Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,690 / Rufus

Posted by Gaufrid on May 4th, 2009


This was an easy, but enjoyable, start to a wet and windy Bank Holiday Monday, just the thing to relax with whilst having a coffee after breakfast. As usual for a Rufus puzzle, competently clued with good, meaningful surfaces.

Apologies for the tardiness of this post, the scheduled blogger has obviously been unavoidably sidetracked.

1 SHORTAGE  SHORT (wanting) AGE (time)
5 HAMMER  dd
10 ERENOW  cd
12 UNITE  UNIT (some troops) E[ast]
13 HUE AND CRY  d&cd
14 COMMANDMENTS  COMMAND (order) *(TEN) in MS (writing) – &lit
18 CLOSE PURSUIT  CLOSE (private) PURSUIT (hobby)
23 BORNE  N (north) in BORE (tidal wave)
24 ENAMEL  NAME (title) in EL (the, Spanish style) – so far as I can see ‘style’ is only included to complete the surface  Edit: Thanks Petero for putting me straight, see comment #2
25 OKLAHOMA  OK (accepted) L[eaving] *(OMAHA)
26 SIESTA  cd

1 SUBDUE  SUB (vessel) DUE (expected)
2 ORCHID  OR CHID (rebuked)
3 THEREFORE  OR (alternative) in THE REF (the judge) [sentenc]E
6 AARON  A RA (body of gunmen) reversed ON
7 MENACING  MEN (chaps) ACING (giving outstanding service) – a tennis reference
11 TENNIS RACKET  cd – another tennis reference
16 SCUPPERS  dd – ‘runaway affairs’ refers to the drain holes in a ship’s deck
17 TOLERATE  *(REAL) in TOTE (better system) – some may quibble about whether this should have been ‘betting system’ but I am happy in view of the improved surface
20 DEMAND  dd
22 OVERT  REV (minister) reversed in OT (Old Testament)

14 Responses to “Guardian 24,690 / Rufus”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    As you say, a pleasant puzzle for a dreary day. 9 and 13 across are nice cryptic clues but I’m not so keen on 14ac: Chambers and Collins both define ‘commandment’ as ‘command’, so not very cryptic.

    However, I really liked 21ac. and 8dn. Rufus always has such good surfaces for his anagrams!

  2. petero says:

    In 24A, I suspect the intention is ‘the, Spanish-style’ for ‘el’.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Thanks Petero, that makes sense.

  4. Eileen says:

    I meant to say, of course, that 9 and 13 were good cryptic definitions.

  5. Phaedrus says:

    After my comment on his last outing, nice to see a refloating of some Rufusesque nautical clues.

    Not many comments on 15^2 today though? Is it because everyone’s away from “work” on the Bank Holiday…?

  6. Andrew says:

    In the interests of boosting the comment count: I agree with Eileen about 14ac, and I thought 1ac suffered from the same flaw. I confidently put DIVORCEE for 9ac early on, which caused some delays.

  7. Eileen says:

    My first thought was DIVORCEE, too, Andrew, but I didn’t get as far as putting it in.

  8. Arthur says:

    Phew, after last Monday this was much more pleasant (a rather nice return to relative ease following Enigmatist on Saturday too!). I’d agree that the &lit element of 14ac makes it a bit too obvious. As always with Rufus the cryptic definitions were fun. I like the idea of a close pursuit as a private hobby too!

  9. smutchin says:

    Not so keen on 9a myself – just a bit too vague and ambiguous.

    The two uses of “service” grated slightly – although they’re used in different ways in the surface readings of the two clues (which is clever), they’re leading to essentially the same cryptic definition.

    And I’m not keen on “last sentence” and “better system” for that matter.

    I don’t know… maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for Rufus today. Meh.

  10. smutchin says:

    …although despite the above comment, I thought 7d was a superb cryptic definition clue.

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    I agree with Smutchin, a fairly desultory affair today.

    11d really ought to be “Equipment used in services”; the extra “the” is rather unfairly added to deflect one.

    I liked 16d though; initially, I had ___P_E_S, and was convinced elopes was in there somewhere, until the penny dropped.

  12. Mr Beaver says:

    I found this hard – especially for Rufus. I too, had DIVORCEE for 9a, which I think is a better answer than BACHELOR – how can he ‘lose’ a status he’s never had ?
    And 10a ? Why is this cryptic? ERENOW crossed my mind but I discarded it as too literal. Pah!

  13. Eileen says:

    Mr Beaver: I thought that to begin with but it does work. As a ‘union member’, a bachelor would lose [bachelor] status.

  14. Colin Greenland says:

    I didn’t realise I hadn’t understood 16d!

    But am I really the only one who thinks that’s not how you spell Tennis Racquet? I see now that “racket” is in Chambers, but I resisted it for a long time.

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