Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,822 / Rufus

Posted by Andrew on October 5th, 2009

Andrew.

Another easy Rufus, with the usual crop of cryptic definitions, one or two of which I think are a bit lacking.
Key:
dd = double definition
dd = cryptic definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

 
 
Across
1. ESCAPED CONVICT cd
9. ELEGANT (A GENTLE)*
10. TRIBUNE dd
11. HAVEN H(e)AVEN – the seasick sailors might think that a haven was paradise if it got them out of stormy seas. But I’m not happy with “not quite” to indicate removing a letter from inside a word. I originally guessed the vaguely-relevant HEAVE until 2dn and 3dn proved me wrong.
12. NAVIGATED (DATA GIVEN)* A nice one – and the second nautical clue in this row.
13. NASTINESS (SAS SENT IN)*
14. DÉCOR DEC + OR
15. STAFF dd
16. ANTARCTIC cd
19. RATIONALE RATION + ALE
22. CACAO CA + CA + O
23. NUDISTS (IT SOUNDS)* less O
24. SEEPAGE SEE + PAGE
25. APPLES AND PEARS dd – Cockney rhyming slang for “stairs”
 
Down
1. ELEPHANT’S TRUNK cd – think of elephants spraying water from their trunks.
2. CLEAVES dd – CLEAVE is a word that famously has two opposite definitions.
3. PLAINTIFF PLAIN + TIFF
4. DÉTENTE cd
5. OCTAVES HAIL in OCTS
6. VYING Hidden in enVY IN Games
7. CAUSTIC AC< + (IS CUT)*
8. READY RECKONERS (YORKERS NEED CAR)* – a rarely-seen type of “computer” these days.
14. DIRT CHEAP cd
16. ACTED UP (COUP D’ETAT)* less TO
17. AMASSES A + M + ASSES.
18. TREASON T + REASON
19. TOCCATA cd. The word – referring to a fast-moving piece of music – comes from the Italian for “touch”, but I can’t see that this works other than as a more-or-less straight definition.
20. OUSEL LOUSE* – ousel or ouzel is an old word for a blackbird, also used for other birds such as the water ouzel.

15 Responses to “Guardian 24,822 / Rufus”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Andrew, this was as easy as they come.

    Unusually for me, I dedicated myself to this – just to see how long it would take – and the result was 17 minutes. I doubt if I could ever improve on this.

    I did find today’s Quiptic slightly more challenging.

  2. smutchin says:

    Yeah, not difficult but some very neat anagrams – loved 12a and 8d.

  3. liz says:

    Thanks, Andrew. My favourites were the anagrams Smutchin mentioned — 12a and 8d. V good surfaces!

    I also had HEAVE for a while. I agree that 19dn is close to being a straight clue and I didn’t like DETENTE either — had to check it because I wasn’t sure it was right.

  4. Ian says:

    Even by normal Rufus standards this one was easy.

    Nevertheless, I particularly liked 17d.

  5. Dave Ellison says:

    Agreed it was easy. I quite liked 1a, but, on reflection, didn’t we have something very similar recently?

    Not keen on 4d DETENTE. I was trying for a while to get the French for “of aunt” in there, but to no avail.

  6. Dave Ellison says:

    While I was searching for “inside out” (1ac) I came across this link:

    http://www.southmanchesterreporter.co.uk/news/s/1137350_give_us_a_clue_

    which describes Arachne along with her picture.

  7. Andrew says:

    Thanks Dave, nice find. (Apart from the irritating and surprisingly-common misspelling “past-time” in the first sentence.)

  8. Phil says:

    Rufus may be easy and clues like “ration ale” are dear friends we encounter a bit too much. However Rufus always offers other compensations like more humour and better cryptic definitions than most of the rest; I liked elephant’s trunk, detente and antarctic today.

    I too was heaving and spent too long trying to get apple into 8 down.

  9. Bryan says:

    Dave,

    What a find!

    She even speaks Russian.

  10. Derek Lazenby says:

    And there was me thinking Ousel was just a fiction in a rather vulgar ditty. Thats what I like about these, always something to learn.

    Can’t disagree that it wasn’t easy, but that didn’t stop my “works differently from you lot” mind taking me away from the directions it was supposed to go in which held me up for a while. Still, when you have damn all else to do that is hardly a problem!

  11. Andrew says:

    By coincidence there’s also a mention of Arachne in the latest Guardian newsletter, and a link.

  12. Sil van den Hoek says:

    “Another easy Rufus”, “Even by normal Rufus standards this was easy”.
    Funny that we enjoyed this Rufus more than usual.
    Even easy crosswords can be satisfying when they contain smooth clues.
    And there were many of them this time.

    Some of the above posts mention the good anagrams, like 8dn (we think, very nice use of the anagrind), 12ac, 16dn or 23ac (in which the anagrind fits in perfectly well with “it sounds” – we initially thought of a homophone).

    Some clues read better than usual, too.
    Like, for example, 24ac or 18dn.
    More than once the grouping of words in a clue was very well chosen. 5ac reads as “Series of eight months + full of hail”, but it is “Series of eight + months full of hail”.

    Of course, there are mediocre clues as well (e.g. 15ac, 4dn, 6dn), but even so, we had a smile on our face when we finished the puzzle.
    And we liked that.

  13. Barnaby Page says:

    Like Sil, I thought there were a lot of really nice clues in this one, easy as it was (a one-pint crossword…haven’t had one of those in a while). 1ac and 8d, for example – I always think it’s most satisfying when a clue is a completely plausible phrase on the surface reading, with the cryptic mechanics concealed beneath.

    19d does seem to be a straight definition, though. As a sometime organist I saw it straight away, but maybe the derivation of the word is sufficiently unfamiliar to the average solver that Rufus can get away with it?

  14. mark says:

    I don’t understand detente, antarctic and toccata. They are just straight single definitions?!?
    I wrote all three in but was hoping for some clever explantion today…there isn’t any?

  15. Barnaby Page says:

    Mark – I think so, though DETENTE and ANTARCTIC at least are hidden under somewhat misleading surface readings.

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