Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,719 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on August 20th, 2012


Apologies for a blog that is both late and rather brief – I’ve been distracted by urgent work-related matters. Anyway, this is Rufus in his usual style, with lots of double and cryptic definitions.

5. SCENES Double definition (scene = public argument or similar)
9. MARTYR Cryptic definition
11. MEAN Double definition
12. SANDCASTLE Cryptic definition
13. WEDDING RING Cryptic definition
21. WREN Double definition – bird and member of the Women’s Royal Navy Service (my Mum was one during the war)
22. STRIKERS Cryptic definition – these batsmen are “out in the field”, so are what would usually be called “in”. This reminds me of a famous confusing explanation of cricket, as found for example here
23. WEDGES Double definition – “gets tight in” and [golf] clubs
25. JEKYLL Cryptic(ish) definition – the good half of R L Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde
1. SENTENCE Double definition. The question mark is needed because gramatically a sentence is not the same thing as a clause.
2. YEARNS YEAR + NS (partners in bridge)
3. PRODUCER Double definition – a producer of a radio programme or of a record, though the meanings are a bit close for comfort Thanks to aztobesed for pointing out that this is actually an anagram of UP RECORD.
4. STOCKS Cryptic definition of the old punishment device
5. SCALED Double definition (“peeled off coat” = scaled a fish? Or maybe it referes to descaling water pipes?)
7. SETTLE Double definition
8. WINNING POST WINNING (acquiring) + POST (job)
14. DISPENSE Double definition
16. CHAT UP CHAT (French for cat) + UP (at university)

29 Responses to “Guardian 25,719 – Rufus”

  1. dunsscotus says:

    Thanks Rufus and Andrew: pleasant Monday stuff. Re 1 down: a sentence can be a single clause, so I would not have minded if there had been no question mark.

  2. aztobesed says:

    There’s word-play at 3d. Anagram of ‘up record.’

  3. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, Andrew.

    I think you’re a bit stressed this morning. 😉 In 3dn, PRODUCER is an anagram of UP RECORD.

    And in 22ac, I think it’s the usual crossword ‘out = on strike’.

    Re 1dn, a clause can also be a part of a legal document, so in that sense it would be a sentence.

  4. Eileen says:

    Apologies for the crossings!

  5. Andrew says:

    Thanks aztobesed, you are quite right – that’s what comes of doing these things in a rush. I’ll correct the blog.

  6. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    This was an odd one for a Monday.
    The top half gave away nothing but the bottom half collapsed miserably as usual.
    The NE corner caught the disease and followed quite swiftly.
    However, and here is the difference to the usual, I had to puzzle a while to complete the NW corner.
    I do not mind (quite pleased actually) but there were a couple of dubious ones.
    9ac, is ‘he’ a sufficient definition for ‘waiter'; 11ac ditto ‘aim’ for ‘mean’.
    Obviously, they were because I solved them, but…….

  7. RCWhiting says:

    I have just read the blog and see that it prefers ‘martyr’, mmmmm….

  8. John Appleton says:

    Fairly standard for Rufus – a few gave me problems due to obscure (to me, at least) definitions – 7d and 11a being the biggest culprits. Others gave me problems just because it’s Monday. I really should have got Jekyll without having to google.

  9. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Rufus

    Quite testing in places. Some nice misdirection in 7d and 3d was an unlikely anagram.

    9a was last in. I was trying to remember if Walter was late at the altar, but of course needn’t have bothered. Alot of possible words to choose from but ‘martyr’ clearly right and nicely not ending in ‘ter’. I liked 12a – cryptic Rufus at his best.

  10. Robi says:

    Pleasant crossword, thanks Rufus.

    Thanks Andrew; like Eileen @3, I thought the ‘out’ reference was to strike. Last in was MARTYR; like tupu @9 I was thinking of words ending in -ter. I, too, liked SANDCASTLE.

  11. Miche says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    Heavy on the dds and cds even by Rufus standards, I thought. I prefer more varied fare. I also prefer to spend a bit of time thinking about the clues rather than writing them straight in. Only SETTLE and MARTYR gave any pause at all.

    “Stevenson’s better half” is a very good clue. But I’ve seen it before.

  12. Trailman says:

    There was me thinking that, for the second Monday in a row, I’d cracked this Rufus cryptic definition thing, only to find out that WAITER isn’t as cryptic as MARTYR. Oh well, there’s always next week.

  13. MikeC says:

    Thanks Andrew and Rufus. Like others, 9a gave me some bother. I pencilled in waiter but felt dissatisfied, so tried Chambers word wizard. MARTYR was the second reasonable possibility (out of 70 “hits”), and a better fit. I enjoyed this, but perhaps there were a few too many cds for my taste.

  14. XJP says:

    Thanks Andrew and Rufus. Like most posting here, last in 9 ac and 11 ac. Still don’t understand why mean is correct. I see that mean means aim, but how does it also mean ‘near’?

  15. rowland says:

    I think this was probably made harder by the slightly strange definitions for one or two of them! Other than that, very easy, according to Rufus’ stated brief.

    Cheers all.

  16. dtd says:

    Re XJP at 14 “near” can also mean “mean” in the sense e.g. of being very tight with money.

  17. XJP says:

    Re dtd at 16. Thanks very much. Glad to know why the clue works. One less thing to worry about.

  18. RCWhiting says:

    Well,XJP, I am pleased you are now happy. I am still trying to convince myself why ‘aim’ = ‘mean’. Did you aim (mean) to do that? Mmmm……maybe.
    I am now happy that martyr is better than waiter.

  19. Dave Ellison says:

    I was a waiter, too. aim = mean = intend, I think, as in “I aim to do it”

    Thanks Andrew.

  20. Derek Lazenby says:

    If space could have been found for it, surely “THE ENGLAND OPENERS AGAIN” would have been a better answer to 22! Now, please excuse me, I need to find a beer to cry into.

  21. Jim says:

    Waiter for 9ac – which I thought was a better solution than martyr.

  22. snigger says:

    Mean = aim and tight with money —-Pffffftttttttt !!!

    that is all

  23. Headteacher says:

    Just got to this after a busy day doing not very much. Glad I hadn’t aimed to pass a pleasurable hour with the crossword. Very meagre fare even by Rufus’s “standards”.

  24. Martin P says:

    23: what had you meant to do with it then?

    Oddly 6a last in for me: 9a announced itself quite clearly.

  25. AdamAppletree says:

    Hi, I don’t get 9ac MARTYR. can someone explain? Thanks!

  26. Miche says:

    AdamAppletree @25: Cryptic definition: a martyr is someone who died for a cause, so “had a good reason for being late.”

  27. John & Jo says:

    This was the first Guardian Cryptic we have *ever* completed (though we’ve only tried about a dozen) – very excited about that!

    22 Across – “strikers” – we took to be a reference to baseball and to matches (i.e. you strike them then they go out).

  28. rhotician says:

    Miche @11: Thanks for the link to #24542 and Stevenson’s better half. I missed it at the time (10 Nov 2008) because the 90th anniversary of the end of WW1 provided an excuse for a trip to France with members of my “wider” family.

    I do recall seeing it in #22596, on a date in Aug 2002, proximate to a “significant” anniversary of my wedding. Here it is again near to an anniversary ten years more significant!

    In recycling a favourite piece Rufus is in good company. At the start of The Adventure of the Cardboard Box Conan Doyle has Holmes reading Watson’s thoughts merely by observing him. The account, a full page and more, is reproduced verbatim in The Resident Patient.

  29. Huw Powell says:

    Surely the time has come to offer up a challenge to our old friend Rufus.

    How about a puzzle where every single clue is either a double or cryptic definition?

    This one was more than half-way there, so thanks for trying!

    And thanks, Andrew, and others, for finding MARTYR and explaining MEAN’s other definition.

    Luckily I am several puzzles behind and now am facing what must be a Summer Bank Holiday Prize Puzzle by the setter at the other extreme of the Grauniad’s wonderful crew.

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