Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,659 / Rufus

Posted by Eileen on June 11th, 2012


I’m a last-minute call-up from the bench today. Fortunately, not too challenging a blog to do in a hurry – not too many links to look up – but lots of nice clues to make this a pleasant solve, Thanks, Rufus!


5   CLERIC: anagram [magic] of CIRCLE: it’s a pity, for the sake of the clue, that it’s Araucaria and not Rufus who’s the cleric. 😉
6   TELLER: cryptic definition, depending on two meanings of ‘tell’
9   DEFEND: END [finish] following [behind] reversal [back] of FED [full]
10  RIDDANCE: anagram [rum] of AND CIDER: I thought this was very neat
11  PISA: reversal of A SIP [a drink] for this marked inclination
12  EGG BEATERS: anagram of BARGEE GETS – one of my favourite clues, for its cryptic definition and great surface
13  DEATH DUTIES: cryptic definition
18  TIN OPENERS: TIN [can] OPENERS [beginners] – another favourite, which made me smile
21  FEED: double definition: paid a fee and to supply cues for a comedian, for instance
22  SENT DOWN: anagram of DONS WENT – another excellent surface
23  PARCEL: anagram [for sorting] of R[right] PLACE
24  THREAD: double definition
25  INVENT: IN [trendy] + VENT [opening]


1   LEVERAGE: L [pound – money] + EVER [always] + AGE [time]
2   KINDLE: KIN [family] + anagram [out] of LED
3   DEAD CERT: cryptic definition
4   PLIANT: anagram [involved] of IT and PLAN: we seem to have a superfluous ‘a’ in the clue
5   CREDIT: double definition
7   RECORD: cryptic definition
8   TRAGEDIENNE: another great anagram [new parts] of IN GREAT NEED with another fine surface
14  TEETOTAL: TEE [what the driver – in golf – needs] before [above, in a down clue] TOTAL [all]: yet another great surface – and yet another Guardian typo – repetition of ‘needs’ in the clue [in both paper and online versions, I see]
15  ENFORCED: FORCE [might] in END [extremity]
16  DIRECT: double definition
17  DETEST: DE[n] [endless study] + TEST: another great surface, all too relevant for so many people just now!
19  OUTCRY: cryptic definition
20  SUPINE: US [‘setting up American’] + PINE [deal]

22 Responses to “Guardian 25,659 / Rufus”

  1. chas says:

    Thanks for the blog Eileen.
    It sounds as though the proper person went AWOL so you were hurriedly called in.
    I spotted a couple of typos in your blog: 21a you typed as 24 and SENT DOWN you omitted the O.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thank you chas – corrected.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Eileen
    Many thanks for standing in at very short notice.

  4. Robi says:

    Fairly straightforward Rufus puzzle.

    Thanks Eileen for stepping in. I toyed initially with DEAD meat for 3, but, on reflection, it wasn’t a very good answer.

    I liked the ‘marked inclination’ and the TRAGEDIENNE.

  5. liz says:

    Thanks for stepping in, Eileen. I’ve struggled a bit with recent Rufus puzzles, but I really enjoyed this one. Some really fantastic surfaces!
    Thanks Rufus.

  6. William says:

    Thank you, Eileen, what a trooper.

    I found 90% of this a breeze and then struggled. For some reason I took an eternity to find OUTCRY and CREDIT. Rufus’s double defs often defeat me.

  7. Gervase says:

    Thanks, Eileen!

    I drew a blank on 1dn, unaccountably (it’s a perfectly good clue), and without the final A for 11ac, PISA was a hopeless case! (I did the puzzle on the train and turned to the Times crossword when I got stuck – that fell out fairly easily).

    Many good clues, of course. The ‘superfluous a’ in 4dn is a common Rufusian feature; sometimes his indefinite articles are part of the charade or anagrist, and sometimes they just indicate that one copy of the following word needs to be incorporated.

    We seem to have had a lot of tragedians (of both sexes) in puzzles recently.

  8. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Rufus and well done, Eileen.

    A very pleasant start to the week’s puzzles.

    Robi @ 4, I thought about dead meat, too!

    Giovanna x

  9. tupu says:

    Many thanks Eileen and Rufus

    An enjoyable puzzle with good surfaces and clever anagrams as already noted. I ticked 11a, 12a, 22a, 1d, and 5d.

    I would have liked 22a even more if dons, as well as students, were sent down. Here their disciplinary matters are dealt with by a special committee called the Septemviri (Seven Men). They used to be called the Sex (sc six) Viri and the VC but some of their 1930s antics apparently gave the name an added twist and it was changed to something less ambiguous.

  10. tupu says:

    Re 9 above. Apologies for a rushed comment re septemviri. It was of course the antics of some of those who were arraigned before them that led to the ambiguity.

  11. Davy says:

    Thanks Eileen for stepping into the breach. I enjoyed this puzzle today and even finished it which is a rarity for Rufus
    as I often can’t see his cryptic definitions. It took me ages to see Magic Circle which I thought was clever. Last in was PISA
    which was certainly very misleading. I also liked RIDDANCE, LEVERAGE, TRAGEDIENNE and SUPINE. Thanks Rufus.

  12. nic@60 says:

    Thanks, Eileen, for the blog, and Rufus, for an enjoyable puzzle. I need someone to explain 20d to me, however; why does ‘pine’ = ‘deal’? I got the answer but couldn’t parse that bit of it. Thanks.

  13. Davy says:

    Re nic@60

    Deal = “pine wood” and is frequently used in crosswords.

  14. nic@60 says:

    Thanks, Davy. A new one for me which I will try to remember for future reference.

  15. Wolfie says:

    Nic@60 – I think that in American English the timber that is referred to in Britain as PINE is called DEAL.

    Nice crossword today from Rufus. I particularly liked EGG BEATERS.

    Thanks Eileen for the blog.

  16. Wolfie says:

    Davy – we crossed!

  17. Allan_C says:

    EGG BEATERS was the obvious answer to 12a but puzzled me till I saw the blog and realised it was a cryptic definition of things that whisk. I was thinking that it was a colloquial name for some elaborate style of facial hair (on the lines of “handlebar moustache”).

    And with EGG BEATERS and TIN OPENERS symmetically placed I wondered if a theme of kitchen tools was going to emerge, but obviously that was just coincidence.

  18. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all (especially the excellent sub.)
    Surfaces so smooth the whole thing slid of the table almost before I could write in the solutions.

  19. dinsdale says:

    The utensil which whisks is a whisk (not a whisker)

  20. Eileen says:

    Quite right, dinsdale – and this is cryptic crosswordland. 😉

  21. Thomas99 says:

    Rather late to comment but I thought both this and the Dante (prize) crossword in the FT were very good examples of Rufus – wonderful smooth surfaces elegantly linked to the wordplay, with the additional lateral challenge/entertainment of the CDs – which this time didn’t flummox me for too long…

  22. rompad says:

    your analysis missed an error in this Rufus.
    15 – the tense is incorrect and the clue should have read “…was avoidable”.

    There are also instances of extraneous words eg.
    5A – “in the”
    12 – “of”
    8 – “of”
    These words are not used in the parsing of the clues, and are included just to make the whole clue read better. This is sloppy setting and needs to be indicated as so in your post.

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