Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,018 by Rufus

Posted by Handel on May 24th, 2010


Ahoy there, me hearties. Another sail on the high seas of Rufus. Lots of double definitions this time, which can leave us ‘all at sea’, but in this instance we made it to the shore in reasonable time.


7. MESMERISE ‘m’ for many, then ‘seem’ anagramised, then ‘rise’

8. HARDY dd, as in Laurel and…


10. LINED dd

12. FETTLE as in ‘to be in fine fettle’





22. BRAHMS (brash m)*

24. QUITS dd

25. PENINSULA (plan in use)*

26. SCORE dd



1. D(EB<)ATE

2. EMPHATIC (impact he)*

3. P RAN C.E.


5. CALICO ‘ac’ reversed, then ‘coil’ anagramised


11. AMMO cryptic definition


16. sURGEon

18. STAY SAIL dd, not a word we knew, but easy to parse

19. ARSENAL dd


22. BRIDGE dd, we understand that a bridge is a part of a violin, and have heard ‘bridge’ as a musical term, not sure why it would need a quartet to play it? See comment below: it’s a reference to the game of bridge

23. M(ALL)ET

25 Responses to “Guardian 25,018 by Rufus”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks, Handel, this was a quick trick.

    Re: 22d BRIDGE is also a card game for 4 players.

  2. walruss says:

    Very satisfactory start to my cruciverbal day. Many thanks to Rufus.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Handel. There’s usually a route to finishing a Rufus, and I found it today, with only a few wrong turnings along the way. Most enjoyable; particularly liked the misleading surface readings for MESMERISE and CORSETS.

    Had never heard of CHINE for gorge or ravine, but Collins says it’s Southern English dialect, so we come-on-if-you’re-hard-enough Sons* of the North can’t be expected to know that, can we?

    Good puzzle.

    * and Daughters, obviously …

  4. walruss says:

    There is for instance a BLACKGANG CHINE on the Isle of Wight.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I rest my case, walruss!

  6. tupu says:

    Thanks Handel. An enjoyable puzzle from Rufus once again, with plenty of deceptive clues to get the Monday morning brain working. I much liked 17 and several others of the across clues particularly.

    I find as I get older that my capacity for lateral thinking gets less supple, and I am in awe of the speed of some solvers and the staying power of older setters – I have Araucaria in mind here particularly, though Rufus seems to be no chicken either. Sometimes, when I recall something learned long since, I’m reminded of the whimsical ‘if the young only knew and the old only could’, but I also sometimes find that I have forgotten what others have yet to learn.

    Of course, all this is not – not yet at least –
    as miserable as it might sound. Amusing setters like Rufus help to keep me on my mental toes and it feels good to complete a puzzle in a reasonable time. Many thanks to him and others.

  7. Colin says:

    Thanks Handel and well said tupu. I firmly believe that solving cryptic crosswords keeps my lateral thinking skills in place, just as my hours spent running keep my heart and lungs in shape. I wonder if I will be still running when I can no longer complete a Monday Rufus, or if I will be sitting in an easy chair solving cryptics when I can no longer run. The latter I suspect.

    Another benefit for me of regular cryptic crosswords is to keep alive the broad vocabulary which I acquired in younger days but which would otherwise have disappeared after 25 years living in places where English is not the first language. And that is not counting the 7 years in California!

  8. liz says:

    Thanks, Handel. Enjoyable puzzle from Rufus. The top left corner held me up more than it should have done. ‘Entrance’ and ‘plant’ were both nice misdirections. 11dn was a little weak, I thought.

  9. cholecyst says:

    KD. 9 ac. I, too, had not heard of chine = ravine. Only chine = backbone or ridge.(The two chines come from different roots). A word, like cleave, that can have near-opposite meanings. I look forward to the appearance of cleuch/cleugh/clough in future puzzles!

  10. Bryan says:

    Wow, Cholecyst @9, you’ve made my day!

    If and when it happens, I sincerely hope that no one dares to complain that my appearance is ‘too obscure’.

    Many Thanks

    Bryan C****h

  11. Finbar says:

    A nice start to the week. I got thrown a bit by unforgivably putting “Large” in 8ac.

  12. Handel says:

    Re #11 Finbar, don’t feel too bad – we did that too for some reason…

  13. tupu says:

    I had the temptation too if only momentarily. It(the temptation) harks back I suspect to Brummie’s comic relief puzzle (28a).

  14. Ian says:

    ‘Chine’ is also well known to those who have visited Bournemouth. As in Durley Chine and Alum Chine.

  15. Derek Lazenby says:

    Re, chine, Well I’m a northern lad, but was familiar with this. So I presume Kathryn’s Dad was never dragged kicking and screaming by his parents around Bournemouth and the IOW in the name of the family summer holiday.

    Fun as usual on a Monday.

  16. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Derek, nice to hear from you again. And you’re right, bonny lad, I wasn’t. We were that poor, we couldn’t afford holidays in the soft south …

    Joking really, I’m sure Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight are delightful. And we had a beach on the doorstep, as it happens. Without any chines.

  17. Bill Taylor says:

    Bonny lad??!! By, that takes me back. So where did you get to, KD? Redcar, Seaton Carew, Seaburn, Whitley Bay…..

    Sorry, that’s off-topic. I got 9a but for the wrong reason. I’ve always thought, erroneously it turns out, that “chine” was a regional word for bridge, which is what would cross a ravine. Extremely muddled thinking but it got me there.

    I wasn’t crazy about this one. Nothing distinctively good or bad.

  18. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Bill, we’ll have Gaufrid all over us like a rash soon, so see you in Chat Room > General Chat soon?

  19. Bill Taylor says:

    I have to go out for a couple of hours, KD, but I’ll look for you there as soon as I get back in.

  20. Daniel Miller says:

    Yep, nice Monday fare and, for a Bridge player, a novel way to come up with Bridge for a solution – and nicely connected to the sea-faring theme as well! :)

  21. Martin H says:

    Some very nice clues here – 7, 9, and 25ac particularly good. 12 was weak though; it wasn’t even a dd: if there was, for instance, a US State called ‘Fettle’, it could have worked, but simply to ask the solver to substitute one word for another in an idiomatic saying isn’t up to much. More interesting would have been to use the word as a verb, as in ‘to get something fettled’, which might have pleased those northerners who didn’t know ‘chine’.
    11 was awful, almost as bad as the recent ‘terrorist’ which rightly got so much stick.

  22. TRIALNERROR says:

    ET felt in fine form

  23. William says:

    Hello everybody and thanks, Handel, for the blog.

    A little surprised no one else has raved about FAN CLUB at 14ac. I thought it was one of the best clues we’ve seen for a long time.

    Lovely start to the week, Rufe.

  24. Huw Powell says:

    Lots of fun, thanks Handel and Rufus.

    Got all but 17 and 18 eventually. Should have got 17. 18, I don’t know. Is STAYSAIL one word? Hmmm. M. Gewgle says it is. Oh well.

    I rarely see clues I’ve seen before, but that for ADHERENT was familiar.

    I have *got* to figure out these setters’ styles, it’s such a head start to know their whims and quirks!

  25. Huw Powell says:

    Also, I don’t like this grid – a huge number of words with unchecked first and last letters (although I got all them), and the four quadrants only connect to each other with a single word. Oh well, minor quibble.

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