Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic 25707 Rufus

Posted by scchua on August 6th, 2012


The 25down Rufus Monday mix of mainly double and cryptic definitions, but all compactly clued, and, though easy, enjoyable to tackle.  Thanks Rufus. Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[Each of the pictures at the bottom of the blog has an unidentified link to the puzzle – going back quite a bit in time.  As usual, please double-bracket any comments on them.]]


1 Stay true (7)

STAUNCH :  Double defn: 1st:  To stem,stay,halt from flowing, such as blood from a wound; and 2nd:  Firm,loyal,true as in “a staunch ally”.

5 Leave without a second course (7)

DESSERT :  DESERT(to leave,abandon) containing(without) S(abbrev. for second, the unit of time, as in “h:m:s”.)

Answer:  The last course of a meal.

10 Obscenity that turns stomachs (4)

SMUT :  Reversal of(turns)  TUMS(plural of an informal/childish word for that part of your anatomy, the stomach)

11 Fussy detail (10)

PARTICULAR :  Double defn: 1st:  Exceptionally choosy,fastidious,fussy, as in “being particular about the compay she keeps”.

12 Name some judge or general (6)

GEORGEHidden in(some) judGE OR GEneral.

13 Can count on union backing about tea break (8)

NUMERATE :  NUM(abbrev. for the “National Union of Miners” in the UK) + reversal of(backing) RE(about,with reference to, from the Latin) anagram of(break) TEA.

Answer:  Able to understand, and use, the concept of numbers especially in arithmetical operations,can count as in “accountants are required to be numerate at the  least”.

14 He saw himself as winning on the pools (9)

NARCISSUS :  Cryptic defn:  Greek mythological hunter who saw himself,his reflection in a pool (not the football one), a reflection he thought was winning,charming and attractive, and fell in love with it, not realising it was only an image.  He does get around in Crosswordland, appearing in my last blog.

16 In skill the French sentry should be (5)

ALERT :  ART(skill) containing(in…) LE(the definite article, “the“, in French)

17 Increase the strain (5)

BREED :  Cryptic defn:  To reproduce,multiply,increase the same specific biological variety or ancestry,strain.

19 A pact goes awry — blame him (9)

SCAPEGOATAnagram of(awry) A PACT GOES.

Answer:  The “him” in the clue.

23 A voracious reader (8)

BOOKWORM :  Cryptic defn. (or Double defn?) A figurative description of someone who reads or studies a lot,voraciously.  Or one of many insects like the silverfish and woodlouse that greedily,voraciously consumes,reads? books (more specifically the paste in the binding).

24 Staff provided to help the disabled (6)

CRUTCH :  Cryptic (not very) defn:  A staff that aids,helps the disabled to move about.

26 Reinstated after review, having financial difficulties (10)

STRAITENEDAnagram of(after review) REINSTATED.

Answer:  One that has been put into difficulties, especially financial ones.

27 One has a lot of fun with it (4)

UNIT :  UN(most of the letters,a lot offun“) plus(with) IT.

28 Fields of activity he gets a mixed press about (7)

SPHERESHE contained in(gets…about) anagram of(mixed) PRESS.

29 One about to settle in the country (7)

IRELAND :  I(Roman numeral for one) + RE(with reference to,about) + LAND(to settle on the ground or other surface after flying).


2 Modify a painting technique (7)

TEMPERA :  TEMPER(to modify by softening,toning down) + A

Answer:  A painting technique using a mixture of water and egg yolk/egg and oil as a binder for the pigments; a contrast to oil paintings.

3 Boat without a bow, say? (5)

UTTER :  “cutter”(any of 3 types of boat) minus(without) its first letter(bow).  A tricky surface, and the customary Rufus nautical reference.

4 They nick money (7)

COPPERS :  Double defn:  1st: Slang for policement, who arrest,nick the nickers; and 2nd:  Coins,money of small denominations.

6 Variation resolved in game (6)

ENIGMAAnagram of(resolved) IN GAME.

Answer:  I presume that an enigma, something that is not understandable must be a variation from the normal scheme of things.   Edit.note (thanks Chris@2):  Reference to one of Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

7 Conservative member set to dismiss strikers? (6,3)

SQUARE LEG :  SQUARE(conservative, as used to describe one side of the generation gap by the other) + LEG(a member, anatomically).

Answer:  In cricket, one of the fielders put in place and ready,set to catch out,dismiss batsmen,strikers.

8 Powerful agency about to take on performer (7)

REACTOR :  RE(with reference to,about – third appearance) plus(to take on) ACTOR(performer on stage or screen).

Answer:  An apparatus,agency producing lots of energy,powerful.

9 Could be he is to make firm statement (13)

PRONOUNCEMENT :  PRONOUN(an example of which could behe“) + CEMENT(make firm,secure,bind, as in “cementing a relationship”).  My COD.

15 Restrain a friend in final defeat (9)

CHECKMATE :  CHECK(to restrain,stop) + MATE(a friend, usually a close or intimate one).

18 Head of the house (7)

ROOFTOP :  Cryptic defn:  That which is on top,head of a house.

20 Sanctimonious bounder or ring fighter (7)

PICADOR :  PI{short for pious(sanctimonious)} + CAD(a bounder,despicable person) + OR.

Answer:  A matador’s assistant(a fighter) in the ring where the bloodsport of bullfighting takes place..

21 Caution — jumble sale! (7)

AUCTIONAnagram of(jumble) CAUTION.  A nice surface.

22 Brand that is going out (6)

SORTIE :  SORT(a type,brand) IE(abbrev. for that is, from the Latin “id est”).

Answer:  A relatively short return trip,a going out (and coming back).

25 Standard in American university depressing a student (5)

USUAL :  U.S.(abbrev. to denote American) + U(abbrev. for university) placed over(depressing, in a down clue) L{abbrev. for a learner(a student)}


Answer to pic#4 here

22 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic 25707 Rufus”

  1. ToniL says:

    I think 24 is a DD not a CD, “Staff” in the clue I read to be “Employees”

    Not a fan of 2 CD’s crossing (as 17 and 18)

    Thank-you Rufus and Scchua

    [[I have 3 pictures relating to the same clue, still some work to do but won’t spoil it for others yet]]

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks scchua and Rufus.

    I rather fancy 6d is referring to this piece of music.

  3. Gervase says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    I’m one of those solvers who doesn’t always find Rufus puzzles quite so easy; all those cryptic defs and double defs can be difficult to fathom.

    This was a case in point – I managed most of the puzzle fairly swiftly but a few answers took quite a while. Last in was 17ac: double def, uncrossed initial letter, less than 50% of letters crossed…

    Really enjoyed 14ac and 9dn, but was disappointed by three instances of ‘about’ = RE (13ac, 29ac, 8dn)

  4. scchua says:

    Chris@2, yes, I think you’re right. (I wasn’t sure of my answer, hence the “presume”.) I was blindsided by usually refering to the Enigma Variations, in the plural, though I guess you could single out one of them. I’ll amend the blog.

  5. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    After reading six clues without solving one I thought this would be a far from 25 Monday test.
    In the end it fell apart quite easily.
    The typical Rufus DD at 11 ac held me up in the NE corner but when I got ‘particular’ it was all over with ‘dessert’ being last in.
    For a Monday, not bad, in general pretty flat.

  6. rowland says:

    It is odd to have so many repeated ‘bits’ of clues, making me wonder why, but it was enjoyable all the same. I do think however that ‘He saw himself as winning on the pools’ is a VERY old chestnut indeed! It might even be older than me.

    Thank you Rufus and scchua for efforts today.


  7. chas says:

    Thanks to scchua for the blog.

    On 14a I was stuck for a while on Adonis – a handsome Greek youth. He has not enough letters so could not possibly be the right chap – but he blocked me off for a long time :(

    [[I do not recognise any of the pictures]]

  8. Giovanna says:

    Thanks, Rufus and scchua for a good start to the week.

    [[ I see 14ac, 2d and 3d and possibly 15d as skills or techniques.The tempera reference reminded me of a very smelly couple of days in the art room at school producing the prioress from The Canterbury Tales – no prizewinner but still in the attic!Not sure who all the people are but could they all be attached to different skills, too?]]

    Giovanna x

  9. Ian Payn says:

    Bery Reid = Sister George; Topol=Rooftop.

  10. ToniL says:

    [[Emile Ford with guitar – EF and the Checkmates, Zero Mostel and Topol Stage and Film version of Fiddler on the Roof, Is it the Drifters – Up on the roof?]]

  11. scchua says:

    [[ToniL and Ian Payn, well done. Correct on all. That leaves one more.]]

  12. aztobesed says:

    [[Jill Ireland.]]

  13. Trailman says:

    Had my usual Rufus struggle, just like Gervase does. Didn’t know the Narcissus ‘chestnut’ but will file it away for later use.
    A note on 6d. In Elgar’s famous work, the Enigma is not a variation, but the original theme on which they are based. So strictly the def bit should be Theme not Variation. But that would perhaps have been wilfully obscure …

  14. scchua says:

    Thanks for all your comments.
    [[Seeing the late hour (mine), I’ve posted a link to the answer of pic#4. The rest have already been answered by ToniL and Ian Payn, viz. The lead singer of Emile Ford and the CHECKMATEs; Zero Mostel (pic#2) and Topol (pic#5) in the stage and movie versions resp. of Fiddler on the ROOF; the Drifters with their hit song Up on the ROOF; and Beryl Reid in the movie The Killing of Sister GEORGE.]]

  15. chas says:

    [[Where is the link mentioned by scchua?]]

  16. ToniL says:

    Below the pics, above the ‘Responses’

  17. chas says:

    Thanks to ToniL

  18. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Sorry to be a grump but am I the only one who finds Rufus a bit dull?

    Far too many DDs and CDs. Not enough interest or humour for me I’m afraid.

    To be honest my heart sinks when I see it’s another “Rufus Monday”. Why the almost complete monopoly?

    Grump no 2!

    Thanks SSCHUA for the blog but couldn’t you separate your “quiz” from the blog to make it more accessible. The blog that is. I personally am not interested in these extras!

  19. jvector says:

    Trailman @ 13 I had the same thought, said so on the G page – bit surprised no one else found it not-quite-right.

    18d, 23a were really just a bit too poor even for a Monday though.

    But overall some very nice clues – thanks to Rufus & to scchua; I have conscientiously avoided looking at the answer to 17 but don’t know if I can hold out much longer.

  20. ToniL says:

    Only just read that ‘going back quite a bit in time’ at the top!!

    And exactly what’s that supposed to mean…..

  21. scchua says:

    Brendan(not that one)@19: But I have separated the “quiz”. The pictures are at the bottom, separated by a line of double-dashes, and any comments on them are separated by double-brackets. So when you come across either of these, please scroll past and/or avert your eyes. If you have any ideas to make what you like more “accessible”, I’d be glad to consider them (having 2 blogs is a non-starter). I too would like to have something that could be customised to every taste. What if someone doesn’t like/isn’t interested in the asides, nor the illustrations, nor particular threads in the responses, etc. – notwithstanding that they’re all part and parcel of the blog and related to the puzzle. But unless some fantastic technology comes along, that remains as only an ideal.

    [[ToniL@20: That was just a hint that you would have to go back over 40 years ago for the answers (the most recent, the film Fiddler on the Roof is from 1971). It’s all relatively speaking – not archaelogical time of course, but not so recent either. :-)]]

  22. Paul B says:

    Whilst not being particularly interested in them, I quite like scchua’s quirky ‘extras': how do these related items detract from the blog, I wonder?

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