Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,299 / Rufus

Posted by mhl on April 18th, 2011


I found this trickier than usual for Rufus, but with lots of nice clues – I particularly liked 14a, 4d and 5d. I suspect I’m missing something in 22a…

7. OUT OF MIND Cryptic definition, referring to “being out of your mind” meaning “mad” and “out of mind” meaning “forgotten” (as in “out of sight, out of mind”, perhaps)
8. HEROD HE + ROD = “corporal punishment” (as in “spare the rod, spoil the child”); Definition: “king”
9. REPARABLE RE = “Note” (in the Solfège + PAR = “good golf score” + ABLE = “competent”; Definition: “may be improved”
10. LOOPS SPOOLS = “what the film’s about” (as in literally what film is wound around) reversed; Definition: “Rings”
12. JUNIOR ROI = “French king” reversed after JUN = “short month”; Definition: “Minor”, as in the public school terminology for the younger of two brothers
13. SEAFARER (FEARS ARE)*; Definition: “The sailor”
14. ECONOMY CO = “firm” in (MONEY)*; Definition: “Saving”
17. REACHES Double definition: “Stretches” and “between bends”, as in reaches of a river
20. EXERCISE ER = “Queen” in EXISE = “duty”; Definition: “to keep fit”
22. GREASE Double definition? “fat” and “lubricant”?
24. OWING ALLOWING = “Permitting” without ALL = “everyone”; Definition: “what’s due”
25. OPERATION OPERA = “Musical production” + (INTO)*; Definition: “theatrical work” (as in an operating theatre)
26. BIGOT GO = “to leave” with BIT = “a small piece” outside; Definition: “He is stubbornly resolved”
27. FULL BOARD Double definition: “Pension” and “all directors?” (as in “the board of directors”)
1. BUREAU BUREAU = “Foreign Office” (the French for “office”); Definition: “desk?”
2. DONATION DO = “party” + NATION = “people”; Definition: “It’s a gift”
3. IMPAIR I = “one” + MP = “member” above AIR = “bearing”; Definition: “Damage”
4. ANALYST (ANY LAST)*; Definition: “Shrink”
5. PELOTA (TO LEAP); Definition: “Game”
6. COMPLETE Double definition: “Perfect finish”
11. HATE H = “Husband” + ATE = “consumed”; Definition: “enmity”
15. COXSWAIN Cryptic definition: a cox or coxswain tells an eight (a boat of eight rowers) what to do
16. MAIL Sounds like “male”; Definition: “post”
18. CREATION Double definition: “Production” and Haydn’s oratorio
19. KEEP OUT Cryptic definition
21. RANDOM R = “right” + AND + OM = “order [of merit]”; Definition: “Haphazard”
22. GARBLE GARB = “Clothing” + LE = “the French”; Definition: “to jumble”
23. SCOURS Double definition: “Searches thoroughly” and “flushes out”

21 Responses to “Guardian 25,299 / Rufus”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks mhl

    As you say, this was trickier than usual and all the more enjoyable as a result.

    Funnily enough, today’s FT has a prize puzzle by Dante which also contains some nice clues.

    Well done and double thanks Mr S!

  2. Ian says:

    Thanks mhl and also to Rufus.

    Plain sailing with just the odd tricky wordplay to cause a temporary hold up.

    Additional to those clues highlighted above by mhl I also liked 8, 10 and 14ac.

    Regards 22ac I’m happy with Grease doing double duty for both fat & oil as a N and V respectively.

  3. Eileen says:

    Many thanks, mhl and Rufus.

    Re 22: I didn’t put this in until near the end, because I didn’t really see two definitions. However, Collins makes slightly more of a distinction than Chambers:
    n 1. animal fat in a soft or melted condition;
    2. any thick fatty oil, esp one used as a lubricant for machinery, etc.

    I liked the clues mentioned so far but I think my favourite was FULL BOARD.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks mhl. All pretty straightforward this morning and just right for a Monday. IMPAIR was my favourite today.

  5. jvh says:

    Thanks mhl.

    I took 22a as a cryptic definition: grease is a fat which is very good as a lubricant.

  6. tupu says:

    Thanks mhl and Rufus

    Some tricky parts as noted. I liked 10a,13a, 24a, 26a, 27a, 15d, and 23d.

    Had to think quite hard for some answers e.g. 26a – kept trying to make sense of Simon (I suppose the ‘he’ was slightly misleading after the object of Gordon Brown’s comment and her more recent encounter) and 27a (I was wondering if ‘full monty’ might make sense!. Both were goof clues.

    I too hesitated re ‘grease’ (wondered if g = good might be somehow involved) and felt ‘keep out’ might be too obvious.

  7. Robi says:

    Mainly enjoyable, although I thought the largely NON-cryptic clue for KEEP OUT was dreadful.

    Thanks mhl for the good blog; I enjoyed reading about the Order of Merit via your link. Nice surface for PELOTA. I liked COXSWAIN, BIGOT and IMPAIR.

  8. chas says:

    Thanks to mhl for the blog.

    I thought 19d was very weak – not cryptic at all.

    I liked COXSWAIN and FULL BOARD.

  9. otter says:

    Thanks for the blog, mhl.

    Funnily enough I found this one of the more simple of Rufus’s puzzles, and completed it very quickly, with only a short hiccough in the NE corner; another case of me being out of step with the general opinion.

    I think 27 is a chain rather than a double definition: ‘Pension’ is the definition, and FULL (all) + BOARD (directors) is the wordplay.

    I couldn’t see anything at all cryptic about KEEP OUT. Am I missing something?

    My favourite was COXSWAIN: I’m not usually a fan of straight cryptic definitions, but this was, I thought, very clever and pleasing.

    As usual, plenty of elegant surfaces from Rufus. I had a problem with what seemed superfluous words in 10, so thanks to mhl for explaining that of course the spool is ‘what the film is [wound] about’. Nicely done.

  10. Robi says:

    Alternative clue to replace that for 19: Sign of a wild scowl that’s not sinister. (or somesuch)

    Perhaps we can start a thread for alternative clues for this one?

  11. Robi says:

    Sorry, thinking too far ahead; should have been: Sign of a cool scowl that’s not sinister.

  12. Geoff says:

    Thanks, mhl.

    Like otter, I found this a bit easier than some of Rufus’s recent offerings – it all depends on whether you see the cryptic definitions or not, and this time the brain was working.

    The comment in the blog on 7a reminded me of a clue in a Rufus puzzle some time ago: ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ ( = ROUND THE BEND).

    My favourites were PELOTA, FULL BOARD and COXSWAIN – that last gave me a nasty turn when I turned up the X and W as crossing letters!

    I agree with chas that 19d is very weak. 18d is very easy, provided you know of the piece – otherwise it might be rather impenetrable.

  13. Dave Ellison says:

    Robi @10: Notice first keypad has backslash exposed.

  14. Eileen says:

    I went out before seeing jvh’s comment 5, with which I now agree.

    A fat: lot of good as a lubricant. I just didn’t see it quite that way before

  15. liz says:

    Thanks, mhl and thanks to Rufus.

    The NE corner took me the most time and I failed to see how 10ac worked.

    Like others, I thought that 19dn wasn’t cryptic, so much so that I had to check it. I also didn’t think 7ac quite worked.

    But I did like quite a few others, particularly for their surfaces. 14ac, 15dn and 27ac stood out for me.

  16. Robi says:

    Dave @13; nice one, keep them coming.

  17. Derek Lazenby says:

    Started out as looking hard but started to flow once I’d got a start.

    Re 19. Being sniffy about this one is totally misplaced. It may displease individual solvers who think it is somehow beneath their elevated status to be faced with such a clue, but there is absolutely no rule that says all clues have to be cryptic, so live with it. In fact as a double bluff it seemed to work as it slowed some of you down, which means it succeded as a clue!

  18. MGWD says:

    19d did spring to mind pretty quickly – and seemed too straightforward to me, but I think it can be read as a sort of double definition. The (physical) sign saying ‘keep out’ is a sign (indication) that visitors aren’t welcome…

  19. Ian says:

    In my 18p i newspaper today (I cannot seem to find the i cryptic online) is a very good puzzle set by Glow-Worm.

  20. crosser says:

    I read 19d as MGWD @18 did, i.e. as a dd, and I agree with otter @9 as regards 27a, which was my favourite clue.

  21. Carrots says:

    There have been one or two clues recently from different setters which I`ve worried about entering solutions for because they seem so obvious. SEAFARER, KEEP OUT and MAIL come into this category from this Rufus offering.

    A quick solve with no pitfalls. A bit like a Chinese Take-Away: enjoyable enough eating, but hungry again half-an-hour later.

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