Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,810 / Rufus

Posted by Andrew on September 21st, 2009


Back to traditional Monday fare with Rufus. Ernjoyable and pretty easy going, though with a couple of words that are perhaps slightly obscure. I have one or two minor quibbles, noted below.

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

8. BIRETTA cd – it’s a kind of hat worn by Catholic priests (among others)
9. TESSERA TESS (of the d’Urbervilles) + ERA. A tessera is a single tile in a mosaic
11. EMBARGO EM (measure) + BAR (lawywers) + GO (try)
13. TREND R (middle letter of 14ac) in TEND
14. AFTERNOON (FOR NO TEN A)* – naturally I was expecting the name of a prime minster here
16. INCUMBENT cd – “living” in the sense of a position in the church
19. ANTIS ANT + IS. A very familiar “social worker”
21. DRESSES You can dress for dinner, or dress food (e.g. crabs, salad).
25. TANGENT cd
26. APPELLATIONS A slightly dodgy homophone of APPALACHIANS
1. PARABLE PAR (“golf score”) + ABLE – but I don’t like “can” = “able”
15. TIT FOR TAT cd? Not sure about how this works.
17. CHEER UP dd
18. MISFIRE cd – though hardly cryptic at all
22. SHELL dd

16 Responses to “Guardian 24,810 / Rufus”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Andrew

    Like you, I don’t like ‘can’ = ‘able’ and, as you say, 15dn is rather puzzling.

    However, for ‘tit for tat’, Chambers has’ ‘a tip for a tap’ and both ‘tip’ and ‘tap’ as a kind of blow, if that’s any help.

    I really liked the surface of 1ac and thought 14ac and 25ac were good, too.

    For once, I had no complaints about the homophone at 26ac!

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Andrew, I thought that this was ridiculously easy, even for Rufus.

    Is this, I wonder, the easiest Cryptic ever?

  3. The trafites says:

    I agre, plain sailing today – but 14ac made me try to fit a Prime Minister in there with the anag. letters, and I thought 25ac (my last entry) was cleverly misleading.


  4. polecat says:

    Thanks very much, Andrew

    15dn: For ‘tit for tat’, Collins gives ‘blow for blow’.
    Perhaps the whole phrase can mean ‘a blow given in retaliation’?

  5. Paul B says:

    Some very nice clues, though I too would love to know what the part of speech at 1dn for CAN is supposed to be. I’m completely delighted with ‘make’ taking a plural for the two elements in SI.

    15dn is confusing to me even after a look-up – ‘an equivalent given in return or retaliation’ & ‘blow for blow’ – and one or two people might have gone with AFRIT/OTT* plus T. But maybe an anagram too far for this offering.

  6. cholecyst says:

    Can’t imagine anyone having a problem with 26 ac., unless she happened to be a Francophone.

    9 ac. Poor Tess must be tired out by now. Why don’t our setters give Grace, Sue, Eustacia,or Bathsheba an outing occasionally?

  7. smutchin says:

    26a is yet another of those clues where it wasn’t clear (to me, at least) which was the homophone and which was the solution – I wrote in APPALACHIANS but soon realised it had to be APPELLATIONS because of the down clues. Only me?

    Agree this was generally pretty easy but some nice clues none the less – I liked 6d in particular.

  8. smutchin says:

    Oh, and I shared Paul B’s reservations about 1d too.

  9. Mr Beaver says:

    Didn’t have a problem with 1d, though I agree it doesn’t bear close analysis.
    However, I thought 18d had zero cryptic content – it would have been quite at home in the Quick.
    Also, re 25a, the mathematician in me has to point out that a line can be TANGENT to any other curve, not just a circle (from t’Latin, as I’m sure you all know)

  10. Derek Lazenby says:

    When one has been kept awake by the dementia case in the next bed for several nights and just keeping your eyes open is a major exercise, then the ease of the puzzle is a blessed relief. Everything has it’s perspective I guess.

  11. Brian Harris says:

    Agree about 18down. Maybe we need a new abbreviation of just ‘d’ for clues such as these…

  12. ilancaron says:

    I suspect that most people are concerned about the “sh” and “ch” in appellations and Appalachians respectively — I am too. Though it turns out that it’s even worse given that the native Appalachians (according to a close friend from N. Carolina) insist on pronouncing the first A in Appalachians as in “apple”. I know. It sounds… well… so… country.

  13. Derek Lazenby says:

    Sorry, it occured to me that observation could have been taken as being more than just a grumpy old man on a bad day, which is all I intended. :(

  14. Sil van den Hoek says:

    The first five words we entered (in the NE part of the grid) were all anagrams, so we thought Rufus was trying to break a World Record (well, as we all know, he’s done that already).
    The Pros & Cons are all there in the posts above.

    14ac was a brilliant clue, as was 25ac (even though, as Mr Beaver pointed out in #9, a TANGENT isn’t necessarily a line touching a circle – but you can see why Rufus did it like this).

    Sometimes I think that the Libertarian in me, is losing power in favour of my Ximenean minority.
    Therefore, for example, I thought (as did my Partner in Crime) that in the clue of 24ac, the word ‘an’ shouldn’t be there.

    But the most positive news for me today:
    thanks to Rufus, I know now how to pronounce Appalachians correctly.
    (this is no cynical remark, just plain truth)

  15. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I think no-one will read this any more, but even so.

    In 9ac the (online) clue says: ‘Hardy lass has time to for a bit etc”
    ‘to for’?
    That must surely be a mistake!

  16. mhl says:

    Sil: some of us are still catching up :) I didn’t notice that error at all, but it’s wrong in the PDF as well, which is unusual.

    I’m surprised everyone thought this was quite so easy, to be honest. Lots of easy clues, but PANTECHNICON was a tough anagram to solve if you don’t remember what the word means – it always seems a rather grand term for its definition, if you see what I mean.

    “An outside line to ring” for TANGENT is an absolutely glorious clue, I think – if I kept a list of all time favourites, that would be on it :)

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