Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,102 / Rufus

Posted by Eileen on August 30th, 2010


A pleasant Bank Holiday diversion from Rufus, after Saturday’s tour-de-force from Araucaria, with several  smiles along the way. Thank you, Rufus, and a happy holiday, everyone!


9   EBULLIENT: BULL [farm animal] + IE [that is] in anagram of NET
10  ENEMY: cryptic definition: there has been discussion in the past about the derivation of ‘time = enemy': the nearest seems to be the quotation from W.B. Yeats: “The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time”.
11  END USER: anagram of ENSURED
12  IN ROADS: IN ROADS, roads being anchorages
13  TOSCA: anagram of ASCOT. [I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Ascot scene from ‘My Fair Lady’, with the stunning Cecil Beaton costumes. [Here’s a wee Bank Holiday treat! : ]
14  ANCESTRAL: anagram of LANCASTER: I’ve seen this anagram more than once before but this is a particularly elegant treatment of it, I think. [And a reminder of the setting of another film but I don’t want to start an argument about whether it’s up or down the line from Lancaster! :-) ]
16  VICTORIA STATION: cryptic definition, Victoria being a variety of plum
21  CIVIL: cryptic definition
22 SLEIGHT: LE [‘the’ French] in SIGHT [view]
23 AVIGNON: anagram of GIN in AVON
24  CHAIN: double definition
25  ONE ACROSS: cryptic definition. For newer cryptic solvers,  ‘light’ is crosswordese for the horizontal or vertical series of white spaces in the grid. It’s a pity there isn’t a 1 across in this puzzle but it’s rather neat that this is the last across clue.


1   DETECTIVES: cryptic [?] definition
2   CUL-DE-SAC: anagram of L [learner driver] + ACCUSED: this was  gettable immediately from the enumeration but what a beautifully constructed clue, with a lovely story-telling surface reading!
3   ALASKA: double definition, baked alaska being a dessert of ice cream on cake, covered in meringue and baked very quickly to set the meringue.
4   BEAR: cryptic definition
5   STAIRCASES: cryptic definition
NEBRASKA: anagram of A BANKERS:  another fine surface reading – and nothing to do with rivers!
7   REPAIR: REP [material – ‘a silk, wool, rayon or cotton fabric with a transversely corded surface’] + AIR [display]
8   EYES: cryptic definition
14 ALIENATION: A LIE [an attempt to deceive] + NATION [people]
17  OBLIGING: double / cryptic definition
18  INVENTOR: VENT [outlet] in anagram [wrought] of IRON: great surface
20  PIEMAN: cryptic definition: Simple Simon [or the pieman] was ‘going to the fair’.
21 CLINCH: C [large number] + L[eft] + In + Ch[urch]
22 SICK: sounds like SIC [‘just so’]
23 ABEL: ABE [Abraham] + L[incoln]: Abel, often ‘first murder victim’ in crosswords: see Genesis 4: 1-8

58 Responses to “Guardian 25,102 / Rufus”

  1. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Rufus

    A quick solve and easy to miss the artistry (ars est celare etc) so many thanks for bringing that out. I particularly enjoyed 14a, 25a, 6d, 18d and 23d.

    I was less pleased with 1d – I suppose it could be seen as misleading to make it that simple :). I seemed to like 19a a bit less than you did – it seemed a bit forced.

    Anyway a quick start leaving me plenty time to get into the garden (a mixed blessing)and the sunshine.

  2. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks Eileen. I found this very easy today (12′ or 13′), without having to spend ages on the last handful, as is often the case for me with Rufus.

    I don’t understand the DD in 24a? Is there such a thing as chain lightning?

    I found very little to inspire. 25a I enjoyed, but 1d was dismal, a straight definition as far as I can see. And the idea of 10a and 14a have been done to death.

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi Dave E

    I discovered this morning that chain lightning = forked lightning.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you Eileen. This was a pleasant half hour for me with ONE ACROSS and SUPPLANTS my smiley moments. As usual with Rufus, there’s always a pleasant moment to be had once the grid is filled in looking back over the many elegant surfaces. I don’t understand 1dn either, but chain lightning is fine – just another word for forked lightning, I think.

    Like tupu, the lawn beckons (cutting it, not lying on it).

  5. Mr Beaver says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Eileen, 24a had us puzzled too.
    I agree that it was a good Rufus (always feels good when we can solve in one sitting over coffee!), but I’d like him much more if he could get out of the habit of doing (entirely-non) ‘cryptic’ defs like 1d.
    It surely can’t be hard to do better than that for DETECTIVES ?

  6. Mr Beaver says:

    KD – ha! ahead of you there – lawn cut before Rufus :)

  7. cholecyst says:

    Thanks Eileen and Rufus. Just found this:

    How goes the enemy?”, “What says the enemy” were popular ways of asking “What time is it?” in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The catchphrase apparently originates from a dialogue of the play The Dramatist (1789) by Frederick Reynolds.

    Ennui. I’ve an idea, I don’t like this Lady Waitfor’t—she wishes to trick me out of my match with Miss Courtney, and if I could trick her in return—[Takes out his Watch.] How goes the enemy?—only one o’clock!—I thought it had been that an hour ago!

    In the play, the character Ennui who speaks these lines is described as “the time-killer, whose only business in life is to murder the hour”. (From Crosswordunclued)

  8. Eileen says:

    Thanks for that, cholecyst – that sounds familiar!

    As I said, we’ve had time = enemy a number of times and each time someone queries it. This morning, I didn’t have time to delve too far back in the archives to find the previous discussion: the most recent instance is Gaufrid’s blog of a Rover puzzle on 11th May, where he gives the Yeats’ quotation, which seemed to be accepted, so I settled for that one!

    Interestingly, the extract from the site that you quote begins with the Yeats quotation.

    And perhaps even more interestingly, Crosswordunclued is the site of Shuchi, who blogs the FT puzzle here on Fridays!

  9. otter says:

    Morning, all. Thanks for the blog, Eileen. As you say, some elegant if mostly straightforward clues. I quite enjoyed doing this one, especially SUPPLANTS (lovely). As usual for Rufus, heavily reliant on anagrams, dds and cds, but he does often manage to form fun clues from them. 1d was extremely straightforward, although the surface reading is worded, I think, to mislead, if you don’t mentally put a comma between ‘criminals’ and ‘working’. Perhaps it’s meant as a ‘way in’ for beginner solvers, to get some letters on the grid.

    I ended up with INROADS (didn’t know about roads=moorings), REPAIR (rep) and ONE ACROSS (lights) unsolved, so I have learned something. Let’s hope I manage to remember these for next time.

    Enjoy your bank holidays, everyone.

  10. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thank you, Eileen, for your ‘early work’ on this Bank Holiday Monday.
    Pretty easy fare today – yet, I needed the blog to confirm 25ac.

    Some nice ones.
    I liked the neatness of the LANCASTER anagram [even though we have seen it before], and smiled at SUPPLANTS (19ac).
    Another highlight, for me, was 2d: the silly driver lost in a CUL-DE-SAC.

    On the other hand, some fillers/weak ones too.
    The DETECTIVES, already nominated several times.
    I think ASCOT (13ac) is too obvious, and LONELINESS (15d) is an unelegant ‘anagram for beginners’.
    Wasn’t very keen on VICTORIA STATION either [which is more a charade, the ‘station’ being a ‘post’, than a cd].

    Still, an enjoyable solve as always with Rufus.
    Even I can see [as a non-Brit, I mean] that he uses the English language very well/naturally.

    And now for something not thát completely different!

    After my first ‘Gin cocktail’ (in 23ac) this morning, I was offered a second one, as Dante also used ‘gin cocktail’ (leading to a different solution) in the FT’s Monday Prize Crossword.
    This Dante puzzle was another charmer from Mr Squires, I think slightly preferable to today’s Rufus.

    Sometimes I wonder how many people do this FT crossword, as I hardly see any comments on it, week after week [well, Dante’s there every fortnight].
    It could of course well be, that the gap between the time of appearing and the blog [which is about 10 days later] withholds people from joining that blog.
    [that said, one could leave the puzzle on the shelf for a week or so – or make notes after solving the crossword]

    I am saying this also because Uncle Yap deserves a better response for his brilliant Dante blogs.
    In the most recent one [FT 13,465] I started my comment with: “Thank you, Uncle Yap, for your immaculate blog in this – as I said several times before – lonely place”, after which UY replied with: “svdh, how true. The FT hosts many very good puzzles but bloggingly, there seems to be very little interest”.

    This Rufus was a friendly start of the week, but why not treat yourself on a second one – same Chef, same flavour.

  11. tupu says:

    Hi K’s Dad

    :) ‘Like tupu, the lawn beckons’? Now there is a cryptic clue! If only I could think of a flattering answer! Something like ‘softly and sweetly’ (like a Liberty print)? No, I suspect ‘lengthily’ or ‘unrulily’ will have to do!

  12. RV says:

    Thank you Eileen and Rufus. A lot of criticism of 1D. Otter (post # 9.) is right with his comment. The surface reading is clearly meant to lead us up the garden path of “internal affairs” police, ie police investigating other corrupt police. I wouldn’t call it an aha moment when the penny dropped, more a grr moment. Criticism of the clue by solvers as non-cryptic misses the subtlety of the surface reading. Again as Otter says, it’s straightforward but I for one enjoyed being deliberately misled by the surface reading.

  13. Ron says:

    RV – I don’t see how you can say that 1D is subtle when the answer is so obvious on the first reading.
    I’m going to be a misery-guts, be sacrilegious, and disagree with almost all of the previous comments; I don’t like Rufus! It’s not that I object to relatively easy puzzles (I’m not a good enough solver to have a right to do so), but this puzzle has 12 CD/DDs, excessive even by his standard, making for a very unsatisfactory experience.

  14. odon says:

    Thanks for the blog and the explanations. Some of these came in very handy, especially for 25a, which I guessed without actually knowing why it was right. Now I know :)
    I was also unsure about how 24a and 7d worked but ‘get them’ now that I’ve read the blog. For a novice like me it’s just nice to be able to finish the crossword, which, happily, was the case today.
    I don’t know about anyone else, but I actually found today’s Quiptic puzzle a lot harder than this. It took me quite a bit longer and in the end there were two that I couldn’t do.

  15. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen. Not much to add that hasn’t been said already — as always, nice surfaces meant that there was plenty to enjoy in an easy solve. I, too, liked 19ac and the neat cluing of 14ac. I’m going to be a bit of a fence-sitter re 1dn — can’t decide if this is a total miss cryptically or deceptively simple!

    Thanks for explaining that ‘roads’ means anchorages — new meaning to me :-)

  16. FumbleFingers says:

    (been away for a while…)
    Can anyone explain why the answer to 17d can’t be OBLIGANT?

  17. tupu says:

    Help please!

    I was going to write that I felt out on a limb about 19a. My reason was that neither a bee nor any other creature can sup plants. One sups liquid or occasionally air. Several people have praised the clue but none so far has addressed this issue. As a straightforward statement ‘sup (as opposed to suck) plants’ makes little sense.

    A sensible answer could be ‘sup’ at ‘plants’ which I now accept as OK and amusing. If I am right, was it so obvious as to make an explanation unnecessary? Or am I just missing something as I sometimes do?

  18. Eileen says:


    I presume it’s Rufus’ *puzzles* you don’t like. I haven’t met Mr Squires, but, from his courteous contributions to this site in the past, he appears to be a very nice man!

    Hi odon

    I think this is the first time you’ve commented on a cryptic – so welcome! Hope to hear from you again.

    And welcome back, fumblefingers! I must admit I didn’t think of OBLIGANT but it is derived from the Latin present participle, so might be thought to be an alternative. However, I can only find it [in either Chambers and SOED] as a noun: ‘Scots law: someone who binds himself or herself to another to pay or to perform something’.

  19. Derek Lazenby says:

    Well the class dummy thinks he’s getting harder, just to balance the self indulgent declarations of unrequited expertise.

    Nor is there any call for the puritanical indignation about a non-cryptic clue. There is no law against it, just your own self serving requirements for what pleases you. A respected source, the YAGCC site, has this to say…

    “In some cryptic crosswords, non-cryptic clues are very occasionally used. The Times sometimes used quotation clues in the past, and also permitted (possibly still permits) the use of plain definitions – either as the ultimate bluff, or in cases where no satisfactory cryptic clue could be found.”

    He could have said, “should never happen” or “are completely banned” but didn’t. I’m prepared to take his word for it, especially as nowhere else mentions a ban either. In any case, as a poker player, I have to ask, what is wrong with a double bluff?

    Glad I didn’t catch the time=enemy debate. It is common parlance in certain quarters, typically in planning meetings when discussing threats to the success of a project, as in, “time is your only enemy”. I’ve heard that one more often than I care to remember.

    Ah, the infamous Ascot scene in My Fair Lady! The one where the incompetent Americans failed to realise that not all horse racing goes anti-clockwise as theirs does. The horses are running in the wrong direction for Ascot.

    I didn’t bother me, but if any clue here is bad it is 8d which could equally define fish. CDs are supposed to be unambiguous.

  20. Eileen says:

    Hi tupu

    I’m afraid I didn’t think too deeply about this one. I think it’s what Uncle Yap would call a ‘tichy’ [tongue in cheek] clue – and this was the way I – and others, apparently, took it.

  21. tupu says:

    Hi FumbleFingers

    As far as I can tell ‘obligant’ does not have the ‘kind’ connotation. OED gives ‘Sc. Law. A person who binds himself or herself, or who is legally bound, to pay or perform something’. ‘adj. Binding, obligatory. Obs. rare.’

  22. tupu says:

    Hi Eileen

    You may be right, but many a blogger would have been quite critical if as such it had come from one or two other setters. However, I think my own parsing does make sense – the one word being ‘at’ the other.

  23. Stella says:

    Thanks Eileen,

    I didn’t know those meanings for ‘rep’, ‘light’, or ‘road’, and they explain a lot.

    I tried parsing 1d. as ‘find’ = ‘detect’, but failed to see how ‘ives’ could be ‘criminals working’.

    19a made me :) – sorry, tupu, for once we disagree, albeit slightly. True, you sup a liquid, but the meanings of ‘sup’ and ‘suck’ are so close in this context that they are almost interchangeable.

    As others have said, this was an enjoyable solve for the surface readings. I particularly liked 14a.

  24. Maure says:

    Thanks Eileen & Rufus

    LONELINESS was how I felt solving puzzles without always u/standing the definitions behind the clues.

    Thanks to this blog, I can enjoy & learn ‘the cryptic way’.

    I like this puzzle, as I’m good with geog. names (except for some of those in the UK).

    I had to cheat on D20 & A24
    Thanks for your explanations.

  25. Eileen says:

    Hi Maure

    Another new contributor? [I don’t remember seeing your name before.] Welcome, if you are, and, if not, my apologies. Hope to hear more from you.

  26. Maure says:

    Hi Eileen

    Indeed, it’s been my first comment. I’ve been eavesdropping for the past month, solving the Guardian puzzles, jotting down the explanations and reading all the comments on both sites.

    It’s a great pleasure to share the passion. And today, I came out from the dark !

  27. tupu says:

    Hi Stella
    :) Oh dear! But I’m philosophical about! Sic transit gloria Swanson as Polanski and other Roman film directors used to say! I’m intrigued though that everyone just says ‘never mind’ – as we all know, charm makes one forgive a lot, and Rufus is a lucky chap to have so much!

  28. Stella says:

    It does indeed, tupu, look what we let Araucaria get away with! That’s how you recognise the true masters – by the amount of ‘poetic license’ we allo them.

    Just think of them as the Picasso’s and Dali’s of crossword setters, with Ximenes as the great Raphael!

  29. Sil van den Hoek says:

    And Paul must be Hieronymus Bosch then, I guess :).
    And what about that other great artist Dante (as mentioned in #10):
    [at least a link worth looking at for the (many) recent newcomers at this site – and who possibly don’t know yet where to find all this Beauty]

  30. Eileen says:

    Hi Sil

    I meant to thank you for the reminder earlier. I do the FT puzzle most days – and always on Mondays – but, for some reason, I had it in my head that the paper wasn’t published on Bank Holidays. Done now, though. :-)

  31. Sil van den Hoek says:

    And the funny thing is, that the link to the FT Crossword site ( doesn’t get a mention in LINKS right on top of this Fifteensquared page!

  32. don says:

    Regarding Friday’s 27a and your comment, “I like this sort of clue where pronunciation changes”. For most locals there is no change – the first syllable in ‘Monmouth’ is pronounced ‘mun’, as in ‘moneyed’ – the rest think it’s in England ;-)!

  33. Stella says:

    Hi Sil.

    My problem with FT is the format. I could go downstairs and plug my little notepad into the printer, but that’s too much like hard work when I’m having a restful siesta-time doing puzzles :D

  34. tupu says:

    Hi Don
    WE are at cross purposes. It was the change of pronunciation of “eyed” = “regarded” that I was referring to.

  35. tupu says:

    Hi Stella
    Thanks again.
    As you may remember, I have been a keen promoter of the recognition of poetic license in x-words.

    But I don’t think ‘sup’ and ‘suck’ are that close, and I’m still slightly puzzled why you and others are so happy to see ‘sup’ treated as a transitive verb whose object is ‘plants’.

    Imagine a clue (albeit not at all as witty) which was something like ‘What a gourmet sea-bream does?’. (4,4) to which the answer was ‘eats well’. This uses a word for consuming solids with a liquid, the opposite of the present case. I don’t think it is just the relative clumsiness of this clue that makes it worrisome. We simply don’t eat water, and we and bees simply don’t sup plants. Like Chomsky’s ‘colourless green ideas’, it is syntactically OK but semantically quite odd.
    Anyway, there we are. Sorry, like you, to differ.

    Hi Sil

    Bosch portrays hell and Ximenes constructs it, but I think there the similarity probably ends, unless you see Bosch working to a rigid set of rules?

  36. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Well, tupu, if you’ve ever looked closely at paintings by Hieronymus Bosch [but I guess you have – like the famous ‘Garden of Earthly Delight’, in Madrid’s Prado], then you will understand why I call Paul [just here and only because Stella started about painters] the Hieronymus Bosch of the setters.
    You might call it Hell, but I can tell you there’s a lot of Naughtiness going on there. :)

    And coming back to SUPPLANTS, everything you say about it is 110% right.
    But … the ‘imagery’ and the ‘feelgood factor’ overrule it today.
    As Chris de Burgh once sang: “It’s the classical dilemma between the head and the heart”.

  37. don says:

    That’s not a problem – we seemed to be agreed then on ‘Mun’-mouth.

  38. tupu says:

    Hi Sil

    Thanks for that.
    :)’I put my hand upon my heart
    And swore that we would never part.
    I wonder what I would have said
    If I had put it on my head’.

  39. tupu says:

    Many apologies. I’m sorry! You very aptly said Paul, and it was Stella who mentioned Ximenes!

  40. Davy says:

    Thanks Eileen,

    I didn’t think this was one of Rufus’s best as there were many weak clues such as VICTORIA STATION (definitely the worst), END USER, SUPPLANTS (despite the amusement of some poeple, I thought it was poor), PIEMAN, ONE ACROSS, CIVIL, STAIRCASES, LONELINESS (the anagram is so close to the word) etc. However, I did like ANCESTRAL, NEBRASKA, CLINCH and ABEL.

    Also, like Dave Ellison, I often struggle with the last two or three of Rufus. Not today though, it was far too easy.

  41. Eileen says:

    Hi davy

    Thanks for bringing us right back on topic! :-) [But I’ve enjoyed the intervening contributions!]

    Your comments on individual clues illustrate very well the diversity of solvers’ preferences, as you will have seen, from other comments.

    Re your last sentence: I really wish we could get away from this weekly ‘too easy’ comment on Rufus’ puzzles. Ages ago [I haven’t time here to go back through the archives to find it] Rufus told us that it was his brief to provide an ‘easier’ puzzle on Mondays. This he unfailingly does, at the same time as giving encouragement to newcomers to cryptics, as confirmed by the welcome comments of two of today’s new contributors, and, at the same time, giving delight, in the elegant construction of his clues, to more experienced solvers, as Kathryn’s Dad indicated, in comment 4, and as I indicated, for instance, in my comment on 2dn et al.

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that Roger Squires

    could produce an absolute stinker of a puzzle! :-)

  42. Davy says:

    Hi Eileen,

    I don’t often find Rufus ‘too easy’ which was my point. There are always a few clues that I struggle over and sometimes fail to solve but today these clues were absent. The whole puzzle seemed to be a level easier than usual. Perhaps this was due to today being a bank holiday, I don’t know.

  43. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Davy. I misread you. I understand you now.

  44. Stella says:

    What was the anagram of Llanfair….llantysylyogogogogh? And how on earth did he fit it into a 15×15 crossword?

    Sorry to any people who know the actual name/spelling – that’s all I remember from when my brother learned it by heart 40-odd years ago, and I only remember the sounds. So even if I’d got the clue, I wouldn’t have been able to spell it :D

  45. Martin H says:

    Hi Eileen – yes, an easier puzzle is fine, but – first, can’t we have some variety in the clueing – as Ron points out at 13, 12 out of 29 clues are cd/dd. And if this is meant to give inexperienced solvers something to work on, the cd’s at least, by Rufus’s own admission, don’t require the standard solving skills that other sorts of clues would hone.
    One or two cd’s, to leaven the mix, is all we need, and these should at least show some wit. DETECTIVES; VICTORIA STATION; CIVIL and PIEMAN for goodness sake; CHAIN – they’re dull, dull, dull. STAIRCASE would just about have done, as would BEAR, if only because – in isolation – it could have been really funny. And of the other clues, SUPPLANTS doesn’t really work, and TOSCA and ENEMY are old hat – ok, new users might not have seen them, but that’s no excuse for not being bothered to find something fresh; as you say, Rufus is a very capable cluer (now there’s a word), but again he comes across as more concerned with quantity than quality. Shame!

  46. Derek Lazenby says:

    The presence of CDs is down to editorial policy in the different countries. In this country they are allowed. In the U.S. they are not. There are plenty of U.S. cryptic sites, so if you really hate CDs you might prefer those. Of course then you are in the reverse position of our U.S. solvers here, foreign spelling, foreign idioms, foreign general knowledge. But that just adds to the fun I find.

  47. Rufus says:

    Just back home after two days with my young grandchildren in Yorkshire to find so many comments.
    As has been said, my brief is a fairly easy straightforward start to the week. But I don’t think I could ever provide the excellent sort of puzzles regularly supplied by Araucaria and Paul.

    I send in the puzzles a month or two ahead and they don’t always appear in the same order, dependent on whether similar solutions, grids or clues have been used by other setters, so the date is always the editor’s decision.

    The Llanfair… solution was on a one-off grid designed specifically to fill the whole page of The Telford and Wrekin News on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the first ever bridge made of iron (I live in Ironbridge) when royalty visited (1979). Telford & Wrekin asked for it so it would be accepted by Guinness Records as the longest word to appear in a published crossword. It was deemed necessary to make it an anagram as few people would be able to spell it otherwise. I’m not too proud of my attempt – so many consonants, so few vowels – perhaps others may like to improve it! It appeared as:
    “Giggling troll follows Clancy, Larry, Billy and Peggy who howl, wrongly disturbing a place in Wales (58)”. Ugh!

  48. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for dropping in, Rufus. It’s always good to hear from you.

    I’ve spent some time googling this morning, in order to answer Stella’s query – and was just about to admit defeat, so thanks very much for that! :-)

  49. Daniel Miller says:

    Re: One Across – wouldn’t it have been possible to invert the crossword and make this the first across clue (if not actually clue number 1 (across))?

  50. Tony Edwards says:

    I never noticed that ANCESTRAL was an anagram of LANCASTER but arrived at the same answer by thinking in terms of the House of Lancaster

  51. Paul B says:

    I think ANCESTRAL is probably also an anagram of CARTHORSE, but perhaps I’m getting confused with something else: whatever it probably is, it probably isn’t Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

    After YOU, sir!

  52. Davy says:

    Paul B,

    CARTHORSE is not anagram of ANCESTRAL because the letters don’t match but ORCHESTRA is an anagram of CARTHORSE. Perhaps that is what you were thinking of.

  53. Roger says:

    Thanks Eileen.
    I know that time’s getting on a bit now with this one but I was interested to see the Llanfair question crop up again (see my post back in May ~ puzzle 24998 # 46).
    I wonder if it’s a candidate for the Trivia category on this site which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be getting many customers :(
    What say you ?

  54. Eileen says:

    Hi Roger

    Many thanks for that!

    I just knew that I had seen that clue before but no amount of googling came up with it – just references to it being an anagram.

    It might be better to put it in General Crossword Discussion, as that seems to get more visitors than Trivia. :-)

  55. Dynamic says:

    A belated thank you to Rufus and Eileen. I did it with a friend a day late and found it highly entertaining without being overly taxing (and I agree with your brief, Rufus, and believe you execute it superbly), so the pleasure kept flowing. Followed by Firefly’s excellent Tuesday Telegraph Toughie it made for a thoroughly enjoyable morning’s solving.

  56. Dynamic says:

    Hey, Firefly who set Daily Telegraph Toughie No. 416 wouldn’t be Roger Squires a.k.a. Rufus also would it?

    I only ask because I checked Wikipedia’s Firefly (disambiguation) page and found:

    Rufus T. Firefly, a character played by Groucho Marx in the film Duck Soup

    Coincidence? Well, yes, quite possibly, but you never know!

    Anyway, I loved the clever 10a theme (see Big Dave’s blog (complete with slightly risque image to accompany 1a), but most particularly 1a just made me fall about, regardless of who set it:

    1a Fondle a thicker thong? (5)

    That Toughie was a tough but highly rewarding solve.

  57. Paddywack says:

    I found that some clues were quickly and easily solved like 16 but struggled with others like 23a until I realised thet 21d wasn’t cuddle but clinch. Completely stumped by 25. Thanks Eileen for a lovely detailed blog.

  58. Eileen says:

    You’re welcome, Paddywack – in both senses [because I don’t remember seeing your name before, or not recently, anyway – forgive me if I’m wrong. :-) ]

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