Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,856 – Rufus

Posted by manehi on January 28th, 2013


Liked a lot of clues in this, especially 24ac, 27ac, 2dn and 8dn. A couple of question marks over 16ac and 7dn.

1 MANAGED =”Coped” M[eeting] + (agenda)*
5 TIDE RIP cryptic def where one current of water flows against another
10 FLAT double def =”Residence”; =”with no outstanding features”
11 CHESS PIECE cryptic def
12 EGG CUP cryptic def an EGG being “what has to be laid”
13 INCHOATE =”beginning” (action he)*
14 CONCURRED =”Agreed” C=”hundred” + ON + CUR=”dog” + RE=”about” + D=”five hundred”
16 KIOSK [?] =”place of call” not sure what “restricted” refers to
17 EBONY “not easily carved” (by one)*
19 ARTILLERY “Large pieces”, where piece=firearm ARTERY=”major road” around ILL=”faulty”
23 DIVISION double def a DIVISION of the house is a vote in the Commons; DIVISION=”disagreement”
24 FOREGO =”Sacrifice” FOR EGO=”in the interest of self-esteem”
26 BALUSTRADE =”Protection on landing” BAL=”party” rev(LAB)=”party backing” + US=”American” + TRADE=”commerce”
27 DARN =”Repair” R[ight] inside (and)*
28 READING double def =”Elementary subject”; =”a university”
29 ADDRESS =”Speech” A[nno] D[omini] DRESS=”attire for modern times”
2 ALLEGRO cryptic def Written above a musical staff to tell you “to get a move on”
3 ATTIC =”Room at the top” rev(CITTA), Italian for “city”
4 ESCAPER =”He’s broken out” E[ast] and S[outh] are “quarters” + CAPER=”saucy prank”
6 INSECT =”cricket, say” IN=”popular” + SECT=”school”
7 EDITORIAL cryptic/double def? is a “Column” and/or a “leader”
8 INCITES =”eggs” (it’s nice)*
9 MEDITERRANEAN =”sea” (men are trained)*
15 CONTINUED =”Carried on” (unnoticed)*
18 BRIGADE =”Soldiers” BADE=”ordered” around RIG=”kit”
20 INFIELD cryptic def “Silly” fielding positions in cricket are the ones closest to the batsmen, in the INFIELD
21 REGARDS double def =”Looks at”; =”expression of friendliness” at the close of an e-mail
22 KITTEN =”Young Tom” rev(NET=”catch”) after KIT=”young Christopher”
25 RIDER A “clause”… …that suggests the opposite of “pedestrian”

45 Responses to “Guardian 25,856 – Rufus”

  1. chris skidmore says:

    Thanks for the post and Rufus for a harder than normal puzzle, I felt.

    In 16a, I thought the ‘restricted’ highlighted the confined space in a kiosk – or possibly the restriction of landlines as opposed to mobile phones.

    Shouldn’t 26a read rev(LAB) =”party”?

  2. J. David Simons says:

    I’m with you all the way on this one, manehi – not sure I know why ‘kiosk’ is restricted except in a literal sense.

  3. andy smith says:

    Thanks for the blog.

    re 16, a telephone kiosk is one of those red Gilbert Scott efforts, fast disappearing … and a restricted place for a phone call. I think the term kiosk is not really current anymore – replaced by ‘booth’ or ‘box’.

  4. manehi says:

    Thanks chris – you’re right on 26a.

  5. Bertandjoyce says:

    Well we really enjoyed this although the NE corner caused us a bit of head scratching in trying to parse the answers. We felt that KIOSK was a little too losely clued but the rest of the puzzle was a tour de force in smooth surface readings in our opinion.

    1ac set the tone for the rest of the solve followed by 10ac, 9d, 17ac ….. the list goes on.

    Many thanks Rufus for a great start to the week and manehifor the blog!

  6. muffin says:

    Thanks manehi and rufus
    I too thought that KIOSK was rather weak.
    Further to discussion of “top-down” and “bottom-up” clues last week, I thought 14ac was a very good example of a clue that was fair in either direction.

  7. michelle says:

    Thank you Rufus, I enjoyed this puzzle, and I was pleased that I could finish it even though it was quite a challenge (I’m a beginner / improving solver). Quite a few clues took me a long time to solve, and there were many solved clues that I could not parse at all.

    My favourites were 14a, 26a, 22d and I thought that 12a was very cute. By ‘favourites’, I mean that I was pleased to solve them and I could parse them!

    New word for me was ‘tide rip’.

    Although I solved these clues, I could not fully parse 2d, 23a, 25d, 5a, 20d, 19a so I am very happy to read your blog, Manehi.

    By the way, I have notice in past blogs that people refer to ‘surfaces’. Please let me know what is a ‘surface’? Is it the way a clue is written?

  8. michelle says:

    re 16a I had no problem with the fact that ‘kiosk” is a restricted place in which to make a phone call, ie a public phone booth.

    Maybe it’s my age group that can still relate to a phone booth as a phone kiosk, both being restricted spaces.

  9. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Well this did take a little longer than the usual Monday fare, but not in a good way.
    As B&J say, I was held up by the NE corner.
    It gave me no satisfaction since 5ac, 7d and 16ac had all been considered much earlier but not written in. They seemed little more than words which matched the crossers rather than the clues (in a cryptic way).

  10. Apple Granny says:

    Much harder than the usual Rufus, and some lovely clues. The only one we didn’t understand was “darn” which was just us being a bit stupid! Kiosk was weak, we thought. And we definitely struggled, as did bertandjoyce@5 with the NE. But have just finished it over a coffee (rather than over breakfast, which is our target). Favourite was 8d (incites) and 22d (kitten) 12a (egg cup) was satisfying.

  11. tupu says:

    Thanks manehi and Rufus

    Some rather tricky clues here among the usual write-ins.I guessed 5a was
    ‘tide +’ but had to look it out in Chambers.

    I liked 24a and 8d particularly. Kiosk was last in not because of the clue itself (I agree with michelle on this) but because it was hard to imagine a fitting word.

    Michelle @7. ‘Surface’ puzzled me when I first started participating in this blog. It seems to be the visible form of the clue as opposed to its hidden message. 13a is a good example which seems on the surface to be talking about a person being misguided when beginning action, but ‘beginning’ is the definition and ‘action he’ is the material of the anagram and ‘misguided’ is the anagram indicator.

  12. manehi says:

    I can see that a KIOSK could be described as a “restricted” space – but in that case I don’t really see much that’s cryptic in the clue.

    michelle – “surface” is the literal reading of the clue. So, for example, 14ac today has a pleasingly coherent surface about winning a bet.

  13. michelle says:

    thanks tupu @11, maybe I can now begin to understand what ‘a surface’ is.

    Up till now I could never compliment a setter on their ‘surfaces’. I could only say what my ‘favourites’ are, as in a clue leading to an answer that I can parse, but of course that is very subjective.

  14. michelle says:

    back to 16a: doesn’t it mean that it is simply a cd?

  15. tupu says:

    HI michelle

    It is a bit like the use of ‘surface structure’ in linguistics where alternative meanings of a sentence are possible if not all equally likely.
    ‘Time flies like an arrow’ has several ‘possible’ meanings in addition to its well-understood one. It may possibly relate to ‘time flies’ as a sort of ‘fly’ which likes arrows (cf. the apparent similarity with ‘fruit flies like a banana’) or it may be a command to time flies in the same way as one times an arrow or to time them very quickly. Or someone might say ‘the shooting of the the escapees was atrocious’. In these cases the different meanings have different ‘deep’ grammatical structures under the same or similar surfaces.

  16. tupu says:

    re kiosk as cd, yes, I think that’s what it is.

  17. michelle says:

    Manehi@12, thanks, I can better understand a ‘surface’ now.

    Re 16a, I think it works as a CD if we take it as a “restricted place of call”. If only as a ‘restricted place’, I agree with you that it may not work.

  18. manehi says:

    I agree that 16 is a cryptic definition.

    My (minor) grumble was that for me the “Possibly a restricted” part of the clue didn’t add much misdirection to the surface reading, or contribute much to the cryptic definition itself – the trick to solving the clue was entirely in reading “place of call” in the right way.

  19. michelle says:

    manehi@12, thank you, I understand what you are saying. As a beginner, I am always happy if I can get the answer even though often I cannot parse the answer, and I could not comment on ‘surface reading’ (having only tonight learnt what a ‘surface’ is)

  20. chas says:

    Thanks to manehi for the blog.

    I had no trouble with the restricted place to make a phone call – except that I picked on phone booth. Eventually I had to replace it with KIOSK. To my mind this was a weak clue because we had to wait for crossing letters to pick the right answer.

    I thought 12a was good.

  21. Robi says:

    Thanks Rufus and manehi. Enjoyable to solve, and despite others’ criticisms overall a good crossword, I thought, even if some of the cd’s are difficult to fathom at the beginning [isn't that good in a cryptic crossword?]

    I thought 16 was a perfectly fair cd. The old red telephone kiosks in the UK are restricted places from which to place a call, with the nice misdirection that ‘place of call’ could have been a port. I did consider ‘cabin’ at the beginning when I didn’t have any crossers. I don’t understand RCW @9′s objection to TIDE RIP. Again, it seemed a perfectly good cd to me. I also considered ‘crosspiece’ for 11, which just about fitted the clue, although not as good as CHESSPIECE [incidentally, the latter doesn't seem to appear in Chambers, although it does in Collins.]

    I thought ARTILLERY had multiple, nice misdirections. I also thought INCITES was particularly good.

  22. Rowland says:

    Re michelle at 16 maybe you could share your new-found appreciation with some of our compilers!!


  23. Johnh42 says:

    Re 16a Michelle. And “possibly” because there are other sorts of kiosk

  24. vinny says:

    Has anybody mentioned the homophone in 24ac? “Sacrifice” should give “forgo”, not “forego”, surely.

  25. Robi says:

    chas @20; surely the point of a cd is that it may have multiple possibilities. Yes, ‘booth’ was one, ‘cabin’ another and ‘kiosk’ the ‘right’ one – personally, I don’t think needing some crossers makes it a weak clue, just not a write-in at the beginning.

  26. Robi says:

    vinny @24; Chambers 12th gives ‘forgo’ or ‘forego’ for sacrifice.

  27. michelle says:

    rowly@22 and johnh42@23
    I guess that I am so much a beginner that I do not understand your comments.

    I would like to say that I DO appreciate how much cryptic crosswords make us aware of our general knowledge in music, literature, arts, politics, etc. Plus an appreciation of the glorious English language in general.

    Fifteensquared has made me aware of my love of the English language as well as my love of cryptic crosswords, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  28. Robi says:

    michelle @27; if it helps any, I don’t understand Rowly’s comment at 22 either.

    Johnh42 @23 was, I think, just trying to make clear that the ‘Possibly’ in clue 16 was there to indicate that there might have been multiple answers.

  29. michelle says:

    Robi@28 – thanks

  30. Andrew says:

    I’m not keen on the clue for KIOSK – it’s rather like the problem with CALUMET last week: even if you see through the crypticness of the cd (in any case rather weak here) it’s not much help in getting the word, when there are only two checked letters out of five, and where the definition is, I think, not one that would immediately occur to many of us, even those old enough to have lived in those far-off days where we didn’t have mobiles and so had to use public telephones.

    On the plus side, all this has led me to the knowledge that KIOSK originally comes from the Persian kushk meaning “palace” or “portico”, arriving in English via Turkish and French. The first definition in Chambers is “Orig an Eastern garden pavilion”.

  31. Rowland says:

    It was just a jibe at some of the ‘surfaces’ we are treated to in The Guardian.

  32. MalP says:

    28ac Salve alma mater!

  33. RCWhiting says:

    Robi @21
    Re: ‘tide-rip’.
    I thought of the solution very early but then studied the clue to find the cyptic part, when I couldn’t I did not write it in.
    Exactly the same for ‘editorial’,it IS a ‘column leader’.

    Michelle, all the above comments are fair and useful in your quest.
    It might also be useful to know that some of us think that the importance of surfaces is very overrated.

  34. Robi says:

    Hi RCW@ 33; I guess one man’s cryptic is another man’s write-in. If the answer were something like ‘Mali War,’ I could see the problem. However, I see some of the Guardian posters had tried ‘fuse box,’ which, I think, shows that something cryptic was lurking there.

  35. RCWhiting says:

    Fair enough, Robi.

  36. Mitz says:

    Thanks manehi and Rufus.

    Very late to the party today so most things have been said. Just wanted to express my appreciation of some really good stuff from Rufus today: a good mix of style and difficulty. For what it’s worth I didn’t have any problem with the cryptic parts of 5 (could have meant “up to date” or something to do with electricity) or 7 (could have been about a military column). I was less convinced by 16.

    Speaking of surfaces, that for MEDITERRANEAN was smooth as silk, and DARN was particularly neat.

  37. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Some lovely clues some awful! As ever.

    I particularly liked 27a but loathed 5a.

    5a for me sums up a lot that I don’t like about Rufus’s style. If you’ve never heard of TIDE RIP then you’ll NEVER deduce the answer!!!

    This type of clue belongs in the “Cryptic Crossword Clue Museum”. IMHO of course :-)

    On the whole not much fun :-(

  38. muffin says:

    Strangely (bearing in mind other’s comments) I wrote in 1ac, 3dn and 5ac (“TIDE RIP”) immediately, then had to think a bit before making further progress – each has his own area of confidence, I suppose.

  39. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Araucaria and manehi

    I found this one a stinker – in the first return of A since his annoucement the previous week. Found myself thinking that there was something wrong with the puzzle after entering MANX at 10, DOUBLE BOW at 14, ROUGHLY SPEAKING at 25 and still trying to fit GOLDEN ROD into 14d. A number of hours over several sittings to fix that mess …

    … and then 13d with the -B- / I-L-Y-R which took further days going through Latin prayers, Islamic IBN church leaders, etc – until in a quiet moment the anagram fodder presented itself – still wasn’t straightfoward to find the BBC IPLAYER which I did not know of.

    Very satisfying to finally finish after a torrid battle!

  40. brucew_aus says:

    Oops … wrong puzzle … sorry

    Did find this Rufus much easier though – same slow down in NE – but after having help to find the KIOSK word , I had no problems with the definition even though the term has not been used for a telephone booth/box down here – even the old red ones :)

  41. Thropplenoggin says:

    Hello all,

    I have a query regarding 11a. Isn’t this two words and thus should be clued (5,5)? I did make the link between ‘board’ and board games, but none of the chess or chequer pieces were 10-letter words, so I gave up that idea, leaving it blank.

    This was a very hard nut to crack – perhaps an excess of cryptic definitions for a Monday puzzle? I like them, but surely this is more mid-week fare?

    Yours, etc.


  42. Robi says:

    Thropplenoggin @41; CHESSPIECE is given as one word in Collins, so I guess it’s OK.

  43. RCWhiting says:

    …….and the blogger completely ignored the problem……………

  44. MDatta says:

    Surely it is’ rip tide’ not ‘tide rip’ ? Harrumph.

  45. Huw Powell says:

    The usual fun and frustration with a Rufus production. His Ximenian clues are perfect beginner/Monday fare, and the surfaces’ elegance adds to the charm (I usually don’t notice them, since I am trying to solve a clue, not read a poem), once people here point out the better ones.

    The hard part is his penchant for CDs and DDs, neither of which offer the satisfaction of “proving” to oneself that one has the correct answer. Hence my NE, while all filled in, is mostly still in pencil.

    On to the issue of the day, KIOSK. I thought the clue was perfect – this kind of CD is so charming. The clue is so open-ended that it could be parsed into almost anything, depending on how one chops it up, and I spent most of each visit to it trying to come up with port cities. Then – when it was the last clue to finish – I thought “what about other meanings of ‘place of call’”, instantly thought “telephone booth”, translated it into my schoolboy British, and that vintage appliance paid off like a Las Vegas one-armed bandit in pennies. Every word is perfect. “Possibly”, because, as someone pointed out, there are other kinds of kiosk – here in the states tourist destinations very often feature “information kiosks”, for instance – and “restricted” because there are many unrestricted places to call from, especially in the modern era. And “place of call”, of course, is a very fair definition.

    I get chuffed at Rufus’ heavy use of CDs and DDs, but then I remind myself that his “true” cryptics lead to many checked letters (even with the cruel grids he seems to favor), and that keeping the CD and DD alive is part of his mission, and that I should expect them and deal with it in a cheerful fashion.

    There were a lot of clues I really liked today – too many to list, partly because I don’t have a habit of checking them off as I go – but I might generalize and say my CODs for this one were “every non CD or DD” plus the marvelous 16.

    So thank you Rufus, for the fun and frustration, and Manehi and the rest of the regular rabble for the always interesting and informative blog.

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