Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,803 by Rufus

Posted by PeeDee on November 26th, 2012


My apologies for being late (again).  I had forgotten I was on duty today and had to be politely remided by Gaufrid.

There were lovely surfaces all the way though this, it as a shame that in the rush to get the blog out I didn’t have time to enjoy it more.   Thank you Rufus.

Hold the mouse pointer over any clue number to read the clue.

5 STABBED BATS (fliers) reversed and BED (base)
10 SPIT TIPS (ends) reversed
11 ITINERANTS (IN TRANSIT) * around E (east)
12 PAID UP I (one) in PAD (residence) UP (at university)
13 LOVED ONE LOVE DONE (romance over)
16 JAPAN JA (yes, German) PAN (search for gold)
17 SPANK SPAN (stretch over) desK (end of)
23 PASTRAMI (A TRIP’S) * around AM (morning)
24 INSIDE cryptic definition – insider dealers
26 BARBED WIRE BARBED (sharply worded) WIRE (cable)
27 WAVE double definition – hairstyle
28 REVERED RED (embarrassed) about EVER (always)
29 ADDRESS double definition
2 TOPSAIL OPS (works) in TAIL (the end)
3 MATED cryptic definition – chess and marriage
4 CLIPPER definition and cryptic definition
6 TWELVE cryptic definition
7 BOARD GAME BOARD (directors) GAME (ready and willing)
9 MIDLIFE CRISIS cryptic definition
15 CONSTABLE definition and cryptic definition – police force
18 PLACATE AC (sort of current) in the River PLATE
20 TAIL END AIL (trouble) in TEND (mind)
21 ENDIVES I’VE in ENDS (the tips)
22 HANDLE anagram of HELD with AN
25 SEWER double definition


27 Responses to “Guardian 25,803 by Rufus”

  1. duncan says:

    only came a-cropper in the SW because I couldn’t see “spank”. anyone else here today?

  2. PeeDee says:

    I think they all got fed up of waiting and went home duncan.

    Stretch over end of desk and chastise. What a great clue for spank!

  3. Gervase says:

    Thanks, PeeDee.

    I found this very straightforward (for once), perhaps because there is a smaller proportion of cd/dd than in many Rufus puzzles. Enjoyable, nevertheless, with typically well-constructed clues.

  4. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks PeeDee. Two alternative answers delayed my finishing today: 3d I had MATCH, so thought 12a was CASH UP; 6d I entered MIDDAY early on which didn’t facilitate solving the NE corner; and also, possibly 20d THIN END just about fits the clue.

  5. chas says:

    Thanks to PeeDee for the blog. I was late starting the crossword today so your lateness had no effect on me.

    I was another who wrote MIDDAY for 6d and it took quite a while to get the right answer :(

    I was disappointed with 9d: having Middle in the clue and MID as part of the answer made it so easy I wondered if I was missing something.

    Now let’s see what happens withe the Captcha!

  6. Robi says:

    Good Rufus puzzle; as PeeDee @2 said, SPANK had a great clue.

    Thanks PeeDee for a good blog. I started with ‘rabbit wire’ for 26 (what’s that?) before I saw the light. We’ve had quite a lot of the sew-er/sewer double meanings recently. I luckily avoided the ‘midday’ trap.

  7. tupu says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Rufus

    Relatively quick and easy and enjoyable which was all to the good since we had visitors this morning. Usual elegant cluing by Rufus with the odd characteristic naval clue. I too nearly had midday but fortunately already had 13a. In any case midday was a more arbitrary answer only determined by the number of letters since midnight would have otherwise done exactly as well, wheras ‘twelve’ neatly covered both.

    I liked 11a since one was tempted to think the ‘ants’ part was significant.
    6a was very neat, and I also ticked 24a and 26a but ther were lots of other good clues as well. 17a was especially clever I thought.

  8. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks Rufus and PeeDee. Don’t have anything to add. Just wanted to be Captcha’d!


  9. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Last in was ‘spank’ although I had ‘solved’ it much earlier.
    I was put off by ‘over’ (in an across clue) when the ‘K’ is at the end.
    There were too many non-cryptic clues for my liking.

  10. RCWhiting says:

    I have just noticed that PeeDee has taken ‘stretch over’ as the definition for ‘span’ whereas I took just ‘stretch’ = ‘span’ (nouns). Fair enough.

  11. William says:

    Thank you PeeDee and Rufus. Lovely clue for SPANK!

    What is the Captcha thing doing, please?

  12. John Appleton says:

    William @11, see the recent announcement on the comment policy – basically it’s an anti-spam measure.

    Very straightforward puzzle, but entertaining. Didn’t quite see the &littishness of SPANK – what a fabulous clue.

  13. William says:

    Thanks, John.

  14. RCWhiting says:

    ………………and thankyou for the simple arithmetic instead of the conventional ones. Ones which I often get wrong because, not surprisingly, I fail to correctly read something which is designed to be difficult to read!

  15. muffin says:

    Thanks PeeDee and Rufus
    Straightforward, except that, having no German, I confidently put MACAU for 16 across – “au” for gold and “mac” for some German word or other!

  16. Mitz says:

    Thanks Rufus and PeeDee.

    Very straightforward solve, with two or three little gems. Others have mentioned ‘spank’ – has Rufus been down the pub with Paul? – and I also thought ‘Constable’ and ‘barbed wire’ very fine. On the downside I was a bit irritated by the repetition of ‘tips’ and ‘ends’, and I too thought there must be a way of cluing ‘midlife crisis’ without having ‘middle’ in the clue. Lots of old chestnuts, eg ‘sewer’, ‘revered’, ‘address’. Good fun.

  17. rhotician says:

    RCW @9: What do you mean by ‘non-cryptic’? Could you identify a few of the ‘too many’. I suspect you are just making your usual complaint that the puzzle was too easy.

    I found the puzzle very easy, but enjoyable, as I often do with Rufus. I liked SPANK so much that I suspected he may have done it before. Sure enough it’s in 22422 from Jan 2002! Interesting that the original has ‘the end of the desk’.

  18. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Very easy as ever for R. (Not a problem per se!)

    However I must again agree with RCW in questioning the cryptic credentials of certain clues. (Of course the die-hard Rufus defenders will fall back on the trusty “Cryptic Definition” defense :-))

    6D Quick Crossword abscondee surely

    24A As above

    27A Just annoying

    But why has nobody questioned 29A. DD obviously!!!! Could one really describe an “Address” as directions? Location perhaps! I really don’t believe that “23 Railway Cuttings” could be described as directions. But as I am on alert for the recently occasionally sloppy Rufus this only held me up for a millisecond or two.

    Still briefly enjoyable.

    Thanks to PD and R

  19. John Appleton says:

    Rufus’s puzzles certainly have their detractors (rightly or wrongly), as do certain clues in this puzzle. 6d is one of those. It is perhaps subjective as to how cryptic this clue is; it misdirected me as I was thinking it might cryptically refer to some get-together of workers. I get the impression that those contributors who dislIked this clue are seasoned solvers, to which a clue like this might seem a bit worn, so I can understand their view somewhat. But I think that to a newer solver, this clue could be a decent introduction to the cryptic definition.

  20. andy smith says:

    Brendan@18 – “directions for delivery” is a pretty good synonym for “address” in my book?

    All very straightforward, but IMO very smoothly and elegantly clued throughout.

    Thanks for the blog PeeDee.

  21. rhotician says:

    Brendan@18 – both you and RCW seem to take the view that a clue is “non-cryptic” if it is easy.

    Neither 6d TWELVE nor 24a INSIDE could ever appear as clued here in a Quick.
    “just annoying” is not a valid criticism of the “cryptic credentials” of 27A WAVE.

    Andy @20 has refuted your criticism of 27a ADDRESS. The fact that you failed to parse it correctly shows that it is actually rather good. A cryptic definition and straight definition with ‘delivery’ belonging to the cryptic part rather than the straight. A nice example of mis-direction.

    Incidentally, in 22500 from Apr 2002 TWELVE is clued as “A time for high-handedness”.

  22. RCWhiting says:

    ‘beef and lamb etc (3,5). It is hard to think of any alternatives to ‘red meats’.
    In 3d I had just the inital ‘I’ and last word ‘greedy’. Sorry but I immediately wrote in ‘insatiable’.As Brendan suggests, that could be in the Quick Puzzle.
    There are others but that will do.
    As you (and others) have implied the word ‘easy’ should be nanned from this MB whereas the word hard seems to be perfectly acceptable.
    Whenever I hear the word ‘puzzle’ (any kind)I automatically add easy? or hard?
    That is the inherent characteristic of puzzles.
    Why do you think that I should not be allowed to balance my comments by using either adjective as appropriate?

  23. Brendan (not that one) says:

    rho @21

    Your “both you and RCW seem to take the view that a clue is “non-cryptic” if it is easy” is quite obviously disingenuous. My personal concerns about the more recent Rufus offerings have been well documented by myself on here. They quite clearly state that I do not object to “easy”.

    My views are of course personal and I see no reason why I should not hold them or indeed air them on this board! ;-)

    I do however hold up my hand regarding 29d. Mea culpa! One to Rufus. :-)

    27a is still annoying!

    Of course 6d and 24a could appear as clued in a Quick crossword. Look at today’s for instance.

  24. PeeDee says:

    I agree with Brendan and RCW here. Nothing wrong with not personally liking easy crosswords, nor disliking too many/too obvious cryptic clues. It is also reasonable to find some crossword clues annoying.

    These are personal opinions, expressed in a reasonable way.

  25. rhotician says:

    I see what you’re saying now. The most common type of cryptic clue consists of definition plus wordplay. Then there’s the extra element of surface. In a Quick there’s mostly just definition. With Rufus you often find it easy to spot the definition, solve the clue as you would in a Quick and ignore the wordplay and surface. So while the clue is technically cryptic it is not in effect.

    So when you say ‘non-cryptic’ you just mean ‘easy’. ‘Too easy’ is a matter both of taste and experience.

    I have no real objection to comments on difficulty, except that they can become repetitious and sometimes they smack of boasting. More interesting is debate on the technical aspects of the cryptic clueing. Acknowledgement of wit and ingenuity is also welcome. Criticism of inelegance, tastelessness and obscurity can also be fun.

  26. RCWhiting says:

    Your last paragraph is very pompous but I am grateful that you have been kind enough to tell me exactly which kind of comment you will allow me to post.

  27. rhotician says:

    I have not, nor would I wish to have, the authority to allow posts here. Nor would I enjoy the responsibility. Pomposity is an occasional indulgence, I admit. Sarcasm I eschew, as usually do you.

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