptic def, double def. I’m sure that must have been deliberate. There were a few more difficult words however, so it wasn’t a complete doddle. Solved in about 8 mins, mainly due to hesitation over 18d as I only knew the archaic meaning of almsgiver.

1 NOTICES (section*) – reserved to be read as re-served for the anagind.
9 SKELETON – although it could be argued that this is another double def.
15 ISOTH(E)RMAL – E inside hailstorm*. Very loose definition: “it’s to do with temperature”, almost as if he couldn’t be bothered to look it up!
17 A,WE – liked this one. WE = regal method of self-expression.
20 SCHOOL BELL – cryptic def. Is the past tense for signalled here an indication that schools don’t have bells any more, or that solvers have left school?
22 VITUPERATION – (out in private)*
26 REA(ME)R – among other things, a spiral-bladed drill for enlarging root canals in dentistry. Ouch!
2 TI,ER – re,it reversed.
3 CHEETAHS (the chase)* – excellent &lit. clue.
6 EXCISE – the oldest of old chestnuts, but if this is aimed at beginners, why not?
8 EIGHT BELLS – cryptic def, referring to the signal for the end of a watch on board ship.
11 LEGA,TO – (a leg)* – that’s rubbish cryptically, but a nice surface reading.
14 BOOBY TRAPS – a booby is a type of gannet. I thought a booby trap was a bit more serious than a practical joke, but according to Chambers it’s also one of the “bucket over the door” type tricks.
18 ALMONERS – appears to be a straight definition. An almoner was a medical social worker attached to a hospital – the only cryptic bit about this definition is that patient might be read as an adjective rather than a noun.
23 TRAMP – double def.
24 ROT,A

14 Responses to “Guardian 24314/Rufus”

  1. Shirley says:

    Can I just say what a great clue I thought 27A was. It took me ages to get Cape Horn (anagram of chaperon)

  2. dave says:

    18d not being cryptic caused me more trouble than the rest of the puzzle put together!
    Liked Vituperation though, not so much as a clue, just for the word itself.

  3. Brendan says:

    Is it just me or does the revamped Guardian website cause the crossword to print ridiculously small?

  4. linxit says:

    Shirley – the order I solved meant that I already had the A, O and N in place when I first looked at it, so I got it immediately.

    Brendan – not for me. It certainly prints out larger than it appears in the paper (just selecting File -> Print from the browser menu), and no different than before. The grid is a 10.3cm square on my printout.

  5. PaulW says:

    Yes, the print is very small. It is 7.5pt.
    As I find difficlty reading small print, I copy the crossword and clues into MS word then change the size to 10 pt. Hope this helps. Paul W.

  6. linxit says:

    Ah, just tried printing it from IE7, and I see what you mean. My suggestion is that you download Firefox and use that instead.

  7. owenjonesuk says:

    Pressing ctrl and + (you don’t need to hold the shift, i.e. ctrl and = works) makes the font size on a page bigger. I always do this before printing a crossword off, even with firefox. ctrl and – does the opposite.

    Thought the crossword was easy, as to be expected from Rufus, though I didn’t get almoners just because I didn’t know the word.

  8. Amnesiac says:

    Highly frustrated by this one. I somehow managed to convince myself that a) chaperon was not an anagram of Cape Horn and b) that almoners couldn’t be the right answer as it wasn’t cryptic enough (I was trying for an anagram of “on social”). Not one of my better efforts :-(

  9. muck says:

    I was trying for an anagram of “on social” too! But ‘almoners’ is a nicely obscure word.

  10. Brendan says:

    I am on a Mac, so I make a pdf of the file open that in Acrobat Reader crop out the extraneous rubbish and print at about 130%. So something that took no time at all in the morning now takes five minutes of fiddling. Now that Hugh is back from sailing the seven seas I must berate him about it.

  11. Berny says:

    I use a Mac and solved the print size problem by accessing Safari > Preferences > Appearance tab and then increasing the standard font size. There is a similar option in Explorer for the PC – in fact I believe its in the options menu.

    BTW does anyone else object to the appearance of three letter solutions – seemed rare in the Guardian until recently. Never liked their use in the Telegraph.

  12. Paul B says:

    There aren’t all that many grids with three-letter solutions, so you won’t have to object too often.

    Short words are hard to clue (especially if you go along with the idea that it’s not really the done thing to hide them), but I’ve seen some corkers.

  13. struggler says:

    Oh dear, patronised again. They are only “beginners’ clues” if you want to move on to the next level. This crossword was absolutely fine by me, unlike last week’s Rufus, which I found very hard going.

  14. cruciverbophile says:

    Today’s (Tuesday) crossword is back to an acceptable printing size after a few says of printing (in IE7) extremely small. No doubt it was just a temporary glitch.

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