Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,636/Rufus

Posted by Andrew on March 2nd, 2009


A gentle but enjoyable start to the week from Rufus, with no major hold-ups. I just have a slight doubt about my explanation of 12ac.

dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

9. PROSCRIBE CRIB (student’s aid) in PROSE (passage for translation)
11. REEFING FREEING*. To “reef” is gather up part of a sail to avoid getting in trouble in high winds.
12. LINE-OUT dd, I think – it’s a “play by forwards” in Rugby, and you might line things out to rank them. It could also involve OUT=”play”, but I can’t make that work.
13. PITON POINT. A peg used by rock-climbers
14. NEWCASTLE NEW + CASTLE (an Englishman’s home is his…)
16. RICHARD THE THIRD cd – his “bid” being “A horse, a horse, my Kingdom for a horse”
21. LIE IN I in LIEN
23. BRAILLE cd
24. MONTE MONTE(verdi). “A Spanish-American gambling card game” according to Chambers, perhaps more familiar in “three-card monte”, meaning the con game used to deprive tourists of their money.
3. ACTION dd
4. WING dd
5. FELLOWSHIP dd – the ambitious academic might be after an Oxbridge Fellowship
8. ZEST dd – with “go” as a noun.
17. ARRANGED Not sure what to call this – it’s sort of half way between a cd and a dd. The cryptic reference is to music (= notes), and arranging in the sense of orchestrating etc.
22. OHMS dd – units of electrical resistance, and On Her Majesty’s Service (as mostly seen on letters from the Inland Revenue)
23. BEDE Homophone of “bead”.

37 Responses to “Guardian 24,636/Rufus”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew.

    The usual elegant combination of double and cryptic [I liked 16ac] definitions and smooth surfaces [eg 23dn] from Rufus – but I had the same puzzlement over 12ac, I’m afraid.

  2. smutchin says:

    Andrew – You’re right about 12a: it’s the forwards who are involved in line-outs in rugby. I’d call 17d a straightforward cryptic definition myself.

    Thanks for the explanation of 16a – I got it from the checking letters but couldn’t fathom it. Seems blindingly obvious now. (By the way, I’m sure you didn’t mean to give the same explanation again for 23a – cut-and-paste error?)

    18d and 23d are both lovely – really elegant surfaces. I would say the same about 10a but I think the definition is a bit of a stretch.

  3. smutchin says:

    Oh, and the other part of 12a I think is a military term, referring to “lining out” on parade.

  4. Paul B says:

    Is 12ac not simply a cryptic definition suggesting bad tactics in the ruck? Read the other way, you have a set ‘play with ranks’, or lines of rugger forwards.

  5. Ian Payn says:

    This was not a particularly taxing puzzle. If I mention that I was on a very crowded train standing up, so completed it without filling it in, it’s only because I have no-one else to tell. It isn’t boasting about how clever I am. Although to the untrained eye it might look that way…

    What I felt was good about it was that there was nothing annoying in there, unlike some of the other “easier” compilers. My respect for Rufus has grown over the last few months. And although once you’ve got it, it’s obvious, 16ac is an amusing clue.

  6. Andrew says:

    Smutchin, I think you’ve got it: I hadn’t thought of military ranks.

    (I’ve removed the erroneously duplicated explanation from 23ac. Ironically I didn’t see it there until it was pointed out…)

  7. Monica M says:

    Hi All,

    I always smile when I see a Rufus puzzle, because I usually enjoy it and can work it out regardless of a lack of knowledge.

    Thanks for the explanation of 16ac … another reason to smile.

  8. Bella says:

    I must agree about Rufus puzzles – but maybe a little too easy. The only hesitation I had was 12ac line-out, not a Rugby follower but had heard the term somewhere.

  9. Geoff says:

    Typical Rufus, with nearly half the clues being dd or cd. 16 and 23ac are great cd clues, 14dn I thought rather corny.

    10 has a snappy surface reading but a very vague definition – it was the last I put in. My interpretation of 12 followed the military/rugby dd reasoning.

    21ac was my favourite – great surface.

  10. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Thanks Andrew, I couldn’t quite see how RICHARD THE THIRD worked.

  11. Paul B says:

    I don’t think 12ac can be a DD, Geoff: where would the clue split to offer the separate defs?

  12. muck says:

    I agree with most comments above. I didn’t quite see how RICHARD THE THIRD worked either.
    10ac RAISE. One of the definitions in Chambers 2008 is ’cause’.

  13. Ralph G says:

    As there isn’t pressure on space today, may I slip in a cross-reference to a delayed post in No. 24,629 at #15, on GARTH/HORTUS etc.?

  14. John says:

    Yes, it was straightforward but one or two clues were a bit vague for me.
    Does TRANSACT mean “perform” in any sense?
    In 20 dn the clue would be fine without the “one”, which therefore strikes me as superfluous.
    Notwithstanding Chambers, in what way are RAISE and “cause” synonymous? Does Chambers say whether the words are nouns or verbs in their definition? I assume a verb. I can’t think of any sense in which they mean the same thing.
    I might just be able to see “raise a rumpus” loosely equating to “cause a rumpus”, but I don’t think they mean the same thing.
    Raise v cause a family?
    Raise v cause the roof?
    Maybe someone could enlighten me?

  15. ray says:

    Loved 16a, but still don’t really understand 10a. I thoughtI was looking for a six letter rebel from which an ‘a’ had to be removed to leave a five letter cause. It seems back to front ?

  16. Derek Lazenby says:

    Ray, a rebellion as in a rising. Verb form Rebel, rise. Then slot in the literal a from the clue.

  17. Geoff says:

    12ac: I parsed this as Rank (military in a broad sense, ie ‘rank’ as a verb, meaning to line up in order of seniority)/play by forwards (rugby)

  18. Derek Lazenby says:

    John, I didn’t want to mention it ‘cos people jump on me for asking such totally reasonable questions.

    If you’ve seen any previous posts you’ll know I’m not a fan of Chambers, there are glaring errors in the technical stuff. I suspect you have just highlighted another. Given that in some contexts one might say “perform a transaction” or “a transaction was performed” for example,then clearly they are related, equally clearly they are not the same.

    I know what you mean about raise/cause in general. However, it occurs to me that you can “cause an army to be raised” and you can “raise an army”. The first phrase suggests they are related but not the same. The second suggests you can replace one phrase with the other which says they are the same.

  19. Derek Lazenby says:

    Geoff, yes and also a similar technical and mathematical meaning which is rather similar to the military one.

  20. Eileen says:

    Muck / John

    I can find only the following in Chambers under ‘raise’:
    to cause to rise;
    to cause to stand up or upright;
    to cause [land] to rise in view by approaching [naut.]
    to cause [a lump] to swell

    Ray: I see what you mean – and lots of times this is what you would be looking for – but in this case ‘without’ means ‘outside’!

  21. Geoff says:

    ‘Raise’ and ’cause’ are certainly not exactly synonymous – the only area of semantic overlap I can think of relates to the metaphorical sense of ‘raise’ as ‘nurture’ (family, crops etc – ‘bring up’ has a similar literal to metaphorical shift). But we don’t talk of ‘causing’ a family – the overlap only works for storms and rumpuses.

  22. Eileen says:

    Sorry, Derek, Typed too slowly again!

  23. ray says:

    Thanks Derek and Eileen – got it now.

  24. Puck says:

    ‘Cause’ is given as a synonym for ‘raise’ in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary. I have also found a definition of ‘raise’ in Collins as meaning “to give rise to; cause or provoke”, with the example ‘to raise a smile’.

  25. Geoff says:

    Storm, rumpus, smile, laugh… The point is not whether or not the usage is listed in whatever dictionary, it is that the number of circumstances in which RAISE = CAUSE is extremely small – which is what makes the clue relatively difficult.

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    Can’t argue with that Geoff, it was my penultimate, zest was my last a word I very well know but hardly ever use.

    Just thought I’d lend some support, as I’ve tried to make that same point with previous word associations. It’s not what the dictionary says, it’s, as you say, the rarity of use.

    The other point is, the setter knows what the word is so he can look up oddball meanings. How do we find them when we don’t always know which word to look up?

    Some people have mega-word recall, but that’s why they are experts and the vast majority are not.

  27. smutchin says:

    Derek – you’ll be pleasantly surprised to hear that I agree with you. Chambers does indeed play rather fast and loose with definitions. I suspect they do it deliberately because they know crossword setters/solvers are a key part of their readership – the obscure spellings and definitions are a real boon to lazy setters (not that I’m suggesting Rufus is at all lazy).

  28. Derek Lazenby says:

    Not all. If you take away the talking at cross purposes there have been not many genuine differences.

    Honest guv.

  29. smutchin says:

    …that said, agreeing or disagreeing with Chambers is irrelevant if the rules of the game are “It’s OK if it’s in Chambers”.

  30. Derek Lazenby says:

    insert at after not

  31. muck says:

    Eileen #20. I wasn’t happy with RAISE=cause either. That’s why I commented. My first reading of Chambers 2008 also found only: to cause to rise; to cause to stand up or upright; to cause [land] to rise in view by approaching [naut.]; to cause [a lump] to swell. But other definitions include: bring into being; establish; institute. All synonyms of ’cause’.

  32. Derek Lazenby says:

    And if you found “to cause to raise” Muck, then they can’t be equal otherwise that would be a tautology. Quite right, agree entirely.

  33. John says:

    If the rule really is “It’s OK if it’s in Chambers”, why isn’t it the prize crossword award rather than Collins? I’ve queried the Chambers is God statement before, and someone posted a comment at that time that in order to do a cryptic crossword such as the Guardian you really need a number of dictionaries. Further I have seen other dictionaries quoted on this blog by those with a shelf full.

    Derek – I think we’re in agreement over the raise/cause issue, but

    WRT “the first phrase (“cause an army to be raised”) suggests they are related but not the same. The second (“raise an army”) suggests you can replace one phrase with the other which says they are the same”.

    “Cause an army to be raised” to me implies an indirect action, whereas “raise an army” is direct. If I get you to do it it’s one thing. If I do it myself it’s the other.
    And “cause an army” doesn’t mean “raise an army”.
    Pedantic I know but I like things to make grammatical sense.

  34. Paul B says:

    Raise hell = cause hell, and so I can’t see a problem – it’s a straight synonym. But Rebel = rise is not so easily parsed. Chambers will give you rise = ‘to revolt’, but the added ‘usu. with up’ does nothing to help fan of absolute accuracy.

  35. Derek Lazenby says:

    Jonh, you be as pedantic as you like, it reminds us all of the details we may have forgotten. What I said was, as the Americans put it, my bad.

  36. Ralph G says:

    I didn’t think, at 14 above, that 10a would give rise to such a productive debate. All sorted now, but solely for anyone wanting citations and accessing the OED on line, I recommend, of the 37 sections, 10c ’cause, originate’ 10e ‘provoke, give rise to’ and 15 ‘produce, bring into existence’. 10c cites as the object of ‘raise’: feuds, forment, controversy, quarrel, tumult, uproar, and fuss (1781-1997). 10e mentions ‘raise a laugh’ as frequent. 15 has ‘raised a storm (1968) and ‘raising tidal waves (1999)’.

  37. Barnaby Page says:

    Derek – I’m not sure I agree with your logic in 18. One can “cause a dog to be fed” or “feed a dog”; this does not mean that cause-feed!

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