Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,834 / Rufus

Posted by Andrew on October 19th, 2009


A bit of a Grauniad glitch meant that the online version was late in appearing, but it all seems to be sorted out now. I found this a bit more difficult than some recent puzzles by Rufus, but still within his gentle standards and with some nice moments.

* = anagram
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition

1. BEMUSE To “BE a MUSE” is to provide inspiration.
4. BELTED UP dd – you should be “belted up” to drive a car, i.e. “turn the wheel”.
9. STRAIN dd
11. SHERWOOD FOREST cd – reference to Robin Hood
14. USER SE (a possible course when sailing etc) in UR (crosswordland’s favourite city)
16. ROBE R + OBE
18. STALE BREAD cd – i.e. “loaf that has been around for a while”
23. OLIVE OIL OLIVE + OIL – “something [that] well turned out” is nicely midleading
25. DRESSAGE DRESS + AG + E. I don’t like DRESS=DON (you dress a person, but don an item of clothing) – I remember nitpicking about this quite recently.
26. ELDERS dd
1. BEST dd – it’s an amusing quirk of English that “best” and “worst” can by synonyms in the sense of “defeat”.
2. MARSHAL dd – referring to a marshal’s star-shaped badge
12. OUTSTANDING Someone with a reputation going on strike has an “OUT STANDING”, but I don’t see where “No longer” comes in to it. Thanks to Eileen for a better explanation: OUT (no longer) + STANDING (reputation), with the definition “striking”.
13. THRESHOLD cd – as in brides being carried over the threshold.
15. ABOVE ALL dd
19. ENNOBLE cd (just about)
20. ASSESS A + E in (SS + SS)
22. PLUS cd

19 Responses to “Guardian 24,834 / Rufus”

  1. Chunter says:

    I’m still waiting for the clues to the print version to appear!

  2. Andrew says:

    Oops, in that case I withdraw my remark that “it all seems to be sorted out now.” :)

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    I thought 12dn was rather odd but I took it as simply OUT [no longer] + STANDING [reputation].

    I agree with your objection to DRESS = DON – which I was expecting!

  4. Andrew says:

    Thanks Eileen, your explanation is much better than mine – my association of “out” and “striking” is a red herring.

  5. Ian says:

    22′ to complete. The usual oddity here and there as you get with Rufus.

    Particularly enjoyed the Sherwood Forest clue.

    For a while I pondered inserting ‘delivered’ for 8dn !!

  6. smutchin says:

    Re 4a – I figured it was something to do with belt-drives such as the fan belt in a car engine, which turns a fan wheel.

    I enjoyed the generous helping of typically Rufusian punnery today – especially 13d. Annoyed with myself for not getting 11a – just a wee bit too elliptical for me (not that this is a criticism of the clue).

  7. liz says:

    Thanks, Andrew. I enjoyed this Rufus and quite a few made me smile. 12dn caught me out for a time — I was sure it would begin ‘over’.

  8. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Andrew, I didn’t finish this until 10:30 a.m. – a record lateness for a Rufus.

    Of course, this was all thanks to Polly – Miss P(olly) Rint – the lady staffer who ensures that all versions of Grauniad puzzles meet the required standards of accuracy and timeliness.

    Otherwise, perfectly straightforward.

  9. Chunter says:

    Still no clues for the print version, so have given up for today.

  10. Bryan says:


    Why not get the PDF version?

    The clues are there. See:

    Special instructions: Click here for a printable version of this crossword

  11. Chunter says:


    I know I could do so, but I much prefer the print version. It’s a matter of principle, dammit!

  12. Derek Lazenby says:

    I dunno, dissappear into the the H for yet another week of minor sort outs and come back and find nothing has changed. Not only are there the printing problems already noted, but if you use the check button on 26 and 22 you’ll find the only acceptable letter is Q for the bottom right corner. Sigh.

    Still, I’m glad some one else thought this marginally harder than the usual Rufus. I’ve been getting pretty down about it, all the drugs make for fuzzy thinking which in turn makes his trade mark CDs that much harder to pick up on, obvious though they are once you see the answer.

    Hope y’all been having a ball in the interim.

  13. Qaos says:

    I thought this was a little easier than usual. Although I did get held-up putting OPERATOR in for 10a (wrote down the wrong anagram letters in haste) and PARALYSED for 8d (misread the clue with even more haste).

    It’s funny how it’s easier to go looking for more obscure answers than it is to re-check existing answers. Even after thinking Robin Hood for 11a, I managed to convince myself it was a deliberate Red Herring, due to the PARALYSED mistake … Christopher Robin … Batman and … even Puck. Tsk. It took me 10 mins to convince myself that SHERWOOD FOREST was right and to backtrack. 1-0 to Rufus for that one :-).

  14. Dave Ellison says:

    I thought this was an easier one. I also thought 4a, as smutchin at #6, it was to do with drive belts, but, on reflection, the car one is more likely.

    11a Robin’s Nest was a TV comedy in the late 70s, so I was musing about that before I got SF.

  15. Orange says:

    I so wanted 8d to be Paralytic! Good thing 14a was a certainty.
    Rufus seems to write clues in the same sort of simplistic way that I would, so quite happy with this for a late start!

  16. Sil van den Hoek says:

    We agree with Qaos and Dave E.(# 13,14): (even) easier than usual.
    An overdose of puns today (some rather nice), and only 3 anagrams!
    Normally our first three entries for a Rufus crossword are all anagrams …..

    We thought 8ac (because “rendered incapable” can be used together, while we had to use it separately here), 18ac (can be broken down in two parts in two diffierent ways), 24ac (fish & hook can be used together in real life), 14ac (one course isn’t the other) and 12ac (nicely misleading use of striking) were probably some of the best.

    Just one minor quibble.
    We don’t see the reason for “how” in 10ac, other than for better surface reading.
    It suggests, though, that the definition is “show how” – which it isn’t.
    Luckily the anagram was simple.

  17. Bryan says:

    ‘two diffierent ways’, Sil?

    Well that’s certainly diffierent!

    Vive la différence!

  18. Davy says:

    Nice puzzle from Rufus and easier than his usual ones. For some reason, I find Araucaria easier to complete than Rufus. It’s the short snappy clues that often defeat me ie short clues with short answers. Either you can see the answer or you can’t. With the longer clues, there is more to work on.

  19. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Re #17:
    I guess, Bryan, that you never make any typos?
    However, I hope your comment is one ‘with a smile’.
    Like my :)+ :) in the Araucaria blog, which were meant to indicate that I spelt out “embarrassed” deliberately wrong, twice (after that phenomenal typo).
    Not sure if you saw the fun of it – but maybe you did.
    (Gaufrid, I know this is completely off topic, but for me now: End of Story)

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