Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24600 / Rufus

Posted by mhl on January 19th, 2009

mhl.

Apologies for this being a bit late today; I’d forgotten that I was supposed to be doing the post today. There are a couple of questions below that people can easily clear up, I’m sure…

Across
1. HANDS OFF Double definition, HANDS being workers
5. DOUBTS Cryptic definition
9. MURDERED I’m missing something here: I guess it’s a double definition with “Took life” as one part, but I’m not sure how “seriously” can mean MURDERED The consensus in the comments (thanks, Andrew & Eileen) is that this is a cryptic definition
10. RIALTO A lovely hidden answer, referring to the Rialto Bridge
12. ADIEU (AIDE)* + U[nion]
13. DRIVES OFF Double definition; I don’t really like “Starts on the green” – I see Chambers does give “golf course” as a definition for “green”, but I’ve never heard it used in that sense.
14. MARATHON RACE (HAM ACTOR NEAR)* Update: Oops – “to” isn’t in the anagram fodder. Thanks to Geoff Moss for the correction.
18. POTTERS WHEEL Cryptic definition
21. ARGENTINA ARGENT (French for “money”) + IN A
23. ZEBRA Cryptic definition
24. LEAGUE Double definition
25. STOCKADE Cryptic definitino
26. DEEPEN Cryptic definition
27. ADHERENT (ARDENT HE)*
Down
1. HYMNALS Cryptic definition
2. NORDIC (RODIN)* + C = “number”
3. SPECULATE Double definition
4. FREUDIAN SLIP (A SINFUL PRIDE)*
6. ON ICE Double definition
7. BALMORAL BALM = “ointment” + ORAL = “said”
8. SCOT FREE (SECRET OF)*
11. LIGHT HEARTED A very nice cryptic definition
15. NIETZSCHE (SEE CHINTZ)* for the philosopher
16. SPRAWLED WARPS (= “moves ship”) reversed + LED = “escorted”. One of the meanings of “warp” in Chambers is “to move, as a vessel, by hauling on ropes attached to posts on a wharf, etc.”
17. STAGNATE STAG + (A NET)*
19. ABLAZE B[ad] + (ZEAL)*
20. TALENT Double definition, one that made me smile
22. NO USE NOUS = “in France we” + E (= “point”)

24 Responses to “Guardian 24600 / Rufus”

  1. Andrew says:

    Hi mhl – I thought 9ac was just a cryptic definition, murdering being a “serious” way of taking life.

    13ac seems OK to me, as golfers drive off specifically from the green.

  2. Andrew says:

    Aargh, what am I talking about? I was confusing “green” with “tee”. In that case, I agree with you doubts.

  3. nick jones says:

    I think 13ac is confusing as golfers don’t start from the green – rather they drive off from the tee towards the green. Rufus is obviously not a golfer…

  4. Dawn says:

    I knew straight away who 15d referred to since he often seems to pop up in crosswords. I just wish I could remember how to spell the name though because my several wrong attempts made a right botch of that section!

  5. Eileen says:

    Hi Mhl – thanks for the blog. Pretty straightforward today [just one little hiccup caused by having PALISADE for 25 ac, until NIETZSCHE wouldn't fit] – but not one for those who don’t like cryptic clues. I took 9ac as being another of those.

  6. Huguenot says:

    I thought 7d was Holloway, as in Royal Holloway and Holloway’s ointment.

  7. Eileen says:

    Sorry for the repetition, Andrew – another instance of spending too long typing!

  8. Geoff Moss says:

    14a ‘to’ isn’t part of the anagram fodder.

  9. mhl says:

    Thanks for the corrections; I’ve updated the post.

  10. TwoPies says:

    Thanks mhl. I thought warp was a reference to Star Trek!

  11. Derek Lazenby says:

    If you can’t remember how to spell names it helps to be on line and have the Check facility. Wrong letters dissapear, so you soon get it right.

    I went quietly HMMM about green instead of tee too but it didn’t bother me enough to comment until I saw the other comments.

    Umm, I was doing other things whilst solving so my just over an hour was probably about half that. I guess if the dunce of the group can manage that we can formally declare this one as easy! :)

  12. Rob Lewis says:

    I thought the golf element in 13 ac was a ‘red’ herring as all drivers start their cars on the green light at the traffic lights?

  13. smutchin says:

    I found the checking letters very helpful for the spelling of Nietzsche.

    4d FREUDIAN SLIP is excellent (does it count as &lit?). And I really enjoyed some of the cryptic definitions today – 1d HYMNAL, 18a POTTER’S WHEEL and 25a STOCKADE in particular. But I thought 9a MURDERED was a bit weird and I hesitated to fill it in, thinking there had to be more to it until the checking letters made it clear that I had the right solution. And 26a DEEPEN is barely cryptic at all.

    Not being a golfer myself, I didn’t bat an eyelid at 13a. The only clue that troubled me today was 16d – but then it wouldn’t be Rufus without at least one obscure nautical term.

  14. mhl says:

    TwoPies: strangely, I didn’t even consider that, despite having watched lots of Star Trek. I think the crossword bits of my brain and the science fiction bits must be entirely disjunct… :)

    Rob Lewis: Interesting – looking back at it, I think that the traffic light reference must be part of the intended surface reading, but perhaps Rufus will be along to correct me later :)

  15. Ian Stark says:

    And there was me hesitating to mention the Star Trek reference!

    I also thought FREUDIAN SLIP was lovely. Hastily put in BLOCKADE but realised my error thirty seconds later – still, I hate messy grids. Couple of clues left me a little cold, of which 23a hasn’t been mentioned yet. I was writing in the answer before I got to the end of the first line of the clue, even without NIETZSCHE’s Z (are we to assume that 15d was in the grid before 23a?!).

  16. Rufus says:

    Ian is quite right – I started filling the grid with the two longest across solutions, which left 15 down with a 9-letter word starting N?E??????. Having used NEEDINESS and NEEDLE-GUN recently, NIETZSCHE looked awkward to clue, but remained the best bet.
    When I was moving from setting the syndicated evening paper crosswords to the better-paid nationals in 1979 I was recommended to buy The Rodale Synonym Finder as the best for the job. In it, under GREEN, it does include “golf-course”, as does an old Chambers (but, now I check, not in the later editions).
    Nick is correct, I am not a golfer. I found it like snooker – you bring off a superb shot and get all big-headed only to execute exactly the same shot which turns out to be rubbish. I filled in with football, cricket, swimming and squash – only swimming remains now as I approach 77 next month.
    DEEPEN was a last minute change to something D?E?E? when the editor contacted me to say my original DIESEL was a solution used too recently in someone else’s puzzle. Not the easiest word for which to find an original clue at short notice!
    Thanks to everyone keeping me on my toes!

  17. Ian Stark says:

    How about NO ECONOMY and DEEPEN (as in crisis)? Sorry, just been watching the news. Now further depressed . . .

    Many happy returns for next month and thanks for today’s relief from the gloom!

  18. Ian Stark says:

    Ha! It was DEEPEN! As in ‘shade of red’, as in ‘my face’.

  19. Derek Lazenby says:

    Rufus, if you want to make last minute changes easier to find, there is always the tool I use, Word Finder. It doesn’t have the world’s largest lexicon, but it is free software.

    I can’t remember where I found it, but the Help facility lists http://www.wordfinder.co.uk

    It gives 15 possibilities for D?E?E? !!!!

  20. Dave Ellison says:

    I usually find I can whizz (relatively speaking) through just over half of Rufus, and have a tougher time with the other part. I failed on 5ac, half believing it was WOUNDS. I wasn’t happy with it, but couldn’t see the correct solution to 7d to help.

    Derek, I often use , which is free on line (but, of course, only as a last resort!)

  21. Dave Ellison says:

    Another go: Dictionary, Rhyming, Crossword Puzzle, Scrabble, Quotations, Thesaurus, Anagrams & Pig Latin

    You wouldn’t believe I teach this stuff, would you.

  22. Derek Lazenby says:

    Last resort for solvers yes, but we have varying recall abilities!

    But I see no reason why a setter can’t have it to hand in situations such as Rufus was talking about.

  23. Rufus says:

    Thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated! I do have most of the help on my web favourites, but at the time I was about to leave the office (well, a tiny room put on the end of the garage; tiny, but with splendid views over the Ironbridge Gorge) and took the first word I found. I shall know better next time.
    Forgot to assure mhl that I was trying to mislead by mixing golf and traffic signals; but don’t think I’ll use “green” for golf course again!

  24. Allan_C says:

    Another reasonably useful word finder is the spellcheck facility of WordPerfect 6 (later versions aren’t so helpful). I keep it on an old computer for that reason.

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