Posted by scchua on February 20th, 2012
Thanks Rufus for another trademark puzzle with double definitions, cryptic definitions and not-so-long anagrams to the fore (though he holds the record for the longest word – an anagram of 58 letters – used in a published puzzle). All constructed elegantly and compactly. Many of the definitions require one to think of words and phrases in different contexts from the normal ones. The combination of unusual context and conciseness makes such clues easy to remember and they stay with one for a long time. Perhaps these should be called “rufuses”, to coin a word. I was hoping it would be him on my schedule today, and it is. Knowing that you sometimes read and post on 15sq, this is for you, Rufus/Roger – a happy 80th in 2 days’ time, with best wishes for many more happy years and crosswords to come. Thank you for stretching our minds, enjoyably, all these years. And you must show me again that card trick you did in Derby!
Definitions are underlined in the clues. The picture set at the bottom has an unidentified link to the puzzle.
1 Starting point is no walkover for the bride (9)
THRESHOLD : Cryptic defn: Refering to the tradition of where the bride does not walk over, but is carried by her groom over, the doorsill,threshold of their marital home. Which literal threshold is symbolic of the starting point,threshold of married life.
6 Watch open-mouthed as centre forward moves into space (4)
GAWP : W(middle letter,centre of “forward”) contained in(moves into) GAP(space). Nice footballing surface
8 Business force established around the last millennium (8)
COMMERCE : COERCE(verb, to force) containing(established around) MM(Roman numeral for 2000, the last, up to the present, millennium,1000th anniversary year since anno Domini)
9 Slim elves play around a square (6)
SVELTE : Anagram of(play) ELVES containing(around) T(a T square, a T-shaped ruler used in mechanical drawing, possibly all but extinct by now, but I used to be a proud owner of one!)
10 Depart agitatedly; it may explode! (6)
PETARD : Anagram of(agitatedly) DEPART. Another nice surface – if you don’t run off fast enough, you will definitely be “hoist by your own petard”.
Answer: A firecracker, or, in a bigger version, a bomb designed to blow a hole in a door or wall. Interesting etymology, from Latin meaning a fart – a mighty big one, you could say, in the derivative usage!
11 Erudite professors or their proteges, perhaps (8)
SCHOLARS : Double defn:
Answer: One of those words that have opposing meanings. 1st: persons who already have profound knowledge; and 2nd: persons who are starting or still trying to obtain such knowledge, perhaps under the tutelage of defn.1.
12 Jack, given wrong date, lowered (6)
ABATED : AB(abbrev. for able-bodied seaman,sailor,Jack or Jack Tar – Rufus’s trademark inclusion of a nautical reference) plus(given) anagram of(wrong) DATE.
Answer: Decreased,lowered in intensity, volume, etc.
15 Torn between father and a love initially of mother? (8)
PARENTAL : RENT(torn as an adjective) contained in(between) [PA(father) plus(and) A + L(first letter,initially of “love”)].
Answer: Descriptive,of mother, with ? indicating it could have been of father also)
16 Elegant fashion on a bride (8)
DEBONAIR : Anagram of(fashion) ON A BRIDE. A WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue
19 Expire, though previously fit as a fiddle (6)
EXHALE : EX(previously,once) HALE(fit as a fiddle, as in “hale and hearty”)
Answer: As opposed to inhale, breathe out,expire
21 Parts that can’t be matched (8)
ODDMENTS : Cryptic defn: Pieces,parts that can’t be matched,odd.
22 Cyril’s playing with words in numbers (6)
LYRICS : Anagram of(playing) CYRIL’S
Answer: The words of songs,musical numbers
24 They may be a (sic) spun to make briefs (6)
FIBRES : Anagram of(make) BRIEFS. A WIWD clue.
25 Heather Lake’s underwear (8)
LINGERIE : LING(heather,heath,shrub that grows on open ground) + ERIE(one of the Great Lakes in N. America)
26 Experienced hat maker (4)
FELT : Double defn: 1st: Past tense of feel; and 2nd: material with which to make hats, or, put another way, a hat maker
27 One thing one doesn’t expect to be (9)
SURPRISED : Cryptic defn.
1 He’s to be changed, not these (5)
THOSE : Anagram of(be changed) HE’S TO.
Answer: If not these, then must be those.
2 Up in arms (7)
RAMPANT : Cryptic defn: Not the usual meaning of being furious, but a descriptive term in heraldry of a beast rearing up on its hind leg in a coat-of-arms. The term is also specific about which leg, which way it’s facing, and how its other legs and tail are positioned! A compact clue requiring lateral thinking.
3 She would pack a right in a scrap (5)
SHRED : SHE‘D(she would) containing(
would pack) R(right). Edit.note: Corrected per @6, thanks Robi. A nice surface for Lara Croft.
4 Reveals that one is being less reserved (5,2)
OPENS UP : Double defn: 2nd: To be more communicative and forthcoming.
5 Perform for free? (9)
DISCHARGE : Double defn: 1st: To do,perform, eg. one’s duties; and 2nd: To dismiss,free as in “the accused was discharged”.
6 Aviation spirit? (7)
GREMLIN : Cryptic defn. Originally, a small imaginary creature,spirit blamed by RAF aviators for causing mechanical failures. Not what you put into your airplane fuel tank.
7 Sudden drop of current – flaw later rectified (9)
WATERFALL : Anagram of(rectified) FLAW LATER.
Defn: Current of the watery and not electronic kind. Nice surface.
13 About to enter poor occupation? May end up on this (9)
BREADLINE : RE(about,with regard to) contained in(to enter) BAD LINE(a poor occupation,line as in “what line are you in?”).
Answer: Figuratively, to be poor and living at subsistence level, derived from the queue of people waiting for free food from a government agency or a charity. A WIWD clue.
14 Ill-judgment (9).
DIAGNOSIS : Cryptic defn: Judgment of what an illness is.
17 How promotion should be given to miner, after recovery (2,5)
ON MERIT : Anagram of(after recovery) TO MINER
18 Specialist in stocktaking? (7)
RUSTLER : Cryptic defn: Not the guy taking an inventory of items in stock, but a professional,specialist in stealing,taking cattle,stock.
20 Fit to work like a horse (7)
HARNESS : Cryptic defn, I think. To control and make fit (to work) for one’s benefit, eg. to harness the energy of your workforce to, perhaps, make them work hard like a horse? Also, to fit a harness to a horse before making it work pulling a plough, carriage, etc. It is a WIWD clue, with perhaps 2 slightly different surfaces?
22 Ship in river south of the equator (5)
LINER : R(river) placed below(south, in a down clue) LINE(the line,the equator, in the science of geography)
23 Censured about money issue (5)
CHILD : CHID(alternative to chided,censured) containing(about) L(£,pound sterling,money)