Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,569 / Rufus

Posted by Gaufrid on February 27th, 2012


The scheduled blogger has an unforeseen commitment today so you will have to put up with me instead. I don’t usually solve Rufus (or Dante) puzzles, so I am not in a position to say how this one compares with other Monday offerings, but I did wonder several times whilst solving whether I was missing some wordplay in what appeared to be a simple, or (barely) cryptic definition.

7 BLUEPRINT BLUE (porno) PRINT (picture)
8 DRAIN double def.
9 BISHOPRIC BISHOP (man on board) RIC[e] (grain out East)
10 AGATE A GATE (fence may well have one in it)
12 POUNCE P (penny) OUNCE (weight)
13 UNIVERSE anagram (involved) of EVE’S RUIN
14 NOTCHED NOTED (seen) around CH (church)
17 DOUBLET cryptic def. – double T is TT, an abbreviation of ‘teetotaller’
20 APTITUDE anagram (work) of TIED UP AT
22 CASTRO anagram (in play) of ACTORS
24 ASSAY AS (like) SAY (declare)
25 OVERSIGHT OVER (finished) SIGHT (sense)
26 STRUT double def.
27 STERILISE anagram (treatment) of IE LISTER’S
1 EL NINO anagram (perhaps) of ONLINE
2 MECHANIC anagram (tuned) of MACHINE C (a hundred)
3 TRIPLE T[hey] (they initially) anagram (terrible) of PERIL
4 ANXIOUS AN X (unknown number) IOUS (debts)
5 BROGUE double def.
6 DISTASTE anagram (in a way) of IS STATED
11 LIDO LO (look) around I’D
15 OPPOSITE IT in OPPOSE (fight)
16 ÉTUI (barely) cryptic def.
18 BASTILLE TILL (until) in BASE (HQ)
19 HEAVE TO so far as I can see, a simple def.
21 IN A RUT I anagram (for the worse) of A TURN
22 CORERS cryptic def. – or am I missing something?
23 REHASH anagram (stew) of HAS HER


31 Responses to “Guardian 25,569 / Rufus”

  1. cholecyst says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    27ac (without any crossing letters) could also be Listerise.

    Like you, I thought I was missing something about 22ac CORERS

  2. tupu says:

    Thanks Gaufrid and Rufus

    I don’t see you are missing anything re etui and corers. The first is I think an old X-word chestnut and just in case is a little cryptic, and I suppose the cryptic element in 22d is the double play with ‘seedless’ as e.g. in grapes. citrus etc.

    I think you must have intended to gloss ‘see’ as the definition in 9a. This is in my view an extremely clever clue.

    Overall, an entertaining puzzle which started very easy and ended being quite a teaser. Lots of smooth surfaces as usual with a good sprinkling of ticks en route. I was left at the end with 9a and 4d to solve. At first I thought the latter might be ‘antique’ (since antique furniture looks ‘distressed’ and tique – following a + n – reminded me of tick = credit – antique has in fact been spelled antick) but the penny eventually dropped for the better correct answer.

    It then took me some little time to see why 9a should be bishopric (my COD) with its triple whammy of see + man on board (given Rufus’s marine interests) + ric(e) as grain out east.

  3. Robi says:

    Another Monday, another Rufus, although enjoyable enough.

    Thanks Gaufrid; ÉTUI possibly had to be fairly straightforward as I (and maybe others) had not heard of it. I thought DOUBLET had a nice clue.

  4. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    I started strongly with this puzzle, but slowed down about half way though; I found it a little trickier than the usual Monday Rufus because of the unfriendly grid (lights all in even rows and columns, so most initial letters are unchecked).

    A lot more anagrams than usual, and very few double defs. I also found the cryptic def clues for 22d and (especially) 19d only barely so; 17a, however, is clever, and my COD.

  5. otter says:

    Thanks for the blog. I didn’t have any troubles here, but failed on ETUI, as a word I didn’t know (have encountered it on a few occasions in the distant past but have never managed to remember it) and with nothing to go on in the (barely) cryptic clue. I thought it may well be a seamstress’s needle holder, whatever they are called.

    A few weak clues: DRAIN being a double definition in which both definitions are more or less the same (drain, noun and verb, being for liquid what exhaust, noun and verb, is for gas); BISHOPRIC weakened by cluing ‘bishop’ in full in the cryptic part of the clue.

    However, DOUBLET was neatly clued, and my favourite, although it has a fairly obvious anagram in it and was therefore very easy to solve, is UNIVERSE, whose surface reads as a rather lovely &lit, for the Biblical fundamentalists out there, at least.

    Thanks for a gentle start to the week, Rufus (and happy 80th birthday for last week).

  6. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Gaufrid.

    I thought the semi-&lits [?] in 13 and 27ac were very clever and I liked DOUBLET and BISHOPRIC, too.

  7. Eileen says:

    Hi otter

    My comment crossed with yours, so my query re ‘semi &lit’ was not in response to it. [I’m just being very careful about using the term at the moment!]

  8. otter says:

    Hi Eileen – I’m not sure it is an &lit because the definition is contained within the clue: ‘all creation’. I think to be an &lit the whole clue has to be the definition. I said this one ‘reads as an &lit’, because the whole surface gives an extra dimension to the clue. I might have used the wrong terminology, but I don’t mind; I think it’s a lovely and very clever surface whatever it should be called.

    Hope you’re well, by the way.

  9. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    ‘Leading Cuban’…..Sotomayor…..too many letters…that’s tricky.
    ‘How to destroy bacteria’….9 letters…mmmm……
    ‘Stop at sea’…let’s sort out the cryptic part first….
    ‘all creation’ ……. lots of words for that …….
    ‘etui'(etwee) is quite regular in Azed. I liked ‘doublet’ but vaguely recall seeing it before.

  10. crypticsue says:

    usual gentle start to the cryptic week, and nothing wrong with that. With regard to etui, if I had a £1 for every time it had appeared in a crossword, I wouldn’t be sitting at my desk having lunch, I would be somewhere far nicer!

  11. SeanDimly says:

    Thank you, Rufus and Gaufrid.
    Liked 14 – witty, topical, and not too hard.

  12. Miche says:

    Thanks, gaufrid.

    No, I don’t think you’re missing any wordplay in e.g. 19d, 22d – or at least you’re not missing anything that’s there.

    If I’ve met ETUI before, I’ve forgotten it. I wondered at first whether “in case” suggested an envelope or a hidden answer. But, Rufusian misdirection aside, it was clear pretty immediately that the answer was a word, E_U_, meaning a case for needles. I’m sure a lot of people filled in ETUI straight away and moved on, possibly thinking “Come on, Rufus, that’s a bit bleedin’ obvious.” But with no wordplay, no cryptic component at all, I had nothing to go on. I’m fond of quizzes, but I do like a cryptic clue to be something more than a quiz question. It was like doing – heaven forfend – an American crossword. 😉

    Oh, well. At least I learned a new word. And DOUBLET did make me smile.

  13. chas says:

    Thanks to Gaufrid for the blog.

    I liked DOUBLET – once the penny dropped.

    9a took me a long time because I failed, initially, to remember the ecclesiastical meaning for ‘see’. How many times have I seen this in crosswords? Many times but I never remember at first :(

  14. liz says:

    Thanks for stepping in Gaufrid. My favourites were 9ac and 13ac (for the surface) — would have included DOUBLET too, but I missed the wordplay :-(

    19dn, 22dn and 16dn barely cryptic, as most people have pointed out. ETUI was my last one in, once I’d eventually dredged it up.

  15. Dave Tarn says:

    The arrogance at the start of your blog may explain your failure to grasp some of the clues. Rufus is a great start for crossword novices and unlike you he understands and obeys the rules

  16. liz says:

    Dave Tarn @15 I think you had better apologise to Gaufrid, who does a superb job running this site and is always ready to step in when a blogger can’t make it. I’m also sure (as we all are) that he fully appreciates the fact that Rufus provides puzzles that are good to cut your teeth on as a cryptic solver. Which is not to say that his elegant clues are always easy to solve.

    The issue here, as others have pointed out, is when clues are not quite cryptic enough.

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Sean @11
    Sorry, but I have to ask what have I missed: why is ‘notched’ topical?

  18. Derek Lazenby says:

    9 made me smile, “man on board” is almost always one of the others, but just this once it wasn’t, so I was dutifully misled for a while!

  19. Tees says:

    I find myself agreeing with RCW: what on earth is topical about 14?

    Re ETUI, I’d have had that one out, as in ‘dentist’ and ‘painful tooth’.

    Dave Tarn = idiot.

  20. crosser says:

    I second what Liz says @16 about Dave Tarn’s very rude (and uncalled for) outburst.

  21. Gaufrid says:

    Dave Tarn @15
    I would have replied earlier but I have been out at the dentist for the last couple of hours.

    As this appears to be the first comment you have made on this site, may I take this opportunity to welcome you to 15².

    I have reread my preamble several times and fail to see how any of it can be described as arrogant. Perhaps you would care to explain what I have missed.

    Also, which clues do you think I have failed to grasp? I am sure I have parsed them all correctly. I would also be interested to know which rules you think I don’t understand.

    Finally, please read the Site Policy, particularly paragraph 2. This applies to comments regarding bloggers and other commenters as well as the stated puzzles and clues.

  22. Matt says:

    Gaufrid, thanks for the blog (stepping in, for the umpteenth time)

    Rufus, thanks for the crossword.

    Dave Tarn (or ‘av ranted?) thanks for making me laugh.

  23. Badger says:

    As a normally silent watcher I feel obliged to add my four-pennyworth.
    The comment from Tarn seems totally unjustified and I find it clashes with the normally polite and reasoned character of this blog.

  24. cholecyst says:

    Why don’t we all just agree to ignore totally comments from people like Dave Tarn @15?

  25. morpheus says:

    Dave Tarn: Tavern ad. I rest my case…

  26. FranTom Menace says:

    Some smiles reading the comments! Anyway, we weren’t too taxed today, but did get stuck on ‘etui’ would you believe! there were the usual more than a fair few really nice clues from Rufus. We did get slightly legged up on 17a when we put in ‘drysuit’ straight away. Only realised this was wrong after looking at 6d!

    I’ve said this before a few times – some people are quite dismissive and sometimes downright rude when talking about Rufus, saying that his puzzles aren’t a challenge. I like his clear Ximenean cluing, his best wordplay and surfaces are every bit as good as in the ‘more difficult’ compilers’ clues. When I say ‘fair’, I mean I’ve never seen Rufus use devices like ‘some machinery’ in a long charade to get the letter ‘c’, for example. Without clear, fair and (sometimes) more obvious answers in a crossword I don’t think I’d have ever got into cryptics, and I’m sure that there are others who could say the same.

    Thanks Rufus and Gaufrid. I’ve had my two penneth and am off to hang up my drysuit.

  27. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Gaufrid.

    I would say it was easy, except I for the fact couldn’t actually finish it. I don’t mind failing on ETUI as there is no possible way to deduce it if you din’t know the word already. I should have got DOUBLET though, a clever clue and I am still kicking myself.

  28. MikeC says:

    Thanks Gaufrid. A “classic” Rufus, in many ways – lots of witty, fairly straightforward clues; the odd twister; the occasional rather sub-cryptic. Lots to enjoy, in any case (etui?).

  29. Greyboy says:

    I can’t be doing with anagrams that treat the Spanish “enyay” (n with a tilde) as if it were the same letter as English n. Spanish has two distinct letters, one with the tilde, one without, and only the one without is equivalent to the English n.

    So online is not really an anagram of el nino. Unless you pronounce it “onliny”.

  30. RCWhiting says:

    Oh dear!
    I think Dave Tarn’s comments are not particularly valid but please don’t call posters idiots,please don’t try to ban or delete comments which you happen not to agree with.
    After all you wouldn’t want to justify anybody who might decide to call you arrogant, would you?

  31. Kjbsoton says:

    I can normally finish the Monday puzzle but failed this week – am loving this comment zone and am learning lots, etiquette of posting too! I love it !

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