Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,780 / Rufus

Posted by Eileen on August 17th, 2009


Back to Rufus for Monday morning and a good example of how a puzzle can be perfectly straightforward and still enjoyable and satisfying. We have Rufus’ characteristic wit and elegance in the surfaces, some clever anagrams and a couple of great &lits.


1   PUSH THE BOAT OUT: a nice easy double definition to start us off
8   SIREN: RE [about] in SIN [depravity]: I loved ‘rock singer’!
METEORIC: anagram of TO CRIME + E [drug]
11  ORPHEUS: anagram of HE POURS: &lit
12 UNCLEAR: UNCLE AR[thurs{day}]: this made me smile
13 ENNUI: anagram of NUN I.E.
15  EXERCISED: ER [hesitation] in EXCISED [removed]
17  BARTENDER: BAR [save, in the sense of ‘except’] + TENDER [money, as in ‘legal tender’]
20  LILAC: I in reversal of CALL
21  SHERBET: HERB [simple – medicinal plant] in SET [ready]
25  HANDSOME: anagram of HOMES AND
26  ESSEN: anagram of SENSE


1   PAST ONE’S BEST: double definition
SCRAP: double definition
3   TANGERINE: TANG [taste] + IN [popular] in ERE [before]
EN MASSE: MA’S [mother’s] in anagram of SEEN: another wry smile
5 OBTRUDE: anagram of DOUBTER: the surface was a little weak here, since ‘obtrude’ and ‘intrude / intrusive’ have the same root
6   TRONC: this has to described as a cryptic definition but here it was the ‘hidden’ meaning that   leapt out. Tronc is the collection of tips shared out among waiters
7   UNIVERSAL: anagram of IVAN’S RULE – another great surface
14  NURSEMAID: cryptic definition
16 COLOSSEUM: anagram of SOUL COMES – great &lit
18  DETROIT: anagram of EDITOR + T [junction]
19  RUNNERS: double definition
22  BUDGE: BUDGE[rigar]
24  ROSIN: ROSIN[ante]: nice use of ‘bowman’

24 Responses to “Guardian 24,780 / Rufus”

  1. Dawn says:

    Thanks for the explanations Eileen. I thought it must be sherbet but couldn’t see why at all. First time in ages a Rufus has defeated me – never heard of tronc!

  2. The trafites says:

    ‘Rock singer’ was great – mislead me for a while.


  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks Eileen – I totally agree with your assessment of this one being easy but great fun, with just a few references to make me feel knowledgeable (Rosinante, Orpheus and his lyre). I’m ashamed to say I missed the clever “rock singer” reference: I thought it was just a literal definition. 27ac is wonderful!

  4. smutchin says:

    Yup, got to agree with you, Eileen, really enjoyed this one. 10d was my favourite.

    Annoyingly, there was just the one I didn’t get – 24d (haven’t heard of rosin and couldn’t remember the name of Don Quixote’s horse) – but I got everything else, despite not fully understanding 21a (Herb=simple is new to me).

  5. Eileen says:

    Re ‘simple': I don’t know why I knew this – ‘back of the mind’, as Bamber Gascoigne used to say. Chambers: ‘a medicine having only one component, hence a medicinal plant’.

    I probably wouldn’t have known ROSIN without having had children who played the violin.

  6. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Eileen. You’re right. It doesn’t have to be hard work to be fun!

  7. Fletch says:

    Nothing I can see in the wordplay of 6d to lead you to the answer if you’re unfamiliar with the word. Sorry but I don’t approve.

  8. liz says:

    Thanks, Eileen. I also found this great fun. I loved ‘rock singer’! Herb=simple would never have occurred to me, but managed to get the clue anyway.

    Like you, I knew rosin from the days when my daughter played the violin!

  9. smutchin says:

    Fletch – you have a point. I got it straight off, being familiar with the term, but it’s not even a particularly cryptic definition, come to think of it.

    By the way, am I the only one who found the Quick crossword much harder than the Cryptic today?

  10. liz says:

    Fletch and Smutchin — I also agree re 6dn. I knew the word, but I don’t see how you’d get the answer if you weren’t already familiar with the term.

  11. Eileen says:

    Fletch, Smutchin and liz – I also only got it because I knew it and meant to imply in the blog that it wasn’t cryptic. ‘Those waiting’ immediately suggested ‘waiters’, rather than expectant people and I would also always associate ‘tips’ with gratuities rather than advice.

  12. Pricklewedge says:

    Eileen, thanks for the post. The 21ac ‘simple’ is a reference that I only got from the play on the word simple made throughout Umberto Eco’s “Name of the Rose”. Unfortunately that meant I couldn’t get Eco references out of my head and half convinced myself there was a cryptic within cryptic Eco theme running through. Complete tosh I know but I managed to justify at least four other clues on that basis! Must get out more, etc etc.

  13. Dave Ellison says:

    Two oldies in this one. When I started solving the Guardian in the sixties, two of the first regulars I learned were “Essen” and “Simple”, and they have been round frequently ever since.

    8ac great. Not so sure about 4d, though. The “in” is questionable, put there to make the sentence sense and to mislead on the definition, otherwise it has no part in the clue.

  14. Don Q says:

    I’m afraid the horse is Rocinante.

  15. muck says:

    Both spellings appear to be common, DonQ.

  16. Gaufrid says:

    Don Q
    Collins and the Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable give Rosinante, Chambers has Rosinante or Rozinante and Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable has Rozinante, Rocinante or Rosinante, so take your pick.

  17. Henry says:


    Remedy found in no way strange:

    NO + ST + RUM.

    I’m new(ish) to crosswords but can’t see where the ST comes from?!

  18. Eileen says:

    Welcome, Henry!

    ST [street and, often way] crops up quite a lot in crosswords, so it’s worth fiing away!

  19. Eileen says:

    Sorry, there should have been a comma after ‘way’, to make it clear!

  20. Henry says:

    Of course. Filed and noted.

    Thanks Eileen.

  21. muck says:

    I assume ‘Don Q’ (#14 above) isn’t Don Quixote himself?

  22. sidey says:

    Don Kwicks-oat?

  23. Dinos says:

    Yay almost managed the whole crossword! Hadn’t heard of TRONC or ROSIN but got the rest! Particularly anagram heavy today. Not complaining mind. Makes it easier for the likes of me, although my favourite one was SIREN. Brilliant!


  24. johnson says:

    Bloke here used to play violin, so no probelemma.

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