Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24389/Gordius – competing with Rufus?

Posted by ilancaron on May 15th, 2008


NEW AGE TRAVELLER required some wiki-trawling — other than that, I find this puzzle to be a reasonable thing to do while listening to a talk about bid optimizations in internet advertising (which I understood even less). Quite a few cryptic definitions — is Gordius competing with Rufus?


1 WHITE MAN’S BURDEN – a nicely patronizing anag &lit: (what undermines, B)*
10 S,CREW – interestingly, I initially entered S,TEAM here which 8D contradicted eventually, but still works in terms of both wordplay and definition.
11 SHE,I(LA)S – Aussie chicks.
14 RIT(COT)A – RITA’s our girl and “got out of” indicates containment. I guess.
19 ENNOB,LE – rev(bonne=French maid) — can you argue that French is doing double-duty being applied to both “The” and “maid”?
22 ANTENNA – def is “feeler” but not sure about wordplay
25 CA,USTIC=(cuts, i)* – CA is calcium our element
26 IN A RAGE – another kind of anag &lit: (regain a)*
28 ARIEL=”aerial” – ref. Shakespearean fairy.
30 HUNDRED YEARS WAR – good misleading cryptic definition (well, I thought of Muhammad Ali).


1 WALL STREET CRASH – another nice CD — since I can see WALL STREET from my apartment (and lots of accidents… both kinds), it was easy for me.
4 AUGUST,A – it’s where the US Masters golf tournament is held annually in Georgia.
5 SICKER,T – ref. Walter SICKERT (impressionist)
7 DARWINIAN – (award in, NI)* but I don’t see what the anagrind is other than “for”??
8 NEW AGE TRAVELLER – someone is going to have tell us how to fully interpret this cryptic definition: I’ve heard of this kind of post-hippie but anything else?
16 TAL[l] – ref. Soviet area chess player, Michael Tal.
20 BOTTLER – I think just another cryptic definition: “Provider of top of the milk”.
27 A,RROW=rev(worr[y])

19 Responses to “Guardian 24389/Gordius – competing with Rufus?”

  1. Berny says:

    Can someone explain 16d?


  2. Eileen says:

    Berny, apparently Mikhail TAL was a Soviet-Latvian chess Grand Master. TAL is not quite ‘tall’!

  3. muck says:

    Pretty straightforward. I had to look up 13ac in an atlas, and don’t understand the logic of 20dn ‘Provider of top of the milk?’

  4. Eileen says:

    I wondered about 20dn, too. Presumably a bottler puts milk bottle tops on?

    I thought 1ac was a great &lit., with ‘machination’ as the anagrind!

  5. Peter Owen says:

    22ac: ANTENNA (= feeler) sounds like ANN (girl) + TENNER (ten pound note)

    8d refers to the recent introduction of a free national bus pass for over-60s in England. Scotland and Wales have had these for some time.

  6. manehi says:

    19 – “le bonne” would possibly be the clearest way to refer to “the French maid”, if the maid were male, as there is no masculine form of the noun in this sense… still, the wordplay “back to front” seems to require that the two words are treated separately

  7. Andrew says:

    8dn – I think this refers to the recently-introduced bus pass which is free to OAPs, so anyone using it would be a NEW AGE TRAVELLER as opposed to an OLD AGE TRAVELLER, just because the pass ins new. Not very sound in my opinion, as N.A.T. only has the hippy meaning, and that isn’t referred to at all. I remember the national bus pass came up a few weeks ago as an answer in (I think) an Araucaria puzzle.

    22dn is ANN + homophone of TENNER

    Another very easy one: rather OTT on the cryptic defs for me though.

  8. muck says:

    20dn BOTTLER: does anyone still buy milk in bottles? In those days, and before homogenised milk, ‘top of the milk’ was the cream. So, nicely misleading.

    8dn NEW AGE TRAVELLER: my first guess was ‘old age pensioner’ which fits the letter count, but was too obvious.

  9. Eileen says:

    Ilancaron:7dn anagrind?: I wonder if it might be ‘selection’? [Collins: ‘a range from which something may be selected’] – which would make it an &lit. wouldn’t it?

  10. ilancaron says:

    Eileen: “Type of selection for award in Northern Ireland” — I can see how “selection for” *might* be at a stretch (better “selection of”) an anagrind — however, if so, it’d be doing double-duty, since I can’t see how this can be considered an &lit: to be so, the whole thing would have to define DARWINIAN — where really only “type of selection” does…

  11. Eileen says:

    You’re right, of course: I was clutching at straws!

  12. Kate Wild says:

    Can I just ask – what’s an anagrind?

  13. Eileen says:

    I’ve only worked it out after finding this site – it’s an ANAGRam INDicator!

  14. Kate Wild says:

    Yes, of course, thanks Eileen.

  15. Chunter says:

    Tal was world champion for a year (1960 to 1961).

  16. muck says:

    For new cryptic solvers, there is an explanation of the various clue types at –

  17. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Muck. It’s not that I didn’t know what an anagram indicator was but I hadn’t seen the abbreviation anywhere else – including the site you cite!

  18. Neil says:

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to immediately think of “Old Age Pensioner” for 8d!

  19. muck says:

    Eileen, I didn’t mean to suggest that you were a novice solver, but there are some out there, who may appreciate advice. I thought, when I first saw ‘anagrind’, that it meant you had to grind the letters to get the anagram to come out.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

three − = 0