Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24892 / Rufus

Posted by mhl on December 28th, 2009

mhl.

The usual excellent Monday crossword from Rufus – a few somewhat tricky clues, I thought, and lovely surface readings throughout. I hope everyone had an excellent Christmas. (I’m afraid I won’t be able to apply any corrections until much later today, due to travelling.)

Across
7. BECKHAM BECK = “gesture” + HAM = “one playing badly” (“playing” as in “acting”)
8. SCIENCE (SINCE)* + CE = “church”
9. PLAN PLAN[t] = “factory”
10. CUSTODIAN (A DISCOUNT)*; it’s nice to see “the Guardian” used as a definition rather than to mean “us” or “we” :)
12. GREEN GEN = “information” with RE = “about” inside
13. RUNNER-UP Cryptic definition
15. POMP PO + MP
16. PATER P = “Quiet” + (TEAR)*
17. PICK Double definition
18. STERLING Cryptic definition
20. POSER Double definition: “sitter” as in an artist’s model
21. FAR FROM IT A nice double definition
22. PLOT PILOT = “Aviator” without I = “a single”
24. POSSESS POSSE = “police party” + SS = “ship”
25. STAND UP Double definition
Down
1. PEEL Double definition: Peel is a port on the Isle of Man
2. SKIN-DEEP KIND = “type” in SEEP = “leak”
3. FALCON CON = “Study” after FAL = “river”
4. SCHOONER Double definition: a SCHOONER is also an Australian beer glass Thanks to everyone who pointed out that a schooner is a type of sherry glass
5. REVILE RE = “soldier” + VILE = “base”
6. ICON A swindler might confess, “I con!”
11. STRATAGEM GEM = “stone” under STRATA = “layers of rock”
12. GHOST G = mid-niGht + HOST = “landlord”
14. ULCER (CRUEL)*
16. PRIMROSE PROSE = “Plain words” about RIM = “border”
17. POSTPONE POST = “mail” + (OPEN)*
19. RAREST (ARREST)*
20. POTATO PA about TO followed by TO reversed
21. FLOG F = “female” + LOG = “record”
23. ONUS SUN = “star” + O = “love” all reversed

19 Responses to “Guardian 24892 / Rufus”

  1. Tom_I says:

    Thanks, mhl.

    A SCHOONER is perhaps better known in the UK as a large sherry glass.

  2. Peter Owen says:

    4d A schooner is also a large sherry glass in the UK (see Chambers).

    20d Slight slip here – it’s the first TO that is reversed.

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, mhl and Rufus. Very enjoyable!

    Seasons Greetings to you both and one and all.

  4. Ian says:

    The usual excellent Rufus standard. He makes clue-writing seem effortless and always cleverly done.

    Re: Schooner. As regards Sherry, the schooner is, sadly, a glass that is probably used by those of a certain age! Which is a great pity as Fino, especially the great Manzanilla made around the port of Sanlúcar de Barrameda,has that fresh, delicate, slightly salty flavour, capable of giving much pleasure.

    Seasons Greetings to all solvers and setters!

  5. sidey says:

    Didn’t get Beckham, is he still a soccer player?

    Oh, and a schooner is a sherry glass in the UK ;)

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Super puzzle which I really enjoyed. Many of the surfaces are really elegant, especially 25ac.

    Where I come from originally, a schooner was a glass in a pub which held exactly half a pint. It was like a wine glass without the stem but with the base, if that makes sense, and was used to serve a half pint of beer to ladies. But as Ian alluded to earlier, I’m of a certain age, so maybe they’re not around any more.

  7. Bill Taylor says:

    Some clever clues but I found this one surprisingly easy — whipped through it in 20 minutes. And, not to state the obvious (oh, all right, I will), it had to be “Guardian” in the 10a clue; “us” or “we” wouldn’t have pointed to “custodian.”

  8. Trev says:

    13a Don’t understand the cryptic definition. Clearly second = runner up; but how does “Just a” relate to this?

  9. Eileen says:

    Many thanks to both mhl and Rufus.

    My favourite clues were 10ac and 12 and 17dn.

    Bill Taylor: I’m sure mhl didn’t mean that ‘we’ or ‘our’ would possibly have fitted here: he was referring to the fact that in Guardian crosswords we do see an awful lot of clues where Guardian = ‘we’ or ‘our’.

    Trev: I took ‘just a’ as meaning ‘only’ second – and not first.

  10. sandra says:

    i used to groan on mondays – until i started reading this blog and learnt to appreciate the elegance of rufus’ clues. no longer mind that they are easily solved. they are a joy.

    liked the clues mentoned by eileen, and 16d gave me a lovely picture of primroses.

    many thanks to all bloggers and , of course, rufus.

    happy new year to you all.

  11. Eileen says:

    Apologies: in comment 9 I meant, of course, ‘we or us’.

  12. Mr Beaver says:

    We had DERIDE for 5d, without having an explanation – REVILE is obviously much better.
    I thought 21a and 25a were nice, indeed the whole puzzle was good – for this setter, of whom I’m not normally a fan – lacking the usual dodgy semi-cryptic definitions.

  13. liz says:

    Thanks, mhl. This was a lovely puzzle, I thought, with the elegance one expects from Rufus. 24ac caught me out — must be the after-effects of too much festive spirit!

  14. Jake says:

    Nice one Rufus !

    Brilliant puzzle.

  15. Sil van den Hoek says:

    This was a Charmer of a Puzzle.
    Calling this ‘just the usual Monday fare’ doesn’t do justice to the many splendid clues.
    As my PinC said, ‘so many gentle wrong-footings’, like in 12ac the use of ‘about’.
    And we did like the cryptic definitions this time as well (which, as far as my person is concerned, is something of a miracle …)
    Favourites certainly 10ac (CUSTODIAN), 13ac (RUNNER-UP),14d (ULCER) -although simple- and 17d (POSTPONE).

    Nothing to complain about whatsoever.
    (maybe only the fact that Rufus won again: we couldn’t find 5d (REVILE) – thought, just like Mr Beaver of DERIDE (but that didn’t make sense))

    A joy!

  16. mhl says:

    Thanks to everyone for their comments, which I’ve only just seen – I’ve added a note about the sherry glass (much more festive!) to the post :)

  17. Dave Ellison says:

    This was an ok crossword, that didn’t really excite me. Perhaps better than Rufus’ usual in that there were fewer cryptic clues, and there were some nice misdirections.

    I am surprised that no one has commented that 7a is almost an &lit, in that Beckham is infamous for his red carded “gesture” against the fouling Simeone in 1998.

    4d SUNK? A minor gripe – sunk is not really appropriate. One doesn’t usually sink a schooner of sherry.

    19d A very weak anagram.

  18. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Re #17:
    Um, yes Dave, in my post (#15) I should have mentioned 19d.
    It is an inferior anagram, indeed.
    And I agree with you on ‘sunk’ and ‘Beckham’.
    Nevertheless, one of the better Rufusses (due to the two things you mentioned in the first lines of your post).

  19. Paul B says:

    Sandra has ‘learnt to appreciate’ Rufus’ clues? That might sound sinister to some – as if some kind of magic(k) had been given exercise. And yet I too enjoyed this …

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