Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24846 / Rufus

Posted by mhl on November 2nd, 2009


A fun and quite quick puzzle to start the week. 12d and 25a were the troublesome ones for me.

1. COMPASS CO = “firm” + M = “a thousand” + PASS = “spend”
5. BIG-HEAD Cryptic definition
9. RADII A nice cryptic definition
11. WITHOUT STRINGS Double definition
13. ECHO Cryptic definition
14. BASTILLE TILL = “Safe” in BASE = “sordid”
17. KEEP IT UP Double definition
18. KRIS (RISK)*
24. LEGAL EG = “for example” in (ALL)*
25. SESAMES SEES = “Understands” around MA’S reversed
26. EMPRESS EM = “Printer’s measure” + PRESS = “newspapers”
1. CARD Double definition
2. MIDNIGHT EXPRESS MIDNIGHT = “An everyday conclusion” + EXPRESS = “say”
4. SPROUT Double definition
5. BACK SEAT Cryptic definition
7. ETERNAL TRIANGLE Cryptic definition? I can guess at the allusion, but it’s not a familiar expression to me
8. DRESS SENSE Cryptic definition
12. DECK QUOITS DECK = “Pack” + O = “no score” in QUITS = “even” (as in “call it quits / call it even”)
19. TSETSE TEST = “trial” reversed + SE = “bearing”
20. DOLLOP DOLL = “something with which one may play” + OP = “work”
22. ALPS L = “Lake” in SPA = “resort” reversed

17 Responses to “Guardian 24846 / Rufus”

  1. Shirley says:

    Mhl – The eternal triangle is when, as Lady Di famously said, “there are three people in this marriage”

  2. Dave Ellison says:

    Very easy today, but enjoyable (14 mins). 12d I got but couldn’t quite see the explanation, so thanks mhl.

    I quite liked 9a

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, mhl, at first glance I thought that I would zip through this in record time but then I visualised DECK TENNIS for 12d. This and 25a SESAMES threw me for a while but I got there after 19 minutes.

    This experience confirms my belief that Rufus is getting trickier. Maybe he’s been talking to Paul?

  4. Mr Beaver says:

    Also found this pleasantly easy apart from 12d and 25a; gave up on the latter thinking it must be an obscure shrub (SUSSMAS, anyone ?).
    Can’t agree about 9a being cryptic – if you substitute ‘circle’ for ‘ring’ in the clue, it becomes a dictionary definition of RADII.

  5. Mr Beaver says:

    PS – I’d have thought ‘eternal triangle’ = man + wife + mistress (or other permutations) was a fairly common expression ?

  6. Derek Lazenby says:

    Thought I’d finished, looked at blog and realised I just hadn’t seen 18!!!! Not only is that a crazy oversight, it is seriously ironic in that the pet name of my third whippet was KRIS. Like I wasn’t going to get that one! Sigh.

  7. Jake says:

    Cool puzzle Rufus.

    A joy to solve. (Now I’m well acquainted with the style) – Nice one !



  8. C. G. Rishikesh says:

    PS – I’d have thought ‘eternal triangle’ = man + wife + mistress (or other permutations) was a fairly common expression?

    Many Indian films are based on this theme and the reviewers would invariably use the expresion ‘eternal triangle’.

  9. beermagnet says:

    Reminds me of Tom Lehrer’s Lobachevsky song where Metro-Goldwyn-Moskva buy the movie rights for his book, rename it “The Eternal Triangle”, and have Ingrid Bergman playing the part of the hypotenuse.

  10. Rufus says:

    The phrase “Eternal Triangle” seems to be in most disctionaries – Chambers and Collins both have it.

    Thanks Jake for your post!

  11. Andrew says:

    To Mr. Beaver, “they meet in the centre of the ring” surface has connotations of boxing / wrestling, no?

    I didn’t get 21A – what’s the anagram indicator, if any?

    Also, could someone kindly explain 8D for me?

    Finally, in 20D, work = OP because? Operate?

  12. mhl says:

    Rufus: I’m sure it is – I’m afraid I’ve been travelling and had to do the last couple of posts without any of my dictionaries. :( Thanks for the excellent puzzle, as ever.

    Andrew: in 21 across, the anagram indicator is “production”. In 8d, the surface reading is meant to make you think of someone changing gear in a car, whereas in the cryptic reading, “gear” means clothes. “work” = OP from “opus”, a commonly used abbreviation for referring to musical works.

  13. Andrew says:

    @the other Andrew:

    amateur: definition
    (plainness of our): anagrammed letters
    production: the anagram indicator

    cryptic definition; the surface reading first had me thinking about SHIFT SPEED

    Yes, OP = operate/operation = work

    A nice crossword; thanks, Rufus.

  14. Andrew says:

    Was writing while mhl posted; OP for opus is a better explanation than mine…

  15. mhl says:

    Andrew and Andrew: there’s also an Andrew who blogs here, so it would be helpful if you could add some disambiguation to your names when commenting! :)

  16. andi says:

    Will now be andi – “the newbie”. Thanks for the help.

  17. muck says:

    25ac: is SESAME really a shrub?

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