Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,479 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on November 14th, 2011


In contrast to the tricky Enigmatist puzzle I blogged last week, this was all plain sailing. The usual straightforward clueing (with 22ac being perhaps a slightly more involved construction than usual) and smooth surface readings. Can I recommend again the interview with Rufus (aka Roger Squires) on Shuchi’s Crossword Unclued blog: it gives a fascinating insight into the amazing life of this interesting and charming man.

7. DIRECT HIT DIRECT (organise) + HIT (strike
9. DISARMING Double definition – “winning” in the sense of “charming”
10. SMELT Double definition
13. REHEARSE Cryptic definition
14. BIG DEAL Double definition
17. OUTCAST OUT (dismissed) + CAST (actors)
20. MACHISMO MAC + HIS + MO[ment]
22. FRANCO RAN (managed) in FC (“football team without”) + O (love), giving the Spanish dictator.
24. STARS S + TARS, and a nicely appropriate surface reading making it almost &lit
25. PERISCOPE PERI (fairy) + SCOPE (opportunity)
27. CATHARSIS (HAS RACIST)*. Another appropriate surface, though with rather unpleasant overtones this time.
1. MINIMA MINIM (note) + A (article)
2. DEPARTED Double definition – “late” = “dead”
3. STUMPS MUST* + P.S. (a “rider” to a letter)
4. SIGNORA Reverse of GI’S + NORA
11. THOU Cryptic defintion.
16. ALSO A L’S O (L=50)
18. CHANCERY CHANCE (opening) + RY (railway=lines)
21. HEROIN (ON HIRE)*. “Horse” is slang for heroin.
23. CUP TIE Cryptic defintion – a cup tie game is a “round” of (say) the FA Cup.

22 Responses to “Guardian 25,479 – Rufus”

  1. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew, and Rufus for the puzzle.

    Not much to add, except that 20ac made me laugh and so did the thought that these two

    were called Ron and Di. 😉

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Andrew (and also for your previous link to the interview, which was very interesting). Plain sailing mostly, but some choppy waters at the end for me, with the last few taking almost as long as the rest of the puzzle.

    Rufus on good form today. I liked SIGNORA and PERISCOPE, and needed you to explain STUMPS to me.

  3. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Andrew. I read the interview when you first published the link, so thanks for that, too.

    I found this just slightly harder than the usual Rufus, with some great surfaces, as you say.

    Hi Eileen, thanks for the reflection 😆

    BTW, my Friday blog had three new contributions this morning – is this a record? (If it is, it’s Araucaria’s doing, not mine :))

  4. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Andrew. KD: ‘stumps’ is quite a commmon near-synonym of ‘wooden leges'; think Dougas Bader.

    I just wondered if ‘It becomes you’ would have been acceptable, instead of the past temse, and therefore have a little extra je ne sais quoi.

  5. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Rufus

    Like others, read and much enjoyed the interview. Sorry to miss Rufus too on the 26th.

    The usual smooth cluing and wit. Liked 20a especially.

    :) The thought of Rodin’s lovers being ‘Ron and Eth’ (from Take it From Here)followed on from Eileen’s comment.

    It took a moment or two to get my mind round analysis = determination but seems quite acceptable in fact.

  6. Eileen says:

    Hi tupu

    I nearly added a comment about Ron and Eth but thought no one would know what I was talking about. 😉

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    dunsscotus, I got there eventually with STUMPS because I remembered the phrase ‘stir your stumps’, meaning ‘get up’ or ‘get moving’.

  8. yogdaws says:

    Thanks all…

    Dunsscotus: nice thought re 11a.

    Here’s to tomorrow.

  9. Robi says:

    Good puzzle; like Kathryn’s Dad, I found the last few challenging.

    Thanks, Andrew for a clear blog. I was about to complain about the ‘about love’ in 22, but then realised that it was as you had parsed. I did live in Spain for a year under Franco’s rule – interesting times! I found the NW corner the most difficult; I stupidly failed to see the FAITHS anagram for a long time. As has been pointed out the clue for RODIN is a clever &lit. I particularly liked STUMPS.

  10. chas says:

    Thanks to Andrew for the blog.

    On 22a I had RAN=managed so it had to be Franco but I was trying to find a football team from which I could remove ‘O’ to leave FCO :(

  11. grandpuzzler says:

    Very cheeky, Eileen!

    Thanks Rufus and Andrew. Needed your help to explain CUP TIE.


  12. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    To quote “Here’s to tomorrow”.
    26ac is a very precise definition, nothing more.

  13. Roger says:

    Thanks Andrew. I rather thought that STUMPS were what wooden legs were attached to and not the legs themselves, so read 3d more in cricketing terms {wicket = ‘wooden legs’ = stumps}.
    A pity ‘for’ is in both fodder and answer at 19, otherwise no probs. Thanks Rufus.

  14. Derek Lazenby says:

    Sigh, don’t know why, but I failed miserably on this one. Maybe I’m just not in the mood today because looking at the blog I should have got the lot. Oh well.

  15. Davy says:

    Thanks Andrew,

    To the bloggers, Rufus is always a gentle stroll or plain sailing but he’s never like that to me. I failed completely in the north east section. Does that make me dim ?. I nearly always finish Araucaria but rarely Rufus. There is so little information to work on in the clues.

    In 8a, I thought the answer was BRING but why does bring=conduct ?.

    In 13a, I thought this was a charade but it turned out to be cryptic. Why is it so obvious that the answer to “Hold a show trial” is REHEARSE ?.

    In 11d, “It became you”, I was thinking of foetus or ovum or something like that. Is THOU so obvious ?.

    I should have got SMELT as smelt and chips is a common order at the chip shop
    and also CRIMEA but I couldn’t think of a simple word for misdeed. So murder and extortion are just misdeeds. That’s quite reassuring.

    I did read the interview with Rufus and it was very interesting.

  16. Davy says:

    Forgot to say, the clue for RODIN is not &lit as there is a clear definition in ‘He sculpted’. I await the verdict of Paul B.

  17. Allan_C says:

    Showing my age, Eileen, but I would have known what you were talking about.

  18. Dave Ellison says:

    Davy @ 15. I managed to finish the Xword today, but as usual the last few clues took some time.

    I too had doubts about BRING and it was nearly the last in. I could only think of something like “bring Fred to me here”, but it isn’t very convincing.

    13a being a CD I was not very keen on it; sometimes I find CDs obvious and then not usually of much interest; or, as here, not so obvious, but still leaving me unsatisfied. Likewise 11d, though once I had the checking letters it was clear what the answer should be.

    CRIME also took me a long time – I couldn’t get SIN out of my mind.

  19. RCWhiting says:

    Davy @16
    You could equally say that “He sculpted man embracing girl” was a clear definition, since Rodin’s Kiss is probably the most famous sculpture of all time.
    That whole clue could have appeared in a non-cryptic crossword without causing a single murmur of surprise; and is therefore out of place here.

  20. Davy says:

    Thanks for the replies – I was joking about the smelt by the way.

    Yes Dave, I too was fixated on sin but never came up with the simple ‘crime’. Memory loss springs to mind.

    I agree RCW that RODIN was indeed an easy answer but I think that Rufus was just having a bit of fun with Ron and Di and the whole clue.

  21. Huw Powell says:

    RCW re “Kiss”, I’d argue that his “Thinker” and Michaelangelo’s “David” are more likely “most famous sculptures”. But you do make a good point. I would argue that, say, having assembled the answer via the cryptic tools, it should raise a smile to notice that it is also an &lit clue. Or vice versa.

  22. Huw Powell says:

    And I probably spelled Michelangelo’s name… yup. Oops, I should have listened to Firefox.

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