Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,515 / Rufus

Posted by duncanshiell on December 26th, 2011


Christmas is over.  The world returns to normal, and there are few things more normal for a Guardian solver than a Rufus crossword on a Monday morning.



This puzzle has Rufus’s usual mix of smooth surfaces, double definitions, cryptic definitions, gentle anagrams, basic constructs and nautical references.

The puzzle would be a good introduction to cryptic crosswords for many.  The experienced solver may find it a bit on the easy side.  I got off to a good start with the top half falling fairly fast.  I took a bit longer on the SE corner.  The last in, for me, was ERRORS when the quotation ‘To err is hunman, to forgive, divine’ finally came to mind.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry
5 Favourable pub cooking – tuck in! (6) Anagram of (cooking) PUB + EAT (tuck in) UPBEAT (favourable)
6 Quickly remove label showing exorbitant price (3-3) RIP OFF (quickly remove [label]) RIP-OFF ([financial] exploitation; [label showing] exorbitant price)
9 Counterfeit coin as used by gamblers (6) Anagram of (counterfeit) COIN AS CASINO (establishment for gambling; used by gamblers)
10 Being awkward in an ugly development (8) Anagram of  (development) IN AN UGLY UNGAINLY (awkward)
11 Ground needed for play (4) PLOT ([a small piece of] ground) PLOT (the story running through a play)
12 Switch on ignition in service vehicle (4,6) FIRE ENGINE (switch on ignition) FIRE ENGINE (a vehicle of one of the emergency services; service vehicle)
13 The favourite that’s in form (8,3) TEACHER’S PET (the favourite of a teacher) TEACHER’S PET (‘form’ being another word for ‘a school class’ we have the favourite that’s in form)
18 Unable to work after leaving the fraternity (3,25) OUT OF ORDER (not working; unable to work) OUT OF ORDER (a fraternity is defined as ‘a brotherhood; a society formed on a principle of brotherhood; an all-male N American college association; any set of people with something in common; order’, so if you leave it you are ‘out of [the] order’)
21 The point to make next (4) THE + N (north; [compass] point) THEN (next)
22 Forces in conflict, prepared for court action (8) Anagram of (conflict) FORCES IN FORENSIC (belonging to courts of law; used in law pleading; appropriate or adapted to argument; of or relating to sciences or scientists connected with legal investigations; [prepared {?}] for court action)  It is possible that ‘prepared’ is being used as the anagram indicator, but if that is the case, it seems to leave,’conflict’ without a purpose.
23 Slips in evidence of humanity (6) ERRORS (slips) ERRORS (reference the quote ‘to err is human, to forgive, divine’ from Essay on Criticism II  by Alexander Pope [1688 – 1744])
24 Quake in the centre – more or less (6) Hidden word in (in) THE CENTRE MORE OR LESS TREMOR (quake)
25 Science that puts healthy colour in a lad (6) BOY (lad) containing (puts …. in) TAN (healthy colour) BOTANY (science)
1 Sailors in the drink (8) ABS (able-bodied seamen; sailors) + IN + THE ABSINTHE (a bitter green aniseed-flavoured liqueur; drink)
2 Wages stopped as the final part of a joke (3-3) PAY (wages) + OFF (stopped) PAY-OFF (dénouement; the final part of a joke [reference the pay-off line])
3 Call to get permits? They depend on the head (8) RING (call) + LETS (permits) RINGLETS (long curls of hair; they depend on the head, where ‘depend’ is used in its somewhat archaic definition of ‘to hang down’)
4 Contending successfully with a course of masonry (6) COPING (the covering course of masonry of a wall) COPING (contending successfully)
5 American expert may be employable (6) US (United States; American) + ABLE (skilful; expert) USABLE (employable)  slightly surprisng to have ‘able’ as part of the definition and part of the entry.
7 Clerical work done by a metal worker (6) FILING (smoothing or rasping metal; done by a metal worker) FILING (keeping papers in order; clerical work)
8 Clubs, possibly, where naval officers may be found (11) QUARTER DECK (there are 4 suits in a deck of cards; Clubs is one suit, therefore the Clubs form a QUARTER of the DECK) QUARTERDECK (the part of the deck of a ship abaft the mainmast, used by cabin passengers and by superior officers [and saluted on warships]; where naval officers may be found)
14 Travel through East End district with offensive weapon (8) CROSS (travel through) + BOW (a district in  the East End of [London]) CROSSBOW (a weapon for shooting bolts; offensive weapon)
15 Always include ten at the outside (8) ETERNAL (everlasting; always) containing (including) X (Roman numeral for ten) EXTERNAL (outside)
16 Annoyed at being inconvenienced (3,3) PUT OUT ([being] inconvenienced) PUT OUT (offended; annoyed)
17 Girl with fish to sell down the river (6) BET (girl’s name; abbreviated form of Elizabeth) + RAY (fish) BETRAY (deceive; give information about one’s friend or country to an enemy; disclose in brach of trust; sell down the river)
19 Perversely love to take the Spanish exam that’s out-of-date (1,5) Anagram of (perversely) LOVE + EL (Spanish for ‘the’) O LEVEL (an examination [Ordinary Level] from many years ago, now replaced by GCSE [General Certificate of Secondary Education])
20 Fume about individual odour of antelope (6) REEK (smoke; fume) containing (about) BO [body odour; the odour of one’s body; individual odour) REEBOK (South African antelope)

8 Responses to “Guardian 25,515 / Rufus”

  1. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Understatement,understatement Duncan.
    Fortunately I am still struggling with the dregs of A’s special,hurray.

  2. chas says:

    Thanks for the blog Duncan.
    I confess to being totally fooled by 11a: I had ?L?T and remembered that a piece of scenery in the theatre is a FLAT. That blinded me to all other possibilities e.g. PLOT.

    I also am still fighting Araucaria’s special!

  3. Geoff Chapman says:

    “The puzzle would be a good introduction to cryptic crosswords for many.”

    Exactly Duncan.

    People who moan about Rufus are probably the same people who harass learner drivers on the road.

    As for A’s saturday special – finished, but slightly disappointed it relied so much (for me) on scanning the net. I guess it was fun if you had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the theme.

  4. tupu says:

    Thanks Duncan and Rufus

    A pleasant Boxing Day solve with 8d taking most time – its surprising how long it can take to remember to look for a ‘q’ before a ‘u’. Lots of good surfaces.

    Agree re source of 23a. ‘Human error’ is also a common enough phrase that came to mind.

    I was not too keen on conflict as an anagram indicator.

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you Duncan for your excellent blog and Rufus for a good puzzle.

    I enjoy Rufus’s cds and TEACHER’S PET was my favourite today. I’d never heard of ‘depend’ in the ‘hanging’ sense, but then realised it’s related to the French ‘pendre’, from which I guess we get ‘pendant’ for the thing that you hang round your neck.

  6. Derek Lazenby says:

    Got stuck in the SE corner. Went and watched Kauto Star win his historic 5th King George. This inspiring feat must have rubbed off because I came back and finished off wondering why on earth I couldn’t get them first time round!

  7. MikeC says:

    Thanks Duncan and Rufus. I made the same mistake as chas@2. Nice to know I’m not alone!

  8. RCWhiting says:

    If I were seated next to a learner as they attempted to solve a puzzle,with pen poised, then that might perhaps constitute harassment.
    Coincidently, that is precisely how (50 years ago) I learned rapidly how not to be a learner.

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