Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic 25611 Rufus

Posted by scchua on April 16th, 2012


A typical Rufus, compactly clued with double and cryptic definitions mostly.  I reckon there were fewer anagrams (which type of clue I find relatively easier), which is probably why I took a bit longer than usual.  Thanks Rufus.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  The pictures at the bottom each has an unidentified link to the crossword (and there is a common thread amongst the links).


5 Box, one dispatched in error by the French (6)

CARTON :  Cryptic defn: Reference to Sydney Carton, who, in Charles Dickens’s A Tale Of Two Cities, tricks the French into executing,dispatching him instead of aristocrat Charles Darnay, whom he strongly resembles.  “It is a far, far better thing ….”

6 Obtain pass (4,2)

COME BY :  Double defn: 1st: As in “how did you come by/obtain those tickets?”; and 2nd:  As when you’re in a passageway, and you tell someone to “come by me” or to pass.

9 Not available to take employment — a symptom of illness (6)

NAUSEA :  NA(abbrev. for “Not Available”, usually found in forms) plus(to take) USE(employment) + A.

10 Breathing spaces? (8)

NOSTRILS :  Cryptic defn:  Those spaces you breath into.

11 Trip lasting some months in the US (4)

FALL :  Cryptic defn:  Reference to autumn, which season in the US is called “fall”.

12 Where educational forms are filled? (10)

SCHOOLROOM :  Cryptic defn:  Where you will find educational forms, ie. classes.

13 Jobbers in bonds (11)

BRICKLAYERS :  Cryptic defn:  Reference to those whose jobs are to create bonds between bricks.  Not to be confused with those who buy and sell bonds in the financial markets, though one may end up being the other, and vice versa.

18 Wardrobe equipment supplied at no charge, maybe (4,6)

COAT HANGERAnagram of(maybe) AT NO CHARGE.

21 I’m a Muslim leader — yes, a Muslim leader (4)

IMAMIM + A + M(initial letter,leader of “Muslim”).  I thought the first part of the clue by itself would have made the perfect &lit.

22 Army call-up (8)

REVEILLE :  Cryptic defn:  The signal, usually by a bugler, to wake up military personnel in the mornings.

23 Frank‘s address (6)

DIRECT :  Double defn:  1st: Straightforward,plainspeaking; and 2nd: Verb, as in to “direct/address my comments to ….”.

24 Island boatman (6)

HARRIS :  Double defn: 1st: An island in the Outer Hebrides – though it’s not really an island, just part of a bigger one; and 2nd: This reference eluded me…right until I was about the press the “publish” button.  It is, of course, one of the men in Jerome K. Jerome’s book, “Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog)”. 

25 One in factory making plastic (6)

PLIANT :  I(Roman numeral for “one”) contained in(in) PLANT(factory,works).


1 He may struggle to break a lock (8)

WRESTLER :  Cryptic defn:  Reference to the sport(?) of wrestling, where a lock is a hold securing a part of your body.

2 Mess in which doctor goes to artist on ship (6)

MORASS :  MO(abbrev. for medical officer,doctor) plus(goes to) RA(Royal Academician,artist) placed above(on, in a down clue) SS(steamship)

3 Slave that’s found in the pets’ cemetery? (8)

DOGSBODY :  Cryptic defn:  One would find a dog’s body buried in the pets’ cemetery.

4 Fear to make the initial mistake (6)

TERROR :  T(initial letter of “the”) + ERROR(mistake)

5 Tax put on new car stock (6)

CRAVAT :  VAT(abbrev. for Value Added Tax), then placed above it(put on, in a down clue) anagram of(new) CAR

Defn:  A collar or neckcloth fitting like a band round the neck.

7 Hue and cry at the town centre (6)

YELLOW :  YELL(cry) plus(at) OW(inner letters,centre of “town”).  Liked the misdirecting split of the phrase “hue and cry”, in which “hue” relates to sound rather than colour.

8 Theologians assembled for choice literary gatherings (11)


Answer:  Selected literary pieces collected,gathered together.

14 Padre takes tea without any milk or sugar? (8)

CHAPLAIN :  CHA(tea) + PLAIN(with no addition of,without any milk or sugar)

15 Force both sides into a radio broadcast (8)

RAILROAD :  L and R(left and right,both sides) contained in(into) anagram of(broadcast) [A RADIO]. 

Defn. and Answer: As verbs.

16 Tease about record of Mary’s husband (6)

JOSEPH :  JOSH(to tease) containing(about) EP(abbrev. for extended play, a record disc, played at 45rpm, with a longer playing time than the standard single).

17 Not sound advice, when this tap gets stuck! (6)

FAUCETHomophone of(sound) “force it”, which is not sound advice when trying to get a tap unstuck

Answer:  What a  tap is called in North America   It’s definitely a WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue. 

19 He interrupts politician, showing presumption (6)

THEORYHE contained in(interrupts) TORY(politician belonging to the Conservative Party).

20 Its entertainment value is questionable (6)

RIDDLE :  Cryptic defn:  A question whose answer is amusing,entertaining.



21 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic 25611 Rufus”

  1. tupu says:

    Thanks scchua and Rufus

    Entertaining and slightly harder than usual for a Rufus perhaps partly because of the grid. Fewer anagrams but I rather liked ‘anthologies’. I had to check ‘stock’ though we have had it recently in this sense, and also ‘bond’ as a technical bricklaying term – Collins gives ‘any of various arrangements of bricks or stones in a wall in which they overlap so as to provide strength’.

    I ticked 7d and 14d as well as 8d.

    My feeling was that Rufus warns his critics here that he could be very difficult indeed if he wished, even though he still keeps his claws playfully sheathed.

  2. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks for an excellent blog, scchua, and to Rufus for a greater than expected challenge today.

    At 12ac. you may not know that school benches are sometimes called “forms”, hence the cd.

    The literary references eluded me, as did, therefore, the explanations of 5 and 24 ac – and I thoroughly enjoyed reading both!

  3. apple granny says:

    We completed this over breakfast (and before you had posted your excellent blog scchua), but we had not fully explained a couple of them (1d and 13a) Thanks for clearing them up. I loved 3d (dogsbody) and the two literary references. I agree with Stella that “form” = “school bench”

    Please – can you help me understand the six portraits? I am hopeless with face recognition.

  4. William says:

    Thanks scchua for the excellent blog – as you say, all reasonably straightforward. I tend to agree with Stella2 – one gets the feeling that Rufus can select his degree of difficulty. Another who can do this is Everyman. We tackle his weekly offering and generally knock it off in 20 minutes over Sunday lunch, but his prize crosswords can be very tricky.

    To the photos…I have the following to offer:

    Jim Carrey

  5. William says:

    Sorry, wrong button…

    Jim Carrey – but I can’t link him to the crossword.
    Dirk Bogarde – who famously played Sidney CARTON
    Donny Osmond – who played JOSEPH in the the Dream Coat thing.
    Grank Gorshin – who played the RIDDLEr
    William Christopher – who played the army CHAPLAIN in M*A*S*H

    Does Toronto have any connection perhaps?

  6. William says:

    I meant Frank Gorshin, of course – can’t trype.

  7. CrumlinT says:

    Tony Robinson – Blackadder’s Dogsbody

  8. Robi says:

    Thanks Rufus for a good start to the week.

    Thanks also to scchua for the usual excellent blog and quiz. I lacked the knowledge to parse CARTON and HARRIS. I particularly liked YELLOW and FAUCET.

    Jim Carrey also played the RIDDLEr. Still trying to work out the common thread, though.

  9. gm4hqf says:

    Thanks scchua and Rufus for tricky puzzle. Living in Scotland I did enter Harris but couldn’t see the connection with a boat.

    On a different tack. Anyone having problems with the Guardian crossword site? I like to download the puzzle and attempt it in the comfort of an armchair. Lately I have been unable to download the printable version so had to download and print the PDF version. Today there is no sign of a PDF version being available so I had to resort to another method of printing the puzzle.

    Perhaps it is some sort of problem with my computer but I don’t think so. Be interested if anyone else is having this problem.



  10. chas says:

    Thanks to scchua for the blog. I had forgotten 3 men in a boat so I was unable to explain HARRIS fully.

    In 5d my reading of ‘on’ for a down clue is that the VAT goes on top of CAR anagram – so this tells me that Rufus has put the parts of the clue in the wrong order. Compare with 2d where ‘on a ship’ exactly says put SS at the bottom.

    On the pictures: I recognised Dirk Bogarde but none of the others :(

  11. Robi says:

    chas @10; I thought similarly at first about 5d, but I think it is the instruction ‘put on’ that makes it OK.

    I’m struggling a bit with the connecting thread – the nearest I can get is ‘doctor:’

    Bogarde in the Doctor Films
    Carrey offered the role of Doctor Who
    Robinson in ‘Doctor in charge’
    Christopher played a military doctor in ‘Good Times’
    Gorshin in ‘Dr. Vegas’

    ……. leaving Donny Osmond, who appeared recently on the Dr. Phil talkshow

    Doesn’t seem very likely.

  12. Miche says:

    Thank you, scchua.

    I found this tougher than usual for a Monday, and all the better for it. 8a made me laugh out loud when the centime finally dropped. I did think the repitition in 21a weakened the clue.
    HARRIS was my last in, a real “d’oh!” moment since the Three Men books are old favourites. Beautifully concise (the clue, I mean).

    William @5 has done most of the work on the pictures: Carrey played Andy Kaufman, comedian and WRESTLER, in Man on the Moon; Bogarde played CARTON; Osmonde played JOSEPH; Tony Robinson played the DOGSBODY Baldrick; Christopher (good spot!) played a CHAPLAIN; Gorshin played the RIDDLEr.

  13. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Question:How many pieces of equipment do you have in your wardrobe?

  14. Matt says:


    answer: Lots.(all coat hangers, mind)

  15. Derek Lazenby says:

    Dave @9, I usually just do it online so I wouldn’t normally notice, so I checked anyway and I have both the Print and PDF links, both of which seemed to work. That doesn’t prove anything as an earlier problem could have been corrected by the time I was looking.

    Too many cds for me, not to mention that damn grid yet again. He really is getting obsessed with it.

  16. Robi says:

    RCW @13; of course, wardrobe can mean clothes, and equipment gear or outfit, so loads……

  17. andy smith says:

    gm4qf@9 – there was a post frpm Guardian support staff this morning at 10:10 on the G thread, apologising for the absence of the PDF (and confirming that the problem had been fixed).

  18. scchua says:

    Thanks for all your comments, especially tupu and Stella for bettering my explanations of 12A and 13A.

    Well done to William, CrumlinT, Robi and Miche (who found another link I wasn’t thinking of) who got the quiz answers. And Robi, the common thread amongst the links is simply that they’re all actors who played roles found, in name or description, in answers to the crossword (allowing for the “r” in “riddler”); didn’t mean to mislead.

    gm4hqf#9, I too have occasionally found that the pdf version is not posted initially in the morning, especially on Mondays. But the Guardian people are quite prompt in rectifying it, so that it’s there when I look again later in the day.

  19. RCWhiting says:

    Wardrobe equipment (4,6) instantly means just one thing to me – coat hanger.
    It is a classic example of why I object to these type of cryptics. Thet often contain some clever cryptic material which is sadly wasted when the definition is too obvious.
    How about ‘suit support too’.

  20. Robi says:

    Thanks scchua; I thought the thread was more devious than that.

  21. Rishi says:

    When I was in school in a decade immediately after India became independent, we had only ‘forms’. Thus, I studied from Form I to Form VI.
    That term is no longer used in our country. Present-day pupils would not know the particular sense of the word.
    Is it that persons in a free country hate any kind of ‘form’? I don’t know!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

six − 5 =