i Cryptic Crossword 1824 Scorpion

December 13, 2016

Thirty clues, of which fourteen relate back to 7ac. Quite a thorough theme, then, and just the sort of thing at which Scorpion excels. This didn’t seem especially thorny to me, but it was certainly entertaining.

14 was familiar but it would be understandable if other solvers pulled a face, and it’s not as if the solution was likely to leap out from the wordplay. A strange-looking word, it has to be said. Conversely I hadn’t heard of 2d, but the clue led me straight there. There are a few other quibbles which didn’t go unnoticed either here or at Fifteensquared back in July 2012, but I’m inclined to cut Scorpion a bit of slack considering that this is quite an exotic puzzle. Otherwise, plenty of witty and inventive workmanship to enjoy.

And so to the clue of the day. 14, 22 and 24ac, plus 21 and 22d are worth mentioning, but it’s between 26 and 5. There are valid objections to the former, and besides the latter made me chuckle, so 5d it is:

“Footnote? (6)”

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6 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 1824 Scorpion”

  1. jonofwales said

    I enjoyed this, despite knowing as little about horses as I do dogs. Luckily all the ones referenced I was familiar with, probably from previous puzzles. 🙂 Not as tricky as some of Scorpion’s puzzles, snap on the COD.

  2. dtw42 said

    This one took me quite a while – and in fact it was only after coming on here that I spotted I’d not solved 22dn (hey ho, wasn’t going to get that anyway). Thankfully I got 7ac right at the beginning, so didn’t have the frustration that some puzzles with tons of cross-referencing clues can lead to. Yes, there were a few where I struggled with the wordplay (like why ‘drawn’ should indicate reversal … ‘drawn up’ or ‘withdrawn’ sure, but just ‘drawn’?), and I must be the only one unimpressed with 5dn, but despite all that, still entertaining enough. 🙂

    • Cornick said

      It doesn’t say so over at Fifteensquared, but I took drawn to be the kind of reversal which only works in a down clue – as in drawing water from a well.

  3. Jimbo said

    I have to admit I didn’t enjoy this one. The theme didn’t trouble me but quite a lot of the clueing was too oblique for my liking.

    My particular bugbear – being two referential clues that cross each other – was present in 22a and 23. I think it’s unfair on the solver.

    Never mind, as they say, it’s horses for courses.

    • jonofwales said

      I must admit to not being overly impressed by the cross-referenced clues, especially when I was a little stuck in that corner of the grid and could have done with a little more help.

  4. Cornick said

    Dazzling in parts and a cracking good puzzle over all, I thought.

    I feel contractually obliged to give my vote to the Phi clue (I think I’ve heard of the setter somewhere before) and 16a was also a belter in my book.
    As for ‘schwa’, it was certainly very familiar to all the 10-year-olds I taught over 8 years – a very useful word indeed when trying to convey the vagaries of English spelling.

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