Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,500/Rufus

Posted by Andrew on September 22nd, 2008

Andrew.

I found this harder than the average Rufus, with the SE corner (especially the 24s) causing some delays.

Key:
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

Across
7 SEABOARD S, E, ABOARD
9 USEFUL (US FUEL)*
10 BLUE dd Surprises come “out of the blue”, so blue is a “source of surprise”
11 FLY-BY-NIGHT dd
12 OUTCRY OUT CRY
14 SORBONNE BONN in SORE
15 BYLINES BY LINES
17 BEATERS cd Beaters disturb game birds (grouse, pheasant etc) so that “sportsmen” can shoot at them
20 CASHMERE CASH MERE
22 FARROW FAR ROW I knew this as a verb, meaning to give birth to a litter of pigs, but according to Chambers it can also be a noun, meaning the litter itself
23 BLASPHEMER (REBEL MP HAS)*
24 VEER cd To veer is to change course, or “turn”.
25 GOVERN G OVER N Scientific nitpick: capital G is the Universal Gravitational Constant, so it’s not just Earth’s gravity. Maybe Rufus means lower-case g, which is the acceleration due to Earth’s gravity.
26 DISTRAIT DI’S TRAIT Where would setters be without little Diana?
Down
1 JEALOUSY JE A LOUSY
2 ABBE B in ABE Abe = Abraham Lincoln
3 BARFLY BAR FLY
4 DUTY-FREE cd
5 HELICOPTER (THE POLICE R)* With the answer cryptically defined as “a craft that hovers”
6 BUCHAN CHA in BUN John Buchan, author of The Thirty-nine Steps and other ripping yarns
8 DRYISH (DISHY R)*
13 CHICHESTER CHIC HESTER
16 ELEPHANT (THE PENAL)* A cleverly-concealed anagram
18 RHODESIA RHODES I A
19 BEAMED dd Buildings with beams have support
21 ABLOOM A BLOOM My least favourite clue in this puzzle, with BLOOM being used in almost exactly the same sense in both the definition and the wordplay
22 FOREST (SOFTER)* A simple clue that had me fooled for quite a while
24 VERA VERA(city) Fairly obvious when you see it, but this and 24ac took me ages.

10 Responses to “Guardian 24,500/Rufus”

  1. mhl says:

    I similarly had problems with the south-east corner, partly because of the classic problem of only seeing the cryptic meaning of 24a, not the surface. :)

    I think “earth’s gravity” as an indicator for “g” in the latter sense you mention (i.e. acceleration due to gravity) is fine, for what it’s worth.

    A good fun puzzle today, as ever – and thanks for the post.

  2. Berny says:

    Thanks for the early post and your explanation of the SE corner.

  3. Eileen says:

    It was the other bottom corner that I finished last. I was looking for something much more complicated for 21dn, involving both flowers and rivers. I had VERA for a while before realising why, though.

    I liked the anagrams in 23ac and 16dn.

    [I don't know how many schoolchildren get 'lines' as a punishment these days!]

  4. John says:

    Re 6 dn, I don’t like the use of “without” with the subject and object reversed. Surely “Writer taking cake without tea” is better? I’ve also never been entirely happy about “cha” as opposed to “char”.

  5. Gary Howe says:

    what is cryptic about the answer ‘veer’?

    also you can veer anything off course, you don’t have to be ‘at the helm’

    Have I misunderstood something?, this clue seems like a ‘quick crossword’ clue with no cryptic element

    thanks

    G

  6. Eileen says:

    24ac: I took the other meaning as being ‘take a turn’, i.e. do a spell of duty

    I agree with John’s first comment about 6dn. There’s a similar construction in 14ac.

  7. Val says:

    17ac: Maybe a passing reference to the beaters in quidditch, another “flying game”, as well? I like to think so!

  8. ACP says:

    I was short of 24ac/24dn. 24dn is okay but 24ac is pretty disappointing – an unsatisfactory cryptic clue.
    (Otherwise, I’m a big fan of Rufus, mind you . . .)

  9. David says:

    This wasn’t published in our local paper in Australia until 7 October (as “English Cryptic Crossword No 24727″. The numbering here has always been a little different to the Guardian, which makes finding the correct puzzle on 15 squared a bit of a challenge, especially since I don’t want to see solutions to puzzles not published here yet). I was also stuck on the 24s, but to make matters worse I was away on a trip so couldn’t get the following day’s paper to find out the solution. As a result I spent four days looking at those 24s, and still got nowhere!

  10. Bill says:

    Same situation here in Canada, David. It’s in the Guardian Weekly, which just came out today.
    I had 24 down but I couldn’t figure out why. Now it’s been explained it is, of course, quite obvious!
    Veer seemed so obvious, but so trite, for 24 across, I was hoping it would be something different. On the other hand, I thought 2 down and 10 across were quite clever. Good crossword, all in all.

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