Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,024 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on May 31st, 2010


Very easy Bank Holiday fare from Rufus today, though with the usual wit and elegant surface readings.

8. APERITIF (FIT IRE PA)<. I kept trying to make APT part of the wordplay until I noticed the obvious ..
11. EYESIGHT Homophone of I CITE
12. BLINDS A rather gruesome cryptic definition
24. MISERE Cryptic defintion – it’s a bid to make no tricks in games such as Solo Whist
26. BEAK Double definition
27. SERVE TIME Double definition. I tried to find a reference for the phrase “time is the enemy”. And the best I could find was one of my own blogs, where fellow blogger mhl had some interesting comments on it.
2. CURTAIN Cryptic definition – the curtain is dropped at the end of a play
4. OFFBEAT Double definition
5. SACRED COW Double definition
6. CONVICT Cryptic definition – though strictly speaking he doesn’t become a convict until after the trial.
17. RAG WEEK Cryptic definition – when students collect money for charity
20. LORELEI LORE (learning) + LEI (Romanian currency). “Rock singer” for Lorelei – the Rhinemaiden who sang from the rock of th same name – is a trick I’ve seen before.
22. POSSE Cryptic definition, though I think of posses as consisting of Wild West types rather than policemen.
23. DENSE NEEDS*. “To be” is rather inadequate as an anagram indicator.

19 Responses to “Guardian 25,024 – Rufus”

  1. Colin Greenland says:

    Andrew, by your notes (esp. 8A, 12A and 22D) you and I seem to have had identical reactions to this puzzle, except that for me it wasn’t *very* easy.

    Several lovely things I’d never noticed before, 5D especially, but also 1A and 8A.

    Here’s a blog, also new to me, with a page about the Enemy:

  2. Ian says:

    Thanks Andrew and also to Rufus of course for this sumptious puzzle bursting with elegantly penned clues.

    Not unlike Colin, I found some of the solutions harder than the usual Rufus, notably ‘Posse’ and ‘Misere’.


  3. TokyoColin says:

    Thanks Andrew. I too found this quite straightforward. All over in 15 mins. on the train this morning (standing in Tokyo rush hour.) Last to go in were 17dn and 26ac which I eventually recalled, probably from English schoolboy novels read long ago. I thought “beak” referred to a judge but I suppose teachers carry similar authority in the classroom.

  4. Richard says:

    Thanks for the early blog Andrew, much appreciated.

    I enjoyed this after a slow start (still a little sleepy). I think your minor criticisms are fair, but this was certainly more entertaining than Saturday’s crossword…..
    24ac defeated me – I’ll have to make the effort to read a book of rules of card games as I never get the bridge references which setters often use either.

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew for a helpful blog.

    Amusing enough and a (slightly deceptively) quick solve while a little disappointing for a bank holiday (but see below). 24a took me longer than the others, and I had to check that it was right. I’m ashamed to confess I got 20d Lorelei from the clue but missed the point by taking the rather nice definition too literally and assuming ignorance of ‘the rock scene’! Amazing one can be that thick at times.

    I thought I had 12a but it seems I hadn’t. I plumped for ‘plants’ with the idea of someone ‘planting’ or burying evidence to be found later, though it didn’t feel quite right. Blinds is better if, as you say, a bit gruesome.

    5d was easy but raised a smile, as did 25a beak – back to Beano and Dandy days again! 6d and 22d were also nice, and there were some slightly unlikely anagrams inc. 10a, 16a, and 23d.

    Rufus clearly deserves closer attention than haste and my slight disappointment led me to give him this morning – one should learn never to take him for granted!

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Andrew. I found some of the clues tricky and also failed to get MISERE. POSSE wasn’t great, but TACITURN and EYESIGHT were clever.

  7. Bill Taylor says:

    It was rightback, optimistic as ever, who said something on Saturday about an upcoming bank-holiday special. This wasn’t it. Rufus at his most gentle. I’m trying not say most bland. “Rock singer” for LORELEI was his best clue.

  8. Dave Ellison says:

    Finished on the way in, so a one pipe problem (if I smoked, that is). I thought this was less than exciting. Six cryptic clues too many for my taste.

    I quite liked 10a, though.

  9. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Andrew.
    A very gentle start to the week from Rufus.
    A very quick solve with the only difficulty being ‘misere’,which I should have known,but didn’t twig the cards reference at first.
    Did the Indie before bed earlier today,so I hope the F.T. can offer a bit of a challenge!

  10. Derek Lazenby says:

    It might have been easy, but it makes you smile, which is better than a hard earned scowl.

    Minor quibbles, first the usual one, a ratio is an operation not a relationship. It may be used in a relationship, hence the confusion. Dictionaries are not compiled by mathematicians so don’t quote them, they don’t understand. But hey ho, it’s such a common mistake that it won’t stop the solving effort.

    Secondly, I thought it was Leu not Lei. Wikipedia agrees, not that that says a great deal.

    It seems several of us card players were slow to twig misere. My excuse is that it is a long time since I last played one of those games. Perhaps it was the same for others.

  11. Alex M says:

    Enjoyable workout today after a couple of weeks away from the crossword. Not totally easy, but not too challenging. Didn’t like 22d and 23d very much. Defeated by ‘misere’, even after recognising it probably related to a card game.

  12. Bill Taylor says:

    I was thrown by leu/lei for a while, too. Apparently lei is the plural of leu (which I’ve also seen spelled “lev”).

  13. Scarpia says:

    Derek @ 10
    Thought mathematicians would have stuck to sudoku! :)

  14. NeilW says:

    Bill Taylor,

    rightback’s comment referred, I guess, to this Saturday’s “special” – a curate’s egg if ever there was one.

  15. tupu says:

    Andrew or some other wise solver. Re 12a. Puts out of sight. In a slightly less self-critical mood than @5, I note that both COD and Chambers give slang meanings of ‘plant’ as ‘conceal’ and ‘hide’ respectively with the sorts of connotations I mention. So it plants ‘answers the question set’ at least, even if relatively simply and directly.

    I would be interested to see an analysis of the relation of the clue’s exact wording to ‘blinds’ – I can only think that ‘puts out’ would be in the sense of ‘extinguish’ and the ‘of’ would then equal ‘in the case of’ or ‘with ref. to’ sight. But I may well be missing something else.

  16. Bill Taylor says:

    tupu @15: I think “plant” as the solution to 12a would not be cryptic at all. My reading of the clue, for what it’s worth — I lay claim to no wisdom as a solver — was that blinding is the putting out, or extinguishing, of sight. Hence, “puts out of sight” = BLINDS. It could be argued that the “of” is superfluous but omitting it would ruin the reading of the clue. I’m prepared to give Rufus the benefit of that particular doubt.

    NeilW @14: You could be right but I’d been hoping for something special today (even though Canada’s May holiday was last Monday). I didn’t mind Saturday’s cryptic — I’m not discussing it, Gaufrid, honestly! — though it wasn’t as good as the previous three weekends. Certainly nothing extra-special about it.

  17. tupu says:

    Hi Bill. Many thanks for that – your comment seems to agree with my own late attempt at a gloss – and it is even possible to make some sense of the ‘of’ as I suggest. ‘Plants’ could be thought of as minimally cryptic in as much as it is given by the dictionaries as slang in this sense. But it is, I agree, a bit too simple for comfort.

  18. morpheus says:

    those who don’t know or who didn’t look it up might like to know that leu is Romanian for lion, from Latin leo “(from the image of a lion on a coin used in the late Ottoman Empire)” to quote one source.

  19. D&G says:

    Having just been reading the book, we couldn’t move away from the idea that 6D should be Candide. Ho hum.

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