Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24750 / Rufus

Posted by mhl on July 13th, 2009


A nice puzzle from Rufus, as usual on a Monday – there are a few clues which I’m not sure if I’ve parsed right, but I’m sure everyone will be able to clear those up quickly.

10. MIGHTY MIG = “Russian fighter” + HT = “height” + Y[emeni]
11. PITCH AND TOSS Double definition; “gambling” refers to the game Pitch and Toss
13. HERO Double definition; I guess that “so was she” refers to Hero from the story of Hero and Leander
14. SCOT-FREE S = “Second” + COT = “bed” + FREE = “delivered”
17. LOOKER-ON LOOKER = “an attractive girl” + ON = “working”
18. EXIT Cryptic definition; “issue” as in “to go out”
23. BIDDER Cryptic definition
24. ENDANGER END = “purpose” + ANGER = “a sin”
25. UNDERARM UNDER = “subordinate” + ARM = “member”
26. EYELID Cryptic definition
2. REEF Cryptic definition? Not very cryptic, I think, unless I’ve missed something…
3. SCRAPBOOK Cryptic definition; “scrap” as in “fight”
4. ONSETS (STONES)*; a great clue
5. PEACHES AND CREAM Double definition: “Sweet” (as in “dessert”) and “attractive sort of complexion”
6. DOMINON MINION = “a slave” after DO = “serve”
7. NIGHT Not sure how to interpret this – just a reference to “nightfall”?
12. RESOLUTION Double definition; a “proposition” in the sense of a motion voted on at a meeting
15. FREELANCE EEL = “swimmer” in FRANCE
21. DODGE Double definition; Dodge City is sometimes just referred to as “Dodge”, I think.
22. YETI YET = “Still” + I = “one”

21 Responses to “Guardian 24750 / Rufus”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, mhl.

    My interpretations of 13ac and 2 and 7dn were the same as yours.

    I loved the surface readings of 20ac and 8dn!

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    18ac EMIT! MIT is not the German for “of”. You can see how (badly) I interpretted that one. Rufus and his pesky CDs!
    I agree on 20ac and 8dn, Eileen. There were quite a few nice anagrams in there in addition to those two, 4dn especially.

  3. liz says:

    Thanks, mhl. EXIT caught me out. A real ‘Duh!’ moment. Nice surfaces to many of these clues. I thought BIDDER was clever.

  4. Andrew says:

    Thanks mhl – I agree with Eileen in agreeing with your interpretations.

    Colin – I was trying to justify EMIT to myself too, and also EDIT, before I realised it was EDIT.

  5. liz says:

    EMIT was the one I settled for, after rejecting EDIT…

  6. John says:

    Straightforward but entertaning. 20 ac was my favourite.
    I don’t quite get 6 dn. Does “serve” = DO? And how does “one” fit in?

  7. Bryan says:

    Fairly easy but very enjoyable. My thanks to one and all.

    Methinks that maybe Andrew forgot to EDIT his message and really intended to agree with EXIT.

    How’s that for an EXIT line?

  8. Derek Lazenby says:

    mhl – sorry, exceedingly minor point, but I think you meant HT for height in 10.

    A pleasant start to the week as others have said, especially as the England Women are taking lots of Australian wickets.

  9. Andrew says:

    Oops, thanks Bryan, you’re right. I’ll now make an embarrassed EXIT.

  10. Mr Beaver says:

    I also opted (without conviction) for EMIT, though EXIT is only marginally more convincing.

    I agree 2d is not all cryptic – I don’t think it is made so by appending a question mark to the clue. Now “Knot sailors try to avoid” might have been an improvement…

  11. mhl says:

    Derek Lazenby: thanks, I’ve corrected that.

    Mr Beaver: I prefer your version of 2d, I think :)

  12. liz says:

    I prefer Mr Beaver’s 2dn, too.

  13. ray says:

    2dn messed me up for ages – I’d opted for SAND and then couldn’t make much sense of the top left. I’m dubious about equating reef and bank anyway.

  14. enitharmon says:

    John @ 6: Mrs Mopp – “Can I do you now sir?” – ITMA passim. Well before my time, naturally, but pretty well-known I’d have thought.

  15. Neil says:

    Elegant surfaces, yes, but 7 anagrams (some quite neatly disguised) and I reckon at least 6 clues were barely cryptic, if at all.

    Reef? We had some discussion the other day about “double bluffing”. I wouldn’t accept this as an example.

    Overall, easier to solve than many Quick crosswords I thought, and I’m certainly no whizz.

  16. DJ says:

    I wondered if 2Dn could be reed rather than reef, perhaps?

  17. muck says:

    18ac was the worst type of Rufus clue. I considered EDIT, EMIT and EXIT, all of which can mean ‘issue’, but settled on EXIT as the only one which is a *place* of issue.

  18. Rufus says:

    Comments – with apologies for being late!
    Mr Beaver’s “Knot” clue was the one I intended to use – really! However, when looking at my records I found I had used that clue, word for word, for REEF in the Gdn in 1997 and in the Telegraph 2009. When I was learning the trade in the early 1960s my mentor, Nigel Gee of Central Press Featues, said anything was permissible in cryptics providing one could provide provenance – dictionary or thesaurus – for its use. Hence, when I changed one meaning of reef (knot) to another (bank), I saw no problem.
    Re EXIT. Although Muck is dubious, he hits the nail on the head when he points out that this is the only solution that is a “place” of issue.
    The meaning of DO in thesauri is given as “serve” (one example given is “that should do”) and I don’t think it a step too far to make it “serve one”.
    In trying to entertain with cryptics I do try new ideas, as that what made my first encounters with cryptics so magical. Yesterday (Monday) in the DT I used an anagram of “precipitate” to make “peripatetic”. A DT blogger said she had never heard of the word. I hope, now that she has seen such a lovely word which, in the Bard’s word, comes “trippingly” from the tongue, is one I still savour, she will remember – and use – for the rest of her natural!

  19. C & J says:

    2d was the one which troubed us most, and the alternative wording of the clue suggested is worse. Sailors might try to avoid a ‘granny’, but surely not a ‘reef ‘ knot?

  20. mhl says:

    C & J: on the contrary, I think it works rather well, since most books on knots suggest that there are better choices of knot for almost any application. There’s some reference to this on the Wikipedia page:

    I’d be very surprised if responsible sailors used the reef knot :)

  21. Rufus says:

    I was always interested in knots. As a Sixer in the Cubs the Scoutmaster introduced a game when we were on our own where he tied me up and I tied him up to see who could free himself first. I was very naive but recall wondering why he always tended to tie complicated knots in certain places. As a Sea Scout then joining the Navy as a Boy Seaman at 15, I really enjoyed learning all the knots, bends and hitches. Basically, most nautical jobs call for different knots. Often it depends on what size rope you are joining to another size, or whether one rope is taking more strain. Most in common use were designed to do a specific job and yet be relatively easy to untie. The reef knot is still very useful for many simple jobs. One use is in magic – tie two silk handkerchieves together with a reef knot, then secretly pull on two adjoining ends and one is able to slide one silk off the other.

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