Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,946 (Rufus)

Posted by diagacht on March 1st, 2010


Many congratulations to Rufus on this his 1,000th puzzle!

1 THEBES: almost THE BES(t)
5 SET ASIDE: SEASIDE around T (end of augus(T))
9 DEMERARA: anagram of RARE and MADE
10 OTTAWA: OTT (over the top, excessive) + A W A (articles, A, about (W)estern capital)
11 BOMB DISPOSAL: BOMB (a great deal of money) + DISPOSAL (final settlement)
13 COWL: double definition
14 CONCLUDE: double definition
17 PLAYGOER: cryptic definition
18 GNUS: SUNG (reversed)
23 CORPUS: double definition, being a body of writing and a College in both Oxford and Cambridge
24 TEACHERS: anagram of HECTARES
25 SECONDED: double definition
26 ESPIAL: anagram of PLEA IS
2 HIED: anagram of HIDE, indicated by HIDE(out)
3 BEER BELLY: cryptic definition
4 SMARMY: SM (sergeant major) + ARMY (soldiers)
5 STANDS CORRECTED: STANDS (buys a drink) CORRECTED (get things rights)
7 SET-TO: SET (determined) + TO
8 DOWN AND OUT: double definition
12 COLLARBONE: anagram of COLONEL around anagram of BAR
15 LIGHTSHIP: LIGHTS (offal, lung) + HIP (joint)
16 COMPOSED: cryptic definition, where number is tune
19 PIRATE: cryptic definition, where a thief operates away from shore, i.e. on the seas
21 HIPPO: HIP (fruit) on PO (river)
22 AREA: ERA (reversed) before A

30 Responses to “Guardian 24,946 (Rufus)”

  1. JohnR says:

    Here’s to your K, Rufus – and thanks a million!

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Diagacht and Congratulations Rufus.

    Here’s to your next 1,000!

  3. judy bentley says:

    Congratulations Rufus and thanks a thousand.

  4. sidey says:

    Well done that man! Quality puzzle as usual too.

  5. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, diagacht,

    Two milestones for Rufus within [just!] a week! Many congratulations – and please keep them coming!

    This was another classic – the anagrams / surfaces just seem so effortless: DEMERARA, THOUSAND, ORTHOPAEDIST – and the lovely COLLARBONE! And not too many cryptics for those who don’t like them – but how could they object to BEER BELLY? :-)

  6. liz says:

    Thanks, diagacht.

    And many congratulations Rufus!

    6dn was a fantastic clue, and there were other gems here too. My favourite was 12dn, with its mini story!

  7. Eileen says:

    There are a couple of typos in 5dn: ‘set things right’. I thought momentarily this was the wrong tense but it works if you take ‘to’ as a linking word, with ‘set’ as past tense.

  8. Conrad Cork says:

    A raised glass to Rufus from me. Phenomenal.

  9. Ian says:

    Thanks diagacht and congratulations Rufus.

    Characteristically smooth, effortlessly clued and a joy to solve.

    For me, ‘Lights’ for offal was new.

  10. Martin H says:

    Well, there seems to be a party going on, so I’ll drink to BEER BELLY, and COLLARBONE, and then beat a retreat before anyone mentions THEBES, DOWN AND OUT, DEMERARA, PLAYGOER……. oh dear, I’d better go.

  11. Grumpy Andrew says:

    Thanks as ever for the blog. Always like a Rufus. Managed much of it on train to work, so a lovely start to the day.
    Main quibble: 22d, is area a synonym for court? But never mind, I don’t want a reputation for moaning.

  12. Dave Ellison says:

    Yes, Eileen, I liked Beer Belly, too, one of the better Cryptics. I found the anagram for 26a quite tricky, don’t know why, and 10a was the last to go in, despite having lived there.

    Congrats, Rufus.

  13. Eileen says:

    Hi Grumpy Andrew

    I didn’t think twice about entering AREA, because it’s the Latin word for a court[yard]. I’ve looked it up now: it isn’t given that specific definition in either Collins or Chambers but my SOED has ‘an enclosed court’.

  14. Uncle Yap says:

    Thank you, Mr Roger Squires, for the many hours of entertainment and bewilderment that you have given us (in UK and all over the world through syndication) over the years. May you continue to be as slick and smooth as you have been.

    20A is a good example of your surface excellence and 13A, your seemingly innocent slyness (got me searching in vain for poison mushrooms)

  15. Andrew says:

    Congratulations Rufus! By my calculations, puzzle 25,000 will be published on Monday 3rd May, so perhaps we can celebrate another Rufus milestone then (unless that young upstart Araucaria has already bagged it).

  16. Bryan says:

    Andrew @ 15

    Your maths is faultless but, surely, you have not factored in the probability that The Gruaniad will somehow manage to upset your calculations?

  17. muck says:

    Congratulations, Rufus

  18. Derek Lazenby says:

    Having been set the challenge, one could complain about BEERBELLY, just for the craic, but I’m not going to! (but I could, lol).

    Happy 1K Rufus.

  19. Phil says:

    Another smooth and effortless Rufus to start the week. Liked pirate.

  20. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I didn’t have time to do Rufus’s thousandth today, sadly. But I just wanted to say that in the short time that I’ve been seriously back into cryptics Rufus has been a joy to solve and has given me lots of pleasureable moments – so a big thanks from me as well.

  21. stiofain says:

    I loved Rufus’ beer belly, not so fond of my own though.
    Congrats to Rufus on hitting the big 1000 it was Rufus that first got me into cryptics many years ago something of a gateway drug that led to my full-blown addiction, thanks for the great pleasure in solving your witty and elegant puzzles over the years.

  22. Sil van den Hoek says:

    When you see all these smooth natural surfaces, coupled with such an elegance, one might tend to think that compiling a crossword is an easy job. But it’s not, certainly not at this level. We think it is almost unbelievable that Rufus produces such high-quality puzzles, week after week after week.

    As to this specific crossword we liked most of the ones mentioned in the posts above (BEER BELLY, DEMERARA, ORTHOPAEDIST, COLARBONE & more), but found 5ac (SET ASIDE) probably the Best (of the Rest?).

    On the other hand, we first didn’t want to put CORPUS (23ac) to paper, because it’s not the name of colleges, but part of their name (Corpus Christi) – but then the clue reads “in Oxbridge colleges” and that little word “in” made it alright for us.
    Thanks, Diagacht, for the blog.
    Only, not completely sure if 14ac (CONCLUDE) is a double definition, at least grammatically spoken. No idea what else it would be, though. That said, no real problem with the clue eventually. Just wanted to mention it.

    Cheers, Rufus! [and nice to see the word THOUSAND in the xword]

  23. Jobs says:

    1,000 is an amazing feat. Clue writing, as Sil says, is no easy task, let alone putting together an entire grid several times a month.

    Hats off to Rufus, and if he’s reading, what is your favourite clue in the 1,000 puzzles????

  24. Ian F says:

    Many congratulations Rufus – another classic with some excellent clues. Hope you enjoyed your well deserved holiday and didn’t have too much steak!! Here’s to the next 1000!!

  25. Davy says:

    Happy 1000 Rufus and many thanks for all your fine crosswords over the years. I don’t always finish your puzzles but today I only had a problem with the bottom left-hand corner which I soon resolved.

    As already said, your brilliant surfaces just keep on coming and of today’s clues, I thought THOUSAND was just superb. Whoever would have thought it was an anagram of handouts. Also, THEBES, SET ASIDE and PIRATE were brilliantly crafted.

    Monday would be a sad day without Rufus so here’s to many more puzzles.

  26. Julia says:

    Happy millennium Rufus…

  27. Nathan Jesurasingham says:

    Warmest congratulations to Rufus on reaching 1,000 puzzles for the Guardian.

  28. steven says:

    THANKS so much Rufus.
    With out your “easier” puzzles in the Guardian, I would not have progressed through the week. I work with young homeless people in central London and every now and again one will ask about cryptics and I always introduce them to your work. I love the nautical references and am always looking for your “Schoonerism” in each puzzle.

    Happy Grand!!

  29. Rufus says:

    Very many thanks for all your kind messages on my 1,000th Gdn puzzle. You’ve made an old man very happy!

    To Jobs, I suppose my favourite two clues, because they were quoted more than my others are:
    1. “Bar of soap (3,6,6,)” and
    2. “Two girls, one on each knee (7)”
    The first because Colin Dexter told me it was one of his favourites, and the second was my 2 millionth clue (it just happened to be published in the Telegraph – where my 1,000th DT crossword is expected on May 3rd, all being well).
    Solutions: 1. The Rover’s Return; 2. Patella.

  30. MartinB says:

    for my tuppence worth, i loved it.

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