Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25371 / Rufus

Posted by Gaufrid on July 11th, 2011


I got back from the shops a short while ago to find that we have no Guardian blog today so here is a quick analysis of the clues. I didn’t solve this puzzle so cannot comment on it.


10 CEDE homophone of ‘seed’ (top player)
11 MAKE NO ODDS double def.
12 BARMAN cryptic def.
13 LAST WORD double def.
14 ADHERENTS HERE (present) in *(STAND)
16 CRANK C[heer] RANK (column)
17 WATER WA[s] [bit]TER
23 BIGAMIST cryptic def.
24 INFIRM IN FIRM (to be a company member)
27 ICON I (first person) CON (study)
28 TEA-ROOM *(OR EAT) [h]OM[e]
29 ADDRESS double def.
2 IRELAND  double def.
3 THERM THE RM (small room)
4 ROMANCE double def.
7 GOOD WORKS GOOD (virtue) WORKS (is effective)
8 ANDIRON AN (article) *(RODIN)
9 SKELETON STAFF SKELETON (sort of key)  STAFF (post)
15 EVER AFTER cryptic def.
18 ASININE AS (when) I NINE (one over the eight) &lit
21 NARROWS N (polar) ARROWS (missiles)
22 VIRAGO A in VIRGO (Zodiac sign)

20 Responses to “Guardian 25371 / Rufus”

  1. tupu says:

    Thanks Gaufrid and Rufus

    Much as usual with some smooth surfaces.

    I enjoyed 22a, 28a, 18d, but was slightly disappointed that make (11a) and air (26a) figure in both clue and answer.

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks Gaufrid and Rufus for yet another fine Monday puzzle.

    Nicely clued, including a couple pleasing &lits. Favourites were 14A ADHERENTS, reference to football fans?, 28A TEA ROOM, also excellent surface and 9D SKELETON STAFF.

  3. chas says:

    I’m trying to think what might be the link in 8d between ‘dog’ in the clue and ANDIRON.
    Has anybody any ideas?

    As a separate matter: what about Araucaria on Desert Island Discs? I found it fascinating.

  4. Robi says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.

    Typically smooth Rufus. I particularly liked ASININE.

    According to my Chambers, ANDIRON is a firedog, so I guess that’s OK – I spent a long time trying to find a dog species for this clue.

    I thought AIR TRAFFIC was a bit weak, given aircraft in the clue.

  5. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid & Rufus, this was straightforward and enjoyable.

    However, although it makes no odds to me, is there not a discrepancy between ‘Bookmaker’ in 11a and the verb ‘make’?

    Once again, we also have a very enjoyable Dante (otherwise Rufus) in the FT.

    Yes Chas @ 3, I did catch some of yesterday’s Desert Island Discs but I was surprised when Mr Graham said that he himself was not very good at solving crossword puzzles!

  6. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Bryan
    But the clue gives ‘Bookmaker not at work will make no odds’ so I don’t see the problem.

  7. chas says:

    Bryan@5: I went to the Guardian crossword evening at Guardian Headquarters. Paul, the presenter, said he is not good at solving clues. If I remember correctly he also said he had trouble solving his own clues if they were more than 6 month old!

  8. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Gaufrid @ 6. You are right, of course.

    Chas @ 7. Many years ago I was on a trip with a companion who used to set Crossies for the Telegraph so, naturally, we attempted to solve a puzzle together.

    And, yes, he was not very good at solving either. Funny!

  9. RCWhiting says:

    Some time back I complained about lack of value for money and someone said it is free.
    Well I paid £1.10 to have this delivered to my door this morning and it did not provide a couple of hours of enjoyable brain-teasing but 20 minutes ofwriting!
    Rufus does produce some lovely clues, often quite original. Today I include 12, 17 and 23 ac plus 18 and 25 d.
    But they are just too easy: is it his definitions, there is nothing worse than an over-easy definition which makes a clever cryptic redundant.

  10. Tony says:

    Wintery (1A) is an unusual form of the word. I was taught at school that wintry was correct. Some dictionaries allow wintery but not all.

  11. Sil van den Hoek says:

    This afternoon we chose a newly discovered (that is, for us) café in lovely Cambridge to tackle this Rufus.
    Perhaps, the coffee served was great and so inspirational that we rushed through most of the puzzle.
    The real reason was, I am sure, that this was one of Rufus’ easier crosswords.
    That said, for us ANDIRON (8d) became ‘Andorin’ – sounding like a type of dog roaming the mountains in Albania …. :) So, Rufus won again.

    Many (not that many today, all in all) weren’t happy with Rufus using ‘air’ in both AIR TRAFFIC (26ac) and its clue. Very understandable, but I am pretty certain he saw this too. Yet, Rufus made a choice and I can see why. Writing a surface like this is very tempting.

    Best clues:
    14ac (ADHERENTS) [fantastic surface], 28ac (TEA-ROOM) [marvellous: “he’s away from home” for OM], 21d (NARROWS) [another fine surface] and 25d (FLIER) [easy, but very well constructed with the air/rifle link].

    BTW, sometimes I wonder which dictionary the Guardian uses as its ‘standard’ one. The hyphenated TEA-ROOM is ‘tea room’ in Chambers and Oxford, and ‘tearoom’ in Collins.
    Or can setters do what they like as long as it can be found ‘somewhere’?

    BTW2, many many credits to Bryan who, after disbanding Rover’s fanclub, seems to make a case for the FT’s Dante crosswords nowadays. Rightly so!

    BTW3, RCWhiting, perhaps you are much longer around in Crosswordland than I am, but when you say that the money you paid for a newspaper was completely wasted because of this Rufus puzzle, well, what can I say ….
    As I said on an earlier occasion (Chifonie), just don’t solve this setter’s puzzles any more – go to the Indy website (that said, Quixote is probably too easy for you as well) or whereever.
    I am a very direct person myself, but I really can’t stand people nailing setters to the wall because their puzzles are not satisfying enough (that is, for thém).

  12. Wolfie says:


    I agree absolutely with you. At a time when The Guardian is rightly being praised for challenging the Murdoch empire, and succeeding, it is astonishing to find that some readers regard the newspaper merely as a vehicle for a cryptic crossword and complain when it is ‘too easy’. For what it’s worth, I found today’s Rufus puzzle a pleasant and straightforward solve, but was much more interested in the paper’s coverage of the NOTW scandal.

  13. Davy says:


    I’ve never said this before but I always find your comments very annoying. You seem to have a very arrogant attitude and think the world revolves around just you. If you object to buying a newspaper, just print off the crossword from the Guardian website as I do every day apart from Saturday when I actually buy the paper.
    If you want a difficult crossword, then stick to Azed or the Genius and stop your incessant whinging.

  14. MikeC says:

    Thanks Rufus and Gaufrid. I’m not a great fan of CDs but I thought 23a was terrific: lots of suggestions towards charades/anagrams but, actually, just a very neat defintion. Bravo!!

    A propos Desert Island Discs, I enjoyed it. I’ve never met Araucaria/Cinephile but John Graham was just how I imagined he would be. If I get to 90, I hope I’m a tenth as alert and “with it”.

  15. Jan says:

    Thanks for stepping in, Gaufrid.

    I usually dislike dds but they were easy today. I think 28 is my favourite clue.

    I hope some people are still looking at this thread because I want to recommend this month’s Genius crossword to all, even those who don’t usually do them. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  16. Martin H says:

    Whatever people think about RCW’s tone and strange (to my mind too) sense of value for money, the points he makes about Rufus are quite fair, and he certainly doesn’t ‘nail him to the wall’ Sil. He gives him credit for ‘lovely’ clues, but simply complains that his definitions tend to be too obvious, making the cryptic element redundant – which is a valid criticism.

    Regarding 26 – a good surface is of course an admirable thing, but a clue is not there just to be admired, but to provide food for thought. However ‘tempting’ a surface may be, if it’s going to let the solver down, the setter – and not only Rufus – should simply start again.

  17. RCWhiting says:

    “you say that the money you paid for a newspaper was completely wasted because of this Rufus puzzle, well, what can I say ….”

    What you could say Sil is what I actually did say which was nothing like your invented quote.
    Thanks Martin H for reading what I wrote, and I don’t constantly whinge, I speak as I find. I have gratefully praised several puzzles recently.
    I don’t have a printer but even if I did I would not use it. I have been reading and enjoying The Guardian for 50 years and certainly am proud of its recent endeavours on the news front.
    To me the crossword is a challenge between me and the compiler where I have until the next day’s paper drops onto the mat to solve it. I cannot enjoy a puzzle on the website.

  18. Mistley says:


    £1.10 to have a crossword delivered? Seems a bit expensive to me – or perhaps the rest of the newspaper was attached to it? If you want to buy a crossword why don’t you get a book of them- it would work out a bit cheaper per crossword. If you want a free crossword do the same as the rest of us and get it off the web.

  19. RCWhiting says:

    I don’t want a free crossword, just a good one in an excellent newspaper.
    Books of crosswordss (and I have receiveed a few as presents over the years) leave me cold. The solution is in the back, no sense of daily challenge.
    Of course you can all avoid paying, that’s the way the system works; I hope the print G. lasts me out.
    More generally, when P.Toynbee or G.Monbiot offer their writing skills for public scrutiny they expect (and boy! do they get) some very vicious and personal criticism all over the opinionspace.
    Why should crossword compilers be any different?

  20. Daniel Miller says:

    I recommend those who object to finding this too easy (and it was, relatively) either not buy a Guardian on a Monday or just go with the flow. Monday’s crossword is traditionally easier just as Saturday’s is designed to be much harder.

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