Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,689 – Rufus

Posted by manehi on July 16th, 2012


Fairly standard for a Monday Rufus, albeit with a few slightly disappointing cryptic defs today.

1 JACKASS =”Fool” JACK=”sailor” + A + SS [steamship]
5 KNUCKLE cryptic def referring to knuckledusters [wiki]
10 SPAR =”fight” reversal of RAPS=”hits”
11 OVERCHARGE =”Rook” OVER=”accomplished” + CHARGE=”attack”
12 RAVAGE =”Plunder” (a grave)*
13 LEAP YEAR traditionally, a time for women to propose LEAP=”Spring” + YEAR=”time”
14 ADMISSION =”right of entry” AD=”Commercial” + MISSION=”delegation”
16 ADULT the converse (opposite) of “infantile”
17 AGILE =”nimble” AGE=”time” around I:L=”1:50″ [roman numerals]
19 OWNERSHIP “title” (pro he wins)*
23 CANOODLE something one may do when courting C=”many” [100 in roman numerals] + A + NOODLE=”simpleton”
24 PERISH =”Die” PER=”through” + (his)*
26 BITTER BLOW =”great disappointment” BITTER=”Cold” + BLOW=”Buffet”
27 TELL =”to work as a bank clerk” and William Tell “refused to accept tyranny” [wiki]
28 GRENADE cryptic[?] def
29 ARMOURY =”weapons” ARMY=”Soldiers” taking in OUR
2 APPLAUD =”praise” A + P[age] + P[age] + LAUD=”praise”
3 KARMA =”destiny” sounds like “calmer”=”more relaxed”
4 STOKERS cryptic def
6 NECTAR cryptic def referring to the drink of the Greek gods of Olympus
7 CHARYBDIS =”it was dangerous for old sailors” [wiki] CHARY=”Cautious” + (bids)*
8 LUGSAIL [wiki] =”helps speed the sailor” LUG=”Haul” + SAIL=”canvas”
9 MEALS ON WHEELS cryptic def
15 ILL-GOTTEN cryptic def
18 GLACIER cryptic def “flower” in the sense that it is a [slowly] flowing body of ice
20 EMPOWER “Give authority to” rev(M[iddle] E[ast]) + POWER=”nation”
21 INSULAR =of an island, or “away from the mainland” (run sail)*
22 ADORED =”regarded with love” ADO=”Fuss” + RE=”about” + D[aughter]
25 RATIO =”relationship” (a trio)*

40 Responses to “Guardian 25,689 – Rufus”

  1. Frank says:

    Thanks, manehi

    The question mark in 4d made me reject “stokers” in favour of “smokers”.

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks manehi.

    I came here hoping you might provide a reason for not voting 16 the worst clue Rufus has ever written in a cryptic! The likes of GRENADE I can put up with but.. :(

  3. Hobnob says:

    Unusually weak for Rufus, I thought. ‘Stokers’ and ‘Adult’ were barely cryptic at all, ‘Glacier’ was scarcely any better (‘flower’ is such an old device it hardly counts!) and ‘Lugsail’ broke the word into two parts that kept pretty much their meaning in the word as a whole. Not convinced by ‘Knuckle’, and while I get the wordplay for ‘Nectar’, really it should be ‘Olympians’ to work correctly. Oddly, I was fine with ‘Grenade’ which you queried.

    Hey ho.

  4. chas says:

    Thanks to manehi for the blog.

    It is fascinating how different people have opposite views on some clues. I was happy with KNUCKLE and ADULT but thought GRENADE was very weak :)

  5. William says:

    Hmm…not on his best form perhaps. In a quest for something more cryptic than STOKERS for firemen, I tried SACKERS for while but alas.

    Let’s just say Roger was under par today – under the guises of Rufus, Dante, Icarus, Hodge and Bower he must have set 1000s of crosswords and given great joy – I think he’s allowed an occasional off-day.

  6. Robi says:

    A bit of a curate’s egg.

    Thanks manehi; I have to agree that GRENADE was fairly excruciating. :(

    I thought MEALS ON WHEELS was quite good.

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Rufus

    I enjoyed this on the whole. I liked ‘meals on wheels’ and some others. I too went for ‘smokers’ @ 4d.

  8. star-system says:

    Well, this was a pretty dismal affair, but way out of character. I won’t add more than this, as others have already pointed out the worst-offending items. Roll on next Monday.

  9. Dave Ellison says:

    I, too, had SMOKERS – no smoke without fire, I thought. Was STOKERS the official answer?


    I quite liked MEALS ON WHEELS, but thought we had something similar recently, although I couldn’t trace it.

    Thanks manehi.

  10. duncan says:

    I’m one of those folks who’ve been doing cryptics for so long that if there isn’t a sufficiently opaque surface, I struggle to finish. the policy on mondays seems to be to try to draw the “quick” crowd in with a gentle rufus. & the rev on a friday is becoming a frequent fixture too. I finished that, the prize & yesterday’s everyman with minimal assistance, but this…. “adult”? really?


  11. exscouse says:

    One of the biggest problems for me with Rufus’s weak clues, is that on more than one occasion I have failed to solve his puzzle by putting in an answer even though it seemed weak when in fact the real answer was a reasonable clue.

    I spent a long time looking for an alternative solution to adult before finally putting it in

  12. Thomas99 says:

    I found this harder than most Rufuses, because of the NE corner. I thought Adult (16) was a particularly amusing and elegant CD. I don’t believe anyone honestly thinks that “Infantile converse” is a non-cryptic definition of adult.

  13. Derek Lazenby says:

    OK, you know what I’m going to say. The dictionary idiots mislead the population once again, including our dear setter. A ratio is not a relationship. It can be used as part of one, but is not one itself. I and my wife may be in a relationship, but that does not make either of us a relationship, it’s the same thing with a ratio.

  14. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Well it has all been said for me.
    It has got so bad that when I read ‘firemen’ and think immediately ‘stokers’ only with this setter do I write it in straightaway, not worth thinking further for something actually cryptic.

  15. star-system says:

    He’s not at his best today, but he cannot be expected to emulate the Enigmatists and other big beasts.

  16. Thomas99 says:

    Derek L @13
    I don’t follow. Why, contrary to the dictionaries, do you think 2:3 is not a relationship? Your analogy with you and your wife does not seem to fit, as 2:3 clearly has 2 elements, and something linking them. So it seems to be analagous to the whole of your relationship, not to you or your wife.

  17. RCWhiting says:

    Agree Thomas but ‘he won’t let it lie’.

  18. Derek Lazenby says:

    RCW, he asked a fair question, so it has to be answered.

    a=b/c is a relationship. Within that the various parts do not become the whole and cannot be named as such. b/c is just two arbitrary numbers one divided by the other and of no significance whatsoever. It can be given a significance by saying “it means” which is what the “a=” bit does.

    Put another way, b+c is a sum, not a relationship, b-c is a difference not a relationship, b * c is a multiplication not a relationship, therefore consitency suggests that b/c is simply a division. Giving that division a name, ratio, doesn’t promote it into being an exception. Obviously then a=b+c; a=b-c; a=b*c are all relationships, just as a=b/c is.

    Hence the analogy I was using.

    I don’t mindlessly accept what a dictionary says, it is merely the work of men and therefore fallible. I can’t think of any reason why anyone should think otherwise, especially religious people as they would be blaspheming as for them only God is allowed perfection.

    Now, it’s the wife’s birthday so I’m off out for a meal and mucho drink, so see y’all some other day.

  19. Rufus says:

    Re 4 down. Shortly before publication, my clue for STOKERS was queried as the editor hadn’t come across “FIRE-TENDERS” which was my original clue, and my dictionaries didn’t really help. In my ten years flying in the Fleet Air Arm the fire engines that were always on stand-by on shore bases during flying were called Fire-tenders. I believe, from landing on RAF and commercial airfields, they were also called that. We agreed to change it at the last minute to the rather weak “Firemen” to avoid tricky last-minute alterations.
    I apologise for the GRENADE clue – I was hoping to mislead with mentioning a safety pin so solvers might think of babywear etc. and perhaps smile when the penny dropped. Obviously I was wrong!

  20. RCWhiting says:

    I was raised in Swindon when steam was still king.
    Many of my friends had fathers who were firemen, not the putting out type, but the keeping in. Heroes of the footplate.

  21. Robi says:

    Thanks Rufus for dropping by.

    I’ve certainly heard of fire tenders before. Yes, the safety pin and babywear etc would work, but unfortunately the GRENADE connection seemed to be more obvious.

  22. Edward says:

    I’m happy with a ratio being a relationship. When one says a ratio between X and Y of say 4:3 that implies X/4=Y/3 which is then a relationship under Derek’s definition. I also note that the Wikipedia article of ratio says “a ratio is a relationship”.

  23. Derek Lazenby says:

    Well that was fun whilst it lasted, but the grown sprogs wanted home early, damn. Now where were we.

    Edward you are saying that 4+3, 4-3 and 4*3 are relationships? Your argument must apply to all of them. 4:3 is just 4/3 with a fancy name and essentially no different from any of the others. Either they are all relationships, or none of them are. To be consistent any dictionary should list them all, or none of them as relationships, but that isn’t the case is it?

  24. rhotician says:

    4/3 is not a ratio it is a fraction. 4:3 is a ratio, it is not a “fancy” representation of a fraction.

  25. rhotician says:

    Rufus @19: 4dn can’t be that weak if some people thought SMOKERS would do. I took a while. It only came to me when I remembered “The engineer said the train must halt – he said it was all the fireman’s fault”.

    RCW @20. Your experience gave you an advantage over the rest of us. I even went to Chambers to see if the term was especially US, like engineer for train-driver is.

  26. rhotician says:

    Rufus. I am not normally one to complain but, seeing as you’re here, 3dn was a double whammy for me. I had to suppress my r at the end of calmer AND in the middle of karma. My r’s can’t take much more of this.

  27. rhotician says:

    Thomas99 @12. You “don’t believe anyone honestly thinks that” 16 is not cryptic. I notice that in the other place you say that anyone who does so must be “certifiable”. Well it seems to be a lot more than just one of us.

    I wish you would explain why you found it “particularly amusing”. Honestly.

  28. Derek Lazenby says:

    Well that made me laugh. pi is calculated by pi = d/r, a division, yet everyone and their uncle, including the dictionaries, call this a ratio, so they are not the same? Really?

  29. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Poor, even for Monday!!!!

  30. RosalindtheFair says:

    Mr Lazenby

    “The wife” ??? Like The chair or The cow? Such a clever person can surely do better.

    MY wife, please

  31. Derek Lazenby says:

    I know what the accepted term is Rosalind, but “my” implies possession and the possession of one person by another is called slavery. I object to that. The alternative, to always add a qualification that “my” applies to the relationship but not the person is too clumsy.

    Also, most people believe in possessive relationships. That path can lead to jealousy and all the problems that that can bring on. In extremis it leads to domestic violence. No thanks.

    So I try not to say “my wife”. But I am merely human and therefore make mistakes (unlike dictionary compilers, LOL), so it sometimes gets said when I’m not concentrating.

  32. rhotician says:

    DL @28: re pi and ratio.

    How would The Lazenby Dictionary define these?

    (I promise not to ask you to correct any more examples of how the dictionary “idiots mislead the population” nor to say what you think their motives might be.)

  33. rhotician says:

    DL @31: More questions

    Do you refer to your mother as “the mother”? Or your father as “the father”?

    If I were to ask “Do you have a wife?” would you mind?

  34. Derek Lazenby says:

    Re pi, I would indicate that pi is an irrational number, nothing more than that. If I was feeling helpful I might also list the sundry ways of evaluating it, only one of which is the circle formula, which is also the least useful formula as it requires the taking of measurements which inevitably introduce measurement inaccuracies. The most computationally useful formulae are in the form of converging infinite series. I would never say it was defined by the circle formula, just that that is one method of evaluation, there are too many evaluation methods nowadays to say that any one of them stands above the other as “the definition”. I might, however, point out that historically the circle formula was regarded as a definition as it was the first known evaluation method.

    Re ratio, an alternative way of indicating a division operation which preserves the divisor and dividend information by defering the doing of the division calculation. For example the aspect ratio of a TV is more helpfully represented as a ratio, but once you need to use it in a calculation then you do the division.

    I take it you were trying to trap me into a definition which used the word relationship. It has no meaning here.

  35. Derek Lazenby says:

    I normally say just father and mother, it is usually obvious that I’m refering to the people with whome I had that relationship. I didn’t own them so why should I phrase it as though I did? But as I said earlier, I sometimes get it wrong.

    Yes I would mind if you used that construct, but not everybody thinks through the possession issue, so I would let it pass.

    Do you really want to know the root of why I have such an aversion to concepts of possession? Do you want to know the gory details of being a victim of father’s violence and what caused it? I’ll send you an e-mail if you like. I’d rather you just take it that I try damn hard to be the complete opposite and this is part of it. Still interested in point scoring?

    Dictionary compilers don’t have motives to mislead, they are merely fallible, a concept which some people have difficulty with, but I don’t know why.

  36. rhotician says:

    DL @34: You take it wrongly. I only asked a question. I should have asked you to supply definitions rather than to say how you would do so. However your response is satisfactory, in the sense that it provides as much as I want to know. I have no further questions on this matter.

    I am sure that the compilers of Chambers are not infallible. None of us is. I will merely say that you have failed to demonstrate their fallibility to my satisfaction and that even if you had it would not make them idiots.

    re 34: I did not ask why you have an aversion to anything. In answer to your questions: No, I really don’t want to know. No, I don’t want to know. I was never interested in scoring points off you.

    Sorry to have bothered you.

  37. rhotician says:

    Above should say re 35.

  38. Innocent Abroad says:

    Trouble in top right ‘and corner partly caused my misleading myself into supposing 4D to be “setters”. I still think that a better sollution to the clue than the one Rufus used!

  39. RCWhiting says:

    But Innocent A, it is S-O-E-S, setters doesn’t fit.

  40. Huw Powell says:

    It was nice of Rufus to drop in, especially considering that most of us don’t seem too thrilled with today’s outing. But surely if you and the editor were unhappy with firemen?/SMOKERS, I mean STOKERS, the answer could easily have been changed to SCOTERS or SHOWERS (which I almost pencilled in just for fun…).

    As people have said, this wasn’t one of Rufus’ best, but everyone will have a range of quality. Lack of a way to be certain on so many answers left me with 8 answers in pencil only, two of which I could have researched to verify.

    Thanks to Rufus for the puzzle, and especially for posting; and to manehi for a fine blog.

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