Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic 25731 Rufus

Posted by scchua on September 3rd, 2012


A standard Rufus, heavy on the cryptic and double (and one double wordplay) definitions, and the odd marine reference.  Not everyone’s cuppa (but then what is?).  Thanks Rufus, enjoyed this.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[The pictures at the bottom have unidentified links to the puzzle.  As usual please double-bracket any comments on them.  Thank you.]]


1 Number to facilitate and inspire truce (5,4)

CEASE FIRE : C(Roman numeral for 100) + EASE(to facilitate) plus(and) FIRE(to inspire as in “all fired up by his rhetoric”).

6 Criticism directed at military aircraft? (4)

FLAK : Cryptic defn: Anti-aircraft fire during military combat, the word coming from the abbrev. for the German phrase for “aircraft defence cannon”.

Answer: Of the adverse sort, nothing constructive.

8 House sound as a bell outside and fine inside (8)

DWELLING : DING(sound as a bell) containing(outside and … inside) WELL(fine).

Answer: As a noun.

9 In the team, on the wing, not breaking the rules (6)

ONSIDE : Double wordplay: 1st: If one takes “on” = “In “; and 2nd: On the side,not at the centre,on the wing.  

Defn. and answer:  In games like football and rugby, not breaking the offside rule. Nice surface of a winger on the playing field.

10 Sayings of modern times (6)

ADAGES : Cryptic defn: “AD”,Anno Domini, attached to any year in modern times, (or, even, any year after the birth of Christ), and thus “modern times” = A.D. Ages.

11 It suffers periodic reversals in the kitchen (3,5)

EGG TIMER : Cryptic defn: The old fashioned device in the kitchen like a small hour-glass, which is periodically overturned, reversed.

12 Order still from photographer? (4,2)

HOLD IT : Cryptic defn: An instruction,Order from a photographer to keep still, in order not to have a blurred photo – assuming he/she is holding the camera still also.

15 Anti-Mass movement? (8)

SATANISM : Anagram of(movement) Anti-Mass. A WIWD(wordplay intertwined with definition) clue, as Satanism may surely be considered a movement against,Anti Mass, the religious service.

16 Slip into debt, having fallen ill once more (8)

RELAPSED : LAPSE(a Slip,error, as in “a lapse of memory” – especially for me :-) containing(into) RED(in the, signifying one is in debt).

19 We hear wickedness has the advantage in church councils (6)

SYNODS : Homophone of(We hear) “sin”( wickedness) + “odds”(the advantage one side has against another in a contest, as in “the odds are on my side”).

Answer: church councils formed to discuss ecclesiastical affairs.

21 Puts chaps ashore, since they’re no sailors (8)

LANDSMEN : LANDS(Puts … ashore)+ MEN(chaps).

Answer: People who live or work on, well, land, no sailors by any means.

22 Investigate in depth (6)

FATHOM : Double defn: 1st: As a verb, to discover,Investigate; and 2nd: As a noun, as in “Full fathom five thy father lies…”

24 Ring back a number of soldiers (6)

SIGNET : Reversal of(back) [TEN(a number) of GI’S(abbrev. for American soldiers)].

Answer: A small seal, as part of a finger-Ring.

25 Rose might arrange a date with men (8)

EMANATED : Anagram of(might arrange) [a date plus(with) men].

Answer: Originated from,Rose.

26 Sounds an unfavourable bet (4)

ANTE : Homophone of(Sounds) “anti”(against,unfavourable).

Answer: The stake in a bet.

27 Worker strikes result in restriction on movement (9)

HANDCUFFS : HAND(a Worker, especially of manual labour or general duties) + CUFFS(blows,strikes, especially with the open hand).

Answer: What are used to secure,result in restriction on movement, eg. to prevent the restricted from cuffing someone. Nice surface.


1 Intimidated firm to form a union (5)

COWED : CO(abbrv. for a business company,firm) + WED(to marry,to form a union).

2 Declared as supporter in possible deal (7)

ALLEGED : LEG(a supporter, eg. of the human body) contained in(in) anagram of(possible) DEAL.

3 Prepares to publish working diets (5)

EDITS : Anagram of(working) DIETS.

4 Entrance signs switched round about (7)

INGRESS : Anagram of(switched) SIGNS containing(round) RE(abbrev. for with reference to,about)

5 Use of sole agent lengthens the process (9)

ELONGATES : Anagram of(Use of) SOLE AGENT.

6 Create trend (7)

FASHION : Double defn: 1st: As a verb, to Create,make into the desired shape; and 2nd: As a noun.

7 Spoke to a number in uniform (9)

ADDRESSED : A + D(Roman numeral for 500) + DRESSED(in uniform)

13 Relation seen in public performance (9)

OPERATION : RATIO(the Relation between two similar magnitudes, equal to the number of times one contains the other) contained in(seen in) OPEN(descriptive of something public).

14 Try out striker in international game (4,5)

TEST MATCH : TEST(to Try) + MATCH(one that provides fire after striking, usually against an abrasive).

Answer: An international game, especially in cricket or rugby.

17 Go-slow that could be at an end? (7)

ANDANTE : Anagram of(could be) AT AN END.

Answer: A musical direction to play slowly,Go-slow.

18 Prison for old debt collector who has gone astray (7)

DUNGEON : DUN(a person who duns,tries to collect a debt) plus(who has) anagram of(astray) gone. Nice surface.

Answer:   A Prison in the old days.

20 Certainly less than 50% (3,4)

NOT HALF : Double defn: 1st: Indeed,surely,Certainly, as in “I agree he’s not half stupid”. But “not half” also means “not really”, as in “he’s not half clever enough to do that”. One of those Janus (two-faced god of war) words/phrases that can take opposite meanings.

22 Managed football club without money from abroad (5)

FRANC : RAN(Managed, a team, say) contained in(… without) FC(abbrev. for a football club in Britain, eg. MUFC).

23 Does as one is told — ring the Turkish officials (5)

OBEYS : O(looks like a ring) + BEYS(provincial governors,Turkish officials of the old Ottoman Empire).



Edit.Note: Solutions:  Pic #1 here ; Pic #2 here ; Pic #3 here ; Pic #4 here

32 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic 25731 Rufus”

  1. Miche says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    Back to the usual Monday fare. I liked “sound as a bell for DING, and the anagram at 15d.

    12a: HOLD IT is more often an order from a photographer to a model.

    [[Some dedicated followers of 6d; a work by (most of) 4d; star of a film related to 15d; a game connected with 18ds.]]

  2. scchua says:

    Hi Miche, 12a: that’s what I meant, except I didn’t type in the “from” – one of those lapses I mentioed in 16a. Blog now corrected. Thanks.

    [[That was quick, and all correct. Great!]]

  3. tupu says:

    Thanks scchua and Rufus

    Pretty straightforward and a nice change from some of the more difficult fare we’ve recently had (each has its place of course). I ticked 1a, 15a, 24a among the usual bevy of well-constructed clues.

  4. Median says:

    It makes a pleasant change, occasionally, to do a Guardian cryptic quickly over breakfast. I wasn’t counting, but it was 20 minutes tops. Thanks, Rufus!

  5. Robi says:

    Thanks scchua and Rufus.

    I think you meant to underline ‘truce’ in 1a.

    I liked INGRESS and HANDCUFFS.

    [[Miche has done all the hard work for me – should be 15a of course]]

  6. Trailman says:

    Slowly getting on to Rufus’s wavelength. Trouble is I keep looking for cryptic defs where there aren’t any: 1ac today, which I had as PEACE PIPE till the penny dropped. Still completed it in a new personal best for Rufus of Stratford to Witham.
    Does the surface of 9ac count as a cd as well?

  7. Meic says:

    15 – anag & lit.? Unusual clue type for Rufus

  8. scchua says:

    Thanks Robi, 1a: lapse #2, now corrected.
    And lapse #3: 9a should be a double wordplay. I’ve amended the blog – sorry to all.

  9. chas says:

    Thanks to scchua for the blog. I needed you to explain the parsing of 13d.

    [[Could we have some expansion of the picture explanations please. I remember the song Dedicated Followers of Fashion but I cannot remember the name of the group and I do not recognise their faces. I remembered seeing the second picture: what is its name? Which film? and what is her name?]]

  10. rowland says:

    For the SATANISM clue I feel it’s slightly strained, as we can, if we like, also attend a Black Mass. But I liked the puzzle pretty well, despite its ‘chestnutty’ feel.


  11. John Appleton says:

    The clue for SATANISM was by far my favourite; I am a sucker for apposite anagrams. OPERATION was last in, one of those where I couldn’t for the life of me fathom the wordplay, but when seeing it exaplained above, had to figuratively kick myself.

  12. scchua says:

    [[Hi chas@9, I’ve added links below the pictures, for the solutions.]]

  13. Gervase says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    The usual well-constructed clues much in evidence, though I thought 11ac wasn’t as great a CD as Rufus usually provides, and 9ac is uncharacteristically clumsy, with ‘on’ appearing in the clue as well as being cryptically indicated for the charade. Favourite was 22dn – if only it were possible….

    We often get (unfavourable) comments here about grids which have portions barely connected with each other, so that there are, in effect, two or more virtually separate puzzles. This is a particularly good example, with only two letters linking the top and bottom halves.

  14. chas says:

    [[Thanks to scchua. I have never seen Rosemary’s Baby – not my kind of film at all. As for The Kinks they were not one of my favourite groups at the time so I do not remember their faces]]

  15. Derek Lazenby says:

    Um, this blog isn’t linked to “Guardian”.

    Sigh. Another setter who thinks wordsmiths know more about maths than mathematicians.

  16. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Rufus and schuua

    Good to have a bit of a breather with this one – although I needed help to parse OPERATION and shouldn’t have … kept going down the ORATION path for public performance – so good diversion.

  17. scchua says:

    Thanks Derek@15, I’ve corrected the category.

  18. Thomas99 says:

    Thanks for the blog – a nice one from Rufus, lots of characteristic wit and lateral moves. But can I request that we all go back to calling & lits & lits, not WIWDs? The wordplay is the same words as the definition, it’s not intertwined with it.

  19. scchua says:

    Thomas99@18. I started calling them WIWDs only in my blogs and nowhere else. Previously, whenever I used &lit, it would almost invariably start a protracted discussion on whether it really was an &lit, and every word in the clue would then be examined to see if it was in both wordplay and defn. And you know there are lots of grey areas. To me, it doesn’t really matter whatever % of an &lit it is; i just enjoy the way the setter has achieved whatever it is. It’s to forestall the, IMHO, pointless discussion on whether it is 100% or not, that I used WIWD which includes everything from 100% and downwards. If it’s less than 100% (or even if it’s 100%), the wordplay and defn are intertwined, or intermingled or inter-whatever.

  20. Paul B says:

    An &lit is one in which all the SI elements combine as a nice, neat definition: ‘the jungly mass one cleaves’ springs to mind (okay, yes, as it always does when I wheel myself out on this one).

    Where other words need to be added, either to improve the sense or sharpen the focus of the definition, the clue (which may still read well and be a wonderful thing of itself) is not, in &lit terms, as good, and is called a ‘semi &lit’ by some. As far as I know.

    But T99 can call them what he likes, can’t he!

  21. RCWhiting says:

    Gervase, it is possible.
    Ask the supporters of most Div 1 % 2 clubs.

  22. RCWhiting says:

    Sorry,% = &, just like ratio – relationship!?

  23. nametab says:

    Neat but quick Rufus as usual. The Kinks a very underrated band. Pic shows: L to R at back: Pete Quaife, Dave Davies, Mick Avory. The brilliant lyricist Ray Davies at front. Thanks to sschua

  24. Sil van den Hoek says:

    A Rufus that was a lot easier than usual, in our opinion. Perhaps because many clues were rather obvious/weakish today (9ac, 11ac, 12ac, 21ac).
    And also because, as a (Dante) blogger, I had a déjà vu in 5d and, constructionwise, in 18d.
    On the other hand, 22d (FRANC) was a highlight with its splendid surface.

    BTW, should 1ac not be (9) or (5-4)?
    And in 22ac, is FATHOM not a bit more than just ‘investigate’?
    My PinC thinks it is.

  25. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Sorry but I find Rufus increasingly dull and I am amazed by his almost complete ownership of the Monday slot.

    Surely I am not the only one whose heart sinks when I realise it is Monday and that I have nothing to look forward to except this predictable “write in”?

  26. RCWhiting says:

    You are not alone Brendan although I have given up making any comment on a Monday.Some posters get very possessive about the compilers and object to any criticism.

  27. Paul B says:


  28. rowland says:

    I don’t want to start a ruck, but I think it is unfair just to say something is bad, without some sortt of evidence for that. If I don’t like something it’s usually because I’ve not been able to solve it! But at least I would say that, and back up where appropriate.


  29. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Ok Rowland @28 for this puzzle.

    As usual far too many double and cryptic definitions. Not a problem in moderation but in quantity they become tedious. Also they often have more than one possible solution and can only be confirmed by reference to other entries. (e.g. 6 across could be FLAK or SLAM!) Normally when you solve a cryptic clue you KNOW it’s correct. I know this is a matter of preference but I prefer “tighter cluing”.

    Lazy cluing as in 15ac. Nice to see a different clue for Rufus. (&lit perhaps) but just not correct. Surely a a part of Satanism is a “black mass” so the clue is again confusing.

    But the bottom line is that a normal Rufus is just not very interesting and too easy! It just my opinion but surely I’m allowed to air it? If you submit crosswords for a national newspaper then I don’t think you should be surprised to receive the odd bit of criticism.

  30. RCWhiting says:

    My general Monday complaint is that the puzzle hasn’t puzzled me ie it is too easy for The Guardian.
    I am afraid the only evidence would be for you to stand behind me while I sadly solve it.
    Today’s Bonxie is what The G.should be like.

    Paul B.
    Yawn (just to save time).

  31. Thomas99 says:

    Brendan – How on earth could 6a be SLAM? How are you using the aircraft bit? It’s a double definition; you couldn’t be in any doubt about the answer as far as I can see, unless you misparsed it.

    And are you saying that because Satanism (15a) can involve a black mass it is wrong to suggest that it might be “anti-mass” (i.e. against the (catholic) mass) or involve an “anti-mass”? Neither objection seems tenable.

    Rufus’s puzzles are deliberately at the simpler end of the scale but they are not unsophisticated and I’m always struck by how often people who complain about them being too easy also manage to misunderstand them. I don’t know what “lazy cluing” would look like necessarily, but this is certainly sloppy solving.

  32. Huw Powell says:

    @ 9a.

    I see it as a triple definition: “In the team” “on the wing” and “not breaking the rules”. I liked, though never got past pencil on it.

    I liked this, more typical Rufus fare – “easy” clues all over the place to make me feel good and sane. This after wrestling with some Araucaria monstrosity I only got a third of. Monday fare. Just running a week behind.

    Thanks Scchua and Rufus!

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