Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24,958 / Rufus

Posted by Eileen on March 15th, 2010


The usual Rufus combination of cryptic [not too many] and double definitions and elegant and witty surfaces.


7   PHILATELY: PHI [anagram of HIP] + LATELY
8   QUICK: double definition [‘quick’ = ‘living’ as in the Apostles’ Creed]
9   POSTERIOR: double definition
10 KNELT: cryptic definition
12  MEMORY: reversal of ROME in MY: I took a stupidly long time over this, looking for a reversal in ‘my reminiscences’.
13 APPRAISE: reversal of PA [pop] + PRAISE
16  SEGMENT: G MEN [FBI agents] in SET [placed]
19  CRACKER: double definition [or two!]
22 ALLIANCE: ALL + anagram of NICE [Edit : A NICE – thanks, Arfanarf!]
25  STRESS: S[econd] TRESS [lock]
27  SLIPS: double definition: I hadn’t thought of ‘slip’ implying ‘quickly': Chambers has ‘to move quietly, easily, unobtrusively or stealthily’ and Collins ‘to move or cause to move smoothly or easily’.
28  APPOINTED: POINT [reason] inside APED [taken off]
29  BENCH: double definition
30  GINGER ALE: GI [soldier] + anagram of GENERAL: great surface!


CHOOSE: C [a hundred] +  O [‘a hole’- I don’t think I’ve seen this before] in HOSE [socks]
2   PLATFORM: double definition: this was the last one in. I expected it to end in ‘ism’, while I was still being blind about 12ac.
3   STOREY: TORE [rent] in S[hrewsbur]Y: another great surface
4   ALSO-RAN: cryptic definition
5   DUENNA: DUE [expected] + reversal of ANN
6   SCALES: double definition
11  SPAR: double definition: the almost obligatory Rufus nautical clue, with, again, an excellent surface
14  INK: thINKing
15  EAR: alternate letters of rEpAiRs
16  SPA: S[outhern] PA [Pennsylvania]
17  GAL: [le]GAL
18  NINE: cleverly hidden [and clued] in womaN IN Evening
20  CORONARY: anagram of CARRY ON  + O [oxygen]
21 DESPAIR: anagram of SPIDER: another lovely story-telling surface, referring to Robert the Bruce being inspired by a spider to try for the seventh time. [Edit: or, rather,  ‘A SPIDER‘ – thanks, Andrew! ]
23  LILIES: cryptic definition
24  IMPACT: I[one] MP [member] ACT [take part]
25  STOOGE: anagram of GOES TO: another fine surface
26 SHELLS: HELL [inferno] in SS [ship]

26 Responses to “Guardian 24,958 / Rufus”

  1. jvh says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen.

    In 27A, a took slip to be in the sense of “I’ll just slip into a dress” — not that I do very often.

  2. jvh says:

    Sorry, for ‘a’ read ‘I’.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks Eileen. In 21dn you meant to say that it’s an anagram of A SPIDER.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Eileen. Witty and elegant clueing indeed, especially for CRACKER, GINGER ALE, STOOGE and STOREY.

  5. Martin H says:

    A very nice one from Rufus with only one raspberry – for CRACKER – and some excellent clues, particularly for APPOINTED and INK. More like this please!

  6. John Appleton says:

    Thanks, Eileen. You weren’t the only one put off the scdent by 12a.

  7. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen.

    I liked STOOGE and GINGER ALE very much. Less keen on SLIPS, where I don’t think speed is that implicit, even if you’re ‘slipping into something more comfortable’! More to do with ease, I think.

    I’m another one who was looking for a reverse hidden in 12ac, but the one that caused me most trouble was 9ac.

  8. Eileen says:

    Belated thanks, Andrew [Comment 3] – corrected now.

  9. Ian says:

    Eileen thank you.

    A little harder for me today. The first one in was wrong for a start! For 27ac I had ‘Brief’. Doh!

    Lots of excellent surfaces today. Especially so, 3dn for ‘Storey’, 21dn for ‘Despair’, 30ac for ‘Ginger Ale’ whilst ‘Appointed’ at 28ac topped them all.

    Yet another total success from Rufus.

  10. Valentine Doyle says:

    My problem with “slip” is that you don’t slip a dress, you slip into a dress or slip on a dress. “Slips” is not a synonym for “quickly gets into.”

  11. Richard says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen.

    This was very enjoyable. Would have finished quite quickly, but had never heard of a DUENNA.

  12. crikey says:

    Thanks Eileen. Great blog as ever.

    I just wondered if you could clarify why 8 across is a double definition. Isn’t it a cryptic definition? It’s the only one I don’t fully understand. I know that ‘quick’ means living in the religious sense, but I don’t get how the wording of the clue leads to a dd. I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious…

  13. Eileen says:

    Hi crikey

    quick = alive = opposite of dead
    quick = fast = opposite of slow

  14. Andrew says:

    crikey – I think 8ac is actually a sort of indirect double definition: “quite the contrary” of “dead slow” would be “alive fast”, which could be a dd of QUICK, though the meanings are a bit too close for my liking. An equivalent “direct” clue might be “Fast living”, which I quite like for its misleading surface.

  15. crikey says:

    Thanks Andrew and Eileen.

    Andrew, that’s pretty much how I had it in my mind, though I would prefer “Fast living” as a clue!
    I can see now that it’s an indirect dd. Think I’m maybe just having a bit of a slow day!

  16. crikey says:

    In light of the recent debate on here, I’d just like to add that I often find Rufus to be one of the tougher setters. He seems to generally be regarded as “easy” on this site, but I’m far more st home with a Paul or Orlando for example.

    This is in no way a criticism by the way – quite the opposite in fact. I just wanted to point out that I get just as much (and, in fact, usually more) satisfaction from finishing one of Rufus’ puzzles.

  17. sidey says:

    I don’t see a problem with slip at all, from the OED To pass or go lightly or quietly; to move quickly and softly, without attracting notice; to glide or steal. Used with various advs. and preps. In some cases the prominent idea is that of escape; more usually it is that of quick, easy motion. Pretty common I’d say.

  18. Eileen says:

    Thanks, sidey. I didn’t get as far as my SOED! I wasn’t really meaning that it was a problem, though – just making an observation, really.

  19. sidey says:

    That wasn’t directed at you Eileen, I was surprised that a few people couldn’t see it.

  20. Arfanarf says:

    The explanation for 22a is missing a letter: ALL + (A NICE)*

  21. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Arfanarf – that’s the second A I’ve mislaid today!

  22. muck says:

    Thanks for the blog Eileen.
    14dn thINKing left me doing just that even after your explanation – good clue, Rufus

  23. Sil van den Hoek says:

    As others said, once more a fine crossword from Rufus.
    There were a lot of very good surfaces (as ever, I know) of which I/we especially liked 28ac, 18d, 20d, 21d and, indeed, 30ac too (although my PinC was slightly critical about the anagrind (‘mixes’) but then the surface needed it).

    Also a feature today the double/misleading use of some words or combinations of words, something I really admire in crosswords.
    Like the ‘lock’ in 25ac or the ‘house for rent’ in 3d.

    On the other hand, I must admit (again) that we didn’t like some of the cryptic definitions (like KNELT and LILIES) – just a bit too obvious.

    A special mentioning for the INK of 14d – very inventive (even if the word ‘the’ in the clue was a bit superfluous).

    The first one to go in was PHILATELY, a word that I clued for Paul’s Cryptica in a similar way (but didn’t get published). I always feel flattered when I share an idea with one of the professional setters – just like recently in the FT’s Crux (where some enjoyed
    CHAP[t]ERONE). Or months ago when Rufus had his BUMBLEBEE clue.
    BTW (and slightly off-topic), a appropriate clue for Cryptica would surely be “Quick? Quite the contrary! (4,4)” :).

    Anyway, very nice crossword.
    And this time I knew ALSO-RAN (4d) – the last time, not so long ago, I thought also in a Rufus, it held me up.
    Which proves that you can really learn something from crosswords.

  24. Gnomethang says:

    Liked 8a – be quick or be dead!
    Regarding Quick Cryptica, does the site get updated every quarter?

  25. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Quarter of a what? :)

  26. The FranTom Menace says:

    We finished today, without any cheating for the first time in ages! DUENNA was the only new word for us, but was fairly clued so we worked it out before checking. Particularly enjoyed 7a, 30a and the dd in 19a.

    We agree with Sil – particularly like the misleading use of lock and rent to mean something other than their most common meanings.

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