Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,239 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on February 7th, 2011


A very easy Rufus today, where my main difficulty came with some less-than-brilliant cryptic definitions that seemed too obvious to be true. I’m a little short of time so please excuse the rather brief notes below.

1. ATHOS A + SHOT*, Athos being one of the Three Musketeers
4. TERRIERS ERR (stray) in TIERS
8. EASY COME, EASY GO Not-very-cryptic defintion
11. HEALTH You might say “good health” when you raise your glass for a toast
12. OF NO AVAIL (A VAIN FOOL)*. The form “to no avail” is more common, but this version seems to exist as well.
15. TYROL TYRO + L (two beginners – there’s another L for Learner later)
17. STYLE STY (pen) + LE (French “the”).
19. NOMADS M.A. (scholar) in NODS
24. BASEBALL PLAYER Not quite a double definition – a baseball field is called a diamond, and the teams are clubs
25. STATUARY Cryptic definition
1. AGE OF CONSENT Cryptic definition
2. HUSH MONEY Cryptic definition
3. SACKS Double definition
4. TEMPERATE ATE “with”, i.e. after, TEMPER
5. REEF Double definition – reef knot and a reef that a ship might be wrecked on
7. REGAL LAGER reversed
13. AMENDMENT Another not-very-cryptic definition – I had to check the online solution to make sure I’d got this right, as it seemed “too obvious”.
14. LITERALLY [servic]E in LIT (fired up) RALLY (congregation)
16. RATEPAYER Cryptic definition
20. MEANT MEAN (average) + T[-shirt]
22. UNLIT L in UNIT – the second L=learner
23. GAGA GA (state) twice, and two definitions: Lady Gaga, singer, and “senile”.

23 Responses to “Guardian 25,239 – Rufus”

  1. malc95 says:

    Thanks Andrew & Rufus

    15a – I’ve got TYRO +L. Alternative spellings?

  2. Andrew says:

    Malc, thanks, you’re right, it should be TYROL – blog corrected. (Though in fact I think the versions with I are possible)

  3. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Andrew.

    Another easy Rufua and, like Malc95, I opted for TYROL.

    As it happens, we are right!

    And I’ve never even heard of Tirol.

  4. Bryan says:

    Evidently, TIROL is the German version.

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Rufus

    Fairly easy going. I too had Tyrol, but Tirol would do as had been noted. But a nice clue otherwise.

    I found it a little difficult to see the anagram in 21 despite it’s being clear that there was one. A well disguised (re)formation.

    I thought ‘nomads’ was not wholly satisfactory for gypsies, and was a little disappointed to find ‘play’ in both clue and answer in 24.

    Enjoyed 14d and 25a.

  6. Swukker says:

    On the whole, nothing much to criticise except it is far, far too easy. Is 2D a cryptic definition or just a definition? It wouldn’t have been out of place in the Quick Crossword.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I share tupu’s reservations about ‘nomads’ and ‘play’, but enjoyed in particular AGE OF CONSENT and TEMPERATE.

    Rufus is meant to be ‘easy’, btw. If you want to make your brain hurt, try Tees in the Indy today.

  8. Mr Beaver says:

    I think this was our fastest solve for a Guardian cryptic, and faster than a lot of ‘Quick’s ! Not that I’m complaining, variety is the spice of life…

    The usual reservations about Rufus’ clueing apply, though:
    13d, AMENDMENT is indeed ‘too obvious’, but why ‘for the better’ ? We were looking for something gambling-related.
    As tupu says, ‘He plays..’ in 24a is poor.
    18a ‘not an infectious disease’ is an odd definition for ENTERITIS – I thought it was highly infectious.

    Still, I did like GAGA – another ageing compiler proving he’s down with the kidz ? ;-)

  9. William says:

    Thank you Andrew & Rufus.

    Nice jolly romp, this morning. Although I must say, that like K’s Dad above, I delight in the differences between the setters, and think the editor gets the mix about right.

    What would I do without The Guardian!?

    Thanks to all.

  10. Martin H says:

    No need to apologise for your brevity Andrew – there wasn’t really much more to say. Like you I checked ‘amendment’, I won’t say in disbelief, but in the hope I might be wrong. Likewise 16. The other cd’s were feeble too, with only ‘statuary’ having anything at all to it.

    Strictly speaking baseball (24) is played on not in the diamond; and the players play in teams, or perhaps in parks or grounds, for clubs, so I don’t think that really worked, never mind the repetition of ‘play’ that tupu has noted.

    As Mr B says, the ‘enteritis’ definition is odd.

    TRIUMPH was good, and GAGA.

  11. tupu says:

    Hi Mr Beaver

    Re ‘amendment’, I supposed it was the ‘mend’ part that was signalled in ‘for the better?’.

  12. Andrew says:

    My guess about 13dn is that it’s a nod to the phrase “make amends”.

    Enteritis is usually caused by bacteria from contaminated food, so it’s not “infectious” in the usual sense of being caught from other people, but how can setters go in defining words by what they are not?

    24ac – I meant to mention the double use of PLAY, so thanks to tupu for the comment on that

  13. liz says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew. A fast, easy solve for the most part, but I got help up by some of the cds in the lower half, particularly AMENDMENT, which I too had to check, as it seemed too straightforward. Agree with other quibbles, too — enteritis is highly infectious, so wondered what the ‘not’ was doing there, and I didn’t like the repetition of ‘play’ in 24ac.

    15ac was good and I liked the surfaces of 1ac and 10ac, even though they were easy to solve.

    This is the second time in a week or so that Lady Gaga has cropped up in crosswordland — she was also in an Araucaria puzzle recently

  14. Robi says:

    Thanks Rufus and Andrew for a clear blog.

    Seemed pretty easy to me. I also disliked the use of play in clue and answer in 24 although I appreciate it might have been difficult to clue otherwise; use ‘does’ instead? Nevertheless an enjoyable solve; I quite liked 11, which needed the crossing letters to solve. :)

  15. John Appleton says:

    I think 24ac was more a cryptic def than a double defintion.

  16. walruss says:

    As others say, TRIUMPH and GAGA good for me. But it wasn’t a great puzzle really. much much too easy, and a bit slapdash.

  17. Angstony says:

    Easiest Guardian cryptic ever.

    I agree with others that using ‘plays’ in 24 was poor – it spoiled an otherwise very nice clue. ‘Works’ or ‘performs’ would have been perfectly acceptable substitutes there. Oh and I thought “clubs” was more of a reference to their bats than the teams.

  18. Dave Ellison says:

    It must have been an off day for me today, as I found it difficult to get started – I only had one partly done on the first run through: 7d was either REGAL or LEGAL. Most of the rest followed fairly quickly after taht but it took me a while to complete 21a, 25a and 24a.

    Otherwise I agree with the general trend of the comments above. I am no expert here, but I understand ENTERITIS is infectious or not depending on its cause.

  19. Dave Ellison says:

    oops: read LAGER for LEGAL

  20. Derek Lazenby says:

    Not been doing well this last week or so, probably too busy thinking about the game proggy I’m trying to write and keep getting stuck with! So it was nice to have one to finish. Better try the Quiptic I now I guess.

  21. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks Andrew

    Found this one fairly easy but got stuck at 24a for a while. Was initially thinking of Bridge & playing in minor suits.

    Lady Gaga twice in a week or so. I will have to find out who she is!

  22. Roger says:

    Thanks Andrew. Agree that this was a bit of a doddle, but I did like Good Health !
    Perhaps 4d comes from a similar stable to 13d. I read it more akin to a double definition along the lines of if being consumed with passion makes you passionate so then with temper you’re probably temperate. Works for me and might explain the “?” :)

  23. Carrots says:

    Sadly, I have to join the “Ho Hum” brigade: I only completed it because I was looking for the sting in the tail. I had tought that Rufus was getting trickier, but on this showing, apparently not.

    A day off tomorrow in Melton Mowbray Market: May one of the hot jockeys from the Grauniad Stable see to it that I am carried out wounded from a surfeit of Everard`s Tiger, to put the last clue in with my dying breath. Wottawaytogo!!!

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