i Prize Cryptic 1235 by Phi

January 31, 2015

Saturday 24th January 2015

If you did Mordred’s puzzle yesterday, you might agree with me that it was a curious mixture of the rather too easy and the rather too hard.   However this from Phi last Saturday was, as Kathryn’s Dad said in the 2010 blog, a Goldilocks puzzle, just right.

My COD goes to 19ac: Priest enthralled by rather curious-speaking clergyman (7)

Original blog here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/02/12/independent-7278-by-phi/

Rapid progress overall, with a bit of a log-jam on 21/27, and 15/16/22.

COD? 23ac – ‘Rosy view of Henman is taken by essentially dopy maiden (8)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog, which explains several I didn’t fully understand (15 and 21 in particular):


Fun, as always, from Morph, with lots of inventive clues. 6d/12ac/8d took as much time as the rest put together.

COD? 17d – ‘Emergency – ‘outside the box’ thinker required (8)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


A little more difficult than usual for Dac. Typically, one of the few I needed to check the wordplay for was 22d, which isn’t in the original blog. It’s REN(FR)EW, a town I’ve not heard of until now. The answer was obvious enough though it didn’t matter.

COD? 1ac – ‘One’s found among thickos (4)’.

Answers and analysis here:


A fairly challenging but fun puzzle from Punk. Slow but steady progress until I spotted the theme, at which point things moved along fairly quickly. Last in 9ac / 2d, 23ac.

COD? 20ac – ‘Guardian’s breaking feature, good, but the wrong issue? (10)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


Just enough here to get the old brain cells ticking over, without overburdening us on a Monday morning. Last in 23ac and 1d, which is also my COD – ‘What by implication could be burden making one exhausted (6,3)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


Saturday 17th January 2015

Dac is normally a byword for consistency – my normal comment for him is something like ‘How does he do it?’ – so I was surprised to encounter a couple of clues that didn’t grab me, my least favourite being 1 across ‘Bertha’s bust’ for ‘Collar’.

At the other end of the scale was my COD 21 across:

High-ranking politician taking car, say, round New Forest (8,2,5)

The 2010 blog has all the answers here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/02/24/independent-7288dac/

A fun crossword from Punk that was on the easy side for him, though I can’t claim a time as fast as nmsindy’s!

I struggled at the end with the combination of 5ac and 6d, for no good reason I can see now.

COD? 11ac – ‘A requirement when brewing up trouble (3,5)’.

All the answers and analysis here:


Lots to like here, though in common with the original blogger I got a bit stuck on 2d / 9ac.

COD? 22ac – ‘Careful of new paramour’s charm? (4-4,6)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


This was probably the fastest I’ve ever solved an i Crossword, so I guess this was as easy as Wednesdays get. Only 23ac held me up for any length of time. I’ll leave it to others to speculate whether the sequence of answers beginning at 19ac is a coincidence, or a perhaps unintentionally topical reference.

COD? Lots to like, but I’m nominating 9ac – ‘Good people offering prayer (5)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog: