Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,623 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on April 30th, 2012


Perhaps not as many cryptic definitions as usual from Rufus today, but lots of double definitions, and quite a few easy anagrams that helped me to get the grid started. 22ac is perhaps slightly obscure, but apart from that this is all nicely straightforward.

1. FLAGSTAFF FLAG (signal) + STAFF (employees)
6. ORBS FOR BEARS less the letters of FEAR
8. EXCHANGE EX (out of) + CHANGE (money)
9. NUDIST Anagram of IT SOUNDS less SO
10. OSPREY OS (outsize = very large) + PREY
11. AUTONOMY ON (with) in AUTO + MY
12. NASSAU (SUSAN A)* for the capital of the Bahamas
16. PRICE WAR Cryptic definition
21. UPLIFTED Double definition
22. WAPITI Reverse of IT I PAW. The Wapiti is the American elk
24. TINKER Cryptic definition – tinkers are itinerant (“went round”) and might mend holes in pots and pans
25. EXECUTED Double definition
26. ADEN Hidden in dreAD ENtering
1. FIXES Double definition
2. ADHERES HERE (this place) in ADS (public notices)
3. SANDY Double definition
7. BASE METAL (TEAMS ABLE)*, with “lead” meaning the metal, which alchemists hoped to turn to gold.
14. UNWATERED Double definition – neat as in how one might take whisky
17. CHICKEN Double definition – chicken = cowardly = yellow
18. REDRESS Double definition
20. CAPTURE APT (suitable) in CURE (remedy)
22. WHELP W[ith] HELP
23. THEIR An anagram or “conjunction” or HER + IT

32 Responses to “Guardian 25,623 – Rufus”

  1. flashling says:

    Not really sure why Rufus is said to be all that easy, I find Double Defs tricky and there are a lot here. Having said that I finished quite quickly. just me or was 13d the wrong way round or is that just Rufus’s style?

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Andrew, still the fastest blogger in the West, I see …

    Just about right for me on a Monday morning, this one. I liked UNWATERED and PRICE WAR, but couldn’t quite see TINKER until you explained it. Pleased to get WAPITI from the wordplay and then confirm.

    Thanks to Rufus for a pleasing start to the week.

  3. balachthon says:

    Although it was my first reading as well, I didn’t find “with = ON” very satisfying in 11ac, so after some thought I got another parsing: AUTO (car) + NO (ON, reversed [going, round]) + MY.

  4. William says:

    Thank you Andrew.

    What an accomplished cluesmith Rufus is. I find I can usually get there but my first parsing of one of his clues is rarely the correct one.

    I agree with balachthon @3 re 11a. ‘Goin round’ = ON backwards = NO. I’m pretty sure this is what you meant.

    I liked PRICE WAR and TINKER best, although CAPTURE was a great example of Rufus’s smooth clueing.

    Nice start to the week, thank you.

  5. William says:

    Flashling @1 fair comment but I think it works. ATROPHIED is the emaciated ‘form’ of APHRODITE.

  6. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew asnd Rufus

    I agree with balachthon re 11a.

    It took me a little time to get going with this – I felt a bit rusty having had no Rufus last week!

    Enjoyable puzzle. I especially liked ‘tinker’ (my COD)and also ticked 6a and 9a though they have similar mechanisms to each other. I first thought 6a might be cubs!

  7. William says:

    Tupu @6 CUBS was my first entry! Made ORDINAL jolly tricky for a while.

  8. tupu says:

    Hi William

    Thanks. Apart from that, I think bears often kill others’ cubs so it could be a dangerous strategy!

  9. PeterJohnN says:

    As has been said before, I would like to see the definition highlighted. For instance, the definition for 5d FANATICAL is “Extremist is”.

  10. PeterJohnN says:

    Re 25a EXECUTED, this is not a normal dd because they overlap. A better clue might have been “Done (to death?)”

  11. Stella Heath says:

    Thanks Andrew. Rufus is certainly a master of precise cluing, which is why I was surprised to find a quibble at 23d – THEIR is not a pronoun, but a possessive adjective :(

    Pity, at the end of a very enjoyable puzzle

  12. PeterJohnN says:

    According to Chambers, THEIR is a pronoun!

  13. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    PeterJohnN @9, what’s wrong with extremist as an adjective, as in “extremist views?”

  14. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I would label “their” as a possessive pronoun: “the boys’ bikes” becomes “their bikes”, so the noun “boys” has been substituted by a pronoun.

  15. Robi says:

    Enjoyable puzzle; I particularly liked CAPTURE and NUDIST.

    Thanks Andrew; I hadn’t heard of WAPITI before.

  16. chas says:

    Thanks to Andrew for the blog. I needed you to remind me of another meaning of neat: I remembered ‘tidy’ and the sort of neat encountered in neatherd (only ever seen in crosswords) but I had forgotten the drink meaning. Perhaps this is because I never take my whisky neat :)

    I also felt that the word order in 13d was wrong.

  17. Paul B says:

    ‘Done to death?’ is more of a d&cd to my way of thinking, since the ‘to’ otherwise makes little grammatical sense. But hey! The grids are getting better! This one’s cut in half, rather than the usual quarters.

  18. John E says:

    Why ‘by the board’ in 27ac?

  19. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Popped over to clinic for a blood test and finished this disappointing effort while waiting.
    Well, not quite. We had a massive misdirection on a Monday!
    N-D-S- ,in the pink, well that’s settled, but how does this homophone work.Is this another example of a posh boy who pronounces words quite unlike I do? NEW DISSED? Help!
    Then I spotted that anagram material in ‘sounds’ and I had parsed a quite brilliant clue. Pity about the others.

  20. Ape says:

    John E@18

    To go “by the board” means to fall out of use.

    How about APPRAISED as an alternative answer to 27ac? It’s also an anagram of PAPER SAID and could mean “said to go by the board” as in, the board evaluated it.

  21. Miche says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    I hadn’t thought of SANDY as a particularly Scottish name. Ah, well. He’ll be company for Ian and Tam.

  22. PeterJohnN says:

    I’ve just returned to my PC after along break. NeilW @ 13, you are quite right, extremist could be taken as either an adjective or a noun.

  23. John E says:

    Ape@20. Thank you for your comment. I think your alternative answer is a rather better clue for the anagram in question, having been slightly puzzled by the Rufus clue because the modern idiomatic sense of ‘go by the board’ seems so much weaker than the original nautical meaning.

  24. Headteacher says:

    My usual Rufus Mobday comment. Nuff said

  25. morpheus says:

    Anyone else put elevated for 21a? Got us stuck for quite a while.

  26. RCWhiting says:

    Please let us know when the ‘flashmob’ is to take place, and where.

  27. Gervase says:

    If anyone is still there…

    Thanks, Andrew.

    I felt there were rather more anagrams than usual in this Rufus, which I enjoyed (ambiguity deliberate).

    I’m with Stella @11 on THEIR. It is not a pronoun! The corresponding possessive pronoun is ‘theirs’ – which CAN stand for a noun. Neither is it really an adjective. The proper description of the word is a possessive determiner. Determiners are words which define the accompanying noun, viz. the definite article, demonstratives (this, that etc) and possessives. Only one can be used at a time in English. In some other languages, the possessives are much more like true adjectives, e.g. in Italian, where a definite article is required as well: ‘my book’ is ‘il mio libro’ (literally ‘the my book’), so ‘un mio libro – ‘one of my books’ and ‘questo mio libro’ – ‘this book of mine’ are also possible.

  28. Paul B says:

    Correct, Rufus makes an error at 23, but is FLAGSTAFF now a verb?

    I am still here, watching Silent Witness, on the i-Player, which babbles on about exorcism. Bloody lapsed left-footed script-writers: can’t we have one about football? Or one with ANY good storyline? Gaah. Doctor Who as well. Ruined.

    There are nine full anagrams, no partials, in this puzzle. I would agree that this does seem rather a lot.

  29. aztobesed says:

    Gervase @27

    Yep, someone is still here. Determinatives rather than demonstratives? ‘We’ are after all a stress language. Aren’t they 18thC rules? Belonging to languages which didn’t rely on (vocabulary) stress to impart their meaning? Khufu might have had his problems and needed determinatives to define his daughters but do we? Isn’t that why English is the choice of text lingo? Write as you speak, speak as you write? Personally, I love determinatives – very interesting and often elegant, but they would have made the tube-maps even more confusing.

  30. tupu says:

    Hesitatingly not convinced by Gervase et al re ‘Their’. In the phrase ‘tupu’s hesitation’, ‘tupu’s’ functions as a genitive form of tupu, and words like his, my, their stand for nouns in such roles. The fact that they can also stand alone as pronouns – ‘it is his, theirs, mine etc’ – does not seem at least superficially to exclude their other pronominal function. The term ‘possessive determiner’ in itself does not remove the value of distinguishing between nominal and pronominal examples of such words.

  31. Rufus says:

    Thanks for comments.
    My submitted clue for EXECUTED was “Done – to death?”.

    As mentioned by PeterJohnN at 12, THEIR is in Chambers with the first definition: “pronoun (genitive plural)”.

  32. mikewglospur says:

    A bit late, but as I recently commented, I like to stick with a puzzle until I get it done.

    Dare I say that I think Chambers is WRONG?
    Or will I be struck down for this?

    The function of “their” is never as a pronoun.
    It is always a (possessive) adjective.
    “Theirs” is the pronoun form.
    That’s what I taught for many years, too.

    But I’m also unhappy about all this “possessive determiner” mumbo-jumbo.
    So I agree only partially with Gervase @ 27.

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>

four − 4 =