Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 24964 / Rufus

Posted by mhl on March 22nd, 2010


A quick solve for me, but with lots of smiles along the way, as usual with Rufus’s puzzles.

5. ANAEMIA Cryptic definition
9. NATAL Double definition
10. PATRIOTIC Cryptic definition
11. WRITTEN OFF Double definition
12. VIEW V = “five” + I = “one” + E[ach] W[ay]
14. DUPLICATE KEY A nice cryptic definition: “locker” as in “something that locks”
21. EDDY I think this is a cryptic definition, but I’m not quite convinced: “currency” relating to a current (river) and “circulation” suggesting the swirling?
22. FATAL ERROR Cryptic definition; “late” as in “dead”
26. ONSET SET = “Determined” after ON
27. DEAREST Double definition
28. ENFORCE EN = “in French” + FORCE = “army”
1. RENOWN (WREN)* around NO
2. FITS IN FIT = “may be right” + SIN = “wrong”
3. SELF-TAUGHT Cryptic definition
4. LUPIN A reference to the flower and the son of Charles Pooter, Lupin Pooter in Diary of a Nobody
7. METHINKS Cryptic definition
8. ARCHWAYS ARCH = “roguish” + WAYS = “methods”
13. STRIKES OFF Double definition; if a doctor’s struck off, they can no longer practice
15. LARK ABOUT LARK = “High-flyer” + A BOUT = “a fight”
16. OFFENDED OFF = “away” + ENDED = “finished”
17. BANDANNA B[andage] + AND = “with” + ANNA = “girl”
19. ERASER AS = “When” between ER and ER (“rulers”)
20. WRITHE HE = “a man” under WRIT = “summons”
23. AISLE A + ISLE = “short island”
24. PEKE Sounds like PEAK

28 Responses to “Guardian 24964 / Rufus”

  1. Andrew says:

    Thanks mhl. This was a very quick one for me, but, as you say, still fun. I was puzzled by EDDY but I think your explanation is right. Wikipedia says “an eddy is the swirling of a fluid and the reverse current created when the fluid flows past an obstacle” (my emphasis) explaining the back in circulation.

  2. Aoxomoxoa says:

    Thanks for the entry, mhl. Yes, a very quick solve for me too (I prefer ones that can be savoured and dug out slowly like the late great Bunthorne’s).

    Didn’t know that bandanna could have a double ‘n’.

    Thought 10ac was a little weak and have the same assumption as you regarding 21ac.

    Not sure why ‘starts’ is in 15d (other than to make a sentence).

  3. Max says:

    mhl – 11ac: is WRITTEN OFF – you’ve lost the OFF.

  4. Uncle Yap says:

    Thank you mhl for the blog.
    Yes, I also did this in record time (below 5 minutes)… somehow Rufus has become predictable or am I getting so used to his style?
    Nevertheless, entertaining and enjoyable

  5. mhl says:

    Andrew: thanks for that – I think I’m convinced

    Aoxomoxoa: I was similarly surprised by that spelling of BANDANNA. The “starts” is just for the surface reading, I think, but perfectly valid in the cryptic reading suggesting “goes before”…

    Max: thanks, corrected.

    Uncle Yap: 5 minutes! Blimey. I won’t reveal how long it took me to actual solve the puzzle, but I was happy with 35 minutes from starting to having posted this entry in the blog :)

  6. sidey says:

    Aargh! The dreaded methinks! Noone [sic] used it before the interwebs!

  7. William says:

    Crumbs…still munching toast when I finished this one.

    Held up idiotically by missing the hyphen and putting SOLE TRADER instead of SELF-TAUGHT for 3d.

    Haven’t we seen the DANGEROUS & FEATHERBRAIN anagrams before, or perhaps I’ve done too many crosswords?

    Thanks for the blog mhl.

  8. sandra says:

    thanks for the blog mhl.

    i found this one far too easy, even “lupin” was guessable. it’s a long time since i tried to read the diary etc and i missed the reference to that.

    more thanks due to mhl, and to andrew, for the explanation of eddy. i was puzzled by it but still got it quickly. i didn’t think 7d was very cryptic and wasn’t keen on 10a. but in spite of all that i completed in less than 10 minutes, which is most unusual and says it all really!

  9. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, mhl. Quick solve for me too (though not in Uncle Yap’s 5-minute league!). The only one that caused me trouble was 21ac. I’d forgotten that Pooter’s son was Lupin, but it couldn’t be anything else from the checking letters.

  10. Mr Beaver says:

    Thanks for the explanation of LUPIN. Unlike Rufus to include to include a literary reference. Like others, we completed this quickly (for us – nothing close to 5 minutes!). Nice to see Rufus returning to the usual Monday level of difficulty – particularly as we’re still struggling with Araucaria’s from Saturday !

  11. Andrew says:

    Re 23dn – it’s not really correct to describe “isle” as “a short island”, as if “isle” was a kind of contraction of “island”. In fact the two words are not etymologically related, and the S in “island” is a relatively recent addition, influenced by the S in “isle”. See for more details.

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Andrew at no 11 – thanks for that link, a really interesting site. Enjoyed the offering from Rufus today.

  13. Eileen says:

    Yes, thanks for that, Andrew [and for the blog, mhl].

    To give Rufus the benefit of the doubt, he may not have meant ‘short’ etymologically: Chambers does not differentiate but Collins and SOED give, respectively, under ‘isle': an island, especially a small one’ and ‘an island; now more usually one of smaller size’.

  14. JamieC says:

    Thanks for the blog. As everybody has said: straightforward, but enjoyable. I got into a pickle by initially putting GRAVE ERROR for 22ac, but sorted it out in the end. I was also mystified by EDDY, but mhl’s explanation seems right.

  15. Bullfrog says:

    Aoxomoxoa — a Deadhead and a Bunthorne fan? I like your style!

  16. Derek Lazenby says:

    I see the cd count has gone back up.

    Glad it wasn’t just me wondering about 21. That’s reassuring.

  17. JimboNWUK says:

    Printed Saturday’s Prize puzzle as a backup as usual on a Monday… 10 mins to complete Rufus, 50 minutes staring at a blank grid for Monkeypuzzle. Both now in the bin but for diametrically opposite reasons!

  18. Bullfrog says:

    Come on Jimbo, give Araucaria another go — the themed clues require no specialised knowledge (sporting or otherwise) and the whole puzzle’s pretty straightforward. Honest!

  19. pendrov says:

    might short island be isle(t).

  20. Dave Ellison says:

    I didn’t mind the cryptics today (‘cept for 10a). Put ANAEMIC at first for 5a which held me up on 8d at the end, otherwise would have been a sub 20′, good for me.

  21. Davy says:

    Re #4, a question for Uncle Yap.

    If you completed this puzzle in less than 5 minutes, then what is the point of even bothering to do it ?.
    The only reason I can think of is so you can tell others that you completed it in less than 5 minutes.
    Is this a fair comment ?. It probably took me 5 minutes just to read through the clues so that probably makes me a FEATHERBRAIN.

    Admittedly, the puzzle today was easy with the only unusual word being ARTIFICER which I was surprised actually existed as a word.

    RUFUS isn’t always as easy as some people maintain but he’s always entertaining.

  22. koran says:

    The fastest I’ve ever solved a Grauniad cryptic crossword but I guessed Lupin had to be the answer and didn’t get the reference to the book ‘D of a N’

  23. koran says:

    I also solved the Saturday Prize crossword quite quickly. Am I getting better (I think not) or are the crosswords getting easier?

  24. stiofain says:

    davy@21 no i dont think that is a fair comment it is in fact quite rude.
    We all agree this was an easy one though retaining the usual wit and sparkle of Rufus I believe Uncle Yap was just mentioning his time as a useful benchmark.
    I finished it faster than “ok stair rail” ran a mile btw

  25. mhl says:

    Davy: it’s interesting to hear people’s solving times sometimes when they’re particularly notable. Uncle Yap makes a huge contribution to this site and is one of a number of posters here who are extraordinarily fast, accurate and prolific solvers – your suggestion that he only solved the crossword in order to mention the time here really is most unfair.

  26. Jobs says:

    Probably too late to be posting… but I thought this was an excellent offering. Many thanks Rufus! I was especially pleased with ERASER, but am ashamed to say I missed one or two obvious ones.

  27. Jim says:

    Didn’t get a chance to look at this yesterday, just done, very nice indeed, didn’t get peke though, ah well! Thanks always for the excellent blog. Just saw that Uncle Yap found today’s hard. Oh-oh :) ! Suddenly don’t feel very confident!

  28. Phil Rose says:

    Despite Andrew’s explanation and I distrust Wikipedia. An eddy is a circular current be it electrical or fluid. If it is a CD then very poorly constructed otherwise a DD with very similar meanings.

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