Posted by neildubya on June 23rd, 2008
A typically pleasant Monday puzzle from Rufus with at least two classy clues (15d and 24a). I still don’t understand why we must always get an easy puzzle on Monday. There’s always the simpler crossword in the Guardian supplement and you can always borrow or steal a copy of “The Telegraph” if all else fails.
I’d also genuinely like to see what Rufus could produce if he upped the level of difficulty to Paul/Araucaria strength.
9 ARBITRATE : (bar attire)*
12 TICK OFF
13 SATAN – reference to the phrase “the devil provides work for idle hands”.
14 PACEMAKER : In this case a horse that sets the early pace on a (race-)course
16 OBSERVATION POST : usually abbreviated to O.P by soldiers
19 Omitted on purpose
21 Omitted on purpose – the answer is clear
22 OLD SALT – (LAD LOST)*
24 KN(a p.s)ACK – a good complex clue from Rufus – more like that please ! A second thought is a “p.s” and a knapsack is a pack. “Having the knack of something” is definitely a gift
25 OFF COLOUR
2 OBVIATES : (bias vote)*
3 STRE-WN : (rest)* + W N
5 HEATH CLIFF : From “Wuthering Heights” and also two features of wild countryside.
7 UNHOOK : reference to “hook and eye” fastenings
14 PIANO STOOL
15 RETURN FARE : This is a lovely pun : I’m usually a critic of Rufus’ work, but he did make me smile this morning.
20 KID-NAP : I know a card game called “Napoleon” where you score big if you promise to take all the tricks and do so – this is called “Nap”. There may be a less obscure rationale.
21 CASTOR : (+POLLUX = the Gemini Twins)
22 OAKS : A classic horse race and that most English of trees
23 DUFF : e.g “Plum Duff”. Good misdirection – it’s not the kind of “boiled sweet” you expected, right ?