Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24356/Rufus

Posted by Colin Blackburn on April 7th, 2008

Colin Blackburn.

I managed to solve this puzzle comfortably on the bus back home this morning. It’s a forty minute journey though I spent much of the time looking out of the window at the beautiful snowy landscape of the North Pennines. I also enjoyed the puzzle much more than some Rufus puzzles as he held back on his trademark clue type. There’s one homophone I’m not fully happy with and one cryptic definition I got wrong caused me to struggle on one of the easier clues. Oh, and there are also some very nice clues here.

* = anagram

“” = homophone

dd = double definition

cd = cryptic definition

9 LOOKALIKE A in LOOK+LIKE a very good bit of word play to kick off with.
10 ONION ON+1+ON on (on) both sides of one!
13 THEFT THE+F(irs)T
14 INHERITED (IN THE RED I)* slightly oddly phrased clue but a nicely observed anagram.
16 FOUR-LETTER WORDS dd the first definition is by example. I struggled on this because I had it starting with an N for a little too long, see 1d.
21 CRUSE “cruise” I didn’t like this clue. I had C-U-E and knew it was a homophone, however having not heard of CRUSE I pencilled in CRUZE (50-50 guess). For a normal daily puzzle I don’t think you should have to check a dictionary to confirm what letters fill the unches. I’d be more than happy with the word itself if the word play had been unambiguous.
22 MAESTRI A+REST* in MI Italian rather than English plural.
23 WEIGH-IN cd
1 FLAGSTAFFS cd I wrote in FLAGSTONES. This made sense cryptically since FLAGSTONES bear weight. This was fine as it checked everywhere except 16a. It wasn’t until I considered the ridiculous NINE-LETTER WORDS for 16a that I saw the answer.
7 LINNET L+IN+NET after the initial thoughts of putting L in a snare I remembered the bird and realised the IN was en clair.
8 KNEE cd ref. on bended knees.
14 IN THE FIELD dd I do wish Rufus had extended the word BULL by four letters, it would have still worked.
21 CRISIS CR+ISIS ‘academic stream’ = Isis. Isis is the name given to the Thames as it flows through Oxford.

7 Responses to “Guardian 24356/Rufus”

  1. Paul B says:

    I expect Rufus wanted to write

    One short Scientologist a little potty? (5)

    but didn’t have the legal resources. Er, I mean heart.

  2. Eileen says:

    14A Surely the clue would have made more sense as ‘came’, rather than ‘come’?

    I did like 21A – a nice surface reading and surely the widow’s cruse [of oil, which never ran out] is fairly well-known? It has given its name to Cruse, a bereavement counselling service.

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    14a or, ‘…had come…’.

    I may be particularly ignorant but I have never come across “widow’s cruse” or Cruse the counselling service.

  4. Peter Owen says:

    For the widow’s cruse read 1 Kings 17.7-17 in the King James Version.

  5. Dave Ellison says:

    21 ac. We have some Le Creuset cooking pots, so I guessed cruse was near enough. It’s French for crucible, smelting pot apparently.

    I liked the Isis one – hadn’t seen this before

  6. Comfy Settee says:

    My wordplay for 12ac was a little different to yours…

    Question = ASK
    one = AN
    about = C (circa)
    point = E

  7. Andrew says:

    I had Colin’s reading for 12ac, but yours seems equally valid. I wonder how often something like that happens.

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