Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,554 – Rufus

Posted by Ciaran McNulty on November 24th, 2008

Ciaran McNulty.

Straightforward monday puzzle, lots of typical Rufus cryptic definitions.

c.d. = cryptic definition
d.d. = double definition
* = anagram
<< = rev


5. FULCRA. c.d.
10. ALARUM. A + MURAL<<. Old variation of ‘alarm’.
15. HELIGOLAND. HELDINGAOL*. Small archipeligo north of Germany.
17. DIT. Not sure really!  Dit is a morse code dot and ‘I’ is dit-dit? DOT, as per Goeff Moss’s comment
19. RUT. d.d.
20. WINDSURFER. c.d.
28. ENSIGN. EN(G.I.S<<)N.  ‘Quarters’ meaning ‘an unspecified number of NESW’ always annoys me.
29. DESERTS. d.d.


1. SAWS. SAW + S.
2. READ. READ(y).
4. SHRUG. SH(e) + RUG.
6. UNLOAD. c.d.
7. CARRIED OFF. d.d.
11. PENNED. d.d.
13. SHORE LEAVE. c.d.
14. PLATE GLASS. d.d.
16. LOITER. LO + IT + RE<<
23. AWARD. A + WARD.
24. TOUR. TO + UR.
25. LEES. LEE’S.  Lees are the dregs from winemaking.

30 Responses to “Guardian 24,554 – Rufus”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    17a The answer is DOT. ‘I will need it’ indicates that a lower case (when small) ‘I’ has a dot over it.

  2. Eileen says:

    Hi Ciaran

    I think 17ac means that ‘I’ needs a dot when lower case.

    I really liked 15ac.

  3. Eileen says:


  4. smutchin says:

    I put SAWN for 1dn. I think both answers are valid – depends on whether you read “cut” as a present tense or a past participle.

  5. Dawn says:

    I found 28ac one of the hardest to get. I spent ages trying to think what else officers quarters might be called. Nice to finish a puzzle without the internet though!

  6. Eileen says:

    Smutchin: I didn’t notice that – I had ‘sawn’, too, and I think it must be right, or the clue would have to read CUTS to pieces.

  7. Mr Beaver says:

    I was stuck on 5a and 6d – I was misled completely by ‘purchases’ which was fair enough, but thought ‘free of charge’ too imprecise for UNLOAD.

  8. Paul W says:

    Put BAGGAGE LABEL for 22ac, which made 13dn insoluble.

  9. smutchin says:

    Mr Beaver, 6d is a typically Rufusian cryptic definition and I quite like it – a load is something you are “charged” with, so to unload is to free yourself of your charge. Seems fair to me, but it’s a matter of taste, I guess.

  10. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Goeff Moss and Eileen – Thanks as ever for the correction.

    Paul W – I put BAGGAGE in at first too, wasn’t a very satisfactory clue.

    Mr Beaver – Unload works for me, in the verbal sense (with a slightly less obvious meaning of ‘charge’).

  11. Eileen says:

    I took 6dn to refer to unloading a gun, so thought it was pretty good. Like Mr Beaver, I put in that one and 5ac last – both typical Rufus clues, as has been said.

  12. Dave Ellison says:

    Yup, had baggage, too, for 22ac, at first. Thought 13d must be something like SHORT BRAKE, but couldn’t believe there was a misspelling, and couldn’t see where the craftsman came in.

  13. smutchin says:

    Eileen, I hadn’t thought of unloading a charge from a gun, but that works. I think it just about works in the sense of unloading an electrical charge from a capacitor too.

  14. Dave Ellison says:

    5ac Is it really a cd? A fulcrum is a turning point, and that seems like a straightforward definition. A fulcrum doesn’t really give you a purchase in the sense crampons may give you a purchase on ice.

  15. Brian Harris says:

    Hi Ciaran,

    I’m pretty sure 1dn has to be “sawn” as Smutchin says, as the straight is “cut to pieces” – either present tense or past tense, either “saw” or “sawn” but can’t really be “saws”.

    Agree about “dit” and “dot” – even after my colleague explained it to me, I was left scratching my head a little. Little bit too tricksy for me.

    Otherwise, fairly straightforward today, I thought.

  16. PaulD says:

    17 ac reminded me of No. 24,541 set by Paul, for which 25ac is “Vowel:what’s over it surrounding it? 13 20…?” (5).

  17. Rufus says:

    My intention was for SAWN. UNLOAD in several Thesauri have DISCHARGE so thought “free of charge” acceptable.

  18. Paul B says:

    ‘Charge’ is ‘load’ anyway, so no worries. Nice CD – charge your glasses.

  19. Geoff Anderson says:

    Interesting question you raise about FULCRA, Dave. But if the toe of your skate digs into the ice, thus making a purchase, doesn’t that point of contact then act as a fulcrum, as you pivot head over toe?

    Concerning BAGGAGE and LUGGAGE.

    In view of the discussion, I’ve looked them both up in the online Concise OED, admittedly because I was under the impression that BAGGAGE was a US usage (wrong), and discovered an interesting distinction:

    BAGGAGE refers only to the *contents*, not to the cases, while LUGGAGE refers specifically to the cases. Rufus could therefore argue that it has to be LUGGAGE LABELS since the labels are attached to and identify the cases and not the baggage being lugged inside them.

    This is clarified by taking the extreme but possible ‘case’ in which one was taking on one’s travels an *empty* suitcase. It would still be luggage even though it carried *no* baggage.

    Finally, luggage *can* become baggage, but only if it is being carried inside other luggage!

  20. JimboNWUK says:

    To Dave Elisson:
    The craftsman came in on his boat! [grin]

    For some odd reason I found 17ac to be the best clue of the puzzle, and the rest was utterly fair I thought with PENNED being my last answer given the plethora of possibilities for _E_N_D

  21. John says:

    Nice puzzle, and hats off to Rufus. Just a question. Heligoland is described as an archipelago. Can an archipelago be one island?

  22. Eileen says:

    No, John, but your question prompted me to look up Heligoland and I find that it is, in fact, a group of islands, which was a surprise.

  23. Eileen says:

    PS: sorry, two islands, actually.

  24. Rufus says:

    Darn! I’ve no excuse for that except that Collins defines it as “a small island”.
    I was working under the assumption that baggage and luggage were as Geoff has lucidly laid out.

    I recall an old clue of mine that may cause more confusion now – viz.: “Cases of eviction (3,3,7)”.
    Answer “Bag and baggage”.

  25. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Wikipedia, at least, seems to indicate that the main island is referred to as ‘Heligoland’ as well as it being a name for the group of islands.

  26. Eileen says:

    That seems to me a pretty reasonable excuse, Rufus. I’ve certainly always thought it was one island – and, as I said earlier, I really liked the clue!

  27. Ian Hinds says:

    Another well clued piece.
    The last clue I solved was 25d and it took me over 10 mins. This despite the fact I have a wine diploma!!

    I too had SAWN as the answer. Drat!

  28. stiofain_x says:

    another great rufus puzzle i particularly liked shore leave and it is great to see rufus contributing to the forum and clearing up niggles like saws/sawn

  29. don says:

    Another enjoyable crossword from Rufus.

    Never mind the baggage/luggage debate (if it begins with L it’s ‘luggage’), probably intentionally Rufus sent me looking for all sorts of legal ‘brief’ and was happy with ‘legatee brief’ for far too long until I got ‘rating’.

  30. Rich says:

    I know i am still a beginner but I had Dot (I will become i when small) and Sawn (as it is past tense)

    Also, 1 way to check is to go to the online java crossword and put in the answer and press check.

    This gives both Dot and Sawn as the correct answers.


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