Posted by duncanshiell on April 25th, 2011
As I am double booked with another commitment early this morning, I was a bit worried that Easter Monday was going to produce a Guardian humdinger with a double grid and a complex theme. I therefore got up fairly early in case I needed a long time to solve the puzzle.
Fortunately we have been given a standard Rufus that I found I could solve fairly quickly. Consequently this blog has been posted earlier than normal.
There were no clues that caused any problems. There seemed to be fewer cryptic definitons than usual, but maybe I was more on Rufus’s wavelength this morning than on some occasions in the past. There were plenty of straightforward double definitions, but they weren’t cryptic definitions. Even the clue to ETCH at 21 across wasn’t really very cryptic. Probably, the clues at 22 across, leading to PARALLEL, and 8 down, leading to CRYSTAL BALL, involved the most cryptic definitions.
I thought there were more anagrams than Rufus has given us in the past, but on completion of the blog I note that there were only six. One or two of the definitions were amended to fit the surface of the clue., but the meaning remained very clear For example, I think that a CANYON is a far more striking topographic feature than just a ‘deep depression’.
Some clues were short and sweet – e.g, the clue to TRANSACTION at 13 across and STARVE at 25 across.
|5||Study some in deep depression (6)||ANY (some) contained in (in) CON (study)||CANYON (deep gorge or ravine; deep depression)|
|6||Turn up with skin trouble (6)||FURROW (to groove, to turn up [with a plough]) (See also comments at 1 and 2 below – my suggested double definiton wordplay is probably not right. The wordplay is more likely to be FUR (skin) + ROW (trouble) with ‘turn up’ as the definition)||FURROW (wrinkle [on the skin. Judging by the television adverts, I suspect some people consider wrinkles to be more of a skin problem than I do], also reference ‘furrow ones brow’)|
|9||A street to flatten out for a gentle walk (6)||ST (street) + ROLL (flatten out)||STROLL (gentle walk)|
|10||Early callers get egg rolls outside (8)||O (the letter O forms the shape of an egg) contained in (gets [rolls] outside) ROSTERS (rolls [of names])||ROOSTERS (domestic cockerels that call (crow) early in the morning)|
|11||One always on hand for a date, say (4)||PALM (Everyone has a palm on their hand)||PALM (date, fruit of the date palm tree)|
|12||Rivers rose, possibly, to fill them (10)||Anagram of (possibly) RIVERS ROSE||RESERVOIRS (rivers flow into reservoirs; if the rivers rise, presumably the reservoirs fill more quickly)|
|13||Deal involves a constraint (11)||Anagram of (involves) A CONSTRAINT||TRANSACTION (deal)|
|18||Unaware of being callous? (10)||INSENSIBLE (not having feeling; unaware)||INSENSIBLE (callous)|
|21||Produce a work of art from scratch (4)||ETCH (to design on metal by eating out the line with an acid; etching is a common artistic art form)||ETCH (to cut or carve; to scratch)|
|22||Meeting in such bars would be quite inappropriate (8)||
PARALLEL (parallel lines never meet)
|PARALLEL (reference ‘parallel bars’, a pair of fixed bars used in gymnastiics. People often meet in ‘public bars’ or ‘lounge bars’)|
|23||About to get wrong answer (6)||RE (about) + TORT (wrong)||RETORT (answer)|
|24||In the East a strange sign, giving relief (6)||E + A + anagram of (strange) SIGN||EASING (relief)|
|25||Averts disaster fast (6)||Anagram of (disaster) AVERTS||STARVE (to fast)|
|1||Sneak in late (8)||
IN + FORMER (beforehand; past; late)
|INFORMER (a person who informs against another; sneak)|
|2||Derby cricketer (6)||BOWLER (A Derby hat is a bowler hat)||BOWLER (cricketer)|
|3||His word is law at a court assembly (8)||Anagram of (assembly) AT A COURT||AUTOCRAT (a person who rules by his or her own power; an absolute ruler; his or her word is law)|
|4||About the end of December reached Santa’s base (6)||GOT TO (reached) containing (about) R (the final letter of [the end of] DECEMBER)||GROTTO (reference Santa’s grotto; Santa’s base)|
|5||Animal food given to horses in China once (6)||CAT (animal) + HAY (fodder; food given to horses)||CATHAY (an old name for China)|
|7||Call for action put out by the Salvation Army (3,3)||WAR CRY (a call used in battle for encouragement; call for action)||WAR CRY (the magazine of the Salvation Army, distributed free as I remember)|
|8||The sphere of the occult (7,4)||CRYSTAL BALL (a sphere)||CRYSTAL BALL (used by fortune tellers, and other folowers of occult practices, to see visions)|
|14||Sling net around young bird (8)||Anagram of (around) SLING NET||NESTLING (young bird)|
|15||Public union leader about to make a proposal (8)||OVERT (public) + first letter U of (leader) UNION + RE (about)||OVERTURE (proposal)|
|16||Those vanquished by the Spanish head East as a precaution (2,4)||INCAS (The INCAS, South American people of Peru, were vanquished by the Spanish in the 16th century) + first letter E of (head) EAST||IN CASE (as a precaution)|
|17||What many in panic make themselves (6)||C (100; many) contained in (in) SCARE (panic)||SCARCE (reference ‘make onself scarce’, to leave quickly for reasons of tact or prudence)|
|19||Pass in English, then fail to maintain standard (6)||E (English) + LAPSE (fail to maintain standard)||ELAPSE ([of time], to pass)|
|20||Subjects of Shakespearean comedy in Latin (6)||Reference Shakespeare’s Comedy of ERRORS||ERRATA (Latin for ERRORS)|