i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1690 by Phi

July 16, 2016

Saturday 9th July 2016

At my wedding the best man listed some of my qualities – mostly defamatory of course, but amongst them he descibed me thusly: “…deviser of anagrams – or should that be ‘fond marriage saves’…”. Yup, I’ve always loved ‘em.

On the other hand the process of devising them has changed somewhat in the last 21 years. Put away the Scrabble tiles, you can now bung a word into an anagram engine and generate a few hundred possibilities at the click of a button.  Equally, once the solver has identified the fodder, the process of solving them can become a little mundane.

So my attitude towards them might best be described as ambivalent, and my instinct would normally be to avoid choosing them as COD candidates.

Except, that is, when they get the Phi treatment.  For me, he’s the ne plus ultra of anagrammatical clue writing, as demonstrated once more in last Saturday’s Prize crossword.

And here, arguably, was the best of them:

26a         Prime gatherer, possibly – of souls? (3,4,6)

The full answers, parsing and comments can be found with a click here.

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3 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1690 by Phi”

  1. AndyT said

    That was clearly a very strong candidate. I had a lot of fun with this puzzle, and would like to propose 5d as an alternative non-anagram winner.

  2. Rick King said

    An enjoyable phi, got a block for a while from a lazy parse of impostor / imposter, no excuse as the clue was perfectly fair.

  3. jonofwales said

    This was the proverbial walk in the park. Back in the day this was used as part of a survey / research on cryptic crossword solving, so perhaps that’s why?

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