Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,815 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on December 10th, 2012


I’m not usually one of Rufus’s biggest fans, but I enjoyed this one, as I thought it had a nice variety of clue types, and as always some excellent surface readings. As usual, nothing too challenging for a Monday morning, but 11d and 17a held me up a little at the end.

8. RURAL (A RU) reversed in R + L
9. UNCLOTHED (HE COULDN’T)* – a nicely-concealed anagram: I was trying to interpret this as a cryptic definition for a while
12. COAXED CO + AXED, with “to” indicating that the parts are joined together, and “cut down” in the past tense
14. GOUACHE GO (quit) + U[niversity] + ACHE. Gouache is a type of paint that is similar to watercolour, but thicker, and I suppose “a gouache” can be a painting
17. CROSSES Double definition
22. DANISH A N[orth] in DISH
24. STUDY STUD ([a place to find] horses) + Y[ear]
25. SLEEPWALK Cryptic definition
1. ALONSO SALOON*. I’m about as ignorant as it’s possible to be about motor racing, but no doubt this refers to Fernando Alonso, who I see was born on the same day as my daughter (which was also the day of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Di).
2. DYSLEXIA (SIX DELAY)*. The definition “word blindness” is rather a giveaway, though perhaps difficult to avoid. (By the way, DYSLEXIA is also an anagram of DAILY SEX – one for Paul perhaps?)
3. GRATED Double definition – “grated” as in having a grate or grill.
4. RUBELLA RUB (polish) + ELLA, and rubella is German measles, so called because it was first described by German physicians in the mid-eighteenth century
5. DUENNA Cryptic definition, a duenna being a chaperone. Rather a vague CD I though – I toyed with the idea of GEISHA and even ESCORT here
6. MAIN LINE MAIN (principal) + LINE (occupation)
11. STIR Double definition (and not a reversal, as I thought for a while)
16. HEAP HE + PA<
18. SANDWICH Triple definition, for Lord Sandwich, the food named after him and the Kent port
23. SPLITS Double definition

16 Responses to “Guardian 25,815 – Rufus”

  1. muffin says:

    Thanks, Andrew and Rufus
    I too struggled with STIR and CROSSES – I tried HURDLES for the latter, but couldn’t find any words ending in U for 11dn.
    I also solved 12ac easily enough, but was reluctant to write it in as I was mentally pronouncing it “CO-AXED”, and couldn’t see what electrical cables had to do with the definition.

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks, Andrew, for the blog

    I took ‘this man advertises’ as the definition in 18dn, i.e one of these:

  3. Andrew says:

    Thanks Eileen, that makes much more sense than my version!

  4. tupu says:

    Thanks Andrew and Rufus

    An enjoyable puzzle and a bit harder than some. Like muffin I struggled with the idea of co-axed until the penny dropped. I also assumed sandwich related to ‘sandwich man’ and ‘sandwich board’.

    Good surfaces as Andrew notes.

    I ticked 12a, 14a, 25a, 4d and 22d where I was looking for some french ballet term at first.

  5. ChrisS says:

    Thanks Andrew.
    I agree it was a bit harder than usual. 14a took much longer than it should have done and 17a was the last in.
    15d and 19d were perfectly clear in their parsing but it is strange how long it can take to recognise the word, all the same!

  6. John Appleton says:

    Fairly average for Rufus. Quite liked 9 and 4.

  7. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Andrew & Rufus.

    I opted for PROSPER for 17a.

    And I am confident that everyone will now agree that this is very much better.

  8. Peter says:

    Sorry Bryan, I don’t agree. It would need to be PROSPERS to fit the clue and CROSSES is clearly correct. I also got stuck with this and STIR though.

  9. NeilW says:

    Thanks, Andrew.

    Doesn’t “A return game between two sides in the country” clue RAURL, though?

  10. chas says:

    Thanks Andrew for the blog.

    on 5d I got the idea fairly early on of somebody accompanying a young female but got stuck on ideas like nurse and nanny. When I had all the crossing letters I eventually saw the light :(

    I also was held up on 11 looking for a reversal or even an anagram.

  11. Robi says:

    Enjoyable puzzle, tricky in parts.

    Thanks Andrew; like some others I got stuck on CROSSES – my last in. I particularly liked SLEEPWALK and UNCLOTHED. As you said, DYSLEXIA was a bit of a giveaway. Maybe ‘cyclopia’ could have been used instead, giving the possibility of a less obvious definition.

  12. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Not very difficult but a league above the usual Monday offering.
    The SE corner turned it into a respectable puzzle for The Guardian. Last written in was ‘grated’ although I had it much earlier but doubted ‘grated’ = ‘grilled’,eventually accepted it.
    Otherwise,last was ‘sleepwalk’.
    I thought 9ac was very clever.

  13. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Quite a nice Rufus. Not too difficult but some nice clues.

    I must agree with NeilW @9 regarding RURAL though. Didn’t notice at the time though.

    Last in were CROSSES and STIR as with other posters.

    Thanks to Andrew and Rufus.

  14. Derek Lazenby says:

    Welcome back. Seems faster all round already.

    I thought this wasn’t one of his easiest.

    I liked the way either end of 27 could have been the definition or the anagrind, well before solving that is. That helped to make the solving of the anagram a bit less obvious.

  15. PeeDee says:

    I was hoping someone would would have a clever explanation for RAURL, but it seems that it is just a bit of licence. Unusual for Rufus I think, he produces outrageous cryptic definitions all the time, but his wordplay is usually very sound.

  16. William Smith-Haddon says:

    PeeDee above. I agree with you and was also hoping I’d missed something. For me the clue doesn’t really work as the ‘return game’ and the ‘a’ need to be the other way round.

    Hey-ho, a nice puzzle nonetheless.

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