Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25084 / Rufus

Posted by mhl on August 9th, 2010


A fun puzzle from Rufus, with lots of anagrams and cryptic definitions.

1. CACKLE Cryptic definition: to “cut the cackle” is to stop talking
4. MASTHEAD AM reversed + SAD = “unhappy” around THE
9. STRIPE Cryptic definition: referring to the Stars and Stripes on the flag of the U.S.A.
10. TUTORIAL (OUT)* in TRIAL = “Test”
11. LISTED BUILDING Cryptic definition: the Tower of Pisa leans or lists
14. UNIT U = “upper-class” (as in U and non-U) + NIT = “twit”
16. YAMS (AMY’S)*
18. SLAUGHTERS LAUGHTER = “merriment” in SS (“on board”)
21. LORD OF THE RINGS Cryptic definition Double definition
23. IN THE RED Cryptic definition: balance as in bank balance
24. EMERGE E = “East” + MERGE = “join up”
26. ENZYME (ENEMY Z[ulu])*
1. CAST Double definition (“pitch” as in “throw”)
2. CORDIAL Double definition
3. LIPSTICK Cryptic definition: “Cupid’s bow” refers to the shape made by lips, apparently
5. ACUPUNCTURE Cryptic definition
6. TROLLS STROLL “round” (rotated by one letter) or you could see it as (STROLL)*
7. EDITION No one = NO I + TIDE = “time” all reversed. Chambers gives “time” or “season” for “tide” as archaic or poetic usage
12. DEAD LETTERS Cryptic definition: a dead letter is “a letter undelivered and unclaimed at the post office” (Chambers)
15. CHAIRMAN Cryptic definition
19. EAGERLY EG = “For example” reversed in EARLY = “the morning”
20. MODERN MODE = “style” + RN = “navy”
22. HERE HER = “the woman” + E[xpect]

42 Responses to “Guardian 25084 / Rufus”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks mhl this was very enjoyable.

    However, I foresee that some solvers may have a gripe about LIPSTICK.

    What’s for sure is that you can never please everybody.

  2. Myrvin says:

    Thank you mhl.
    More cds than usual today? Therefore fewer real clues.
    I wonder why 11 wasn’t a cd. 9 seemed weak.
    LIPSTICK just another cd to me.
    To be fair to Rufus, I think 21 has more to it than just the one-sided cd. It is a film, and he is a boxing champion.
    I didn’t understand 7d – so thanks.

  3. mhl says:

    Myrvin: oops, 21 across was just a mistake – corrected now. (I assume since it’s “film” rather than “films” Rufus is thinking of the 1978 animated version :))

  4. Myrvin says:

    Film: I’ll bet he wasn’t. Who saw that? Well I did.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you mhl. Good puzzle, I thought. I didn’t know the Cupid’s Bow definition, but I think the clue works fine. I know cds aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I quite like Rufus’s: I thought ACUPUNCTURE was clever today.

    And TIDE for ‘time’ still exists in words like Yuletide and Shrovetide.

  6. Myrvin says:

    The answer to 9a is STRIPE in the singular.
    The star and stripe flag? There are probably a few.

  7. rrc says:

    Enjoyed this, particularly liked 11a

  8. Stella Heath says:

    Very nicely clued, in my opinion. 11a produced a 😀 , and other cd’s were also very good. 9a is clearly in the singular, so no gripes about that.

    Thanks, mhl, for explaining 7d – it reminds me that ‘time and tide wait for no man’. This obviously refers to the sea, but could also be understood as one of those many English expressions which use two words with identical meaning, eg. ‘rules and regulations’ It’s a quirky English habit we teachers have a hard time explaining to foreign students :)

    In short, a quick solve for a fun puzzle, and a good blog.

  9. joe says:

    A bit sad that ‘Lord of the Rings’ is now more of a film than a book.

  10. otter says:

    This was a Grr puzzle for me, little enjoyment. Far too many cryptic definitions (of which only LISTED BUILDING raised a smile of admiration), double definitions and tedious, obviously flagged anagrams.

    Stopped with about half a dozen unsolved because I simply couldn’t be bothered as I was getting no enjoyment from it. Turns out they were all cds and dds. Yawn.

    (Not a Rufus fan, in case you hadn’t guessed.)

  11. Myrvin says:

    As pointed out elsewhere, the only film actually called “Lord of the Rings” is the half-animation one from 1978. I saw it in a hotel in New York. Then it seemed to vanish.

  12. tupu says:

    Thanks mhl and Rufus

    Overall a good puzzle with several amusing answers inc. 5d and 11a. Some good anagrams too inc. 13d.

    All went swimmingly till I was left with the NW corner. 1d and 2d were straightforward but I kept doubting them as 1a, 9a and 3d didn’t leap to mind.
    At one stage I thought 9a must be Sir+1+US which was not satisfactory since Sir is a poor match for Companion. For a moment too I thought 3 down must be ‘poultice’ (drawer) and it was only when I looked at ‘cupid’s bow’ to see if it had any such ‘medical’ link that I saw the lip connection. 1a and 6a then came out of their cryptic hidey-holes.

    Rufus often has his sticking points (at least for me) along an otherwise smooth way!

  13. tupu says:

    Hi Stellah @ 8
    I seem to remember that such redundancy originally had a religious context – to make sure the teaching message was clear. Often a ‘posh’ and an ‘ordinary word were strung together I think.

  14. Myrvin says:

    TIDE. All the entries in OED to do with time are labelled ‘obs.’. It seems to have been simply used as another word for ‘time’ – from waaay back. TIDE for the sea comes later.

  15. Barbara says:

    It’s interesting to note that as the French say, “One man’s meat is another man’s poisson.”
    I, for one enjoy the CD clues more than any other type.
    For example, 11ac, Listed Building, is absolutely marvelous, since it’s both a CD and a DD.

  16. Dave Ellison says:

    I had a similar experience as Tupu with the NW corner, also thinking it was Sirius, until I could not find any support for Siri as companion. I also contemplated SIDE for 1d, for a time.

    I agree with otter’s sentiments, too.

  17. Myrvin says:

    Dave. You seem to have the same thinking processes as me. Pity they don’t lead to the right answers.
    Sirius does have a companion star, SIRIUS B. Knowing that kept me thinking about it for longer than I should have.

  18. Myrvin says:

    21a. If the tower is a listed building and a building that has listed. Then this is a dd isn’t it?

  19. tupu says:

    Hi Myrvin
    Thanks. :) Sorry to nitpick but relatively few people have access to OED to check refs there. My own version gives some relevant entries as archaic (or poetic or dialect?)rather than obsolete, and I suppose lifting it out of the compounds is just about fair enough in this context in any case. As you imply, Stella seems to be right about the original redundancy in ‘time and tide’.

  20. mhl says:

    tupu: I similarly found the North-West the trickiest bit – STRIPE and CACKLE were rather difficult to see, I think

    Myrvin: thanks for pointing out the STRIPE[s] error – I’ve fixed that now

    Barbara: LISTED BUILDING certainly raised a smile for me :) I didn’t classify it as a double definition on the grounds of that “of architectural interest” would indicate an adjective rather than a noun phrase.

  21. Myrvin says:

    OED. Tupu, you could take my word for it. BUT
    Anyone with a UK library card may well have access to the OED online.
    From here:
    It’s what I use – give it a go.

    I do have the condensed version – but I rarely need to heave it out.

  22. Little Dutch Girl says:

    Thanks mhl.

    This was just what the doctor ordered – not too challenging – since the house elf is rather bruised after a fall yesterday. That made 5d seem appropriate. I liked this clue since it had us going through all my needlework stitches. At last I thought a clue where the women might hae a bit of an advantage (yes I know men also do needlework eg Kaf Fasset) to off-set all those tedious clues related to cricket (yes I know women play and enjoy watching cricket) and weapons. So we really went off in the wrong direction until we got 11a. Another good clue.

    I liked 9a – again we went off (like some of the posters above) in the Sirius direction.

    I was a bit unhappy with cast for pitch. (1d)

    15d was weak.

    However, dispite the over reliance on anagrams, I liked this Rufus more than usual because of the tricks he played!

  23. tupu says:

    Hi Myrvin
    Thanks. Useful to know re UK library cards. As they used to say in Dad’s Army ‘Not many people know that’! As it happens, I have online access by a different route, hence my slightly pedantic nit-picking. Like you (I think) I find it a real Aladdin’s cave of interesting (if in my case rapidly forgotten) verbal treasures.

  24. Myrvin says:

    OK tupu. In which case you could find the actual entry for ‘time and tide’. It says:
    ” tide and (or) time (also time and tide: see TIME: an alliterative reduplication, in which the two words were more or less synonyms, or = time and (or) season. Obs.”
    Goes back to 1225 at least.

    Yeah Stella!

  25. grandpuzzler says:

    Could not solve the NW corner. Had 1D and 2D and thought of Sirius at 9A and poultice at 3D but couldn’t make them work. Cut the cackle is not a phrase I’ve ever heard used here in the Colonies. However, I should have known that the US Flag has stars and stripes. Curses!

  26. tupu says:

    Hi Myrvin
    No harm meant. Are we at cross purposes? I was only pointing out that a few OED entries re tide as time were labelled archaic or poetic or possibly dialect rather than obsolete which seems, to me, more like a verbal death certificate than the others.

  27. muck says:

    tupu@23: ‘Not many people know that’ isn’t from Dad’s Army.
    I thought it was Michael Caine, but see this

  28. tupu says:

    Hi Muck
    Thanks for that. A quick check supports your statement and not mine. I don’t want to go too far off track, but I have memories of Clive Dunn uttering the expression more than once in D’s A. But memory does play one tricks!

  29. walruss says:

    Happy Mondays, or I Don’t Like Mondays? I couldn’t decide, so it must have been about average.

  30. Stella Heath says:

    Hi tupu.

    It seems my intuition was on track. I’m used to that happening re Romance languages, but it’s not often it does in English :)

    I believe the repetition phenomenon works in all ‘official’ walks of life, where Norman French or Latin was used and then the Anglo Saxon expression added for clarity. This is often the case in legal terminology, for example.

    I, too, tried Sirius for 9a, and could almost see it working.

    I hadn’t heard of ‘cut the cackle’, but it’s a lovely expression!

    I’ve just finished today’s Quiptic, by Nutmeg, which I found slightly more challenging than this, but also good fun – is there a section on the site to explain Quiptics for newbies? I wonder because there was one answer (1d) I’d never heard of and had to Google.

  31. tupu says:

    Hi Stella
    Thanks. I wonder if it wasn’t somehow linked to demands for the scriptures to be available in local languages e.g. in the Reformation? Incidentally, I used to know a linguist who could recite various C19 (I think) dialect versions of the New Testament. I can’t remember much but part went something like ‘And Jesus said cum on lads!’
    Of course you are right to mention legal language but I’m not sure that the smart/vulgar distinction always works e.g. ‘raise a hue and cry’ (both French) and ‘without let or hindrance’ (both Germanic).

    I’m afraid I don’t know much about the Quiptic. There has been some recent discussion somewhere about whether it is blogged anywhere but a quick search has not been able to refresh my memory. I imagine Gaufrid will know the answer.

  32. Scarpia says:

    Thanks mhl.
    Nice puzzle from Rufus.Not usually a big fan of the CD but 11 across was a corker!
    In fact I found all the Cds (and there were some!)in this puzzle were pretty good.Also liked MASTHEAD and EDITION.
    Stella @30 Endless kissing distracted singer (6) -Siskin. Anagram of KISSIN(G). A siskin is a songbird.

  33. Bryan says:

    Thanks Stella @ 30

    I’d forgotten about the Quiptic until I saw your comment.

    I agree that it is more difficult than today’s Cryptic but I got there in the end.

  34. Derek Lazenby says:

    Got stuck on the same few others did. Feels good to know it wasn’t just me.

    Re Quiptic blog, I did offer quite a while ago but in the end we decided it was unlikely to get the support. Can’t rely on my health now. If I do the Quiptic, it is usually Saturday when the prize one has done my brain in. Leave a post in the Crossword Discusion thread under Chat on or after the next Monday when it can’t be a spoiler and somebody may reply as I know there are a few here that do it.

  35. muck says:

    tupu@28: at risk of going even further off message…
    Clive Dunn’s catchphrases in Dad’s Army was “they don’t like it up ’em” and don’t panic

  36. muck says:

    tupu@28: at risk of going even further off message…
    Clive Dunn’s catchphrases in Dad’s Army were “they don’t like it up ’em” and don’t panic

  37. Davy says:

    Thanks mhl,

    A mainly good puzzle from Rufus with some great CDs including 11a, 23a and especially 5d (ACUPUNCTURE). Also, enjoyed the ‘normality’ anagram and ENZYME. On the down side (sorry about that), I thought 3d was very poor and 1d was not convincing. I enjoyed the simplicity of 20d (MODERN).

    Like everyone else, I nearly put SIRIUS for 9a but couldn’t figure out the word play.

    I didn’t have any particular problems finishing this puzzle, although often with Rufus, there are two or three clues that I struggle with or sometimes give up on.

  38. tupu says:

    Hi Muck

    Thanks. Yes, I know those, but am still haunted by a mental image of his uttering the other catchphrase.

  39. Carrots says:

    Classic Rufus: surfaces so smooth he must have ironed them and a couple of stings in the tail to show who is boss. He may not be the most daunting of setters but what he may lack in sophistry he makes up for in style. Thank you Rufus: Monday lunchtimes without you can make me give up the will to live.

  40. Rufus says:

    Thank you mhl for the excellent blog.

    Regarding cryptic definitions, I do realise some solvers do not like them as, often, if you don’t think laterally you won’t arrive at the answer – you cannot work out the answer by hard work or re-examination of the clue.

    However, according to all the crossword experts, it is a legitimate and accepted way of clueing. One national editor – who shall remain anonymous to avoid his embarrassment – tells me that my use of CDs is the main reason for his continued use of my puzzles. The few clues of mine that people remember when I meet them always seem to be the CDs.

  41. Tom Roper says:

    Further to Myrvin’s remarks about the OED, if your library authority is too mean to subscribe, then join another that does…for some reason it’s not well publicised, but all library authorities have now agreed to offer membership to anyone anywhere. I’ve joined Manchester and can see their electronic resources, though I live on the south coast

  42. Little Dutch Girl says:

    How nice Rufus that you read the blog and took the trouble to comment. Thank you. PS I like CDs – so don’t stop using them – and they are infinitely better than Spoonerisms!

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