Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,281 – Rufus

Posted by manehi on March 28th, 2011


Very gentle Monday puzzle from Rufus with plenty of anagrams, double and cryptic definitions. I liked 5d and 13d.

1 BENEFIT double def
5 EXCERPT EXCEPT=”but” around R[ight]
9 NORSE (reason)* minus A=”article”
10 WISECRACK WISE=sensible + CRACK=break
12 UP TO (put)* + O[xygen]
14 RELEASE DATE cryptic def
18 ENCOUNTERED (rent once due)*
21 NOES (Ones)*
22 EGOCENTRIC cryptic def
25 HONEYMOON HONEY=dear + MOON=Cynthia, a name of Artemis, goddess of the moon
26 INNER [d]INNER. “inner man”=appetite
27 PEDANTS (step and)*
28 HOEDOWN (One who’d)*
1 BANDIT BIT=”a little” around AND=”also”
2 NORMAN N[orth]=compass point + (Roman)*
3 FLEA CIRCUS cryptic def – FLEA=”little jumper”, CIRCUS=”big top”
4 TOWER (wrote)*
5 EASY CHAIR double def
6 COCK crows at dawn
7 REAPPEAR cryptic def
8 TAKE OVER double def
13 DEAD ON TIME DEAD=late + ON TIME=punctual
15 LITIGIOUS cryptic def
16 DEANSHIP (Has pined)*
17 SCREENED double def
19 PRONTO (No port)*
20 ICE RUN IN=fashionable around (cure)*
23 CINCH double def – a cinch is used to secure a saddle on a horse
24 HYMN cryptic def

31 Responses to “Guardian 25,281 – Rufus”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Manehi this was perfectly straightforward although I hadn’t known where Cynthia fitted in.

    Now over to Mudd in the FT which should be more challenging.

  2. Dad'sLad says:

    Thanks manehi,

    I took a while to get into the NE corner but otherwise this was fairly straightforward. I particularly enjoyed 3,5 and 24d, and my clue of the day, 15d.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, manehi. I was another who needed you for the Cynthia reference.

    A breezy puzzle which in the main was on the easy side – a good one for improving solvers. I do enjoy Rufus’ cryptic definitions (I know others don’t) and LITIGIOUS and HYMN did the business today.

  4. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Rufus

    Rather gentler than last week’s when Rufus showed he can be tough when he wants to. I too like the cds (when I get them!). Enjoyed 10a, 14a, 28a, 5d, 13d, 15d.

    It took a minute or two to crack ‘hymn’ from the letters. Had vague memories of Cynthia.

    I also liked 4d. As you left implicit, cock-crow is a word for dawn.

  5. Robi says:

    Gentle, indeed – is this the same Rufus who set last Monday’s puzzle?

    Thanks, manehi for a good blog. Last in was RELEASE DATE, which I still don’t really get. I always seem to use the word LITIGInOUS, which does exist – are there any lawyers or English teachers out there to explain the difference between this and LITIGIOUS, or do they mean the same thing?

    I thought REAPPEAR was rather a weak clue. Liked WISECRACK and EASY CHAIR.

  6. tupu says:

    Hi robi
    I think release date relates to the idea of someone getting ‘sprung’ out of prison.

  7. Ian says:

    Thanks manehi and to Rufus too for a puzzle with usual trademark smoothness.


    Easy but a pleasing solve.

  8. otter says:

    Thanks, Manehi. A lot simpler this one than last weeks, although with brain a bit foggy I did concede 5d and 8d – just couldn’t think of the relevant phrases. Thought them both a little weak in the wordplay (and I would say that it was a batsman rather than bowler who would ‘take’ an over in cricket, so receive deliveries rather than provide them).

    I also thought 6d was a cricketing reference – thinking of [to eat] crow, ie swallow pride, which I thought might come after scoring a DUCK – so that foxed me for a few minutes.

    As to RELEASE DATE, I thought of a spring being part of a release mechanism in engineering. (I’m no engineer so might have got this wrong.) Thinking locks and clockwork…?

    Thought EGOCENTRIC very weak – got the word from the crossing letters, but if all there is to it is a c.d., well…

    Other than that, an enjoyable and mostly straightforward solve, with some elegant surfaces as usual. Possibly a few too many anagrams/cryptic defs/double defs for my liking, but that’s just my personal taste.

  9. Geoff says:

    I’m glad everyone else seems to have found this easy.

    I didn’t! Half the clues were very straightforward but I was not on the right wavelength for the others today, so it was a bit of a slog to complete the puzzle.

    No fewer than seven clues consisting of a single cryptic definition and an anagram clue (16d) with no anagrind or even so much as a question mark – none of the so-called libertarians are ever as un-Ximenean as this!

  10. Chas says:

    Thanks to manehi for the blog.

    I thought 7d was weak not cryptic at all.
    I also thought that 8d was back to front: provide and take have opposite meanings.

    I liked 13d.
    It took an age for me to realise that Cynthia is another name for the moon goddess.

  11. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I think 8dn with its cricketing reference is fine. A captain will often say to one of his bowlers: ‘Can you take the next over from the pavilion end?’ Batsmen face overs, rather than take them.

  12. Stella Heath says:

    I didn’t see any cricketing reference, and understood ‘take over’ literally, as, eg., “Ok, ma’am, I’ll take it over this afternoon?”

    The question mark in 7d. is what makes it cryptic – otherwise, it would be a straight clue.

    Last in was 27ac., and I only realised it was an anagram after solving it; contrary to 16d., where ‘for’ was sufficient anagrind for me, although I needed all the crossing letters escept the last to get it.

  13. William says:

    Thanks, Manehi, I needed the blog for CINCH and CYNTHIA.

    What’s the name for the psychological ailment which changes the sufferer without warning from a sane and rational member of society to a heartless brute? Whatever it is, I believe this setter to be under it’s influence. Is it perhaps a weekly cycle for him? If so, I’ll move to the FT next Monday.

    Robi @5, are you sure? I can’t find LITIGINOUS anywhere.

    I thought SPRING TIME @14a lacked a definition but the prison reference is very clever.

    Lastly, what is ‘needs’ doing in 18a? Spoils the clue a little, don’t you think?

  14. Angstony says:

    Thanks manehi and Rufus.

    Thanks too to Kathryn’s Dad (@11) for explaining the cricket reference in 8d — it seems so obvious now.

    Although I managed this puzzle fairly easily — crossing letters making most of the trickier solutions obvious — the wordplay in a few of the clues eluded me. I’d never heard of Artemis being referred to as ‘Cynthia’, I’d never heard of a saddle called a ‘cinch’, I’d never heard of “inner man” for appetite, and the second definition of the aforementioned 8d didn’t seem right.

    I am surprised so many people here seemed to like 15d as I personally thought it was a bit too straight — unless I’m missing something. 7d likewise.

    But apart from that and a couple more minor gripes — “out” printed twice in 12a and no anagrind in 16d — even though it was an easy anagram — I thought it was a pretty good puzzle.

  15. Hughr says:

    I managed to complete this in one go, for the first time ever(in fact a completion at all is still very rare). I enjoy the mix of setters and difficulty in the Guardian and the fact that the setters are identified.

    I didn’t get the Cynthia reference either, I just thought she must have been an actress or something.

  16. tupu says:

    Hi Stella
    I agree with you about 7d. With a q mark it often means ‘What did you say?’

  17. ray says:

    Add me to those who had no inkling about Cynthia and the moon, though the answer was obvious enough.

    Wasn’t really convinced by 14a; ‘RELEASE DATE’ is sort of official end of term, whereas spring is more like assisted escape ahead of time ?

  18. Chas says:

    Angstony @14: I believe that the cinch on a horse is the strap that goes from one side of the saddle to the other side under the horse’s belly. It is not the saddle itself.

    ray @17: you have put your finger on what bothered me in 14a. Spring is a slang word meaning illegal release but release date is official.

  19. Robi says:

    William @13: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:litiginous \litiginous\ adj.
    same as litigatious.

    Syn: litigatious.

  20. William says:

    Robi @19.

    Gosh! I stand corrected, never knew there was such a word. Think I’ll stick with litigious.

    My Mum once stung me deep as a pretentious little snot when I corrected her use of ‘disorient’ which I held should be ‘disorientate’. She passed me the huge dictionary we had in the house and I discovered to my horror that either was acceptable usage. When I ate humble pie she said to me, “William, the only crime for which you will surely burn in hell is inaccurate pedantry.”

    I’m still stinging over it.

  21. Angstony says:

    Chas@18: Right you are, thanks. I’d looked it up in Chambers and somehow missed the word ‘girth’ after ‘a saddle’.

  22. liz says:

    Thanks manehi. Always something to learn, even when the puzzles are on the easy side. For me it was Cynthia as a moon goddess today, although whether I’ll retain that is a different question…

    I’m not a huge fan of cds but I liked both 7dn and 15dn. As Stella says, it’s the question mark in 7dn that makes the difference. Lots of trademark good surfaces — my favourite was probably 11ac, but I also liked 1dn and 27ac.

  23. smutchin says:

    Put me down as one of those who thought 14a was actually a rather clever clue. I also enjoyed 4d for the misleading noun/verb trick.

    13d reminded me of Slartibartfast’s line, which always brings a smile to my face: “Hurry up or you’ll be late, as in the late Dent Arthur Dent.”

    Never heard of Cynthia before but as ray says, the solution was pretty obvious with the checking letters.

  24. otter says:


    >> I didn’t see any cricketing reference, and understood ‘take over’ literally, as, eg., “Ok, ma’am, I’ll take it over this afternoon?” <<

    That's the other part of the double definition – 'assume control' – it's the 'provide deliveries' which is the cricketing ref.

  25. tupu says:

    Message for Sil

    Happy BIG birthday this week!

    Hope your wish comes true.

    This is the best I can do!


  26. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Wow, tupu, many thanks – it is actually next week.
    Don’t know why you posted your message here, though.
    BTW, is that a cryptic clue? If so, blimey!

  27. tupu says:

    Hi Sil

    Oh dear! I forgot you posted your wish on Sunday! Your name does not seem to be easy anagram fodder but I did my best. I should have tried harder to ‘personalise’ the surface, but it was your name you mentioned you would like to see, so there it is. Anyway best wishes!

  28. Dad'sLad says:

    Hi Sil (and Tupu)

    Ok it’s a bit late in the evening for me to pick up the gauntlet but what about,

    “One never had silk” – bereft Queen blurted to poster.”

    Sure others can do better.

  29. Dad'sLad says:

    And bearing in mind Tupu’s ambition to personalise a bit more, what about:

    “The French donkey, lose tail and vanish. But Dutch master appear.”

    Ok, I’ll get my coat….

  30. Scarpia says:

    Novel skinhead?

  31. Scarpia says:

    Or,in crossword clue fashioh “Skinhead novel edited by poster on this site”

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