Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24410 – Rufus

Posted by Uncle Yap on June 9th, 2008

Uncle Yap.

Common abbreviations used
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
* = anagram

An easy start to the week on a day when stress should be avoided. Do you know that more people report sick and see a physician on a Monday than any other day of the week? Rufus, it’s not your fault, really.

Across
1 THREE-QUARTER dd a rugby player
8 ELASTIC cd somehow I think material would make a better first word as describing elastic as a commodity is a bit of a stretch (sorry, I could not resist that :-)
9 USING UP I have my misgiving about this clue. If the answer were used up, then Fully deployed an umbrella, for example? (4,2) would have been perfect. Nevertheless, a fun clue
11 ILL FAME I take issue with the definition; can ill fame be enjoyed? Infamy or notoriety of a sick star (3,4) would have bought it for me
12 PASTEUR A glorious &lit *(a purest) of Dr Louis Pasteur (1822–1895)
13 RIDGE (part) ridge
14 UP THE POLE Very punny
16 CAFETERIA *(tea if care)
19 FACET Ins of E (point) in FACT. The beauty of this clue is that it is &lit but it is too easy to solve as 80% of the answer is revealed in one word in the clue
21 TURNING dd
23 ECLIPSE Ins of CLIPS (prunes the hedge?) in EE (points repeated)
Another instance of repeating the same device (point for East or E) in the same puzzle (see 19A) Tuttut
24 DESPITE Ins of SPIT (sandbank) in River DEE
25 MUFFLES dd
26 TWELFTH NIGHT If music be the food of love, play on.
A most delightful (but very easy) clue

Down
1 TRAILED dd
2 RAT RACE Cha of RAT (desert) RACE (people)
3 EXCHEQUER Homophone of ex-checker (former supermarket cashier)
4 USURP cd A successful pretender to the throne must be an usurper
5 RE-ISSUE *(U series)
6 EL GRECO Cha of EL (this or the in Spanish) GRECO (Greek or Attic)
7 RECIPROCATED *(I accept order)
10 PERFECT TENSE Cha of PERFECT (ideal) TENSE (drawn)
15 TRADESMAN *(master in)
17 FORESAW *(was foes)
18 TRIVIAL Ins of IV (four) in TRIAL (test)
19 FULL FIG Cha of FULL (mature) FIG (fruit) Not a very common term (not in Chambers and One-Look does not even feature it) “En grande tenue. ” Probably “fig” is the contraction of figure in books and journals of fashion, and full fig. would mean the height of fashion. It is outrageous to refer the phrase to the fig-leaves used by Adam and Eve, by way of aprons
20 CAPULET Excellent cd. Luckily I know my Romeo & Juliet with the warring Montague and Capulet houses. See, taking all those yoghurt did help … I am definitely more cultured now.
22 GUEST With G?E?T, there are only great, greet and guest. If I have to guess, I will opt for GUEST but I have absolutely no idea how to explain this one-word clue. Any thoughts?  Post-script : Apparently the clue should be Thought I heard a visitor (5) in which case the answer GUEST is a homophone for guessed.

14 Responses to “Guardian 24410 – Rufus”

  1. David says:

    22d Guest sounds like guessed (for ‘thought’)

  2. Andrew says:

    19ac – I read this as E (= “it is” in Spanish or Italian) in FACT, with “point of view” as the definition; but I guess your explanation is more plausible, though if it’s right I don’t like the redundant “It is”.

    4dn is USURP, not USURY (typo in the blog: the P is the start of PASTEUR)

    6dn – I thought this was just a sort of cd: EL GRECO was a Spanish painter.

    I was also baffled by 22dn – it’s a homophone of GUESSED( = thought?); maybe part of the clue is missing?

  3. David says:

    22d The clue in the paper is:
    Thought I heard a visitor (5)

  4. Andrew says:

    Thanks, David, that makes much more sense – the online version just has “Thought (5)”.

  5. Rufus says:

    “Full fig” is in my 1998 edition Chambers, under the second heading for “fig”.
    The “El Greco” clue was a CD – El Greco was a Spaniard, but actually born in Crete, and became known as “The Greek” (El Greco) when working in his native Toledo in Spain. My original clue was “Did he paint in an attic studio?” but the crossword editor felt it would be necessary to have a capital A for Attic (Greek)to be fair. In communication with Don Manley about this he thought it Ximenian to change a small “a” to a capital “A” in a clue, but not Ximenian the other way round. Hence “Attic” went to the start of the clue.
    “Commodity” in one of my thesauri gives “article of merchandise” which I thought OK.
    My brief on Mondays is to supply mainly easy clues, but I am allowed the occasional more difficult one!

  6. Uncle Yap says:

    Mr Squires is indeed correct. I returned to my Chambers and found “in full fig – in full dress or array.” hiding in fig.

    Once again, thank you for giving us your unique brand of entertainment

  7. Paul B says:

    Curious why going one way with caps (l/c – u/c) and not the other is considered fairer, but it’s a convention many compilers habitually observe.

  8. Tom Hutton says:

    I always enjoy Rufus’s anagrams when the jumble is thematically linked to the answer so I particularly liked “tea if care”. He is a master of these sympathetic clues which, while not necessarily very difficult, are pleasant to solve.

  9. muck says:

    Thanks David, on behalf of all online solvers, for the paper version of 22dn. At least the online version of Brummie on Sat did include the ‘Special Instructions’

  10. Testy says:

    I think that the capitalisation convention can be roughly justified in that, if a word is a proper name then it should always begin with a capital (if it begins with a lower case letter it cannot be that proper name and so can never have that meaning). Hence “bob” could never refer to the boy’s name. However any word can begin with a capital (although this would normally be at the beginning of a sentence) without changing its meaning, e.g. “Bob” can still mean to move up and down.

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    11 ac: I quite liked this one. A celebrity would enjoy fame, so a sick one might enjoy ill fame. And there is a question mark at the end of the clue to justify it.

  12. PaulW says:

    Spent ages trying to work out 22dn. Very annoyed to discover only part of the clue appeared in the online version.

  13. Bogeyman says:

    I agree with Tom Hutton’s comment about the pleasure of the anagram linking with the meaning: this is also the case with 12 ac where “a purest” works as both the anagram and hinting at the work of Louis Pasteur.

    Not happy with “full fig” though: it’s hardly a phrase that trips off the tongue.

    Great to see Rufus himself coming onto this forum, listening to feedback on the puzzles, and explaining some of the thinking and the processes that lead to these delightful clues – thank you!

  14. Paul B says:

    It is nice to have one’s word-wrenchings ‘apposite’ – especially one’s ruddy great big word-wrenchings. Of old in the Grauniad, you were occasionally spoilt with a gem (even where there might have been a bit of a stretch as to indication):

    Year’s event: ‘elp Earth intent? (5,1,4,2,7-5)

    Jaded here? Why not enlist? Roam (4,3,4,3,3,3,5).

    I know nowt as to authorship, but for some reason these two stick in my mind. There were many others: relatively recently we had what amounted to a Sporting Event, in which two compilers in particular competed to construct grids containing as few clues as possible. Long anagrams have been out of fashion a wee bit since then!

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