i Cryptic Crossword 1626 Glow-Worm

April 26, 2016

At the risk of re-igniting the fierce discussion that followed this puzzle’s first appearance, I’m afraid to say that this wasn’t really my cup of tea. I don’t mind crosswords being hard, but this seemed to be willfully obscure at times – see 3d, or the use of ‘d’ for drawn in 16d. 4d was clever, but SAXE for blue won’t be on many solvers’ radars. I’m never very fond of cross-referenced clues anyway, so perhaps I’m prejudiced, but in this case 1ac also referenced a slightly tenuous cryptic definition that fell far from quickly.

On the plus side, I did like 10ac and 19d, and it was fun to find all the 1A 5’s, but by the end I had far too many points of disgruntlement and not enough ticks. Sorry Glow-Worm!

COD? The aforementioned 10ac – ‘No lemon, then, for 1A 5? (7)’.

Here’s the IoS blog from October 2011:


3 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 1626 Glow-Worm”

  1. dtw42 said

    Yeah … I’m with you there. Have just got to the end, where 4dn was the only one I had left, and I put in (incorrectly, as you’ve just proved) ACE for the sake of otherwise being left with a single empty cell. I found it a bit of a struggle, partly all the cross-references, and partly the weird anagram- and deletion-indicators. “Kelvin falls,” and “student must fail” indeed. }:^(

  2. AndyT said

    I rather enjoyed it – a case of being in the mood I suppose. Arachne’s First Law (“Obscure solution + obscure wordplay = unhappy solver”) applies in spades to 3 and 4d, the first of which I got on the basis that only one word fits, but I failed on the latter and wrote in “ace” with a shrug. Still, the theme worked pretty well and there was quite a bit of legitimate cleverness to enjoy alongside the smartypants clues. 13ac amused me in particular.

  3. Cornick said

    At the risk of stating the obvious, what was good in 1626 was good, and what was bad in 1626 was bad. But, like the curate’s egg, if it’s bad in parts then it’s a bad egg, no matter what!
    I loved the theme, but 3d, 4d, 16d, 22d, 26a and worst of all 24a – no table? – were just too many poor clues to be forgiven – even if surgeons striking is nicely topical… a quality also true of the COD, I learn from the radio.

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