Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,738 / Rover

Posted by Eileen on June 29th, 2009


A surprise not to have Rufus this morning but I remember that, a while ago, Andrew came up with the lovely description of Rover as ‘Rufus-lite’. Some very easy anagrams and several cryptic definitions, some more so than others. I’m completely flummoxed by 14ac and I’ve run out of time but I’m sure someone will soon enlighten me.


1   PRINTER’S PIE: a new one on me – it’s ‘a jumble of indiscriminately mixed type';  a reference to William Caxton, who set up the first printing press in England
9   GROUPIE: one who might follow ABBA [19ac]
10  SAWYERS: double definition [‘The adventures of Tom Sawyer’ by Mark Twain]
11  ANGEL HAIR: another literary reference: Angel Clare appears in Hardy’s ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’
12  SATED: anagram of DATES
13  TOME: Narcissus would have dedicated his book ‘to me’
14  ALCOHOLICS: ? [Edit: see comment 1 – thanks, Chunter]
19  ABBA: hidden in cABBAge
22  AEROPLANE: anagram of N POLE AREA
24  FINNISH: homophone of ‘finish’ [close]
25  PLACKET: double definition: I didn’t know either of these meanings – petticoat [‘old’ woman’s because it’s archaic]  and pocket
26  HAND AND FOOT: hand and foot are both measures and I suppose it’s a reference to the expression ‘to wait hand and foot': Chambers gives ‘with assiduous attention’


1   PLOUGHMAN’S LUNCH: cryptic [?] definition: is there a reference to ‘ploughshare?
2   IMPEL: anagram of LIMP E[nglish]
3   TOENAIL: anagram of ONE inside TAIL [rear]
4   ROSARIO: ROSA [flowering shrub – is this plural in the clue because it’s a genus?] + RIO [South American port]  ROSARIO is another, in Argentina
5   PAWNSHOP: double / cryptic definition: a reference to ‘Uncle’ as the traditional name for a pawnbroker and to the ‘pieces’ in chess
6   ELECTRIC BLANKET: cryptic definition – except that by now it’s a commonplace in crosswords for ‘retirement’ to mean ‘going to bed’
7   AGHAST: hidden in handbAG HAS Toads
8   ASIDES: anagram of SADIE’S
15  ELECTION: cryptic definition: I can’t see the point of ‘generally': crosses are used in local elections, too!
16  BEREFT: REF [official] in BET [gamble]
17  DRACHMA: D[aughter] + anagram of  A CHARM
18  SCRAPED: SCRAP [useless] + ED[itor]
20  AGENTS: A + GENTS [convenience]
23  PLATO: anagram of A PLOT: [Why not ‘he thought’, I wonder]

26 Responses to “Guardian 24,738 / Rover”

  1. Chunter says:

    Hi Eileen – many thanks for the blog.

    14ac: ‘people in talkies’ = alkies = ALCOHOLICS?

  2. Eileen says:

    Hi Chunter

    That was quick! Many thanks for clearing that up – I wasn’t on that wavelength at all!

  3. IanN14 says:

    Oh, dear…

  4. Jake says:

    ‘Rufus like’ I remember it to be Uncle Yap saying that, he had to keep looking at the top of the crossword to reassure himself it was Rover and not Rufus!

    I’m glad of Rover’s outing today(a rare one) as I haven’t seen him for a rather long time.

  5. Gaufrid says:

    25a is rather clever. If one ignores the punctuation (apostrophe and hyphen) it can be read three ways, two double definitions and a triple definition:

    Old woman’s skirt / pocket
    Old woman / skirt-pocket
    Old woman / skirt / pocket

  6. Eileen says:

    Hi Jake

    I’ve found Andrew’s comment: 11th March. [The ‘lite’ wasn’t a spelling mistake!]

  7. Jake says:


    Cool. I must have missed Andrew’s blog that day. Uncle Yap definitely said that too!
    It must be going back several month’s though, any who thanks for the fantastic blog Eileen, have a great day.

  8. Jake says:

    Eileen – Uncle Yaps comment was on 14th Oct 08!

    I rather liked 19ac for the simplicity, 1ac for lead printing(printers pie).

  9. teesween says:

    Rufus may be classified in the easy group but his puzzles do have a certain charm and elegance. To compare today’s hotchpotch with one of his is quite insulting.

  10. Crypticnut says:

    This is the first time that I’ve been able to do an on-line puzzle as I’ve been too busy and have had to content myself with the one printed in the local paper – which is about five weeks behind the UK. I found this an easy puzzle but, nevertheless, one with some very clever clueing and very enjoyable.
    Surprisingly, the one in this mornings local I found even easier – the Araucaria puzzle where he topped and tailed all the 9 letter solutions!
    Now I’ve discovered his Saturday prize puzzle – and that’s fun!

  11. Eileen says:


    I entirely agree: Andrew was making a quite different point from Uncle Yap – and so was I!

  12. Neil says:

    14ac: I got it because it was the only word I could fit with the crossing letters but had no idea why: so, thanks Chunter (#1). The only clever clue?

  13. Eileen says:


    I was thinking that it was ironical that the only clue I admired was the one I didn’t get!

  14. Derek Lazenby says:

    Relying on checking letters also allows ALGOLOGIES???

    Rather have Rufus. There were a few here I was never going to get, but with Rufus there is always the carrot to keep going.

  15. Dagnabit says:

    I didn’t mind today’s offering at all – I thought quite a few of the clues were clever and interesting, and I enjoyed 1ac, which was both a new term and a new concept for me. My only quibble was with “the cabbage patch” instead of just “cabbage” in 19ac.

    Thanks, Eileen and Chunter, for the explanations to the answers I got without knowing why – 14ac, 25ac, 26ac, 4d, 5d, and 15dn.

  16. Radler says:

    I don’t think “patch” is an extraneous word but part of the hidden indication – the solution is a patch of cabbage

  17. Mr Beaver says:

    Also failed on 14a, but otherwise found it quite easy – not that that’s a bad thing in my book !
    There were some nice surfaces – 7d a particular favourite. Personally I would be charmed by a toad-filled handbag…

  18. Derek Lazenby says:

    There’s something been bothering me about 9a. Weren’t Abba too clean living to have groupies? Or did I miss a scandal somewhere?

  19. Neil says:

    19ac: might ‘the cabbage patch’ also have been an attempt to mislead us into thinking it might have something to do with Rugby Union Football? For our American friends, just in case they hadn’t known, Twickenham is the HQ of English rugby and is also known as ‘the cabbage patch’ because the stadium was built where such is reputed to have existed. There’s still a handy pub adjacent of that name. I’ll admit that the thought delayed me for several moments – nah! – rather longer than that! I hope it was intended. A bit more misdirection elsewhere would have made this more of a challenge.

    1ac: “printers’ pie” (and there’s an apostrophe debate!) was a piece of cake for me [sorry!] as, in my first proper job, i inherited a treadle printing press and had to learn how to use it so I could teach my students how to. Just think how long ago that must have been.

    “ALGOLOGIES” eh Derek? Well, how many others of us did you send scurrying to our dictionaries? Neither Collins nor Chambers could help me, but St. Google could! Pity it couldn’t be reconciled with the clue, but neither could ALCOHOLICS until Chunter showed us the light.

  20. Martin Searle says:

    I too only got alcoholics from thechecked letters. Quite a nice clue really. I didn’t like the definition for aeroplane much. Overall, I didn’t like it much – can’t quite put my finger on why.

  21. Neil says:

    Derek … I understand your botheration – but – can (heterosexual) blokes be groupies? Can one be a groupie in spirit but not corporeally? If so, weren’t we all, once upon a time, even if we weren’t that much taken with Abba’s music? If you did miss a scandal, unfortunately, so did I.

  22. Neil says:

    Martin #20.
    I’m with you about 22ac. Not hard to solve, but Icebreaker ships, satellites and silly publicity seekers on foot pulling sleds are also amongst those who “review the North Pole area”. I seem to recall Jeremy Clarkson had a go; and polar bears and seals. All of these seem equally as valid as aeroplanes (or would, if they had the right number of letters and corresponded to the anagram). It could become quite a long list if we were to pursue it further. Any more anybody?

  23. Neil says:

    #22 PS: nuclear submarines.

  24. Derek Lazenby says:

    But I got it from Chambers!

    Sorry about that.

  25. The trafites says:

    In the on-line version of Chambers, “ALGOLOGIES” points to entries under ALGA:

    algology noun
    the study of algae

    Now, looking at the HTML source (ALGOLOGIES mysteriously appears if you cut ‘n’ paste the entry), it states:

    “Plur” algologies

  26. Paul B says:

    You can imagine Maureen Lipman saying it even now, can’t you: “He’s so clever he’s got an algology, you know”.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

four × = 32