Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,898 (Rufus)

Posted by diagacht on January 4th, 2010


I enjoyed this start to the week. It is all that you might expect from Rufus with the usual imaginative cryptic definitions.

8 RAW-BONED: RAW (uncooked) + BONED (filleted)
9 EERIE: EER (no head on (b)EER) + IE (that is)
10 ANTE: ETNA (reversed)
12 ARMOUR: R (king) in AMOUR (love)
14 SARABAND: ARAB in SAND (bedouin in his own environment)
15 TORPEDO: cryptic definition
17 KENNETH: KEN (understanding) + anagram of THEN
20 IRISH SEA: cryptic definition, the Isle of Man rises above the Irish Sea
22 ANSWER: anagram of A NEWS R (right)
23 ACUTE ANGLE/strong>: too small to be a right angle
24 JILL: as in Jack and JILL
25 STOIC: school of philosophy that doesn’t complain
26 IN (at home) + TENDED (cared for)
1 BARNARDO: refers to Irish philanthropist Thomas Barnado whose medical work in the East End of London is the stuff of legend
3 SNIPER: cryptic definition (allusion to cricket and MI5)
4 ADDRESS: double definition
5 PEDIGREE: cryptic definition
6 BRASS BANDS: BRASS (metal, [questionable]) + BANDS (shackles)
7 BEMOAN: MOA (extinct bird) in BEN
13 OPPOSITION: cryptic defintion
16 DISPATCH: double definition
18 THE BLUES: cryptic definition
21 RECESS: double definition (of a sort)
22 AGENTS: cryptic definition
24 JINX: double defintion (high jinx and a jinx)

24 Responses to “Guardian 24,898 (Rufus)”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Diagacht & Rufus

    This was very enjoyable but – to my eternal shame – I failed on JILL and JINX.

    But, by way of compensation, England have just grabbed 2 quick wickets.

  2. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, Diagacht,

    As you say, very enjoyable, with some delightfully smooth surfaces, eg 11ac. I guess there will be too many cryptic definitions for some, though.

    In view of some of the dodgy double definitions we have had lately, I don’t see anything doubtful about 21dn: the two meanings seem quite distinct to me.

    24dn is a homophone of [high] jinks.

  3. sandra says:

    i tend not to do crosswords in the mornings – i am not very good at them at this time! so serves me right. i too failed on jinx and jill. and i thought the clue for jinx was lovely. i enjoyed this one. very elegant. as i misused a “technical” word yesterday, through carelessness and unfamiliarity, would someone tell me what >: means please? many thanks

  4. Berny says:

    2 down was missing from your blog

    Any ideas?

  5. sidey says:

    2 is OBOE, the instrument all the others use for tuning Berny

  6. IanN14 says:

    The >: you mention is just a small error with the xhtml.
    You’re not supposed to see it, or the word “strong”; it’s just a way of making the previous letters bold.

  7. beermagnet says:

    The “>” glitch is strangely apt though!

  8. Lanson says:

    13d is also op position – work place

  9. sandra says:

    thanks ianN14.

    guessed oboe was the tuning lead, but glad to have it confirmed sidey.

    i read opposition in the same way as you lanson,. does this make it a charade?

  10. Chunter says:

    Bryan, Not so good now, but watching an England v SA test while tackling a Guardian crosswood is not a bad way to start a cold Monday morning!

    Can anyone help me to understand the apparently cricket-related 3a?

  11. Bryan says:


    I’m sure you mean 3d but it’s not ‘cricket-related’.

    It’s a reference to a Sniper who typically takes single shots whilst under cover.

  12. rrc says:

    There were a number of very nice clues today eerie, permission, armour, saraband, barnado, pedigree the blues recess opposition, bargain. Rufus definitely on form today

  13. Chunter says:


    Thanks. I was trying to make the clue more complicated than it was.

  14. Radchenko says:

    I find with Rufus I (usually) get a long way quite quickly, then hit a wall about 5 clues out and find them hard to finish.

    With this one, I hit the wall about 5 clues _in_…

    It was a bit like staring at a Necker Cube, and completely unable to see the second view. I do admire the elegance in 11ac, 15ac, 20ac, 23ac and especially 13d, but so many in one puzzle made it hard to get going. I’m obviously one of those for whom there were too many cryptic definitions. Not a complaint, I hasten to add; just reporting my experience, in case others had the same.

    BTW, is EXPRESS is a valid answer to 4d? Notwithstanding it does not fit with 8ac, but just on its own (and it does fit with 11 and 14). Similarly, if JILL is the answer, then JACK is also a valid answer to 24ac, other than it does not fit with 18dn (though it does with 24dn). It is like with the homophones, perhaps one should not need to get all the crossing letters to be sure of the answer.

  15. Ian says:

    Thanks Diagacht for the blog.

    Rufus certainly had me going today on two – Barnado and Bemoan.
    All in all a good way to start the week!

  16. Dave Ellison says:

    Well, as you might expect, I did not like this one – far too many cryptic clues, and 11a, whilst a nice surface, was for the second week, a very weak anagram.

    I managed the RHS but failed miserably on most of the LHS. I had Radchenko’s experience.

  17. Lopakhin says:

    So what happened to 19d – the only one I need…

  18. Gaufrid says:

    19d BARGAIN – BAR (lawyers) GAIN (attain)

  19. Andrew says:

    Did anyone else guess HOUSEMAN (junior hospital doctor) for 1dn?

    There’s a nice plug for 15^2 (“an excellent site”) in the latest Guardian crossword newsletter (I’ve just received it by email – it should be on their website soon), and IanN14 is mentioned in dispatches again as the first entry for the Genius puzzle (still no £100 though, Ian!).

  20. IanN14 says:

    Thanks, Andrew.
    I heard it from you first…
    I’m now looking for a hat-trick (quietly confident).
    One day I’ll get the money…

    Back on topic, did no-one else dislike 18d.?
    Barely cryptic, I thought.
    25ac. too?

  21. liz says:

    Thanks, diagacht. My experience with this puzzle was very similar to Radchenko’s and I failed to get three in the end, after a long struggle. I’m not a huge fan of Rufus’s cds, but I think it was more the case that I was off form today than any defect in the puzzle!

    Still, I did learn something — never knew that the oboe was the tuning lead before.

  22. Brian Harris says:

    Hmm, quite tough today. Normally Rufus is a fun quick blast – but after 15 mins of head-scratching, had only managed a couple. Got there in the end, with some help from a colleague. Some nice clues (15ac, 20ac, 3dn – am a fan of these straightforwardly “cryptic” clues) but also some others that were so vague as to be impossible without crossing letters.

    Andrew’s suggestion of HOUSEMAN is a good answer to 1dn, and I’m glad that I didn’t think of it, or I’d have filled it in first without hesitation, assuming it to be right. Also, ADDRESS was a bit weakly clued.

  23. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, Andrew (#19), we had HOUSEMAN, the first thing we thought of, still fresh in mind after HOUS[e]MAN in Araucaria’s Christmas crossword. We found that it is just as good a solution as BARNARDO (which could have been clued quite attractively as another doctor BARNARD +O). Anyway, RAW-BONED, ANTE and ARMOUR showed us that we were wrong.
    We didn’t get TORPEDO (so Rufus won again) – and I’m not sure if I like that one.
    For us too many cd’s anyway, but it is Rufus’ speciality and, I must admit, he is very good at it.
    Talking about cd’s, as Lanson pointed out in #8 OPPOSITION is surely not a cd, it’s a very neat charade of OP+POSITION with the first part of the clue as the definition.

    Best clues, for us, were 14ac SARABAND (although not every Arab lives in a world of sand …), 17ac KENNETH (nice surface), the aforementioned 13d OPPOSITION, the very well-formulated 22ac ANSWER and, yes, also 11ac PERMISSION – although we instantly knew to have seen this before at Paul’s Cryptica site. Indeed, on May 9th, 2009 Kieron Dineen was awarded Silver with his “Leave a false impression”.
    But it’s surely coincidence, these things happen (a lot, I guess).

    A good crossword?
    We thought, OK, but not 100% satisfactory because of too many cd’s and dd’s.
    But that’s probably a matter of taste.

  24. JohnD says:

    I always enjoy Rufus and we have just completed the current puzzle.Almost as much as the puzzle I love reading all the comments and don’t some of us get our knickers in a twist. I also had houseman but as I already had rawboned I knew that it did not fit. As we always seem to get complaints about too many CDs and too many DDs and too many anagrams perhaps some of you can let the rest of us know what the make-up of an ideal crossword is…

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