Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,714/Rufus

Posted by Andrew on June 1st, 2009

Andrew.

Very straightforward fare from Rufus today, with the usual smattering of cryptic definitions, but also quite a few anagrams to get things going. My knowledge of classical mythology was stretched by 12ac.

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

Across
1. BALL GOWN cd, contrasting “ball” with “square”
5. COSMIC SM in CO IC
9. GOOD TURN dd
10. ALUMNI cd
12. MEDEA Medea was the wife of Jason, “retriever” of the Golden Fleece
13. INORGANIC (IN O CARING)*
14. ROUGH DIAMOND Somewhere between a cd and a dd
18. ASSIGNATIONS (SON IS AGAINST)*
21. TIT FOR TAT (TART FIT TO)*
23. YIELD dd
24. KNEADS “Needs”
25. IN UNISON IN + UNIONS*
26. NIECES cd – a pawnbroker is traditionally known as “Uncle”
27. LEVERETS cd
Down
1. BIGAMY BIG AMY – I think I’ve seen this before but it still raises a smile
2. LLOYD’S cd – Lloyd’s of London are known for insuring ships
3. GETS ALONG GETS A LONG – to “long” for something is to wish for it
4. WORKING PARTY dd
6. OFLAG O FLAG – German WW2 prison camp for officers (“Offizierslager”)
7. MEMENTOS ME ME NOT* S
8. COINCIDE COIN + DICE*
11. NO ADMITTANCE CONTAMINATED*
15. ANNOYANCE (ANYONE CAN)*
16. PARTAKEN Another cd/dd
17. AS IT WERE (WE ARE ITS)*
19. LESSEE LES + SEE
20. ADONIS A DON IS
22. OLDIE (DO LIE)* – I don’t think OLDIE is ever used an adjective so the definition is a bit unsatisfactory here

17 Responses to “Guardian 24,714/Rufus”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew.

    This must be one of my quickest solves ever, but no less enjoyable for that. I just wished there were more of it! As ever, some great anagram surfaces, notably 18ac and 11 and 15dn and MEDEA was a real laugh-out-loud. Rufus could so easily have settled for cluing ‘media’.

    I see what you mean about 22dn. I wonder if ‘being’ could be taken as a noun? [ but then perhaps 'one's' would need to be 'his', which would ruin the surface].

  2. Phaedrus says:

    Good fun as always from the old sea dog Rufus. I got 12ac easily enough, but I do wonder whether it’s entirely fair – I tend to think that single cryptic definitions should have well-known words or phrases as their answers, since there’s no secondary route to figuring them out. For those without a classical education (or access to Google), this one might have been a struggle.

  3. teesween says:

    As it appears to be ordained for us to have a gentle stroll in the park each Monday morning then I agree with Eileen that there is no-one better to have it with than Rufus. He does have an old-world charm and elegance, and frequently surprises with his artfulness.

  4. Colin Blackburn says:

    With M-D– in for 12ac I wrote in MIDAS. After all a dog is man’s best friend and Midas’ dog would undoubtedly be golden.

  5. Andrew says:

    I was tempted by MIDAS as well, but G?S? as the first word in 3dn looked implausible..

  6. don says:

    Thanks for explaining ‘nieces’, Andrew. The answer just popped out, but I couldn’t see why.

    “MEDEA was a real [groan]-out-loud. Rufus could so easily have settled for cluing ‘media’.” I wish he had! Settled for ‘media’ for no good reason other than it fitted. Needless to say I agree entirely with Phaedrus.

  7. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew. I’ve seen 1dn before too but it still made me smile. Nice surfaces, as ever, from Rufus. I was going to protest mildly that 27ac wasn’t really cryptic until I looked up ‘form’ and saw that it can mean the ‘bed of a hare’. Clever!

  8. Derek Lazenby says:

    I’d like to tell you it was a quick finish too, but I’ve no idea, too many other demands on my time this morning, but the various bits probably didn’t add up to that much.

    WRT comments RE 12. How does Google help? The off-line proggy Wordfinder or, ahem, cough, Chamber’s Word Wizzard or the Dictionary, Rhyming, Crossword Puzzle, Scrabble, Quotations, Thesaurus, Anagrams & Pig Latin site would be more useful.

    Or has the new verb “to google” already become debased such that it now means any search activity rather than the specific type of search provided by Google?

  9. Pricklewedge says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable and my fourth ever completed grid. At last I seem to be getting the hang of this cruciverbal lark

  10. Barbara says:

    re: 22dn Oldie
    An excellent clue. If you read ‘being’ as ‘person’, then the answer calls for a noun.
    The def. is: being(person) past one’s prime.

  11. Dave Ellison says:

    Well, with so much praise for 12a dare I present dissent? I too toyed with Midas, till I got 3 down. But my objection is that it doesn’t quite work: it should be more like “Gold retriever….”. Had the fleece been made of copper, would “Cupric retriever.. ” work? (Yes, I know, there is no such dog)

  12. Andrew says:

    Barbara – I considered the “being”=”person” idea but then surely “one’s” doesn’t make sense: it should be “his” or “her”.

  13. JimboNWUK says:

    First time I was glad to have the Saturday Prize puzzle in order to pad out my lunch break! Good for newbies like Pricklewedge I suppose (he said grudgingly)

  14. ray says:

    22d – surely using his or her makes it gender specific , whereas oldie can be either ? I didn’t really see any problem with “one’s” in this context.

    Big Amy seems to be getting regular outings.

    2d hardly seemed cryptic to me, so I spent ages looking for an alternative to LLOYDS.

  15. ray says:

    25a – interestingly UNISON is of course a union, so the answer almost contradicts the clue.

  16. liz says:

    Ray — I thought the same as you about 2dn at first, but I think now that ‘mainly’ just about rescues it.

  17. brr says:

    Thank goodness for Rufus. This was ideal for duffers like me. Big Amy made me smile too.

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