i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1822 by Phi

December 17, 2016

Saturday 10th December 2016

On the easy side for Phi, but with a couple of tricksy ones thrown in here and there.

Four long lights formed the skeleton of the grid – two were anagrams and two were readily solvable straight cryptics, and the whole thing was an altogether more straightforward offering than we’ve had over the last two days, for example.

I learn from t’internet that ‘American Gothic’ is said to be the art world’s ‘most parodied painting’ whilst ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ is Baudelaire’s most famous work, so both worth learning if you didn’t know them already.

COD? 19d Consider concrete base for line if investing in railway (5)

The full 2012 blog is here, which includes a couple of discussions of interest.  One was on the (for me) perfectly innocuous clue for ‘Ticket Collector’, the other was on the kind of folk who make good crossworders and whether scientifically or artistically inclined.  Thoughts?



7 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1822 by Phi”

  1. DB said

    The point about crossworders being on the arty side of the line is interesting to me. I find fifteensquared maddening a lot of the time for the comments being elitist and superior (“the Schumann and Flaubert references were obvious but I cannot stand football in a crossword” – that sort of thing) but perhaps I’m looking at it the wrong way. I have no background whatsoever in the arts, vanishingly little interest in classical music, literature and the like, but am very well versed in science, modern music and sport. I seem to be the exact opposite of what a ‘proper’ solver is, according to Fifteensquared. That’s why I always come to this blog first – you seem to be more on my wavelength! Thank you!

    While I’m ranting, why on Earth do participants on Fifteensquared feel the need to wrtie ‘breezed through this in under ten minutes’ and so forth. It’s just showing off.

    • Cornick said

      Wholehearted agreement on both points here, DB. I do think there continues to be a tectonically slow shift away from a domination by the Classics etc. – and there needs to be if crosswords are to retain their appeal.
      Personally I like a bit of everything – except dogs, perhaps!

  2. jonofwales said

    Very easy, for Phi, last week. I used to have a copy of Les Fleurs du Mal, so that was pretty much a write-in. A bit of light relief after the previous week’s labours.

    Off topic – If anyone’s trying this week’s Inquisitor, there’s a correction out for 5d – the answer length should be (7, 3 words).

  3. AndyT said

    Yes, a nice fluffy sort of puzzle with no obscurities. 20ac was rather nice, I thought.

    The C P Snow discussion at 15² left me with the impression that there is a preponderance of scientists and mathematicians over there. That makes a certain amount of sense inasmuch as the majority of crossword clues can be considered as equations. The characterisation of “arts-based folk” as scientifically illiterate is an unnecessarily dismissive canard in my experience, however. Phi does lean towards the arts, and music especially, but I’d have thought that to stand much of a chance with the average week’s worth of puzzles a generous smattering of knowledge from all fields, including low culture and sport, is the ideal.

    Thanks for the tip off about the IQ, Jon. I haven’t seen it yet, but will make a decision on tackling it or not based on whether the preamble makes any sort of sense to me, as usual. 🙂

  4. Cornick said

    The level of logical calculus required to solve cryptic grammar is pretty basic, frankly, so yes, a wide general knowledge is more important and – which sort of goes with it but is so obvious no-one’s actually said it – a large vocabulary of words!

  5. Rick King said

    Well I didn’t find this a ten minute breeze, but got there in the end, I thought the ticket collector clue was fine…
    Science vs arts, my education and career are in engineering, but I love to read so a reasonable balance, I would say myself that solver profile leans toward the science side but that might just reflect my own circle.
    I do get frustrated when obscure names crop up from the arts (composers seem to be a Phi favourite), but for the most part these are well enough clued to let me grind out the answer.
    And what’s the definition of obscure? Well for these purposes mine is pretty parochial – obscure = something I didn’t know!
    Thanks Cornick, and of course Phi

    • AndyT said

      That’s my definition, too. Somewhat seriously, however, I tend to the view that all’s fair – but some things are annoying. Archaic spellings and recondite abbreviations, for instance. Over-reliance on a certain eccentric reference book gets my goat too. Scouring Chambers is fine for the Inquisitor, but during the week I don’t think it’s unreasonable to hope that solutions could be found in any large single volume dictionary. There are still some us who eschew electronic help, after all.

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