Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian Cryptic 25922 Rufus

Posted by scchua on April 15th, 2013


The usual Monday comfort fare of (mainly) cds, dds, and anagrams from Rufus.  Enjoyable, even if short in solving.  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.]]

1 The broken-down train isn’t moving (2,7)

IN TRANSIT : Anagram of(The broken-down) TRAIN ISN’T.  Clever surface.

6 Reason heard for bird cries (4)

CAWS : Homophone of(heard) “cause”(a reason, to fight for, or, as an explanation).

8 Powerful passage of literature? (8)

CORRIDOR : Cryptic defn: Reference to the novel, “Corridors of Power” by C.P. Snow, about the politics within the British government, and which since has come to mean the offices of powerful leaders.

9 Society girl rejected title? Rubbish! (6)

DEBRIS : DEB(short for a debutante;a girl who has been introduced into society) + reversal of(rejected) SIR(the title for a knight).

10 When companies provide capital (6)

ASSETS : AS(when, as in “… as/when you look this way”) + SETS(plural for a group or company of people, as in “the jet set”).

11 Supporters of mine (3,5)

PIT PROPS : Cryptic defn: Reference to roof supports found in a hole in the ground for extracting minerals and such.

12 Start to show to advantage (3,3)

SET OFF : Double defn: 1st: To start off as on a journey; and 2nd: To improve or intensify the appearance of something by placing it in contrast to something else.


15 Tory boss may make an attempt to elicit sympathy (3,5)

SOB STORY : Anagram of(may make) TORY BOSS.

16 A crying need for free trade cut (4,4)

TEAR DUCT : Anagram of(free) TRADE CUT.

Defn: What is required;needed in order for you to cry;shed tears.

19 Incorporate dome by reconstruction (6)

EMBODY : Anagram of(reconstruction) DOME BY.

21 Attacked — but got to work (6,2)

TURNED ON : Double defn: 2nd: As with an electrical appliance, first thing done before you got it to work.

22 Graduate right to give approval to composer (6)

BARTOK : BA(post-nominals for a Bachelor of Arts graduate) + RT(abbrev. for “right”) + OK(indication of approval).

Answer: Bela, Hungarian composer.

24 Creature ailing badly (6)

NILGAI : Anagram of(badly) AILING. Smooth and concise surface.

25 Very frightened, I take a short rest before I can recover (2,1,5)

IN A PANIC : I plus(take) NAP(a short rest) placed before(before) anagram of(recover) I CAN.

26 Burden we can’t avoid? (4)

ONUS : Cryptic defn: We can’t avoid it if it’s “on us”.

27 Explosive magazine article (9)

GUNPOWDER : Cryptic defn: Explosive material;article found in a magazine;a building or room for storing munitions.

1 Restrictions for members in clubs (5)

IRONS : Double defn: 1st: Physical restrictions;shackles for the arms and legs;members; and 2nd: Golf clubs originally made of, well, iron, in contrast to those made of wood (or nowadays synthetic material).

2 It sinks below the waves (7)

TORPEDO : Cryptic defn: The weapon propelled underwater;below the waves that sinks ships.

3 A fateful day for military assistants (5)

AIDES : A + IDES(the 13th or 15th day of the month, depending on the month, a fateful day for Julius Caesar, who was assassinated on the Ides of March).

4 They may indicate corporal  punishment (7)

STRIPES : Overlapping double cryptic defn. 1st: Indication of a corporal’s rank; and 2nd: Indication on the flesh as a result of corporal;physical punishment, by, say a cane or whip.

5 Publication showing current changes (4,5)

TIDE TABLE : Cryptic defn: Reference to the tabulation of current;ocean tide changes.

6 Tom takes in strip show (7)

CABARET : CAT(the male of which is a tom) containing(takes in) BARE(to strip;to uncover).

Answer: A show that might very well involve stripping.

7 Said to be understood by few auditors (9)

WHISPERED : Cryptic defn: Said so as to be heard;understood by few auditors;ears.

13 Performance of capital detachment (9)

EXECUTION : Double defn: 1st: Performance of, say, a feat; and 2nd: Cryptic. Reference to someone’s head;capital being detached from the rest of the body.

14 Abandoned infant discovered by Heather (9)

FOUNDLING : FOUND(discovered) plus(by) LING(the heather growing on open ground such as, well, heaths).

17 Pulls out Greene’s novel (7)

RENEGES : Anagram of(novel) GREENE’S.

Answer: Pulls out of an agreement.

18 Rigidity of stone in building (7)

TENSION : Anagram of(building) STONE IN.

Answer: Collins gives rigidity;tautness;stiffness as synonyms of tension. An example I can think of is of muscles being under tension and rigid, though mostly, rigid things are not/need not be in tension.

20 A local employee? (7)

BARMAID : Cryptic defn: One who tends bar in an inn;a local;the watering place near you which you frequent.


22 Shout of approval from supporter: “5 – 0″! (5)

BRAVO : BRA(a supporter of female bosoms) + V(Roman numeral for 5) + O(the letter that looks like zero;0).

23 Rosie’s willowy form (5)

OSIER : Anagram of(…’s willowy, as in flexible;pliant) ROSIE.

Answer: Any of various willow trees;a willowy form.



27 Responses to “Guardian Cryptic 25922 Rufus”

  1. george says:

    After an enforced absence from crossword solving this was a great way to SET OFF again. Thanks Rufus for being so kind this Monday morning and thanks scchua for clarifying the parsing of one or two I had guessed at. I liked ONUS and EXECUTION.

    [[The pond skater on the bottom row uses the surface TENSION to stay afloat and would sink if detergent is added. The fish on the top row is I think an electric ray so an electric discharge could be TURNED ON to stun its prey]]

  2. tupu says:

    Thanks scchua and Rufus

    A quick solve – no harm with a busy day ahead. The usual fare with perhaps a few more anagrams than I expected.I was held up momentarily by thinking that 2d would be Trident but crossing answers soon put this right.

  3. george says:

    [[Just twigged that the Kit Kat is a reference to the Club in Cabaret. None of the men are Jeremy IRONS. ]]

  4. Dave Ellison says:

    10 cryptic definitions today, one per minute of solving.

  5. Ian SW3 says:

    [[But Jeremy IRONS portrayed Claus von Bulow in a film, and Clive Dunn portrayed CORPORAL Jones n Dad’s Army.]]

    As for the corssword itself, I seem to have had technical difficulties, as my computer only displayed the definitions of several clues — 11, 20, etc. — omitting anything cryptic.

  6. Muffyword says:

    [[Picture 3 could be a stingray (doesn’t look to have much of a sting, though), a kind of TORPEDO]]

  7. george says:

    [[ thanks Ian @5 it is indeed Claus von Bulow on the top row and Muffyword @6 triggered the recollection that a Genus of electric rays is Torpedo]]

  8. Muffyword says:

    [[Thanks george @7 – that explains why it has no sting]]

  9. Trailman says:

    Thanks sschua

    One of my favourite Rufuses for some time, albeit brief. The puzzle got off to a good start, I thought, with the clever IN TRANSIT, not least because a derailment was holding up my train today.

    I had forgotten the CP Snow reference, and NILGAI was new.

  10. michelle says:

    There was so much to enjoy in this puzzle by Rufus. Of all the anagrams, I liked SOB STORY the best.

    Of the cryptic definitions, my favourites were CORRIDOR, IRONS, WHISPERED & EXECUTION.


    Thanks for the blog, scchua.

  11. george says:

    [[The bottom right was so familiar. Finally I recalled he is Ian Thorpe, the Australian Olympic swimmer, nicknamed not only Thorpey, but also the THORPEDO. He was an excellent pundit in the BBC coverage of the 2012 games.]]

  12. scchua says:

    [[It seems nothing gets past you lot :-) . Well done! george, Ian SW12 and Muffyword. For a bonus point, what’s another connection Clive Dunn has with the puzzle?]]

  13. Robi says:

    Straightforward but enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks scchua; nice blog as ever. I liked BRAVO.

  14. Muffyword says:

    [[25 ac IN A PANIC cf “Don’t Panic” – catchphrase of Corporal Jones?]]

  15. george says:

    [[ I have been racking my brains about Clive Dunn and have probably spent more time thinking about the pictures than I did solving the crossword.

    It was said that as a socialist Dunn fell out with Captain Mainwaring or rather Arthur Lowe, who was an active Conservative and therefore could be said to be his ‘TORY BOSS’.

    Oh or wait a minute, I am making it too complicated. Is it is his catch phrase in which he advises ‘Don’t panic!’ that links to IN A PANIC?]]

  16. george says:

    [[Muffyword @14 you beat me to it while I was composing my answer!]]

  17. scchua says:

    [[That’s right, Muffyword and george. That’s a wrap!]]

  18. Rowland says:

    Real tiresome — beginners get bored too y’know!! Sort of “ths is how you exspect a crossword to be” stuff.

    Thinlk I’m turning into ‘RCW’!


  19. chas says:

    Thanks to scchua for the blog.

    On 15 I saw ‘make an attempt’ in the clue and thought it must end in TRY. Eventually I saw the proper parsing :(

  20. Median says:

    A quick solve, with the cryptic definitions seeming easier than usual. Just what I wanted this morning. Thanks, Rufus and scchua.

  21. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, a quick solve, but as always we got stuck on just one.
    This time it was NILGAI (24ac).

    When Trailman @9 says “NILGAI was new”, how on earth did he decide that it had to be NILGAI?
    For me, this is something not really fair about this clue.
    Unless you know the beast.
    Ah well.

    Some nice surfaces today, but I fear 1ac (IN TRANSIT) is not one of them, although perhaps it should be. In my/our opinion the word “the” stands in the way of making this a really good clue. As a blogger at another place (the FT, Rufus being Dante) I have frequently said that I have become immune to Rufus/Dante using articles where I think he shouldn’t. Still, 1ac could have been so much better by deleting “The”.

  22. Samui Pete says:

    Would someone please parse 2d from saturday for me. I have the answer but..

  23. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Samui Pete @22
    Sorry, but on this site we don’t discuss prize puzzles until after the closing date for entries.

  24. Mitz says:

    Sil @ 21.

    In my view for words like NILGAI it is completely legitimate to use either a dictionary, encyclopaedia or online resource to check what you think is the answer. It was obviously an anagram (especially when the crossing FOUNDLING gave an “I” at the end) – given the fodder and the crossing letters there were only 6 possibilities to check: NILGAI, NIAGLI, LINGAI, LIAGNI, AINGLI, AILGNI – it was good fortune for me that the first of these turned out to be “a large, Indian antelope, Boselaphus tragocamelus, the male of which is bluish grey with small horns, the female tawny and hornless” but it really wouldn’t have taken much longer to nail the answer if it had been one of the others.

    Of course, under competition conditions I would have had to take pot luck, but I can’t really foresee many instances where the pleasant diversion of a Monday Rufus and a crossword solving competition will be mentioned in the same breath…

  25. Recyclotron says:

    Very satisfying for an improving cruciverbalist. I had Debunk for 9ac – to “un” a K, which seemed to be as legitimate as debris, and I only knew it was wrong because I couldn’t solve 7 down. Also I had worked out that 24ac was an anagram, and had all the available letters, but got bored going through my shorter oxford to fing the right word. But apart from these two irritants the puzzle was very satifying, I particularly liked BRAVO.

  26. Mitz says:

    Recyclotron @25,

    Glad you enjoyed the puzzle and found it satisfying.

    I was intrigued by your comment about 24ac, and wondered if you had any of the crossing letters (from EXECUTION, RENEGES and FOUNDLING) before you attempted the anagram. With no crossing letters at all then an anagram of 6 letters, two of which are the same, has 360 possible solutions. If however you had either of EXECUTION or FOUNDLING (placing one of the ‘I’s) then this would have been narrowed to 120 permutations. With neither, but instead just having the ‘G’ from RENEGES there would be 60 to check. A combination of any two of the crossing letters and you are down to 24, and as I stated above with all three crossing letters in place there are just 6. Now even given the fact that most of the permutations of any 6 letters are clearly not words, I can quite understand why sifting through the SOD would quickly become tedious if you don’t have any crossing letters to help, but surely 6 possibilities can be checked in just a couple of minutes?

  27. Andy D says:

    Did this while I was eating lunch today, so just about the right degree of difficulty.

    Didn’t know NILGAI, so had to look up possibilities, and I carelessly wrote in BARHAND for 20D – if it exists, it’s probably 2 words. Otherwise a bit of a stroll.

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