Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,485 / Rufus

Posted by Eileen on November 21st, 2011


Apologies for the rather later posting today: I’ve been whiling away two hours at the surgery between glucose-tolerance blood tests. It’s a pretty straightforward Rufus for a grey morning, with perhaps even more double and / or cryptic definitions than usual.

[I’ve just discovered that this is my 150th blog.]



5   LAY OFF: double definition
  GREENE: RE [concerning] inside GEN [information + E[ast] for the writer Graham Greene [1904-1991]
9   RACINE: RACE [nation] around [embraces] IN [popular] for the French dramatist Jean Racine [1639-1699]
10  OCULISTS: cryptic definition
11  WEED: WEE [little] D [number]
12  DISCIPLINE: double definition
13  ORDERLY ROOM: double definition
18  TOUCH-AND-GO: double definition
21  IRON: double definition
22  CHESS SET:  cryptic definition
23  TRIADS: anagram [organised] of RAID in TS [reversal of ST[reet]
24  DUENNA: cryptic definition, which raised a smile
25  MADAME: MADE [forced] round [to take on] A M[onsieur – a French man]


  CYLINDER: double definition, ‘of cars’ being a rather loose one
2   AFIELD: A FIELD: [Gretna was my first thought for this – and it was hard to shake off]
3   CROUPIER: cryptic definition
  SERIAL: cryptic definition
5   LOADED: double definition
7   EXTENT: EX [NO MORE – as in ‘This parrot is no more … this is an ex-parrot!’] + TENT [a deep-red Spanish wine]
8   CONSOLIDATE: amusing anagram [form] of SIT and CANOODLE
14  ELAPSING: anagram [fashion] of PLEASING
15  ORIGINAL: anagram [perhaps] of A GIRL IN O[love]
16  COSHED: CO[mpany] SHED [building]
17  CODDLE: DD [Doctor of Divinity – divine] in COLE [cabbage]
19  COSSET: COS [lettuce] + SET [planted]: ‘baby’ is a verb here
20  OUTLAY: OUT [won’t be in] + LAY [deposit]

34 Responses to “Guardian 25,485 / Rufus”

  1. anio says:


  2. liz says:

    Congratulations, Eileen, and many thanks for your blogs and comments!

    I didn’t find this as straightforward as you, perhaps because of all the dds and cds… TENT in the sense of wine was new to me.

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks Eileen, and congratulations on your sesquicentenary.

    I thought the two defs in 1dn were “solid” and “block of cars”, as in cylinder block

  4. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Andrew: I don’t drive and didn’t know that term – and was solving in the surgery. I should have checked when I got home!

  5. andy smith says:

    Eileen – Thanks for the blog. Can you explain in words of 1 syllable the CD in 4d, please? Too dim to see it at all.

  6. Eileen says:

    Hi Andy

    Not quite one syllable, I’m afraid 😉

    The definition is ‘account’ = ‘story’, rather than ‘bank account’ [as suggested by the surface] and each episode of a serial usually ends with a cliff-hanger, ‘to attract interest’.

  7. PeterJohnN says:

    Eventually completed the puzzle, despite starting with LET OFF instead of LAY OFF in 5a! Agree with Andrew re double definition in 1d, a cylinder being a solid in mathematical terms.
    Don’t see a double def in 22a, only a cryptic one.
    For those who haven’t met the word, DUENNA at 24a is the Spanish equivalent of chaperone, equating to the English gooseberry in the sense of an unwanted third person!
    Thanks Eileen and Rufus.

  8. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks to Rufus, thanks and congrats to Eileen.

    Liked the double meaning of 4d very much. A smooth start to the week.

  9. Robi says:

    Strange grid with the usual large number of dd and cd, but still entertaining.

    Congratulations, Eileen! It’s never too late to start driving (try an automatic;) I did like CHESS SET and CYLINDER, which I took as a cd, rather than a dd, as I didn’t know the mathematical usage. Liz @2, we had this discussion about TENT before – I think it’s an Anglicised form of tinto. Never heard of it outside crossword land, though, despite being partial to a drop of the red stuff.

    OCULIST may be rather old-fashioned; most people seem to use ophthalmologist these days,
    I think. Are they the same?

  10. noddybankie says:

    Found 22A extremely amusing.

  11. Eileen says:

    PJN @7

    You’re right, of course, re 22ac: it’s not always easy to distinguish, as someone said the other day, but there’s no doubt here. I’ve amended the blog.

    Robi, I wondered about OCULIST, too. I’ve never been sure of the distinctions. I now find Chambers has oculist = ophthalmologist. I seem to see ‘optometrist’ a lot these days and that’s ‘an ophthalmic optician’!

  12. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Eileen, and congratulations.

    Re DUENNA, which I think has appeared before, it’s an archaic form of “doña”, the equivalent to our “Mrs.” There’s a curious phenomenon or two here, as normally a Latin long ‘o’ becomes diphthongised to ‘ue’ in Spanish, while here it’s gone back to ‘o'; and I also find that Spanish ‘ñ’ is usually rendered by a single ‘n’ in English, though its origin it the mediaeval notation for a double ‘n’, and the palatalisation of the geminated sound: ‘dwen_na’ becomes ‘dwenya’.

    And after that titbit of erudition, thanks to PJN for his explanation of the chaperone, both in English and Spanish :)

  13. andy smith says:

    Re 6: Thanks very much Eileen, doh, obvious, eventually …. yes, the whole bank account serial number flavour pulled me off completely!

  14. Norman L in France says:

    Gretna was indeed quite a distraction until crossers made it impossible.

  15. chas says:

    Thanks to Eileen for the blog.

    I’m kicking myself over 6a: I had RE and GEN and E but totally failed to put them together to form a novelist :(

  16. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Rufus

    I found this enjoyable and also harder than usual – especially the upper half.

    Thanks re 19d. I looked up cosset to check if it could be a noun and saw it meant a pet or hand-reared lamb so assumed that was a fair stretch for baby as a noun. I am sure you are right that both are verbs here.

    I liked 6a, 18s,1, 2, 8d!.

    It didn’t altogether surprise me to learn the other day that Rufus has been a regular Daily Telegraph compiler since dds and cds are especially common there.

  17. MikeC says:

    Thanks Eileen and Rufus. Congratulations on the 150, Eileen – but you’ve a way to go before you catch up with Rufus’s settings!

    I completely missed the obvious in 12, convincing myself that DISTILLING (learning?) could also involve correction, somehow. TENT was new to me as well.

  18. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    What a rare pleasure on a Monday morning. Although my G.was not delivered, a walk in the fog was well rewarded.
    The bottom half was a typical Rufus cake-walk but the top half (especially the NW corner)gave me plenty of food for thought (just like tupu).
    I was obsessed with mite at 11ac and even when I considered ‘ween’ I still failed to cotton on. Getting your mind out of a rut is really the key to solving these things and I was settled on an animal pest.
    I was also very slow to add ‘lay’ to ‘off’ at 5ac.

  19. tupu says:

    Hi Eileen
    Congratulations, btw, on reaching 150!!

  20. William says:

    Thank you Eileen. What’s a 150th anniversary?

    Robi @9. The grid is an oddity in that it is the blackest (39.1%) of all those regularly found in the broadsheets.

    I found today quite a slog with all the dds, particularly as the crossing letters were so often unhelpful.

    My Monday Rufus usually only reaches as far as the toast but this one got to lunch.

  21. Eileen says:

    Hi William

    See Andrew’s comment 3.

    Thanks, everyone, for your congratulations but that’s nothing really. Some folk have notched up massively more than that – I was just surprised to see this morning how they’d mounted up. I’m sure it doesn’t seem like that.

  22. Roger says:

    The only rock bun for me on this enjoyable plate of cake (to pinch your metaphor, RCW !) was DUENNA, found via Big Dave , where, like tupu, I too learn that Rufus is a DT man {clue 21a looks familiar}.

    Wasn’t that keen on OCULISTS which seemed at best barely cryptic and arguably a straight-up definition.

    I think William (20) may have been thinking that if 25 = silver and 50 = gold (and so on …), what’s left by the time you get to 150.
    A comfy chair, perhaps ? (Well done, anyway, Eileen).

  23. Rufus says:

    Well done Eileen! Not only 150 but all fair and comprehensive. Keep up the good work!

  24. Eileen says:

    Thank you, Rufus – and thanks for the puzzle. Looking forward to seeing you again on Saturday! :-)

  25. Jan says:

    Thanks, Eileen, and Rufus – that’s a lot of blogs!

    I don’t like dds but today’s fell out easily and I love cds (of the Xword variety :) ) so the whole puzzle was quite a quick solve.

    I did try to convince myself that one could play footie or get wed on A B ROAD.

    I’m so glad that our Lady of Spain (Stella) chipped in to explain DUENNA, a word I know from old romantic fiction. My Spanish tutor at evening classes had never heard of it.

  26. RCWhiting says:

    How dare so many of you state that this was an easy puzzle, especially when I found it quite a struggle.

    (only read the above if you have a sense of humour)

  27. AndyB says:

    I had 11 across initially as “slug”… OK stretching it a bit in the sense of a single shot of alcohol. However, having seen “number” used so frequently in the sense of anaesthetic in crosswords, it’s a shock to see it used in its usual sense!

  28. Stella Heath says:

    Hi RCW, 😆 – literally :)

  29. PeeDee says:

    Congratulations Eileen!

  30. stumped says:

    Thanks Rufus for a pleasant start to week, very welcome after head-scratching over the Prize.

    Congratulations Eileen, onwards to your double ton. Hope your tests resulted in good news. Glad to see I’m not the only one who recalls kids eloping to Scotland!

    Thanks also to PeterJohnN @7 for clarifying DUENNA & Robi @9 for TENT – btw Oculists probably did both tasks now divided between Opthalmologists (check eyes for bad things) and Optometrists (prescribe for your glasses/plastics/contacts)

    Favourite clue 22a, runner-up 3d reminded me of the Clive Owen movie.

  31. shaker says:

    Eileen – completely off topic, but with regards your glucose-tolerance test, hope it went well. If you’re diabetic (as I am) or suspected diabetic, can I recommend the Diabetes Support Forum,, for lots of info and encouragement. I turn to that site daily, just after checking yesterday’s Guardian blog at 15 squared.

  32. Eileen says:

    Thank you, shaker – that was a kind thought.

    I don’t of course, yet know the results of the test, which was routine. I’ve had one before and it showed no sign of diabetes so I’m hoping for a negative result again – but many thanks for the link.

  33. Sylvia says:

    Very late response but I have felt the recent Monday Rufus puzzles have been more taxing. It occurred to me, RCW, that maybe your Monday reservations may have had something to do with this! I also wanted 2d to be Gretna, but settled for ‘offend’ (off end)!

  34. RCWhiting says:

    I agree,Sylvia, that they have toughened up a little for which I am grateful. The second part of your hypothesis is much less likely to be true!

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