Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,416 – Rufus

Posted by Uncle Yap on June 16th, 2008

Uncle Yap.

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

A soft start to the week but fun and amusing. As usual, you cannot but help being awed by Rufus’s ability to make his clues read so smoothly.

8 WAR PAINT An amusing cd
9 HUSHED cd
10 SKIT Removal of R from SKIRT. A skit is a satirical sketch or a take off
11 DUMBWAITER Cha
12 SHOCKS Ins of HOCK (wine) in SS. What a smooth surface!
14 EYELINER
15 SPANISH This *(ships an) borders on an &lit
17 INITIAL My clue of the day and the last one to be filled in.
Very clever word play that foxed me for a while
20 STAIR ROD cd for a rod for holding a stair carpet in place.
22 PEACHY dd
23 WATER WHEEL The answer was simple enough given the crossing letters but only a visit to Chambers fully explained the wordplay…
race = a channel bringing water to or from a millwheel
24 FILM A dd which Cyclops would be proud of
25 TOPEKA Ins of OP in TEKA *(take) for the capital city of Kansas, USA
26 DERANGED Ins of RANG in DEED; barking mad

Down
1 TALK SHOP Cha of TALKS (gossips) HOP (dance)
2 SPOT Rev of TOPS. A top is a golfing boo-boo where the club only makes contact with the upper part of the ball. Did you see Tiger Woods’s 12-foot putt on the 18th to force a play-off ? Superb stuff !
3 HINDUS ha
4 STUMPED Stump is a cricketing term meaning to dismiss by breaking the wicket when the striker is out of his ground
5 CHOW MEIN Another smoothie anagram clue that Rufus is famous for; and this time, delicious, too
6 ASPIDISTRA *(past is said)
7 RECEDE Cha of RE (Royal Engineers or soldiers) CEDE (give up)
13 CANTILEVER Can’t I (may I not) LEVER (rev of revel). Cantilever is an engineering structure of a beam fixed at one end and free at the other, usually like a horizontal projection in the air
16 STRAW HAT *(war that’s) How does Rufus dream up these gems?
18 ACHILLES Ins of HILL in ACES
19 ADDENDA add-end-a
21 TEAPOT Another clever cd misleading us to think of those brewers in Scotland producing those lovely single malts
22 PALTRY pal-try (go)
24 FIND FI (e) ND

14 Responses to “Guardian 24,416 – Rufus”

  1. Colin Blackburn says:

    For 9a I had HISSED. I can’t see that it isn’t a valid answer, it is ‘gave a quiet admonition’, to a poor CD.

    Some of Rufus’ word play in this puzzle was excellent. There were some great anagrams, lovely charades and an excellent hidden answer. But, 5 CDs is at least 4 too many.

  2. Eileen says:

    I did have HUSHED for 9ac but agree with you, Colin, that HISSED is just as good.

    Held myself up for a while by putting in PARDON [pard-on] for 22dn. OK – I know it’s the wrong way round but it’s Monday morning!

  3. Andrew says:

    To be alcoholically pedantic, brewers make beer (as well as tea); whisky is made by distillers.

    Interesting to to see FILM occurring as the answer to 24ac and in another misleading sense in the clue to 8ac.

  4. Uncle Yap says:

    I opted for “hushed” because I have heard mothers whispering agitatedly to their children “Hush!”
    Maybe mother snakes would say “Hiss!” Just joking :-)

    With a name like Andrew, you must be right about your whisky. It is probably the surfeit of Glen Morangie (arguably the best single malt in the world) that got my malts all mixed up.

  5. Andrew says:

    My stepfather and late mother live(d) a couple of miles from the Glenmorangie distillery (stress on the o, rhymes with “orangey”, by the way); but it’s not generally considered one of the best malts any more. I wouldn’t say no to a wee dram of it though…

    On the great hushed/hissed debate, I chose the former: I think it’s more plausible as “hush” is more of an admonition than a hiss is.

  6. Colin Blackburn says:

    I’d agree that HUSHED is more plausible. HISSED would be more about expressing disapproval than admonitionment, though you could argue that an audience were admonitioning a performer. However, herein lies the problem with CDs, there is no way to confirm the second answer. In this case the checking letters don’t help.

    Compare this with WATER WHEEL. Not only is the CD well-crafted playing on the double meaning of ‘race’ in connection with WHEEL, but given the checking letters there are no doubts about the answer.

  7. Ron says:

    Colin Blackburn says that 5 CDs are 4 too many – I would maintain that 5 is 5 too many! My least favourite sort of clue in that there seems to be no way of applying logic to the solution – it’s mostly guesswork.

    Additionally, I don’t like puzzles where more than half the clues have unchecked initial letters (16 out of 28), especially where one is left with all vowels, e.g. 25a _O_E_A or 7d _E_E_E.

    Unlike Uncle Yap, I found this puzzle rather irritating, and especially disliked 17a!

  8. Paul B says:

    You do tend to get rather of lot of CDs (and anagrams for that matter) in Rufus, but good ones are worth their weight in gold.

  9. rightback says:

    I agree that INITIAL is excellent and also thought ‘Stuck out’ = STUMPED was brilliant. Not so keen on TALK SHOP or ADDENDA, though, where bits of the wordplay (‘talks’ and ‘add’) are used in the sense of the definition.

  10. Uncle Yap says:

    I suppose it is a matter of individual taste and approach. I look at a puzzle for its entertainment value and its intellectual challenge. I try to derive as much pleasure out of it as I can. That is why I never time myself. After I have solved a clue, I would try and fully parse it. If that sounds funny, it is a fact that many a time, I would guess the answer from the definition and the crossing letters and then rationalise the wordplay of the compiler (a sort of a reverse solving). It is then that I may burst out laughing at the cleverness of the compiler.

    I do not “hate” clues..I just like certain ones less.

    In a set of say 30 clues, we cannot reasonably expect each one to be a gem. There will be some which appeal and some that don’t.

    Yes, I do have a soft spot for clever cd’s. To me, this genre is most useful in my arsenal to preach the Gospel of Cryptic Crossword to non-believers. I can go to a room full of people who are not crossword fans and get them involved in guessing what is Rufus’s Jammed cylinder (5,4) or the other Paul classic Man United playing away from home (9). A few days ago, Pasquale got me rolling on the floor with his conductor defined as someone “in front of band, waving about” (not a pure cd but can be developed into one)

    Thank goodness we all have different taste and preferences or as they say, variety is the curry of life

  11. struggler says:

    The CDs (all of which I solved in this one) are definitely part of the reason why Rufus is the only broadsheet crossword setter I have any time for.

  12. Colin Blackburn says:

    Uncle Yap hits the nail on the head for me with his reference to Pasquale’s clue not be a “pure cd”. I.e. it was a cryptic clue with a full anagram giving the answer. That it had a misleading definition is part of a good cryptic clue surely.
    It’s not the Pasquale’s clue should be developed into a CD, but that most CDs should be developed into pure cryptic clues, a misleading definition—a cryptic definition, if you will—with word play cleverly woven in is what does it for me.

  13. John Dryburgh says:

    I thought Pardon was quite a good answer for 22 down especially with peachy fitting in nicely but not for long

  14. andrew lyne says:

    ‘Hushed’ means ‘quiet’, doesn’t it? That was the clincher for me.

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