Posted by Eileen on May 10th, 2010
Rufus on Monday – All’s right with the world! – as Browning didn’t say. The familiar start to the week, after two Rufusless Mondays in the last four. I said that the last Rufus I blogged, a month ago, rather lacked his usual sparkle. Not so this one – this is Rufus on top form: witty cryptic definitions; succinctly clever double [and one triple] definitions and anagrams; lovely smooth story-telling surfaces. Welcome back, Rufus!
7 ARROWHEAD: cryptic definition: a quarrel was an arrow with a four-edged head, fired from a crossbow.
8 AURIC: the [fairly large!] heart of mAURICe: a nice easy clue for a less familiar word.
9 DIAGNOSIS: anagram of DOSING IS A
10 SKIRL: anagram of RISK + L[earner]: we’d usually expect ‘heard’ to indicate a homophone but ‘skirl’ is literally the sound of the bagpipes.
12 SETTLE: double definition
13 FALL OVER: FAL LOVER: together with the Cam and the Exe, this river is probably better known to crossword solvers than to the wider public. This is a lovely use of it.
14 ASHAMED: anagram of HAS MADE
17 DRASTIC: DR [doctor] + ASTI [wine] + C[old]
20 HAND OVER: HAND [worker] + OVER [deliveries in cricket]
22 TREBLE: cryptic definition
24 SPASM: SPAS [health resorts] + M [thousand]: superb surface!
25 PUNCHLINE: PUNCH [assault] + LINE [course]
26 ODEON: ODE [poem] + ON [being performed]: strictly, this is ‘water from the same well’, since an odeon was where odes were sung, hence its name, but it’s nice wordplay.
27 THRASHING: RASH [unrestrained] in THING [object]
1 ARRIVE: A + anagram of RIVER
2 GOLGOTHA: cryptic definition: Golgotha [the Place of the Skull], or Calvary, was where Christ was crucified, hence one of the Stations of the Cross.
3 THRONE: RON in THE
4 SATISFY: double definition
5 CUCKOO: double definition
6 DISRAELI: anagram of L [fifty] + DIARIES: ‘novelist’ is not our first thought for Prime Minister Disraeli: his best-known novel, I think, is ‘Sybil’.
11 SLUR: double definition
15 STAMPEDE: cryptic definition
16 ENVY: ENV[o]Y [minister
18 STEALTHY: STEAL [pinch] THY [archaic ‘your’]
19 DRAUGHT: triple definition: ‘checker’ is the US / Canadian word for the piece used in the game of draughts; draught means the act of drawing, as in both drawing a breath or a load, and a preliminary sketch [more usually spelt ‘draft’ – although the person producing it, on this side of the Atlantic, is a draughtsman].
21 DESPOT: anagram of POSTED
22 TIC-TAC: cryptic definition: the sign language used by bookmakers at a race course to communicate their odds: [also spelt ‘tick-tack’ – I only knew tic-tacs as mints!]
23 LINING: another cryptic definition with a witty surface.