Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,840 – Rufus

Posted by Ciaran McNulty on October 26th, 2009

Ciaran McNulty.

Perhaps aided by a bit more sleep than normal, I found this fairly quick-going but with a few unsatisfying clues.


1. IRATE. 1 + R. + A ‘TE’.
4. INDICATE. 1ACTEDIN*. Odd to have sequential clues starting with ‘1’.
8. SPEED MERCHANTS. double-def.
11. SHINTO. SH + INTO. ‘SH’ meaning intimate is odd, and I’m not sure calling Shinto a cult is that PC.
15. CLAMP. A couple of possible explanations here.  Piles of peat drying in the sun are called clamps, so Murphy here could just be meaning ‘in Ireland’.  On the other hand apparently a clamp can be a pile of potatoes, so Murphy would be the spud!
18. COME AFTER. double def.
19. ORDERS. double def.
24. FORBIDDEN FRUIT. cryptic def.


1. INSURRECTION. Not sure what ‘from the ranks’ means, unless insurrection specifically means a military uprising of some sort.
3. ELDER. EL + RED<.
5. DUCK. ‘Get down!’.  Also took me a while to realise that you get down (feathers) from a duck.
6. CHA-CHA-CHA. Cha = tea.
7. TITAN. TIT + A + N(orth).
9. COPPERSMITHS. COPPER + SMITHS.  Smiths are ‘forgers’ because they use a forge.
16. ATTRIBUTE. double def.
20. DROVE. (lan)D ROVE(r).
22. OFFAL. OF + FAL.
23. EDGE. double def (sort of – both defs are the same sense really).

27 Responses to “Guardian 24,840 – Rufus”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Ciaran, for once I couldn’t complete a Rufus, having found myself lost for words with 15a CLAMP.

    I suspect that this was Rufus’s response to the oft heard complaints that he is far too easy.

    OK, Rufus, you win!

  2. Gazza says:

    11a This is SO (very) around HINT (intimate).

  3. JamieC says:

    Thanks for the blog. I agree with Gazza’s parsing of 11a.

    10a was rather unsatisfactory as RAILROAD is itself a single mode of transport and the definition is simply a metaphorical application of the same idea.

    Otherwise, mostly the usual Monday fare.

  4. rrc says:

    I found this very enjoyable especially when compared to saturday’s

  5. cholecyst says:

    Thanks , Ciaran. I was convinced 15ac was CHAMP – a deceptively simple dish of mashed potatoes and Spring Onions (scallions) from Ireland, which is cooked with milk and butter- but see that CLAMP is better.

  6. Tom says:

    11a: PC or not, Chambers has SHINTO as ‘the Japanese nature and hero cult, the indigenous religion of the country’, so I guess ‘cult’ is OK.

  7. Tom says:

    15a CLAMP. I’d go with the potato reference. Chambers again: ‘a heap of root vegetables covered with earth or straw to protect it in cold weather’.

  8. liz says:

    Thanks, Ciaran. An enjoyable Rufus, but I ran into difficulty with CLAMP and ATTRIBUTE and only got them with the aid of the check button. Even after reading the explanations for CLAMP, I don’t really like it.

    Good surfaces, as ever!

  9. martin says:

    is 25a vehement? I can’t get the word play.

    many thanks

  10. Dave Ellison says:

    Ciaran, 25a should be 26a. 25a is the only one I still haven’t got.

    15a seems fine to me, as a clamp of potatoes; misleading overtones of an Irish property, too.

  11. Mike says:


    Yep, it’s vehement with HE MEN inserted in VET

  12. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, Martin #9, I see it now; it’s “he men” in “vet”

  13. Andrew says:

    Martin, vehement is He-men (macho) in vet, took me some time that one.
    Agree with rrc, I prefer a Rufus to some of the Saturday (and sometimes) weekday alternatives that leave wishing I’d got the Telegraph instead.

  14. Ian says:

    The first unfinished Rufus for over a year. Failed with 15ac like others.

  15. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Apologies for missing off 25 across – VE(HE-MEN)T was what I had too. Thanks to Gazza for the explanation of S(HINT)O, I had it as SH = intimate with INTO = ‘very occupied by’. I thought it was a bit weak!

  16. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I thought 10ac was a reasonable clue. Force = railroad; rail and road are two types of transport. Being a comparative newcomer to cryptics, I didn’t find it too hard, so that must benchmark it as pretty easy for experienced solvers.

  17. Derek Lazenby says:

    OK, add me to the didn’t like 15 brigade, despite getting it.

    But could someone enlighten me re 16d? Property = Attribute I use daily in software contexts. But what is the context of Attribute = Charge please? Is it good old heraldry again?

  18. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Derek – Attribute as in a verb. To attribute…, to charge with…

  19. Derek Lazenby says:

    Ta. See what you mean.

    That’s not totally wonderful when said in full, to attribute to and to charge with. The with and to don’t really interchange. I would have prefered it if it had turned out to be heraldic or something similar. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all.

  20. JimboNWUK says:

    I have to say I like the sound of cholecysts CHAMP better than some soil-covered spuds…. much more appetising!
    Nonetheless, add me to the “didn’t like 15A” brigade.

  21. Ciaran McNulty says:

    Derek – I don’t have Chambers here but shows a usage of charge without the ‘with': “He charged the accident to his own carelessness”. I think you could substitute in ‘attributed’ without problems there.

  22. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Today, a lot of people seem to be moaning & groaning, perhaps rightly so.
    But there were good clues as well.
    I particularly liked the drink-related ones (2dn and 3dn) – although not Murphy’s …
    2dn has great surface reading, and in 3dn the use of “rose” is very nice (even though the rosé wine needs an accent aigu).

    Two posts compared this (or a) Rufus crossword to last (or a) Saturday one – I think that’s not fair.
    I don’t want to be a spoiler, but I think Saturday’s Boatman was a completely different (without an i, Bryan) story (and if Rightback is the one to blog, the music of the day will surely be Dead End Street by the Kinks).

    By the way, I first thought 4ac had to be “anecdote” (anagram of “one acted”, with “in variety” as the indicator), but then, that wasn’t really a “show”.

  23. Derek Lazenby says:

    To those who would go with the potato interpretation, she who is never wrong says there is a specific type of potato clamp called a Murphy. Helps to know about farming she said. So there ya go.

    Lesson in how to give an acceptable and valid definition, say you haven’t got a Chambers handy! LOL.

  24. Bryan says:

    Sorry, Sil but …

    In 3dn the use of “rose” does not refer to rosé wine and therefore it does not need an accent aigu.

    It simply indicates that RED in the clue ROSE to become DER.

  25. Sil van den Hoek says:

    I know, Bryan, I know that it indicates the reversal of “red”.
    But at the same time I see in this clue “the Spanish red rose wine ingredients” as one thing, so you cóuld read in the clue “red rosé wine” – at least that is what my fantasy mind wants me to do …
    But I hope you’ll agree that “rose” is both the reversal indicator, and a flower (or (perhaps) a type of wine) for the surface.
    Nonetheless, still a good clue, me thinks.

  26. Alex says:

    Thanks for the explanation of 25ac – I stared at it for a long time waiting for inspiration that never arrived.

    Needless to say, like others I drew a blank on 15ac as well.

    Overall, though, an enjoyable start to the week.

  27. Uncle Yap says:

    Before this puzzle becomes cold, may I draw attention to 19A Sends away for books (6) which has been intended and interpreted as a double definition clue.

    Recently, I alluded to the concept of a duplicate definition when both definitions are “water from the same well” and I used an example to illustrate this. Season well (6) is a valid dd for SPRING but Bound to jump (6) is merely duplicating the definition for spring.

    Due to expected demand, he sent away for/booked the new Harry Potter novel well before the publication date. You can see that “send away for” and “book” are interchangeable and identical in meaning; so surely this is NOT a double definition as we know it; but a duplicate definition clue.

    Perhaps, someone erudite like Don Manley who codifies the modern rules for cryptic crosswords can formalise a new device and call it duplicated definition (or “dud” to distinguish this from the normal dd).

    A dud can be just as cryptic and sometimes, the surface can be very appealing, especially when they are used like different parts of speech (verb and noun in the above Rufus example).

    Then, instead of calling the clue a flawed dd, let’s call it a legitimate dud.

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