Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24386/Rufus

Posted by Colin Blackburn on May 12th, 2008

Colin Blackburn.

Rufus’s naval past seems to evident in this puzzle with numerous mentions of ships and the sea. As usual too many cryptic definitions for my taste but a few bits of clever word play too.

* = anagram
“” = homophone
cd = cryptic definition

Across
1 DRAUGHT cd the depth of water below a ship, ie how far a sailor could sink.
9 SWALLOWS WALL in SOWS ‘between’ is the slightly odd sounding inclusion indicator here. It works if you treat SOWS as a string of letters.
10 ARMADA A+RM+ADA jolly = RM (Royal Marine). The definition is quite good here, less obvious than something like ‘Spanish fleet’.
12 CARRY FORWARD “Carrie”+FORWARD
15 COURT ORDER cd?
22 LAUREL WREATH cd laurel = bay. Very misleading surface reading with all the other sea-based clues. I guess that means it was a good cryptic definition.
28 RANKLE R+ANKLE I spent a little time trying to put something in R+ON or R+L and come up with a joint.
29 ENSIGNS cd?
Down
1 DISC IS in D+C D & C are two of several Roman numerals but in this clue the two required ones are fairly easy to guess.
2 AFAR SEAFARER – SEER tricky word play here even though the answer is staring at us.
3 GALLANTS cd? I see the definition here but I assume there is some reference I’m not getting.
7 ADAM AND EVE cd
8 STANDSTILL ST+AND+ST+I’LL clever word play.
13 OCEAN LINER (RELIANCE ON)* nice anagram.
18 PLATYPUS (SUPPLY AT)* can ‘capacity’ be read as an anagram indicator?
23 ELOPE cd

15 Responses to “Guardian 24386/Rufus”

  1. Eileen says:

    3dn: OED has ‘gallants’ as ‘a name formerly applied to all flags borne on the mizen-mast’

  2. Eileen says:

    Colin, I know I shouldn’t do this but I forgot to ask at the time – and you blogged that one too – in Brendan’s Friday puzzle, why was EMAIL [10ac] clued as UNWRITTEN messages?

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    I think Brendan was trying to mislead slightly with the reasonable idea that emails are not “written” as such. You can either read that as suggesting that they are typed or that they do not appear on paper (initially).

    Thanks for the ref. to GALLANTS.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Colin. That makes sense.

    I wasn’t too keen on ‘capacity’ as an anagram indicator but I did like 22ac, in view of all the other nautical clues. Perhaps 29ac and 3dn were a bit too similar but it was an enjoyable, straightforward puzzle, on the whole.

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    I’d obviously not seen the parallel between 29ac and 3dn, but now you’ve explained 3dn these two clues are structurally identical.

  6. PaulW says:

    I have never seen CAPACITY used as an anagram indicator and I wonder what the compiler really intended. RANDOM would have done nicely.

  7. Paul B says:

    As part of my quest for some kind of life I limited my inquiries to Chambers Online, but ‘capacity’ has to be a bit rum.

    You’ll be relieved to hear it’s still a noun um, except when it’s a adjective (well, sort of modifying noun) but since ‘capacity’ as in crowd seems to be all you can get, at best it’s a bit like ‘potential’ – this is used fairly frequently as a post-positional nounal jobby. I regret to inform that I’ve never been convinced.

    Even in Ruth Crisp, whose generally excellent list of anagrams (in her wicked book ISBN 0-340-57398-8) contains a few of these, neither hide nor hair of capacity is seen.

  8. Colin Blackburn says:

    I checked earlier and it’s not listed under Tim Moorey’s excellent list of indicators in Chambers Crossword Dictionary.

  9. muck says:

    3dn GALLANTS: I have the defn as ‘adventurous men’, ‘of old’ meaning an obsolete word: the top-gallants were among the highest sails on the old square-rigged ships.

  10. Andrew says:

    For some reason I found this a lot harder going than usual for Rufus, even apart from the slightly obscure naval references. No one has yet mentioned 27ac, which I thought was a bit unsatisfactory.

    29ac – I presume this refers to flags (e.g. the White Ensign) which could conceivably be said to climb (“run up”) masts, as well as the Naval rank.

  11. Eileen says:

    27ac: COMPLAIN[t]

    29ac Yes, ensigns and gallants are both flags, and also people, hence the comments at 4 and 5 re similarity of clues

  12. Andrew says:

    Eileen – yes, I got 27ac. I just thought it was rather a weak clue, COMPLAIN and COMPLAINT being so closely related.

  13. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Andrew. Yes, I realised as soon as I’d posted the comment that you had got it. Dictionaries do give ‘complaint’ as having the two distinct meanings of ‘grievance’ and ‘ailment’. I thought it was ok.

  14. smutchin says:

    For 22ac, I was looking too hard for a non-naval meaning of “bay” and, having the W in place, decided the second word must be “window”…

    I guessed 10ac but didn’t know that meaning of “jolly”. I liked the definition though.

  15. Paul B says:

    Yes Eileen, but patients do complain of their complaints. I agree with that Andrew.

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