Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24536 / Rufus

Posted by mhl on November 3rd, 2008


A very good start to the week, with lots of clues that made me smile. I think my particular favourites here were two of the three musical ones: 16 across and 25 down.

5. ECLIPSE CLIPS in EE = “the middle of Greece”
10. EVIL BE = “live” reversed
11. UP A GUM TREE Double definition; “Where a koala may be” and “in trouble”. I hadn’t heard this expression before, but it’s quite guessable and Google confirms that it means “in difficulties”
12. LOADED Double definition
14. DISAPPEAR DI = “Female” + SAPPER around A – if something will “pass” it will “disappear”
16. CELLO CELL + O = “circle”. I love “large scale fiddle” for ’cello
17. BLOCK Double definition
19. DRUMSTICK (TRIMS DUCK)* with “Butcher” as a nice anagram indicator
23. GRIMACED MACE in GRID: the clue should be read “in GRID: MACE”
24. NATURE An excellent cryptic definition, alluding to Mother Nature and someone’s type being their character or nature
26. SCRATCHING Another nice cryptic definition
27. MOVE Double definition
28. PLAYPEN PLAY + PEN = “writer”; playpens have barred sides
29. ASTOUND (TO US AND)* with “collapse” as the anagram indicator
2. RAVIOLI A hidden answer; ravioli might be a pasta course
3. OGLED (OLD E.G.)*
4. ROUND UP Double definition, I think – “Accumulate” is clear, but I’m not sure why it’s “stock”? (Except in the same sense of “stock up”.) Thanks to Rich, who suggests out that that the cryptic reading is “stock” in the sense of “cattle” – I couldn’t see past the share-dealing surface :)
6. CRUNCH Double definition
9. TAKES A PRIDE IN Double definition, “Receives statisfaction from” and “providing a lion reserve?”
18. LYRICAL Cryptic definition
20. MANAGES MAN = “player” + AGES
21. CARAVAN CAR and VAN joined by A
22. ICICLE Cryptic definition
25. TEMPO Excellent cryptic definition – the tempo is the time at which one should take a song (an “air”)

8 Responses to “Guardian 24536 / Rufus”

  1. Rich says:


    Re 4D, I think stock is a reference to live stock e.g ’rounding up cattle’.

  2. Eileen says:

    A lovely straightforward puzzle, with some very clever anagrams [ENCROACH, DRUMSTICK, ASTOUND, STENCIL] all with excellent surface readings. I also liked 23ac, GRIMACED and 27ac, MOVE.

    As you say, mhl, a very good start to the week. Thanks for the blog and thanks also to Rufus.

  3. don says:

    Rufus again has produced beautiful wording for all clues. Another gentle start for the weak, like me.

  4. Jake says:

    I liked this crossword, managed to finish it with no complications.
    I liked 16a. cell-o. Plus all very good and easy going on newbies.

    Nice one.

  5. Tom Hutton says:

    Just a pleasure to do as so often with Rufus. It’s the elegance of clues like 29ac that give me so much enjoyment.

  6. smutchin says:

    Some really great clues today – ‘large-scale fiddle’ being my favourite bit of wordplay. 19ac also made me smile when I finally saw the solution – after much head scratching caused by thinking ‘butcher’ was the definition…

  7. Davidoff says:

    Great crossword. One problem – 13ac: isn’t encroach an intransitive verb and introduce a transitive one?

  8. davidoff says:

    re 7 – Sorry guys, did this crossword on the way to a concert in Birmingham (I play 16ac-answer, and I gave a lift to a 2dn-clue), I was driving so 2dn clue dictated the clues and I misheard intrude as introduce…

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