Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,653 / Rufus

Posted by Eileen on June 4th, 2012


Rather a mixed bag from Rufus today; some of the cryptic definitions are not very cryptic but, apart from that, there are some neat clues, with good story-telling surfaces.

Happy Bank Holiday, everyone!  :-)


1   RED TAPE: cryptic definition
5   KINGDOM: double definition, referring to the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel
10  CARP: CAR [vehicle] + P [parking]
11  ANEMOMETER: cryptic definition
12  BIRDIE: BID [offer] round R [right] + IE [id est, that is]: a birdie is a score of one stroke under par in golf
13  TIDINESS [anagram [order] of INSISTED
14  INAUGURAL: double definition – but a case of what Uncle Yap would call ‘water from the same well’, I think
16  REBEL: cryptic definition
17  AEGIS: A + EG [brief ‘for example] + IS: this took a minute or two, as the crossing letters were not very helpful, but, in fact, the wordplay is just as it says on the tin
19  QUOTATION: double / cryptic definition
23  SHANGHAI: double / cryptic definition
24  LAVISH: sLAVISH [subject to] minus S [pointlessly]
26  ENGAGEMENT: double definition
27  RARE: double definition
28  BEAKERS: double definition
29  BYGONES: reference to the saying, ‘Let bygones be bygones’


2   ELATION: anagram [wags] of TAIL ONE – nice surface
3   TAPED: double definition
4   PLATEAU: anagram [brewed] of PAUL with TEA inside: lovely surface and my favourite clue, I think
6   ISOLDE: IE [that is – again] round SOLD [liquidated]: I don’t see the need for the first ‘to be’
7   GREEN BELT: cryptic definition, referring to urban spread
8   OVERSEE: OVER SEE, a see being a diocese
9   WEST HAM UNITED: anagram [being constructed] of THE NEW STADIUM: this is one of those that are so clever you think they must have been done before but I don’t remember seeing it.
15  UNION JACK: UNION [wedding] JACK [Jill’s partner]: here’s Rufus duly flying the flag – which, for overseas readers, bears the crosses of St George, St Andrew and St Patrick.
18  ENHANCE: E N [two points] plus an anagram [possibly] of HE CAN – nice surface
20  TOLSTOY: TOY [amusing article] around anagram [about] of LOTS
21  OBSERVE: OB [old boy – former pupil] + SERVE [wait]
22  OH DEAR: anagram [on the rampage] of A HORDE
25  VIRGO: R [resistance] in VIGO [Spanish port]

38 Responses to “Guardian 25,653 / Rufus”

  1. Bryan says:

    Very many thanks Eileen & Rufus.

    Over the weekend, I read that HM The Queen does the Guardian Xword so, maybe, she also checks in here?

    I therefore wonder what name she uses and also if we shall soon have a Sir Gaufrid in our midst?

  2. KeithW says:

    Thankyou Eileen and Rufus. I thought the two instances of binding/bound leading to tape/taped (1a, 3d) a bit lazy.

  3. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Eileen.

    re. WEST HAM UNITED = The new stadium, see no. 24,782, where Paul & Enigmatist used it in their tribute crossword to Albie Fiore the late setter Taupi.

  4. Eileen says:

    Many thanks for that, Neil. I should have looked it up.

    I remember that lovely tribute puzzle but it’s hard to believe that it’s nearly three years since the much-loved Taupi died.

  5. apiarist says:

    Sorry, but all I can say is 21d !

  6. Robi says:

    Happy Bank Holiday and thanks to Rufus.

    Thanks Eileen; I needed your help to parse AEGIS; I didn’t see the writing on the tin! :( I also liked PLATEAU.

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Rufus

    A happy bank holiday to you too (and others)

    A mixed bag as said. Some nice cluing e.g. 23a, 29a and 21d, but the two crossing tapes were disappointing. I did not remember anemometer (a general knowledge clue ultimately) and had to hunt it out by guesswork and trial and error after realisng it ended in ‘meter’ – I had forgotten that Latin animus and Greek anemos were so close.

  8. orange says:

    Thanks Eileen.

    As a West Ham supporter, I notice every time they appear in a crossword! This one is particularly appropriate as they want the new (Olympic) Stadium in Stratford after the Games.

    Not so keen on so many dd answers – inaugural got me

  9. Toffee says:

    Hi (again) – Daniel Miller here

    This was far too easy. Daily Express level today

  10. EB says:

    Thanks Eileen & Rufus

    9d – was included in Everyman’s puzzle of 8th April where it was clued:

    “The new stadium built for a London football club (4,3,6)”

  11. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Some good clues – like PLATEAU and ANEMOMETER; some obvious clues – like KINGDOM and RARE; and some less good clues – like INAUGURAL and REBEL, where two Es as crossing letters out of five letters altogether weren’t a fat lot of good for a cd.

    Thanks to Rufus and Eileen.

  12. Richard says:

    @Toffee: too easy for whom, exactly? I’ve been doing Rufus puzzles for over 10 years and I still couldn’t solve more than half of these clues.

  13. nic@60 says:

    I agree with Richard @12. Some of us find quite hard what others seem to polish off in mere minutes! The joy of the Guardian crosswords is that there is something for everyone, and we can improve through practice, and through the use of this blog. So thanks to all who explain the crossword to us and to all contributors.

  14. nic@60 says:

    And of course to all the setters, I should have said!!

  15. chas says:

    Thanks to Eileen for the blog. I do know Brunel’s full name but failed to think of it on this occasion. Consequently I was left wondering why was KINGDOM the answer :(

    I also was distinctly underwhelmed by TAPE/TAPED. I therefore delayed putting in TAPED until nothing else would fit.

    As for Bank Holidays: now that I am retired bank holidays mean so much less than they used to. Sigh!

  16. Col says:

    Last in for me was 12a… largely on account of me writing in plataeu. Doh!

  17. Allan_C says:

    If I remember correctly the West Ham device has also been used elsewhere; possibly it was by a Guardian setter’s alter ego. Probably why I got is straightaway.

  18. Trailman says:

    Any cryptic that clues the mighty WHU is alright with me. Struggled with INAUGURAL but then I don’t always find it easy to get on Rufus’s dd wavelength. Enjoyed PLATEAU the most I think.

  19. Eileen says:

    Allan_C @18

    See comments 3 and 10

    Nice to see you back, Trailman. I left you a comment on the Brummie.

  20. Eileen says:

    Apologies – Allan_C @17. 😉

  21. Trailman says:

    Thanks Eileen, saw it late last night, I was a Peter

  22. NeilW says:

    AllanC @17, if you use the site’s search engine, I dare say you’ll find a few other instances on other blogs but since Eileen (I think, apologies if I’m wrong) and I only tend to contribute to the Guardian blogs, I restricted my search to the last instance seen in this newspaper’s puzzles. (Pretty silly really, since Rufus pops up in various guises all over the place. :))

  23. Eileen says:

    Hi NeilW

    I blog only for the Guardian but I do solve other puzzles and comment on them from time to time.

    Rufus is not the only one who pops up in different guises. Favourite Guardian setters like [alphabetically!] Araucaria, Crucible, Enigmatist, Paul, [and I’ve probably missed one or two obvious ones] can also be found elsewhere [see the Who’s Who on Michael Curl’s [Orlando’s] excellent website ] and if you haven’t tried Anax [who I dearly wish could gain a slot here!] in the Independent / Loroso in the FT or Klingsor [Independent] / Alberich [FT] you’re missing some real delights!

    I don’t always do Everyman, so missed WEST HAM UNITED there. [But I really should have remembered it in the Taupi puzzle.]

    Incidentally, I hope there’s no suspicion of plagiarism here. Anax talked on his website of good clues being discovered, rather than invented, and there’s no reason why top setters shouldn’t come up with practically identical clues. It’s happened recently. on the same day, but, inevitably, I csn’t remember the instance!

  24. NeilW says:

    Hi, Eileen. Uncle Yap asked me recently in a private email which other crosswords I solve. (He seems to do about five a day and regularly blogs the Times elsewhere!) I replied that, sadly, I only have time for this one which, very honestly, is mostly because I find it the most accessible online although also the, most of the time, most inventive. The Indy is just as good but the website I find a little clunky. (I do find time at the weekend for Cyclops though! :)) Oh dear, straying off topic, so I’ll shut up now…

  25. Eileen says:

    Hi Neil – and others

    I do realise, being retired, that others have work to do and don’t have the time for crosswords that I do! But – if you do find some spare minutes, try dipping your foot in some of the suggested waters.

    Huge apologies to those setters I inexplicably omitted – I knew it was rash to dash off a comment off the top of my head! Arachne – one of my very top favourites – [Independent Anarche] – I’ll excuse myself on the grounds that Anarche is a fairly recent – very welcome! – appearance in the Indy , but I just think of her as Arachne]; Orlando himself – how could I have done that, after mentioning his website?; Pasquale, the Don, in numerous guises; and my old friend Shed [Dogberry in the FT] – I wish we saw more of both of you!

  26. NeilW says:

    The funny thing is (here I go dodging Gaufrid again) that, with the time difference, I have more time to add a few comments late in my day than solve puzzles. Sad, I know. :)

  27. Rufus says:

    Thank you Eileen for your usual excellent blog.
    Regarding the anagram of West Ham United. The anagram was on a list of anagrams given to me by Bert Danher in or about 1986 when the Inde first appeared with Bert as our crossword editor. Solvers are likely to remember Bert – pseudonym Hendra (anagram of his surname)- as he was best known for his fantastic anagrams.
    He gave the same list to other Inde setters, Ken Guy for one, saying he had used them and that we could use them – with different clues – as long as they didn’t appear in the Inde. I used the anagram in the Herald a year or two later, and since then in the Telegraph (10 years ago?) before using it in today’s Guardian – all with slightly different clues. I didn’t know about the recent use by other setters.

  28. NeilW says:

    Dear, very dear, Rufus

    As Eileen said @23, no one had any intention of a suggestion of plagiarism. It was just academic interest. I am so sorry if you thought anyone, myself included, was implying otherwise.

  29. NeilW says:

    were, even, since the subjunctive seems particularly apposite.

  30. Eileen says:

    Hi Rufus – lovely to hear from you! X

    I’m so glad to get this cleared up – and thanks for another lovely puzzle. ;-)]

  31. Derek Lazenby says:

    After three days tedium, selling tickets on one our smaller preserved railways, this level was about all my brain was fit for. So ta for that.

  32. Captain Haddock says:

    Sorry – probably being thick, but I don’t get 23ac. Can someone explain why this is a double definition?

  33. Allan_C says:

    Captain Haddock @32: Shanghai is not only the name of a city in China but is also a verb meaning to get a man drunk and insensible so as to get him on board a ship in need of crew. Apparently, according to Brewer, from the phrase “ship him to Shanghai” (or anywhere far away). Thus shanghai-ing someone was a form of impressment or forced service.

  34. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Surely another nice cryptic from Rufus.
    Some real pluses (12ac, 15d), one or two eyebrows raised like, for example, in 6d (ISOLDE).

    The first time I saw WEST HAM UNITED/THE NEW STADIUM was in that moving crossword by Paul & Enigmatist. So, when it turned up in an Everyman recently, I thought ‘what is this?’. And today it was an easy write-in.
    Rufus himself made it all clear, so complaints from this poster.

    I just had to think of a clue that I wrote some four years ago in my first ever British crossword, dedicated to my beloved PinC. It contained the Britney Spears/Presbyterians anagram. And yes, boys and girls, I really discovered it myself. Only to find out (on TV, ‘How to solve a cryptic crossword’ ) that it was already a classic. The same with Eric Clapton/narcoleptic. These things happen. But it still can give you a kick, even if you are not the first to come up with it.

    A similar thing happened a couple of years ago. Next to my computer lies a little note pad in which I write any ideas coming up spontaneously. One of them was ‘nothing like’~’the lion king’ [that’s how I do it, using ~ when I see an anagram]. But there you are, Paul used it in one of his puzzles and we all were gushing about it, at the time. Rightly so.
    That’s just how it goes.

    And remember, some anagrams are less spectacular than others. We all know that ‘desserts’ can be ‘stressed’ (even just in reverse) and some anagrams are used day after day, but while WEST HAM UNITED is spectacular one must also realise that football clubs are targeted for being an anagram, just like famous people like Britney and Clapton. I myself have tried quite a few of them, and possibly I am not the only one.

    Coming up with an anagram that no one has ever done before is something of an achievement, but I think especially Anax and Arachne are very good at that.

    And I will never forget IO’s (ie the Guardian’s Enigmatist) anagram for ‘Annie get you gun': a combination of the antipodes ‘genuine’ and ‘nugatory’.
    Just brilliant.

  35. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Rufus himself made it all clear, so NO complaints from this poster.

  36. Rufus says:

    Corresponding with other setters, the first use of the anagram of Britney Spears came up.
    In 1999 Don Manley suggested I set some puzzles for the Church Times and my first appeared on February 2000.
    I used the solution PRESBYTERIANS in a puzzle that appeared in January 2001 incorporating the anagram “BEST IN PRAYERS”.
    Working on another later Church Times puzzle, the same solution fitted, and I tried to find a different clue. Using the CC Antony Lewis program, BRITNEY SPARES came up, and I immediately realised the possibilies. The puzzle with this clue was published in the Church Times on January 25th 2002. Later in the same year I used it in the Telegraph, when the reader’s letter page ran several comments.
    A year or two ago, I saw several different setters’ names on-line quoted as being the first to use it. I corresponded with them, and asked when they first used it. Paul, for instance, said the anagram came up in conversation in his office and he used it in the Guardian. He freely admitted it was after January 2002.
    I am sure someone would find this anagram sooner or later but, unless it was used before this date, I should like to think I was still the first!

  37. Innocent Abroad says:

    Didn’t get 14A (definition rather weak IMHO), 17A (I think of an Aegis as a wing or a protection – actually it’s a wonderfully misleading clue) and 18D (because I thought the points ought to be first and last – even though the clue is perfectly clear that they come first! I do that sort of thing all the time). Kept looking for a “continuous letters” to no avail…

  38. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Rufus and Eileen

    I did find this one a little tougher going than the normal Rufus with GREEN BELT being last in. Thought that there must have been a misprint with 5A and that it was supposed to be Brunei (a sovereign state in SE Asia) – had not heard of the engineer Brunel and was too lazy to look :(.

    Thought that 4d, 7d and 15a were all clever.

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