i Cryptic 811 Phi

September 21, 2013

September 14th, 2013

 You may well have noticed something a bit different about Phi’s offering last week.  Rather than having the usual rotational symmetry it was 21a 5d, also known as cater-cornered (16a, 16d).  Ooh, very clever…

There were at least 5 answers that I needed to either find or double-check in a dictionary – if you already knew any of 6d, 11a, 12a, 17a or 22a then I offer my congratulations.   As for the rest of us, we can use the new words we’ve learnt to justify the hours spent on these things to those around us who think we’re wasting our time.  As if!

An additional point of interest was Phi’s choice of definitions for 7d and 13d.  One of the joys of Crosswordland is that it is a world where PC only stands a one in four chance of meaning ‘politically correct’.  In the real world, the only time we’d be allowed to jingoistically assert that Britannia rules the waves would be in a song, and the only time we would dare to suggest that single parent families were  ‘unfortunate’ would be in an Oscar Wilde play.  Both allusions were of course completely deliberate and, like the rest of this crossword,  great fun.

Here’s the original blog from 2008 and the clues missed:


1a           LEFT, BACKS  – a charade

10a         RE, MEMBERS  – where would we all be without the Royal Engineers?

7d           ONE-PARENT FAMILY   – &Lit – As the inimitable Lady Bracknell had it in The Importance of Being Earnest ( around the time she said ‘In a ha-andbag!’)“ To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune;  to lose both looks like carelessness”

13d         BRITANNIA –  &Lit  – The reference here is to “Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves” –as in the Spanish Main.  Or British, in this case.

16d         CORN,ER


One Response to “i Cryptic 811 Phi”

  1. jonofwales said

    Thanks for the blog! In addition to struggling with some of the answers you mentioned above, I also missed the unusual grid,so it was all wasted on me. Never at my best on a Saturday. 🙂

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