Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,566 / Rufus

Posted by Eileen on December 8th, 2008


Another pleasant start to the week from Rufus, with his usual sprinkling of cryptic definitions, but nothing too demanding and not much to comment on. [I find, to my great embarrassment, that my Friday ‘solution’ to the Massacre of the Innocents has gained me a Google entry! I can only hope, since I fell upon the fifteensquared website when investigating a dodgy clue, that others may be similarly led to join us.]


9   IMMEDIATE: MEDIA inside [ITEM]* It’s a pity that ‘media’ crops up again later but it’s nice to see it clued correctly each time as a plural word.
13 IMBED: I’M B.ED: I wasn’t familiar with this word but all my dictionaries give it, as a less common form of ’embed’
14 TROJAN WAR: cd  Needless to say, I loved this one, particularly the ‘gifted’.  [Virgil: Aeneid II 49: ‘I fear the Greeks even [alternative – and equally apt – translation: ‘especially’] when they bring gifts.’]
19 LIGHT YEAR: I + [LETHARGY]* I found this a very well-disguised anagram
22 CANDIDA: CANDID + A : play written by George Bernard Shaw in 1894
24 OBESE: O + [BEES]*


EDITED: [DEED]* round IT
PASS: P + A + SS [I have to confess that, not having got 9ac on my first trawl through, my first entry here was more of an &lit!!]
HIGH CAMP: what do you call this kind of clue? It’s not exactly a double definition, is it?
17 DETAILED: dd: an old favourite, always good for a smile on a gloomy Monday morning
20 GANDER: dd
22 CHOP: dd
23 TART: cd

32 Responses to “Guardian 24,566 / Rufus”

  1. Jake says:

    Morning Eileen, good blog.

    I was stuck in the top left corner, but not any longer…

    How does 21 dn work, I’ve seen this cluing several times since the summer and I know the answer, but I can’t ever figure the word play out because Malawi is in south east Africa??? Can anyone enlighten me?

    Also, I find Rufus’ puzzles fun to work on but, I’m going to try him in the FT – Dante. I really struggle with him then. Anyone else find the same ?

  2. Eileen says:

    Hi Jake

    Do you mean you made the same mistake as I did on 4dn? 😉

    Re 21: The definition is ‘African state’ [Malawi] The wordplay is A W [ A West] inside MALI – a West African state. Sneaky!

  3. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Re MALAWI. In that clue I think the def. is simply ‘African state’.
    The container is MALI (a west African state) and the content is A W (from ‘a West’).

  4. Jake says:

    Hi Guys I kind of guessed Malawi would’ve been deceptive surface reading.. quite clever..!

    Eileen – I got ‘pass’ right as I’ve seen this clue before and knew what the answer was. I didn’t pay enough attention to 1dn and missed the anagram! But, 5-6 of the clues today I’ve seen in the Telegraph in the early summer when I was stating cryptics.

    Thanks for the Malawi explanation though.

    I’m off to try Dante.

    Have a good day people.

  5. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Re the clue
    6 Very affected by going off to temporary accommodation (4,4)
    I think this is a charade.
    Very affected – def.
    by going – (connector)
    off – HIGH ((of meat) decomposed)
    to – (connector)
    temporary accommodation _ CAMP

  6. smutchin says:

    Very nice puzzle to start the week – lots of classic Rufus. I especially enjoyed 14ac and 17dn. I wasn’t familiar with that spelling of Teheran in 12ac but from those letters it couldn’t have been anything else so I managed to get it anyway.

    Agree with CG’s interpretation of 6dn being a “charade”.

  7. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Rishi and Smutchin. My instinct was to call it a charade, though it’s more usual for that to be a word split up into component parts.

  8. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Your anno for 10ac suggests that the clue is a ‘container/content’. But is it?
    The clue is “Angry as a rodent that is trapped (5)”
    Good surface reading, yes. But in wordplay what is trapped in what? IE in RAT or RAT in IE?
    “rodent that is trapped” seems to suggest that we take the word RAT and entrap IE in it.
    The clue is perhaps an anagram, RAT, IE being anag. fodder and ‘trapped’ being anagrind, even though not suggesting any agitation.

  9. Eileen says:

    Rishi: I agree that it looks at first as if IE should be inside RAT but then I read it as ‘angry as a rodent [which] ‘that is’ trapped [past tense]. I can’t really see it as an anagram.

  10. smutchin says:

    CG, I read it the same as Eileen, with IE as the subject of the verb [to trap] and RAT the object.

    Eileen, if it’s any consolation, although I got that 6dn was a charade straight off, I then took ages to solve it because I read it back to front – I had “going off” as DE-CAMP and was then looking for a two-letter word meaning “very affected” to complete a phrase meaning “temporary accommodation”. D’oh!

  11. smutchin says:

    If you replace “that is” with the name of a person in the clue, it becomes clearer: “Angry as a rat Bill trapped.”

  12. Eileen says:

    Spot on, Smutchin! Thanks

  13. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    Thanks! Now I understand! Good that I did not feel shy of raising the question.

  14. Brendan says:

    The wife and I had all the puzzle finished except for 6D ‘high camp’ which caused me to question my spelling of Teheran even though it was a fairly easy anagram. Interestingly the Writers and Editors Dictionary says ‘Tehran NOT heran’. We then ‘got’ the joke and high camp slotted in perfectly.

  15. JamieC says:

    Some very nice cryptic definitions here, esp. 14a and 15d, although I wasn’t sure whether 16a was very cryptic at all. 21d probably the best for me – very neat and quite misleading.

    I initially quibbled over 10a, but previous posters have convinced me that you can legitimately read it is IE containing RAT. :)

  16. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, Eileen – a fun crossword with some really nice clues – LIGHT YEAR, in particular.

    I have just one question: in 13 across, how does “I have” become “I’M”?

  17. Testy says:

    I read it as the whole phrase “I have qualification to teach” as “I’m [a] Bacheler of Education” hence “I’m B.Ed.”

  18. mhl says:

    Thanks, Testy – that makes sense, although I’ve never heard anyone use the formulation “I’m [qualification]” in real life…

  19. Eileen says:

    That’s how I read it, Testy, but you’re quite right, Mhl, you don’t hear people say that. It’s rather odd, when you think of it, that what they do say is, ‘I *have* a B[achelor] of…

  20. Dave Ellison says:

    I thought this was one of the easiest Xwords for some time, and I am a bit surprised no one else has commented to this effect.

  21. JimboNWUK says:

    Agreed Dave E, I thought it was easy too mainly due to being anagrind-heavy… I always carry the Saturday Prize puzzle with me on Mondays in anticipation of an easy ride and was surprised to complete over 75% of Paul’s Saturday effort as well. Perhaps we are just unusually ‘on form’ today!

  22. Rich says:

    I stormed through most of this (I’d like to think I am getting better as a solver but it was probably due to the high anagram ratio)

    Couple of questions though, I didnt get 23ac on first read, shouldnt the surface have the about with the new testament? instead of NT (stories about) money. Although looking at it again i can see how it fits :)

    Also, I needed all the letters i could get for High Camp…

    Thanks for a fun crossword Rufus and I now know imbed is a more obscure version of embed.

    I tried the Times crossword on friday and I have to say it wasnt a patch on the Guardian crosswords i have done over the past 2 weeks.

  23. Eileen says:

    Rich: this kind of clue, where the surface seems the wrong way round, is quite common and usually causes some discussion. I think you have to think of it as ‘New Testament [with] stories about [it]’.

  24. mhl says:

    Incidentally, maybe I’ve missed something but I haven’t seen anyone remark on being mentioned by Professor Stephenson in his newsletter this month, recommending this site as a way to find out how clues work.

    I’m surprised he didn’t mention any of the controversies from the last month – I thought it was more contentious than usual…

  25. ChrisW says:

    Eileen, regarding the Massacre of the Innocents (Puzzle 24564) the date is doubtful and most authorities no longer accept it as an historical fact. However, if the Magi were intent on seeking the infant Jesus (AD 0) then two years later would be AD2 or ADII in Roman numerals. This is how I read it, despite the current view that Jesus was born AD4. However, there is no year 0 (AD or BC) and, as I am sure you know, Roman date counting always included the first day or month. So ADII is still two years after ADI (in Roman counting).

  26. Roger Murray says:

    I,like Jimbo,used to carry the Saturday puzzle as a reserve for Monday’s return commute, however, of late I have actually been solving them on Saturday( except for the fiendish one a couple or three weeks ago) which I see as definite evidence of improvement. Now I print out the Sunday Everyman and do that instead, usually a pretty easy solve and another gentle introduction to the week.

  27. Kate Wild says:

    I’m not sure which is more fun, doing the crossword or reading the comments about the solutions here! Dave and Jimbo, I’ve also managed to finish quite a few crosswords lately, even the Saturday ones, which is unusual for me, I usually get stuck on a couple of clues. Either they’re getting easier or we’re all getting smarter.

  28. Ian says:

    Rufus on form again.

    Most very straighforward except for 23d where, inexplicaply, I became obsessed with West African states for far too long!!

  29. smutchin says:

    I also take the Saturday crossword with me on the train on Monday but I’m definitely not on form – I’ve yet to make much headway with this week’s Paul number. I shall have to keep plugging away over the week. I often take Sunday’s Azed with me as well and never get very far with that. Rufus is always enjoyable respite.

  30. struggler says:

    My thought when I solved 6 down was here’s a solution crying out for a cheeky Brokeback Mountain clue! (I offer the suggestion to Private Eye’s crossword setter for future reference.)

  31. DavidMed says:

    Mhl said:
    >> I haven’t seen anyone remark on being mentioned by Professor Stephenson in his newsletter this month, recommending this site as a way to find out how clues work.<<

    OK..I will! I only discovered Hugh Stephenson’s column a few weeks ago – the archive is really useful to a new solver. I emailed him asking about sources to unravel answers – he didn’t actually reply directly, but maybe that prompted him to mention ‘fifteensquared’ in his next column. Whatever, I’m very grateful to him for that, and to all the contributors hear for the interest and the help that you all give. Thanks to you, I’m getting better – sometimes! 14a gave me “Global War” which blocked 14d. I thought ‘gifted horse’ must be some racehorse I’d never heard of! Cheers, DM

  32. DavidMed says:

    and I mean ‘here’, not ‘hear’, of course. No doubt you will have worked that out. Oops.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

4 − one =