Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25.868 / Rufus

Posted by Eileen on February 11th, 2013


I found this a rather trickier Rufus than usual. There are some really nice clues, with the usual smooth-as-silk surfaces, my favourites being 12, 13 and 14ac and 15 and 18dn, along with a couple I’m not so keen on. Many thanks, Rufus, for a pleasant start to a chilly day.


7 Collected tales of Franco-English PM
DE [French ‘of”] + CAMERON [English PM]

8 Blame one laid on head of Dean Swift
RAP [blame] + I [one] + D[ean] – nice ‘lift and separate’ clue

9 Phone about disruption of trade causing delay
RING [phone] round anagram [disruption] of TRADE

10 Swindle quietly put together by rogue
SCAM [[swindle] + P [quietly]

12 Close by river or brook
END [close] + URE [the river that runs through my beloved Wensleydale]
Clever misdirection here, in ‘close by’ and the definition

13 Frank, ensnared in sex scandal, reveals all
PLAIN [frank] in anagram [scandal] of SEX

14 1,000-1 betting slip?
M [1.000] + I [one] + STAKE [betting]

17 Setback for the other side
double definition

20 Suspect hijinks for the departing prodigal?

22 Stop side moving good man
anagram [moving] of SIDE + ST [good man]

24 Woman who has to polish hard
EDIT [polish] + H [hard]

25 Showing where there’s a cover-up
double definition: one of those words, like ‘cleave’, that can mean the opposite of themselves

26 A nutcase?
cryptic definition

27 Kept quiet and withdrawn
P [quiet – again] + RESERVED [withdrawn]


1 River veers roughly north
anagram [roughly] of VEERS +  [north]

2 Missile launcher fitted to aircraft carriers
I think this must be intended as a double definition but it isn’t really, is it? And it’s not cryptic, either.

3 A point that was put on record
cryptic definition, referring to the stylus used in gramophones / record players

4 Outsidera good steeplechaser?
double definition – this is another one I didn’t like much

5 Where a shopkeeper needs to carry identification
I’m rather struggling to find this one cryptic, too

6 Mail sent astray produces complaints
anagram [astray] of MAIL SENT

11 Record the same note twice — it’s sharp
EP [record] + EE [same note twice]

15 Ex-US president takes round new British PM
IKE [ex-US president Dwight D Eisenhower] round anagram [new] of ROUND
I made heavy weather of this: having only the I and O, I first thought of Iron Lady, with RON for the ex-president, but got nowhere with that, then, when I got the second word, I tried to make UK = British – then light dawned and I saw we had a different use of ’round’ here. Very nifty, Mr Squires!

16 Touch with an oral greeting
double definition: it’s what snooker balls do, I believe

18 Girl holds chap up in Denmark
ELSIE [girl] round reversal [up] of RON [right this time!] for the Prince of Denmark’s home

19 Fabulous supporter of royal arms
cryptic definition [It’s not often I have to supply links for a Rufus blog and this is the third one!]

21 Growing anger
double definition

22 Got up smartly
cryptic definition

23 Sent us out at the end of the day
anagram [out] of SENT US

20 Responses to “Guardian 25.868 / Rufus”

  1. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks, Eileen. I found this started very easily, for the first half dozen clues, but then became much more difficult. As often happens with Rufus’ Xwords I grew bored and resorted to the last few answers from this blog.

    13a EXPLAINS took me while, as I was trying to use INSEX as anagram fodder, but couldn’t explain PLA!

    Failed on 24d NETTLE and whilst I saw FASCIA for 5d I still don’t understand it – is it referring to the sign above the shop?

  2. Eileen says:

    Re 5dn: that’s how I took it, Dave, but, as I said, it’s hardly cryptic.

  3. tupu says:

    Thanks Eileen and Rufus

    A lot easier than last Saturday’s but that’s only as it should be.

    I agree very much with Eileen (that’s also as it should be!) re the questionable clues. Mostly a write in but the south-west held me up for a time, even though we had a skull/nutcase link recently I think.

    My favourite clue was 20a, but 15d also pleased (I too thought that Mrs T and her pal Ron – who does turn up in 18d – might be involved).

  4. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Rufus and Eileen

    As you say same as usual Rufus with a tiny sting in the tail … finished in the NW corner with NEEDLE the last in – and was probably my favourite because he succeeded in misdirecting me for a while.

    Had no problems with 2 being a dd – the thing that threw stones and the device that launches the fighter jets from an aircraft carrier. Did have a problem equating BOUNDER to outsider though – tenuously they are both ostracised / despised by society. Also didn’t like 5.

  5. tupu says:

    Hi Bruce_aus

    OED among its entries gives

    1890 Times 2 May 13/5 To speak of a man as a bounder is to allude to him as an outsider or cad.

    This seems to fit pretty well. However, I see it associates the word with most immediately with ‘bound’ (v) ‘to leap’ rather than with ‘boundary’.

  6. NormanLinFrance says:

    Thanks, Eileen.
    I thought about BOUNCER. He’s a person who puts people outside, so outsider, and a horse with bounce can do well over the jumps. I’ll get my coat.

  7. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks tupu … hadn’t seen them linked like that before … but fair enough!

  8. muffin says:

    Thanks to Eileen and rufus
    Do stay, NormanL – I considered BOUNCER as well, and used the “check” function to confirm BOUNDER.
    Some clues I liked very much (RAPID,, MISTAKE, IRON DUKE and UNICORN in particular), but others I didn’t like as much. Most have been mentioned previously, but isn’t “got up smartly” a bit loose for DRESSY?

  9. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    Last two were ‘decameron’ and ‘bounder’.
    Most of the non-cryptics have been listed above so I will restrain any complaints.

  10. Robi says:

    Thanks to Eileen and Rufus.

    I was another ‘bouncer’ – they do stand outside pubs and clubs.

    I particularly liked IRON DUKE and GOINGS-ON.

  11. Derek Lazenby says:

    Yeah, as all above. Didn’t waste time on 15 having got the I.O. as Lady came to mind but made no sense, so I kept moving. By the time I got back to it the K was there. And guess whose residence is just down the road?

  12. michelle says:

    I found this puzzle tough but enjoyable. Hardest for me was the NE corner. However, I found this easier than today’s Quiptic which I started but sort of gave up on so I came here to do the Rufus.

    I liked many of the clues, especially 13a, 20a, 8a, 7a.

    New for me was IRON DUKE as description of the Duke of Wellington.

    Thanks for the blog, Eileen

  13. michelle says:

    Regarding 4d, I understand the points made by everyone above but I was fine with BOUNDER = “cad/outsider” + “jumper” as in a horse that jumps well so is good at steeplechase.

    I guess that we sometimes have to stretch our imaginations quite a bit….. Having only started doing the Guardian crosswords last month, I find that my imagination has stretched by leaps and BOUNDS already!

  14. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Eileen & Rufus.

    This was quite easy for the most part but I also struggled with IRON DUKE after going down the RON route.

    I also considered SHELL for 26a which didn’t help.

    Very enjoyable!

  15. Monkeypuzzler says:

    Thanks to Eileen for her usual very clear solutions & suggestions.

    I think that the catapult in 2d refers to the launching device for the planes on an aircraft carrier as opposed to actual exploding devices themselves, but it is still a weak clue in my opinion. It could be argued that anything emanating from a catapult is by definitiion a missile.

    I am also less than whelmed by 5d. No “ah, clever!” moment, compared to, for example, 14a or 25a.

    Never mind, good fun overall.

  16. muck says:

    Thanks Rufus and Eileen
    I had POINTER for 4dn, as in point-to-point, but couldn’t make it work
    BOUNDER and BOUNCER are both better

  17. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Thanks Eileen.
    Today I had a day off from work, and did five (!) crosswords.
    The FT’s Dante (that I have to blog), Punk, Arachne’s Quiptic, Araucaria’s most recent Saturday Prize (one lying on the shelf) and this Rufus.

    Isn’t it at least remarkable that (in fact, once more) this Rufus puzzle was the only one that I couldn’t finish [4d (well, my PinC thought it had to be BOUNDER, 5d (no idea)]?

    It has all to do with these CDs and DDs, I fear.

    Some really nice clues though.
    12ac, 20ac, 26ac (here’s another one that entered ‘shell’ a bit too quickly), 27ac (Keep quiet – nice ‘lift & separate’).

  18. Brendan (not that one) says:

    Finished in the end but too many dodgy clues as already catalogued.

    One in particular which people seemed to have bypassed is 21d. “Growing anger” giving NETTLE as a DD? In what sense does “growing” give NETTLE? It doesn’t seem to to work on any level. (Please don’t tell me it’s a CD as Ximenes will begin a rapid underground rotation!)

    IMHO this is barely a Cryptic Crossword.

    I’m afraid Rufus back to his awful best/worst.

    No fun whatsoever!

    And yes I may take the obvious advice which will come my way to boycott the compiler. It just seems such a waste of a Guardian crossword day. So many dodgy clues would not be tolerated on another day!

  19. RCWhiting says:

    “So many dodgy clues would not be tolerated on another day!”

    See Tuesday and withdraw!

  20. Huw Powell says:

    [[Broadwater Farm]] in [[London Borough of Haringey|Haringey]], north London /oops

    “So many dodgy clues” combined with such a mean-spirited grid… oh well. I liked 3d. 12a was good but I didn’t get it. Had “defense” at 17a. Didn’t care much. Thought of “dressy” for 22d, but again, didn’t care enough. Too many CD/DD clues with not enough check letters makes for a grumpy Huw.

    But keep on keeping on, Rufus, your puzzles are a special variety and I respect that. Thanks for the blog, Eileen, and the rest of you.

    On to the State of the Union address! I think we are still “united”. What else is the POTUS supposed to say?

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