Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic No 25,186 by Rufus

Posted by PeterO on December 6th, 2010


Rufus’ usual gentle start to the week, with a couple of quibbles.


1 MISHAPS Anagram (‘anyway’) of ‘pass him’.

5 ACCEDES Charade of AC (‘bill’) + CEDES (gives way’).

10 CHIT Double definition.

11 OVERSLEEPS Cryptic definition, turning on ‘turn out’ for get up.

12 SLIP UP Reversal (‘recalling’) of PUPILS (‘students’).

13 ORANGERY Double definition, one cryptic, depending on the reference to the Orange Order of Northern Ireland.

14 FREE TRADE Slightly cryptic definition.

16 STUDS Double definition.

17 SLACK Envelope (‘in’) of L (‘student’) in SACK (‘fire’). Remember nutty slack?

19  READY CASH Anagram (‘forged’) of ‘yard chase’.

23 BULLWHIP Charade of BULL (‘speculator’) + WHIP (‘nick’ in the sense of steal).

24 ALL OUT Double definition.

26 AGREEMENTS Anagram (‘may make’) of ‘mere  agents’. I do not find this the most satisfactory &lit.

27 AWAY Charade of A (‘a’) + WAY (‘course’)

28 PROTEST Envelope of ROT (‘corruption’) in PEST (‘a tiresome person’).

29 APPAREL Anagram (‘dishevelled’) of ‘appear’ + L (‘student’).


2 INHALER Anagram (‘rough’) of ‘long-haired’  to get, say, DOGINHALER, then ‘dog taken out’.

3 HET UP Charade of ‘he’ + TUP, an anagram (‘out’) of ‘put’ (alright it is a reversal, but that is an anagram too).

4 PROSPER Envelope of S (‘son’) in PROPER (‘correct’).

6 CASBAH Envelope of BA (‘scholar’) in CASH (‘money’).

7 ENERGETIC Anagram (‘upset’) of ‘great-niece’ with the a taken out (‘lacking first aid’). Orlando in today’s Quiptic avoided this kind of questionable (albeit tempting in this case) indication of the first letter of a word.

8 EXPIRED Barely cryptic definition.

9 SECOND HELPING Double definition, one cryptic.

15 EXCELLENT Charade of EXCEL (‘outdo’) + LENT (‘fast time’).

18 LOUNGER Envelope (‘to accept’) of U (‘university’) in LONGER (‘one having a desire’).

20 DRAWS UP Charade of DRAWS (‘a football pool’s entry’ ?) + UP (‘a winner’ ?).

21 SAUSAGE Envelope (‘stuffing’) of AUS (‘an American’) in SAGE (‘herb’).

22 CHIMES Charade of CH (‘the church’) + reversal (‘turn’) of SEMI (‘half’). ‘to’ indicating the order is not my favourite, and the ‘the’ does not translate to anything in the cryptic interpretation.

25 LHASA Charade of L (‘student’, again) + ‘has a’. ‘the’ is again cryptically irrelevant, but ‘a’ is not.

22 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic No 25,186 by Rufus”

  1. TokyoColin says:

    Thanks PeterO. I read 21dn as SA(USA)GE.

  2. Bryan says:

    Many thanks PeterO & Rufus

    I enjoyed this and my favourite was SECOND HELPING.

  3. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks PeterO.

    Re 20d, I think the object of footbsll pools was (is?)to predict 8 (score) draws. So if your draws came up, you might win.

    Also liked SECOND HELPING.

  4. Martin H says:

    Plenty of neat, simple clues. ‘To’ in 22 seems to mean ‘as far as’ and that works for me – similarly ‘the': a definition of ‘chimes’ could be ‘the sound of bells’.

    8 and 14, on the other hand, shouldn’t have got past the editor. 8 in particular is straight out of a Quick.

    9 and 11 will no doubt have pleased aficionados of the genre.

  5. Derek Lazenby says:

    Whilst I finished, I needed to see the blog for a couple, ta.

    Nutty slack? Ye gods, never thought I’d hear that one again!

  6. James G says:

    sorry to be so dim, but what the hell is nutty slack???

  7. PeterO says:

    James G – the only dimness involved is at my end – the dimness of age. Nutty slack is low-grade coal with admixture of bedrock. There was a scandal about it being passes off as household coal; I suppose it must have been in the ’50s.

  8. tupu says:

    Thanks PeterO and Rufus

    Usual Monday fare from Rufus, some easy and some teasers. It took me a relatively long time to get ‘second helping’ which I rather liked and the link between ‘nick’ and ‘whip’ at first eluded me for some reason (the capital ‘n’? – though it is cleverly placed at the beginning of the surface where capitals belong anyway).

    Also enjoyed ‘free trade’ (sorry Martin!) and several others inc. 11, 17,and 22 (this clue seems OK to me).

    ‘Expired’ is pretty feeble though I suppose ‘time’ itself can expire (hence of time) as we do when we ‘run out of’ it.

    6d Casbah worried me. Scholar is pocketed by cash rather than vice-versa. To ‘pocket’ meaning ‘to make a pocket for oneself in something’ seems odd to me. Perhaps it is mentioned as an extension from ‘appropriate’ e.g. ‘occupy’.

  9. Peter Owen says:

    I was confused by 6 down until I realised that my paper copy of The Guardian has this clue

    Money pocketed by scholar is a foreign quarter

    with the insertion the wrong way round. The online versions have the correct

    Scholar’s in the money in this part of a foreign city.

  10. tupu says:

    Hi Peter Owen

    Thanks. That supports my own disquiet and probably explains others’ silence.

  11. Stella says:

    Double duty today, Peter? Thanks for the effort.

    I’ve nothing to add to the comments. Asyou say, the usual Rufus Monday fare, all very enjoyable.

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Peter, for the blog. Usual enjoyable Rufus for a Monday morning – wysiwyg and all that. There were many very good Rufus-style clues, but my pleasure today came from the whole puzzle.

    For me, ‘first aid’ to clue ‘A’ is fine.

    SLACK is a word I know to describe powdery, low-grade coal, but one I haven’t heard for ages (possibly because fewer people have coal fires these days). Never come across ‘nutty slack’ before, but the Midlands expression to describe coal of poor quality is ‘it’s nobbut slack, youth’.

  13. Peter Owen says:

    To avoid confusion: I am not PeterO.

  14. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, PeterO. Nothing much to add to the above. An enjoyable Rufus — I liked the surface of 1ac and others. Didn’t think 8dn was crytic, though. I’ve never heard of ‘slack’ for ‘coal’!

  15. tupu says:

    Re ‘slack’. My recollection is that (as a mixture of dust and smaller lumps) it burned more quickly than larger coal lumps, so that one might ‘put a bit of slack on the fire’ to get a quick blaze.

  16. Robi says:

    Thanks,PeterO and Rufus. 8d seemed to be weak but I took it as a dd with reference to expired meaning dead, and thus out of time.

  17. George Heard says:

    20 reminded me of an old joke.

    Q. What’s black and white and tells the Pope to f**k off?

    A. A nun with six score draws.

    I thought this was a bit more restrained of a Rufus with the usual set of nice surfaces but not as many cryptic definitions.

  18. john h says:

    George – you would normally need eight score draws to do much in the pools so it is unlikely that nun would be telling the pope where to shove his job. I got seven score draws once and won £1.42 which was not quite enough to retire on.

  19. N. Williams says:

    The clue to 13 across was irritating. Orangemen are not necessarily extremists by any means. Surely judgements of this kind are better kept out of crossword clues.

  20. Roger says:

    Thanks PeterO. Was beginning to wonder if term had finished early with all these pupils/students/scholar(‘)s about !
    A first glance at 17 said lignite to me, then I thought again … oh dear. Good to see tupu making one ‘L of an appearance, though.

  21. stiofain says:

    A nice lite rufus though i agree EXPIRED is barely cryptic I did like SECOND HELPING.I remember slack as being put on top of the fire to make it smoulder and burn slower to save coal rather than being used for a quick fire.
    N Williams @19 are you kidding? The Orange Order are as extreme as religious groupings get, responsible for murders, intimidation on a countrywide scale and civil unrest costing millions. They are the only identifiable legal grouping that have had no input into the peace process in Ireland. They were formed to persecute a large part of the population and did so very successfully for many years. I suppose the Klu Klux Klan are just good ol’ country boys and the Taliban cuddly little beardy gnomes?

  22. morpheus says:

    at last, what this blog has been missing for some time – some good balanced political opinion.

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