Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,389 / Rufus

Posted by Eileen on August 1st, 2011


It’s Monday,  it’s Rufus – say no more!



1   POINTLESS: double definition
6   COPE: OP [work] in CE [Church of England]
8   COLOSSUS: LOSS [no profit] in [is taken] CO [firm] US [{United} States]
9   ROMMEL : MM [Military Medal] in anagram of ROLE
10  SENATE: anagram of A TENSE
11  APPROVAL: cryptic [?] definition
12  STRESS: double definition
15  EVICTION: cryptic definition
16  DRESSAGE: DRESS [habit] AGE [time]
21  STAMPEDE: cryptic definition
22  ASSESS: ASSES [fools] + S[outh]
25  TROPICAL: TOPICAL [current] round [keeping] R[iver]
26  LEVY: LEV[it]Y
27 TRADE WIND: TRADE [market] WIND [reel]


1   PROBE: BE under PRO[fessional]
2   ISOLATE: I [one] SO LATE [extremely behind]
3   TASTE: S [first letter of STATE] moved to the middle
4   ENSNARE: anagram of SEEN RAN
  STRIPLING: S[ubtracting] + TRIPLING [multiplying]
6   COMPORT: anagram of ROMP in COT [bed]
7   PREDATORS: anagram [shed – nice indicator] of TEARDROPS
13  TURNTABLE: TURN [go] on BOARD [table]
14  STATEMENT: double / cryptic [?] definition
17  SUMMARY: SUM [the whole lot] + MARY [girl]
18  ELECTRA : anagram of LET CARE
20  ROSSINI : hidden in cROSS IN Italy – a superb surface and &lit, as I discovered that Rossini’s remains are buried in the Basilica of the Holy Cross, in Florence,  having been moved there from Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
22  ALONE: L[eft] in A ONE [a unit]
23  STAID: sounds like ‘stayed’

34 Responses to “Guardian 25,389 / Rufus”

  1. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Eileen & Rufus – this was very enjoyable – while it lasted.

    After attending the weddings of Zara and Taline over the weekend (despite having been given an incorrect date for the latter) I needed an ever-so-easy Cryptic this morning and Rufus kindly obliged.

    That said, my last two were LEVY and then SUMMARY which made me ponder for a while until ‘Way down on the levee in old Alabama …’ popped into my tired brain.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Eileen.

    A gentle ramble with Rufus today, but with some lovely surfaces – particularly for TROPICAL and COMPORT. For 8ac, I solved it thinking CO for company and LOSSUS as a homophone (‘states’) of LOSSES, but your parsing makes much more sense.

  3. Eileen says:

    Hi Kathryn’s Dad

    I had the same thought, at first, about COLOSSUS [the wordplay makes perfect sense, as you say] but Rufus is not known for outrageous ‘homophones’, which I decided this one really would be!

  4. Mystogre says:

    Ah yes, a Monday Rufus ramble. Thanks Eileen but I still do not like SUMMARY. It just doesn’t seem right, although the clue fits perfectly. As do all the other ones but some seemed more awkward than usual. It might be because I am back at work again or it might just be that Rufus has been diving deeper into things than usual. Whatever, I did not enjoy this as much as I usually do. Sorry Rufus.

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Rufus

    Typical Rufus fare. Some elegant cluing. I ticked 12a, 5d, and 20 as I wandered along.

  6. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Eileen and Rufus.

    You’ll find Rossini is not by any means the only famous Italian whose remains have been tranferred to Santa Croce. Florence and Ravenna dispute the honour regarding Dante.

  7. Anna says:

    Yes a very gentle Rufus. A colleague expressed an interest in crosswords today and I pointed him to todays offering in the local (a Paul from almost a month ago). Not a good starting point for a newbie (?). This is just the sort of puzzle for him. The time lag for antipodeans and the fact that we get a Rufus on a Saturday and a Paul on a Monday is not good for our psyches. Still we juggle between current on line and lagging a month behined. But you bloggers are always well received even if after the date. So good to get the explanations.

  8. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks, Eileen, ‘say no more’? Where did I see thát today? :)
    [and at the place where I saw that, I also saw something that I had seen last Friday here (4d then, 8ac now), very untypical – if you think I’m too cryptic, just ignore it :)]

    From ALONE to LEVY – this was an easy Rufus, I thought, while we all know he cán gear up a bit (if he wants to).
    Possibly my favourites were: ROSSINI, PREDATORS and TURNTABLE – more than enough compensation for weaker ones like 12ac, 15ac and 11ac (APPROVAL), in particular.

    I’m more with Kathryn’s Dad on COLOSSUS (8ac).
    Even if your explanation works well too, Eileen, the homophone feels more natural to me. Moreover, shouldn’t ‘states’ be capitalised when representing US?

  9. Eileen says:

    Hi Sil

    I do see what you mean! I knew I’d seen it pretty recently but the penny didn’t drop as to whose clue it was – most untypical, as you say.

    ‘Moreover, shouldn’t ‘states’ be capitalised when representing US?’You’re right of course. I just think it’s interesting that a case could be made out for either interpretation – with both being a bit dodgy! 😉

  10. Stella Heath says:

    Hi Anna@7, if your friend’s interested in crosswords, why not gear him towards the weekly Monday Quiptics, only available online, and specifically intended for beginners – though I don’t think I’d start him off on today’s offering 😉

  11. chas says:

    Eileen thanks for the blog.

    I question 15a: my first thought was EJECTION which I think fits the clue just as well. That lasted in my grid until I got 5d.

    I liked TURNTABLE.

  12. walruss says:

    Oh yawn, yawn, until I got to 11 down, which was truly great. Just such a pity about the rest, some of which felt so familiar. Thanks Eileen.

  13. Eileen says:

    That’s surely why they’re called ‘crosswords’, chas?

    In any case, I disagree that EJECTION [‘forcible’, rather than ‘compulsory’?] fits the definition equally well.

    [Before I got the I, I did think that, in some countries, ELECTION would be a possible answer.]

    Oh dear, walruss, I think you must have dropped off altogether: there isn’t an 11dn. 😉

  14. caretman says:

    Thanks Eileen, for your customary impeccable blog, and to Rufus for a fairly gentle start to the week.

    I particularly liked 1a, with its change of meanings of ‘vain’ and ‘blunt’ between surface and definition.

    It was all Rufus’s typically smooth stuff, and quite enjoyed.

  15. Robi says:

    Thanks Rufus, although I got a bit stuck on the SW corner.

    Good blog, Eileen; I’m with the homophone camp for COLOSSUS – could it be LOSS US for ‘loss is?’

    Took me ages to get TURNTABLE, which provided a good clue – I was convinced it had something to do with board games, such as ‘Go.’

  16. Wolfie says:

    Thanks Eileen.

    A particuarly easy one today, even for Rufus. 6d is not well clued though – ‘Comport’ does not mean ‘behave well’ Though the verb is perhaps more often seen in a positive sense (“He comported himself well”) it is perfectly correct usage to say that someone has comported himself badly.

  17. Eileen says:

    Hi Wofie

    I was a little bit uneasy about that one – but, as Kathryn’s Dad said, it was such a lovely surface! [And maybe the second part of the clue allows for the other [meaning ;-)].

  18. rfb says:

    For once in a couple of blue moons, I get to be “in with the crowd” – living in Canada, the crosswords are published too early/too late. Fortunately this one was a gentle canter that I could complete in an hour or two.

    I particularly liked ROSSINI. I thought TRADE WIND was nice too. I still don’t understand the DD for POINTLESS – why does it equal “Quite vain”?

  19. Eileen says:

    Hi rfb

    In this case, ‘quite’ = ‘completely'; ‘vain’ = ‘futile’, unavailing’ [Chambers].

  20. Tom says:

    Re 8ac: wouldn’t ‘lossus’ have to be a word for the clue to be a homophone? Perhaps it is a word and I’m missing something. I’m with Eileen on this one.

  21. Robi says:

    Tom @20; I parsed this according to the clue: ‘states no profit is taken,’ thus: no profit=loss; states ‘is’=’us,’ taken=added. Eileen is a lot more experienced, so maybe her parsing is correct, even if ‘states’ is not capitalised. :)

  22. Tom says:

    Robi @21; like I said, I agree with Eileen’s parsing :)

  23. Daniel Miller says:

    Since my newsagent decided to give me a Daily Telegraph – grrrrr – in error – I’m off to the Guardian site to see if today’s takes any longer than the DT (Disclaimer: 1 clue to find) – ‘Develops way through mountain peaks’ (8) -R-A-E-S ) – otherwise 15 minutes of ordinary fare. – since I won’t be ‘buying’ the DT tomorrow perhaps someone can see the answer for me!


  24. Rufus says:

    Thanks for all your comments, and thanks for Eileen’s excellent blog – as per usual!

    My intention for 8 across (“Giant firm states no profit is taken”) was: “Giant”= definition of word; “firm”= Co.: “states”=U.S., “no profit is taken”=LOSS is included in CO US= CO-LOSS-US, i.e. exactly as Eileen surmised. It was naughty of me to indicate “US” by the lower case “us” as setters and crossword editors vary on the use of capitals in clues.

    Many solvers seemed to find today’s puzzle too easy. While I repeat that I am asked by the editor to supply relatively easier puzzles for Guardian Mondays than other setters, it is not always easy to produce one that gives both novices and regular solvers the challenge they seek.
    I was pleased that fellow setter Dean Mayer(Anax) wrote on this blog recently that to do this is quite difficult.

  25. Robi says:

    Rufus @24; thanks for putting me out of my misery, and for validating Eileen’s parsing (why would I question that!) :)

  26. Robi says:

    Daniel @23; might be BROADENS – develops and way=ROAD; mountain peaks=BENS.

    P.S. I cheated with a wordsearch programme!

  27. EB says:

    Daniel #23

    Looks like: B(ROAD)ENS.

  28. Daniel Miller says:

    Thanks – you are right – definitely Broadens – just didn’t see it.

    Today’s Rufus is your usual Monday fare. A little bit harder than a DT tho. :)

  29. hoffi says:

    Hi all

    I appear to be the only person who has an issue with ‘COPE’.

    ‘wear it’ as a definition seems unnecessarily obtuse me.

    The working out was so basic I would have preferred something more straightforward

  30. Eileen says:

    Hi hoffi

    I wonder if you’re thinking of the right meaning of COPE? Here, it’s a vestment worn by priests, rather than the verb.

  31. Eileen says:

    PS: so, of course, it’s &lit, which I forgot to say in the blog. I think it’s a rather nice clue!

  32. Barnaby Page says:

    I could take very slight issue with 7d – a predator is not necessarily hungry (or, to look at it another way round, herbivorous animals are hungry too sometimes). But that would be finding fault for the sake of it. :)

  33. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Apart from that, Barnaby Page, thát’s a “%$#!&* long time since we’ve heard from you. Welcome back !!

  34. Barnaby Page says:

    Thanks, Sil, I got diverted by chess, back to crosswords now. :)

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