Posted by Eileen on July 4th, 2011
I think this was perhaps just a little trickier than your average Rufus but there’s the usual mix of witty cryptic definitions and clever anagrams – and I wish I could think of an alternative epithet to ‘smooth’ for his surfaces: so many of these are like silk! [I began to list them but there are too many.] I had several smiles along the way – thank you Rufus!
5 BEMUSE: BE [live] + MUSE [inspiring woman]
6 STATUE: cryptic definition, which I really liked
9 ALCOVE: anagram of VOCAL + E[lgar]: [I don’t really think of an alcove as an opening, though.]
10 HALF-TERM: HARM outside anagram of LEFT
11 FEAT: anagram of FATE – what a lovely surface!
12 PAWN TICKET: cryptic definition
13 DROP THE CASE: double definition, which made me laugh
18 PLAINTIFFS: PLAIN [clear] TIFFS [arguments]
21 AXIS: cryptic definition
22 SUBPOENA: anagram of BEAN SOUP and nice misdirection with ‘served’
23 RIDING: DIN [noise] in RIG [gear]
24 HATPIN: cryptic definition, relying on two meanings for both ’tile’ and shingle': a shingle is a kind of roof tile but also a style of haircut: I knew tile = hat from crosswords but, checking this morning, I find that Chambers gives it as a Scottish top hat – which would hardly require a hatpin! However, further research reveals that it’s old slang for any hat, as in this Stanley Holloway song – a pity about the typo in the title!
25 LISBON: L [pound] IS BON [good in France]
1 IMPOSTOR: ST [saint – holy man] in I’M POOR [claim of poverty]
2 ASLEEP: ASP [snake] round LEE [shelter]
3 ATHLETIC: anagram of CAT LITHE – and what could be smoother than that?
4 STATIC: double definition
5 BOLDER: sounds like ‘boulder’
7 EARNER: [l]EARNER
8 SHOW THE FLAG: double definition
14 PATHETIC: PATH [way] + reversal of CITE [‘call-up’]
15 STANDS BY: double definition
16 PLOUGH: double definition: ‘plough’ means to fail an exam – I don’t think I knew that.
17 FINNAN: FINN [Scandinavian] + AN: I’ve only ever seen this as Finnan haddock [or haddie] [smoked haddock named after the village of Findon in N.E. Scotland] but Chambers has it thus.
19 IMPUTE: I’M PUT [I am given place] + [cambridg]E
20 STRAIN: double definition