Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,678 (Rufus)

Posted by diagacht on April 20th, 2009


A very large number of double definitions and &Lits. It’s Monday; it’s Rufus.

1 SHOW UP: double definition
5 LONDONER: DON (fellow) in LONER, with fellow being used also in the definition
9 THANK YOU: anagram of HANKY OUT
10 WAIVED: homophone of WAVED
11 ELEPHANT SEAL: ELEPHANT (mammoth) + SEAL (close up)
17 CONFETTI: with the union being a wedding
18 PUNT: double definition
20 BOW AND SCRAPE: depends on BOW being what a fiddler does, and what a deferential person does
23 ODESSA: anagram of SEAS DO
24 UNDER AGE: &Lit
25 TRANSMIT: anagram of TRISTAN around M (motorway)
26 POTASH: double definition (of a sort)
4 PAYEES: another &Lit
5 LAUGHTER IN COURT: and again
6 NO WONDER: double definition
7 OMITS: ITS (it is, shortly) after OM (order of merit)
8 ELEVATIONS: double definition
12 OUT OF ORDER: double definition
15 TOP SECRET: anagram of TO RESPECT
16 STUD FARM: &Lit
19 HARD UP: double definition
21 ARSON: RA (artist, reversed) + SON (issue)
22 EGGS: &Lit

31 Responses to “Guardian 24,678 (Rufus)”

  1. C G Rishikesh says:

    I solved it breezily early morning even before my first cup of coffee.

    22d: layers are hens, OK, but “produced by layers” or “in layers”? Isn’t there a difference?

    The clue number for the first Down sol. above is 3 actually.

  2. shuchi says:


    The clues marked &lit look like cryptic definitions to me. Is there a mix-up in classifying or am I missing something?

    – Shuchi

  3. mhl says:

    Thanks for the post, diagacht. I made a bit of a mess of this because of trying to go too fast, but not in any particularly interesting way. :) I’d agree with Shuchi that those are all cryptic definitions rather than &lits, since there isn’t a subsidiary part in them.

  4. Ian says:

    A bit on the humdrum side.

  5. smutchin says:

    For what it’s worth, I agree they’re cryptic definitions rather than &lits. By my reckoning, there are five Rufus-esque cryptic-definition-only clues [17a, 4a, 4d, 5d, 16d].

    Clues such as 26a and 22d do have a “straight” definition (“chemical” & “food” respectively) as well as a cryptic definition.

    And OK, so this wasn’t exactly taxing but it included a couple of real gems – 17a is great.

  6. smutchin says:

    14a not 4a

  7. Phil says:

    An easy one today.

    I thought “in layers” was fine for 22d as eggs are indeed produced inside hens.

  8. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog. I found this easy too. It certainly went by fast!

  9. JamieC says:

    Thanks for the blog. All very easy except that I put LAUGHING IN COURT for 5d, which fits equally well with the clue and then got completely stuck on 14ac.

  10. sidey says:

    JamieC, is a phrase that was (is?) common in newspaper reports of court proceedings.

    I liked 20a, but I’m easily amused.

  11. tedward says:

    Have you missed out 13ac?
    “number taking turn at party game” = LUDO L(number)+U(turn)+DO
    Nearly didn’t get that one…

  12. JamieC says:

    Sidey: LAUGHTER IN COURT may be a phrase (albeit not a very common one), but the clue does not point unequivocally to either. That’s part of the problem with cd clues, of which a little goes a long way…

  13. sidey says:

    Jamie, perhaps I should have said that it’s a journalistic cliche, see

  14. Phaedrus says:

    Nothing too tricky here – but very good fun nonetheless.

    Not much by way of Rufus’ trademark nauticality here though – unless one counts ELEPHANT SEAL, of course. (I’m presuming that including PUNT as a nautical answer would be stretching things a wee bit too far?!?)

  15. smutchin says:

    JamieC – but “laughing in court” isn’t idiomatic…

  16. MartinR says:

    Good fun – and the witty cds make it like a short comedy turn. Pun heaven!

    5d foxed me for a while simply because it’s not phrase that’s familiar.

    5a: Everyman, 12 Apr, 25a, was LONER by removing DON from LONDONER. Hey ho, and round we go.

  17. Derek Lazenby says:

    I enjoyed it si I guess it’s no surprise our tame brainiacs didn’t. Never mind chaps, something more tortuous must be imminent.

    The only very minor point for me was 7d. Another of those irritating modern trend clues with the wrong ordering indicatator. It’s been discussed many times before so can someone remind where we’d got to on that? I have a vague feeling the consensus was “irritating but not worth breaking a sweat over”. Was that about it?

  18. Arthur says:

    Very easy, but fun (particularly nice one for a dictionary-less journey on the train). I thought 12dn was amusant. I agree about the classification of the answers though – I don’t think it can really be &lit unless there’s a wordplay definition, and a literal one, so these were just cryptic definitions.

    Didn’t a clue a bit like 14ac appear some point last week or the week before? I’m sure I’ve seen it recently…

  19. mhl says:

    Arthur: if so, I don’t think it was in the Guardian.

    I should have made more clear in my comment #3 above that I did enjoy this one :)

    Derek Lazenby: I think it’s just that “on” can either mean “put on the end of” or “put above” in a down clue.

    JamieC: that was exactly one of my errors :) The other was using one of those free Ikea golf pencils that was so blunt that I kept misreading what I’d written…

  20. ray says:

    Seemed rather easier than the normal Monday Rufus. Loved 17a once the penny dropped; even with all crossing letters it took a while to see any sort of paper ending with an I. 5a seemed rather abitrary namewise until the answer came from other means.

  21. sidey says:

    “Another of those irritating modern trend clues with the wrong ordering indicatator”

    Good grief Derek, so polite today. What ‘modern trend’ is this you mention? I thought you were new to Guardian crosswords only a few months ago. Not every clue has to indicate whether it is across or down, unless you want to try Azed.

  22. Derek Lazenby says:

    Sidey, you should have gone to Specsavers.

  23. Chatmeister says:

    Is anyone supposed to understand that comment (#22), apart from you? Don’t bother to reply, it was a rhetorical question.

  24. Paul B says:

    Boringly, I can reiterate that someone (me) has indeed opined on the matter of on-ness in crossword clues, across and down.

    In the across clues, it’s (apparently) universally accepted that ‘on’ means ‘coming after’ something. In the down clues, at least one very repected editor has disagreed with my proclamation that it means the opposite. It can mean either, he reckoned.

  25. James Lyon says:

    You missed out 2d, which I’m assuming is HA-HA (as in “hectare”).

    I can say, I really liked this one. As a beginner, it’s the closest I’ve got to finishing a whole Guardian crossword yet – I could have kicked myself about EGGS. Like some people on here, I’m looking forward to the day when I can look at Rufus and dismiss him out of hand as a piece of cake!

  26. Derek Lazenby says:

    James, FYI a Ha-ha really is the name of a type of boundary fence and, as far as I’m aware, but may be wrong, doesn’t relate to the size of the enclosure. I never knew that until I saw it on Time Team. My dear lady wife, being more of a country girl was amazed I didn’t know. Oh well, now we all do.

    Paul B, thanks for the reminder. Dang, I think we just agreed on something.

  27. Neil B. says:

    Ref comment 25 -Hi James I’m the same as you on this one! the closest I’ve ever come to completing a cryptic! 20 across was my favourite today.

    All the best!


  28. Tim the Newbie says:

    Same as Neil and James (well done by the way guys) – got to within a few clues of solving it but was stymied by ‘laughter in court’ which I have never, ever heard of but then I’m not an avid follower of court proceedings.

  29. Hughie says:

    I’ve been reading this site for a couple of weeks but thought I would reply. I am very new to cryptic crosswords and this was the first ever time that I have completed a cryptic crossword in full. Okay, from many of the other responses, it seems to have been an easier one, but I am happy to have broken my duck nevertheless!

  30. brr says:

    Similar story here. I don’t finish a puzzle very often, so it’s good to get one like this from Rufus to give me a sporting chance.

  31. C G Rishikesh says:

    LAUGHTER IN COURT was one of the earliest clues that I solved in this puzzle. Maybe because I have read Henry Cecil’s novels centred on the British legal system.

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