Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24518/Rufus

Posted by Eileen on October 13th, 2008


A pretty straightforward puzzle from Rufus,  with no real ‘complications’ [one of two rather weak clues, I thought] and perhaps fewer cryptic clues than usual.

dd: double definition
cd: cryptic definition
[*]: anagram


1   REPROACH:  [or preach]*
5   CLOCHE:  dd – a   cloche was a bell-shaped hat popular in the 1920s.
10  EMBALM: EM + [lamb]* – an EM is a measure in printing, hence ‘typical’.
12  CYNIC: hidden answer – fanCY NICknames. [Diogenes, one of the original Ancient Greek Cynics is said to have lived        in a tub, to show his contempt of knowledge and current morality.]
13  ARTHRITIS: [Irish tart]* –  I think I would call arthritis a condition rather than an illness but that’s perhaps too picky.
14  LOSE PATIENCE: dd – Patience is a card game for a single player.
18  COMPLICATION: dd? – are these really two distinct meanings?
21  BRITANNIA: dd – Britannia metal is a pewter-type alloy, 93% tin, 5% antimony and 2% copper and is apparently used to make the Oscars, which are then plated with gold.
23  USERS: [ruses]*
25  OKLAHOMA: dd
26  DIGITS: DIG [understand] + IT’S


2   PAVING: cd
3   OLD SCHOOL: dd
4   CONVALESCENT: the other dodgy dd / ?cd Surely it’s the same use of the word?
7   CHASTENS: [cats, hens]* – nice use of ‘cows’
15  INOCULATE: [I clean out]* I thought ‘wound’, which I took to be pp of ‘wind’, was a great anagrind.
16  ICE-BOUND: dd
17  UMPIRING: cd – Cricket enthusiasts will be horrified to learn that I was all set to challenge the apostrophe here but I found that the ground I always thought of as “Lords'” was named after its founder, Thomas Lord. [But you all knew that :-)]

19 Responses to “Guardian 24518/Rufus”

  1. Andrew says:

    18ac – I agree there are hardly two meanings here.
    4dn – likewise, though maybe it’s just a cryptic definition (a “getting-better type of home”)

    Thanks for the explanation of 21ac – the “old Royal Yacht” bit made the answer obvious, but I’d never heard of the metal (and didn’t bother to look it up…). As it’s only 2% copper the alloy-related part is rather inadequate, I think.

  2. Mort says:

    I took 21ac to be referring to the fact that Britannia used to be the design on copper coins – hence ‘impressed’.

    I think 18ac is fine; a complication encountered while working on something is a difficulty, and seems a different use of the word from a complication in an illness to me.

  3. Eileen says:

    Mort: the ‘impressed’ was bothering me, rather. I’m sure you’re right – thank you. I was looking for complications where there weren’t any!

    Re the other complication: I still think the meanings are too similar to be really satisfying – but Rufus on a Monday is supposed not to be too complicated. [That last one was accidental – I’ll stop now.]

  4. Dave Ellison says:

    1d Does this need a bit of explanation? I could see it was reduce (take weight off), but it took me a while to see the other kind – £.

    I agree that 18ac and 4d had hardly two meanings, but, on reflection I think both do, but they are weak. 4d I took to be: getting better; and a sort of home; and a vague &lit. too?

  5. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Dave. I should have identified it as a dd. Actually, it was the £ reduction that occurred to me first. [Perhaps we have more sales around here.]

  6. Rufus says:

    Congratulations Eileen on this blog – your first for 15Squared? Your past comments on puzzles have always been fair so it wasn’t a surprise that your blog continued in the same vein.

  7. Roger Murray says:

    Does anyone else think that it is rather wonderful that Rufus adds such positive feedback to the blog, especially in light of the stick he often recieves.

  8. Jake says:

    I had 3d as ‘outsiders’.

    ‘conservative types in rugby, say?’ the clueing I read as plural took me to – outside centre as the answer minus centre and add ‘ers’ on the end, a position in rugby, next to right wing, meaning conservative.

    But, I’m new to cryptics.

    Any who, nice puzzle for a starter. Thanks.

  9. Eileen says:

    Roger – I’ve been trying to compose a response in the same vein, without sounding sycophantic, in view of some of my comments on today’s puzzle! I, too, have been impressed by how often Rufus takes the trouble to contribute generous comments and I’m just sorry that I drew today’s puzzle. The fact that I was slightly disappointed in it is due to the high expectation I have of Rufus’s entertainment value.

    Jake – and I said I was the one making things complicated for myself! Welcome to cryptic-solving: you have years of pleasure ahead!

  10. mhl says:

    I really enjoyed this one, and only got stuck on CLOCHE. (I don’t think I’d heard the word in either sense before.)

  11. muck says:

    I don’t think, Rufus, that this was Eileen’s first blog on 15sqd: I remember congratulating her on that one. Very enjoyable puzzle today, and always good to have your comments on 15sqd.

  12. Eileen says:

    Quite right, Muck: it was my second – and it’s a steep learning curve!

  13. Tom Hutton says:

    Since he contributes to the blog, can Rufus reveal if he is related to RFS who contributes crosswords to the (Glasgow)Herald? Or is it just a coincidence?

  14. Rufus says:

    Since 1981, I have supplied the Monday puzzles for the Herald, and also for every Wednesday under initials EAP. This arose because the crossword editor of the Birmingham Post back in the 1960s wanted to use me twice a week but didn’t want to upset the other setters, so decided to publish a second under these initials (for Edgar Allan Poe!). When I became editor in 1981 I arranged for the Herald to use the Birmingham Post puzzles for their weekday crosswords. In 2000 the Post went to a syndicate for cheapness, sacking all the compilers overnight, without any compensation – some had been with the Post over 50 years. I held the team together and continued supplying the Herald and Yorkshire Post. As the team died I provided more and more of their puzzles until it became too much and I reverted to being just a setter twice a week.

  15. don says:

    I lovely gentle start to the week – and helpful to the uninitiated, like Jake, and to those like like myself, the weak.

    Pigeons flying ‘aloft’ was not difficult, but I found it and the definitions of ‘snow bound’ amusing. Simple mind, I suppose. Thank you Rufus for some of the best word play over the past few weeks.

  16. Duncan says:

    Any reason why 4dn should be convalescent rather than convalescing? I have the latter as an active verb to match ‘getting better’.

  17. Duncan says:

    ps That makes it a DD to me – ‘getting better’ and ‘a type of home’ as Dave (#4) suggests.

  18. Eileen says:

    Duncan: I’ve never heard of a ‘convalescing home’ and, anyway, convalescent means exactly the same as convalescing [from the Latin present participle ‘convalescens,entis’ – ‘getting better’.]

    I think I’m having second thoughts about this clue now [I think it’s getting better!] but I prefer to think of it, like Andrew [comment 1], as a cd – a’getting-better’ type of home.

  19. Tom Hutton says:

    I would like to say to Rufus how much I enjoy his puzzles and to have three a week is a great pleasure. I must say I have looked at EAP’s work and wondered from time to time. Keep up the good work.

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