Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic 25898 Rufus

Posted by scchua on March 18th, 2013


Another typical Rufus, with cds/dds taking the centre stage today.  Nicely compact clues, and overall easy but enjoyable.  Thanks to Rufus.  Definitions are underlined in the clues.  [[The pictures at the bottom have unidentified links to the puzzle.  Please enclose any comments on them in double brackets.  Thank you.]]

7 On being put in command where the abbot provides orders (9)

MONASTERY : ON contained in(being put in) MASTERY(a command of, as in “command/mastery of the language”).

8 Smoke when in prison (5)

SNOUT : Cryptic defn: Prison slang for a smoke;cigarette or tobacco.

9 Sufficient for a joint operation in space? (5,4)

ELBOW ROOM : Cryptic defn: Reference to the literal meaning of sufficient space around you to move your elbow joint around.

10 Hotpot makers (5)

KILNS : Cryptic defn: Ovens to heat pottery in their manufacturing process.

12 A sound method to describe an anchor being lifted (6)

AWEIGH : A + homophone of(sound) “way”(a method of doing things).

13 Someone must have been willing to appoint him (8)

EXECUTOR : Cryptic defn: The person appointed to execute;implement the last will and testament of somebody.

14 La Costa resort by the sea (7)

COASTAL : Anagram of(resort, as in “re-sort”) LA COSTA. Nicely compact clue.

17 Withdrawing  support? (7)

BACKING : Double defn: 1st: Withdrawing;backing away from; and 2nd: To be for, not against, say, a motion.

20 Jo prayed to be free of danger (8)

JEOPARDY : Anagram of(to be free) JO PRAYED.

22 After a drive, he walks (6)

GOLFER : Cryptic defn: A golfer walks to his ball after driving it from the tee. Though increasingly, he’s more likely to drive a golf buggy instead.

24 This person‘s work is another’s play (5)

ACTOR : Cryptic defn. In the style of “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”.

25 Pottery has novel article in stock (9)

STONEWARE : { NEW(novel) + A(the indefinite article) } contained in(in) STORE(a stock;a reserve).

26 Excited atmosphere around the street (5)

ASTIR : AIR(atmosphere) containing(around) ST(abbrev. for “street”).

27 Signal to bring in social worker (9)

IMPORTANT : IMPORT(to bring into, eg. one’s country) + ANT(a social insect, one of whose castes is the worker).

1 Don’t take the lead, but succeed (6)

FOLLOW : Double defn: 2nd: To succeed;to take the position of someone leaving.

2 Coal rise affected heating units (8)

CALORIES : Anagram of(affected) COAL RISE.

Answer: Units of the amount of heat/energy.

3 Carbohydrate consumed  makes clothes hard to wear (6)

STARCH : Double defn: 2nd: A commercial preparation from the carbo used to stiffen clothes in laundering.

4 A number swindled — that’s dishonest (7)

CROOKED : C(Roman numeral for 100) + ROOKED(slang for “swindled”).

5 It’s naturally placed among Latin phrases (2,4)

IN SITU : Cryptic defn: The Latin phrase meaning “to be situated in its natural place or position”.

6 Decline  to fold over the sheet (4,4)

TURN DOWN : Double defn: 1st: To decline;to refuse, say, an invitation; and 2nd: To fold over eg. a collar, or bed sheets.

11 Nominally, she gets five years (4)

VERA : V(Roman numeral for 5) + ERA(a period of very many years).

15 Accomplished players, but not very bright (8)

OVERCAST : OVER(completed;accomplished) + CAST(the group of players on stage).

16 Foreign port  area (4)

ACRE : Double defn: A foreign (unless you’re from Israel) port in northern Israel; and 2nd: A former Imperial system unit of area, especially land.

18 Talk to WI about a powerful measure (8)

KILOWATT : Anagram of(about) TALK TO WI.

Answer: A unit of measurement of power;energy per second.

19 Methods intended to avoid betting slips (7)

SYSTEMS : Cryptic defn: Various methods gamblers follow to minimise their losses;avoid betting errors;slips. But, of course, results not guaranteed.

21 Not against healthy yield (6)

PROFIT : PRO(in favour of;not against) + FIT(healthy and able bodied).

22 Fetching follower of the game (3,3)

GUN DOG : Cryptic defn: A dog used by hunters to seek, retrieve and fetch game they have shot.  My last one in.

23 Make a mistake and run one (6)

ERRAND : ERR(to make a mistake;error) + AND.

Answer: The “one” in the defn: a chore one might run;do.




33 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic 25898 Rufus”

  1. ToniL says:

    Thank-you Rufus and scchua.

    Euphemistically “straightforward” or, I see, “uncomplicated”.

    But isn’t that what is asked of Rufus?

    [[I need a few more letters to make picture 2 work]]

  2. ACP says:

    I usually love Rufus and can absorb his cryptic definitions.

    But 8ac SNOUT had no chance of solving other than knowing the slang word. It may as well have been a trivia question.

  3. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Rufus and scchua

    Straightforward apart from lazily putting in AARE (anagram of area) first until I could’t validate a port at the end of the Swiss river with the same name – back to drawing board briefly to fix with ACRE.

  4. muffin says:

    Thanks scchua and Rufus
    Very easy, though I was held up by writing in OVENS instead of KILNS. I agree that SNOUT isn’t cryptic.

    [3rd picture is of the Everly BROTHERS – “brothers” might be in a monastery, perhaps?]

  5. Ian SW3 says:

    Thanks, Scchua.

    [[Shakespeare and Tommy Lee Jones are both actors, though probably more to the point, the latter was in Double Jeopardy. The former wrote Measure for Measure (acre and kilowatt?), but that is less convincing. And if I propositioned the attractive subject of the fourth picture, she would probably TURN me DOWN.]]

  6. Ian SW3 says:

    [[Oh, and of course there’s a character named SNOUT in a Midsummer Night’s Dream.]]

  7. Ian SW3 says:

    [[Wikipedia also informs me the Everly Brothers recorded a song called Bird Dog. I’ll shut up now.]]

  8. scchua says:

    [[Right your are, Ian SW3. Tom Snout was one of the mechanicals in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; the Everly Brothers had a hit with Bird Dog, which is another term for a gun dog – the song title, though, refers to someone who steals your date/bird; and Tommy Lee Jones was in Double Jeopardy. That leaves the last picture.]]

  9. Ian SW3 says:

    [[Ashlet Judd (for it is she) was also in DOUBLE JEOPARDY.]]

  10. Ian SW3 says:


  11. george says:

    What a relief today after struggling to make headway with Saturday’s Prize.

    Thanks sschua for the blog. When I had the O for 22d I thought — BOY (as in BALL BOY), but when I got the U I realised it must be GUN DOG, which fitted the clue much better.

    KILNS was my last in as I was stuck (as Rufus no doubt intended) thinking about the edible hotpot and trying to make onions etc fit.

    [[I don’t recognise the woman in the 4th picture and knowing how devious your links are sschua I guess that she is not a VERA]]

  12. izzythedram says:

    I love Rufus

  13. Colin says:

    Thanks to Rufus and scchua.

    Nothing too taxing today and for once I got the cryptic definitions pretty much straight away.

    Today’s Quiptic is fun.

  14. Trailman says:

    I don’t love Rufus but at least today I was on his wavelength. Liked 22d best of the cds. With the help of ‘abbot’ in the clue, I googled MONASTERY convinced that it was some part thereof (cf the recent Dorter) that would provide the answer, before realising it was in front of me.

  15. tupu says:

    Thanks Scchua and Rufus

    Mixed difficulty with ‘snout’ guessed and then checked. Some clever cluing as usual – I liked 9a, 17a, 20a, 27a, 15d, 22d when solving.

  16. chas says:

    Thanks to scchua for the blog. I had quite forgotten that bit of prison slang so 8 beat me.

    When I saw 11d I thought ‘decade = 10 years’ and ‘xxx = 5 years’ but I could not remember the word. Later on I saw VERA was the right answer. Can anybody remind me: what is the word for a 5-year period?

    [[I saw Shakespeare but having failed to get SNOUT I could not see how to fit him in. I recognised the Everly brothers but totally failed on pictures 2 and 4]]

  17. Miche says:

    Thanks, scchua.

    Chas @16: the only word for a five-year period I can call to mind is lustrum.

  18. Derek Lazenby says:

    scchua, the Acre is still an Imperial Unit. Some may wish to see the back of the Imperial System, but they haven’t won yet! A quick random dip into UK Estate Agent’s web sites quickly finds phrases such as “The buildings sit on a plot of 1.1 acres. which includes….”.

  19. chas says:

    Thanks to miche @17. I knew there is such a word but could not remember it. Now that I see the word I observe it has 7 letters so it could not possibly be an answer to 11 :)

  20. Bryan says:

    Many thanks Scchua & Rufus.

    Even though I have been in 3 Prisons (Brixton, Ford & Belmarsh) I have NEVER heard of SNOUT.

    Of course, I was only a visitor. Maybe I should have stayed longer?

    [[The lady is undoubtedly VERA LYNN]]

    We’ll meet again.

  21. scchua says:

    [[Sorry to disappoint you, george, I’m not as devious as you think I am :-) , and Bryan too, it’s not a Vera, but it is an Ashley Judd, starring in Double Jeopardy as Ian SW3 rightly said.]]

  22. Mike M says:

    A 5 year period is often called a pentade….

    Not as annoying as most Rufus puzzles, this one. Some clues actually rather fun. Maybe Im mellowing as I age….

  23. chas says:

    Mike M @22 thanks for that. Pentade looks like a logical word based on decade but it does not appear in my Chambers. What is in Chambers, illogically to my mind, is pentad meaning 5 years (amongst other things). As it happens Miche remembered the word lustrum which is what I was failing to remember.

  24. Mike M says:

    Interesting Chad! I read “Lustrum” by Robert Harris, which is how I know that word…. quite a good book too (sequel to “Imperium”, if you read that…)

    Im a tad surprised that “pentade” isn’t in Chambers (one lives and learns)…. it’s in quite common use in my work (climate science) – when referring to half a decade, one often hears “The pentade 2001-2005….”. Maybe it’s just a science geek thing.

  25. Mike M says:

    (Disappointingly, and despite being a scientist, it took me two goes to get the right answer to the sum at the bottom of the screen that allows one to post a comment…. d’oh!!)

  26. MDatta says:

    Only slight deviation was when ‘gun dog’ tempted me into ‘ gillie’ for 22 ac as someone who walks after a drive. Too much country sport, clearly.

  27. Callipygean says:

    Was no one else thrown by entering TESTATOR for 13 across?

  28. NormanLinFrance says:

    Callipygean @27
    I wondered, but the “appointment” reference warned me off.

  29. chas says:

    Callipygean@27 I made that exact mistake. This persisted until I answered 4d which required me to put E at the start of 13a.

  30. Dave Ellison says:

    Me too, Callipygean@27. My experience was that of chas

  31. ToniL says:

    [[sorry scchua I was wrong, I thought Tommy Lee Jones
    played Gary Gilmore in ‘The Executor’s Song’]]

  32. Martin P says:

    Thanks all.

    I found this entertaining, and harder than necessary by Saturday-induced blindness to the more obvious, I suppose.

  33. Brendan (not that one) says:


    Yes I did the exact same. I compounded this by entering ET ALIA for 5d to fit with the A in TESTATOR

    At least this gave the NE corner a little interest which was sadly lacking in the rest of the puzzle and prolonged my final completion to the half hour.

    Yet again many clues are hardly cryptic.

    I DON’T love Rufus :-)

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