Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic N° 25,473 by Rufus

Posted by PeterO on November 7th, 2011


A particularly straightforward start to the week from Rufus.


1. Carpeting material not staying put (9)
REPROVING Charade of REP (‘material’) + ROVING (‘not staying put’). Definition ‘carpeting’ – giving a ticking-off.
6. Lover of Bess in musical heading off for wild party (4)
ORGY [p]ORGY, from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, ‘heading off’.
8. Cricketer yearns to face spinner (4,4)
LONG STOP A charade of LONGS (‘yearns’) + TOP (‘spinner’).
9. Catch in Antwerp on the loose without wife (6)
ENTRAP An anagram (‘on the loose’) of ‘Ant[w]erp’ without w (‘wife’).
10. Plant a bomb that explodes overhead (6)
BAMBOO An anagram (‘that explodes’) of ‘a bomb’ + O (‘Overhead’).
11. Pot or tin basin broken (8)
CANNABIS A charade of CAN (‘tin’) + NABIS, an anagram (‘broken’) of ‘basin’.
12. Kept going — or didn’t (6)
STAYED Double definition.
15. Minimum investment for patrons of the pools (8)
SWIMSUIT Cryptic definition, playing on ‘investment’ as clothing.
16. I was told off for youthful indiscretions (4,4)
WILD OATS An anagram (‘off’) of ‘I was told’.
19. Perhaps Hudson Bay may have come from one of these (6)
HOUNDS An anagram (‘perhaps’) of ‘Hudson’. The capital B of Bay is a red herring.
21. Party drink is an un­usual hit (3,5)
RUM PUNCH A charade of RUM (‘unusual’) + PUNCH (‘hit’).
22. A disposition of arms (6)
AKIMBO Cryptic definition.
24. Fills cracks in the decks with stoppers, say (6)
CAULKS A homophone (‘say’) of corks (‘stoppers’).
25. Improperly press one for an answer (8)
RESPONSE An anagram (‘improperly’) of ‘press one’.
26. US polar explorer — and aviator, by the way (4)
BYRD A charade of ‘by’ + RD (road, ‘way’). Rear Admiral Richard E Byrd claimed to have flown over the North Pole in 1926, a claim which is now discounted by many; it is generally accepted that he did fly over the South Pole in 1929, and engaged in much ground exploration of Antarctica in subsequent years.
27. Wheelwright’s representative? (9)
SPOKESMAN Cryptic definition.
1. Wine jar I put out when empty (5)
RIOJA An envelope of O (nothing in it -’empty’) in RIJA, an anagram (‘out’) of ‘jar I’.
2. Bob is a hotel employee (7)
PAGEBOY Double definition; ‘bob’ as a hairstyle.
3. Inaccurate serve results in defeat (5)
OUTDO Definition and literal interpretation: OUT (‘inaccurate’) + DO (‘serve’, as in “that will do for now”). The definition is ‘defeat’ as a transitive verb.
4. One member takes part in strikes (7)
IMPACTS A charade of I (‘one’) + MP (‘member’ of Parliament) + ACTS (‘takes part’).
5. Time and place (9)
GREENWICH Double definition.
6. Offenders dismissed on orders (7)
OUTLAWS A charade of OUT (‘dismissed’) + LAWS (‘orders’).
7. Planning finally approved — delighted! (9)
GRATIFIED A charade of G (‘planninG finally’) + RATIFIED (‘approved’).
13. Supplementary course? (9)
TRIBUTARY Double definition.
14. Doctor agonised over second opinions (9)
DIAGNOSES An anagram (‘doctor’) of ‘agonised’+ S (‘second’).
17. Spotted divine fruit inside (7)
DAPPLED An envelope (‘inside’) of APPLE (‘fruit’) in DD (Doctor of Divinity, ‘divine’).
18. Half the school get zero, unusually, for music (7)
SCHERZO A charade of SCH (‘half of SCHool’) + ERZO, an anagram (‘unusually’) of ‘zero’).
20. All the same a soldier has to assume it (7)
UNIFORM Double definition.
22. A bridal path? (5)
AISLE (Slightly) cryptic definition.
23. Sailor took up crime, seen in the dock (5)
BASIN A charade of BA, a reversal (‘took up’) of AB (‘sailor’) + SIN (‘crime’). Definition: ‘dock’, as a basin to contain a ship, with ‘seen in the’ as connective tissue.

25 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic N° 25,473 by Rufus”

  1. Mystogre says:

    In general pleasing but I got stuck on 1ac! Eventually I stopped looking for carpeting material and it made sense. Bay, of course is what hounds do on the hunt so, yes, the capital B was deliberately (?) misleading. A nice clue though. I was unhappy with AKIMBO but it fits. A not so nice clue. I also liked 27ac and BAMBOO took a while tto click as I was ting to get the baobab tree into it for some reason. Nice for a warm afternoon Hugh, so thanks Rufus and PeterO.

  2. Mystogre says:

    Oops, I see my auto-correction was doing it’s thing towards the end there. Sorry.

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks PeterO and Rufus, for an enjoyable start to the week.

    My favourite was 1A REPROVING, which held me up quite a bit until I split “carpet material” – great misdirection.

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks, PeterO

    How does Rufus continue to produce such seemingly effortless surfaces week after week? – 16ac and 14dn are excellent.

    I liked 14ac and 1dn, too, and the misdirection in 19ac. And 9ac made me laugh.

    Many thanks, Rufus, for brightening up a grey morning.

  5. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks to PeterO and Rufus. A pleasant start to the week.

  6. finbar says:

    As any QI fan would know, brides do not walk down the aisle. In traditional cathedral architecture the aisles are on either side of the central passageway which is part of the nave.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Peter. I wouldn’t necessarily describe this one as straightforward!

    I know cds aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I do like trying to tease out Rufus’s. Struggled today, though, and not knowing the REP = material link didn’t help with REPROVING. But there were some top clues here: my favourites were WILD OATS, HOUNDS, DIAGNOSES and BAMBOO.

    Thanks to Rufus too.

  8. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Peter.

    Not the easiest of Rufuses, I found – the NW corner took me a while to fathom.

    Some splendid clues, as ever. I agree with Eileen about the excellence of 16a, 1d and 14d; I would add 10a to my list of favourites.

  9. jackowen37 says:

    Caulks a homophone of corks? In what regional dialect?

  10. Eileen says:

    Re the NW corner: was anyone else momentarily BAMBOOzled? [‘Rocket’ was more topically immediately obvious – not nearly so good, though!]

  11. tupu says:

    Thanks PeterO and Rufus

    I enjoyed this but found it pretty hard to get my mind round it in places.
    As usual I was impressed by the surfaces and the clever bits of lateral thinking that are R’s hallmarks.

    Liked 1a, 10a, 19a, 22a, 24a (the rhotic issue again though), 1d, 14d.

  12. dunsscotus says:

    Hi Finbar. I’m imagining a bride-to-be telling her friends how much she’s looking forward to walking down the central passageway (which, incidentally, is part of the nave) on her father’s arm! Of course it’s an aisle; those of us well versed in such matters distinguish the central aisle from the side aisles by calling the latter (wait for it) ‘side aisles’.

  13. Robi says:

    Good crossword that I found trickier than usual for a Monday.

    Thanks PeterO for a nice blog. The homophone curse strikes again – jack @9, try the British pronunciation given at Finbar @6; whether strictly correct or not, ‘walking down the aisle’ is in common parlance, and Wiki even says that: ‘Confusingly when discussing overall design, architectural historians include the central vessel in the number of aisles.’

    I particularly liked the SWIMSUIT clue, which reminds me of the time when a colleague was staying at a hotel, played squash and then had a dip in the pool. Unfortunately, between the two sports, he forgot to employ his minimum investment.

  14. Rufus says:

    Hi JackOwen I was surprised to see your comment (No 9 above). I served 15 years in the Royal Navy, mixing with ratings from all parts of the UK, and we always pronounced CAULK and CORK identically. Collins Dictionary does give the pronunciation as exactly the same, although Chambers has an “r” after the ö for Cork, so presumably some dialects may pronounce the “r”. It seems that you would not yourself pronounce these words the same – how would you do so?

  15. cholecyst says:

    Thanks PeterO for a comprehensive blog and Rufus for an entertaining puzzle. I couldn’t see how 3dn – OUTDO – worked until I came here because I had “Inaccurate serve” = OUT which meant that DO had to = results.

  16. JohnH (not the setter) says:

    I agree that CAULK and CORK are pronounced the same.

    I have never heard anyone say cawel-k for the former.

    Thinking about it a bit more I just realised that I pronounce the L so for me it is corl-k or call-k.

    As Feynman said, the easiest person to fool is yourself.

    Good crossword, based on my “binary taxonomy of crosswords” rule. If I can finish them they are good. If I cannot start them they are bad and are just the setter showing off. So this Rufus is a good one but that grid crossword in the Sunday Times is just some lexicographer showing off (last time I checked the answers there were 24 words out of 32 that I had never heard off).

  17. Posterntoo says:

    Here in the U.S. (and on, caulk rhymes with hawk, and cork rhymes with fork.

  18. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Rufus is unfailing in producing these puzzles.
    It would be ‘one member’ olite to add any more.

  19. Allan_C says:

    A little deliberate misdirection in 26a? ‘A flier’, as well as being a description made me think ‘bird’ and wonder if the explorer’s name was spelt with an I or a Y. 13d settled it of course and it was only then that I got the significance of ‘by the way’. A perfectly formed clue!

  20. Wolfie says:

    Hello Rufus – thanks for dropping by. I enjoyed the puzzle and agree with you that (at least in my part of the world – Liverpool) ‘caulk’ and ‘cork’ are pronounced identically.

    Thanks for the blog PeterO.

  21. Brendan (not that one) says:

    I’m glad to see others agree that this was not the normal easy Monday offering.

    Entertaining but definitely not “straightforward” in my book.

    50 mins 53 seconds in fact. (well above my previous Rufus average of 26:55.) (Sad. I know!!!)

  22. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks PeterO, and like others said this was not that ‘particularly straigtforward’ to us.

    I’ve been away for a long weekend in the Norfolk Broads, taking a print-off of Tramp’s crossword with me. I quite amazed myself to solve that one (except one word in the SW) while lying in bed after having a great meal in The Windmill Arms in Sheringham. And the following day I championed the Times puzzle without aides. It really boosted my self-confidence as a solver!

    But then there was Rufus … :) [no, nothing cynical about this]
    We had some trouble in the North, REPROVING (1ac) being one of our last entries – initially we considered it to be an anagram of ‘Carpeting’, and isn’t this one of the things that Great Cluing is about?

    In 3d we entered OUTDO, but we didn’t fully understand it.
    OUT could just as well have been “Inaccurate serve” [tennis], so we were looking for a justification for DO. Well done, Rufus.

    Also well done in 10ac (BAMBOO), 19ac (HOUNDS), 14d (DIAGNOSES), 18d (SCHERZO) and 22d (AISLE) which was a fun allusion to ‘bridle path’ [quite familiar to me as a Sunday walker).
    As I said on earlier occasions, it’s not always about clues being hard or challenging. When I think of Rufus/Dante crosswords, it’s the word ‘natural’ that springs to mind.
    Which is something I like.

    Good crossword.

  23. MikeC says:

    Thanks PeterO and Rufus. I’m in the “not so straightforward camp” – found this not one of the easiest Monday puzzles. Re 3, I parsed it as “out” plus “do=ditto”, meaning a double-fault. Wrong again (though it would have worked had the clue been “inaccurate serves . . . “). Ah, well . . .

  24. stumped says:

    Thanks Rufus for a very enjoyable puzzle & PeterO for explanations.

    Took ages to get 1a & 3d. Persisted in thinking ‘inaccurate serve’ was a “let”.

    Got 22a right away but couldn’t justify it to myself.

    Favourite clue 24a.

  25. PeeDee says:

    Thanks PeterO and Rufus.

    I didn’t find this one straigtforward, I had to resort to ‘aids’ to finish the NW corner. Enjoyable, and more cryptic than usual from Rufus.

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