i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1864 by Phi

February 4, 2017

Saturday 28th January 2017

Well that was good. A theme of epic poems showed the breadth of knowledge possessed by Phi – who gives us a lot more than just astronomy, classical music and modern literature.

In order of familiarity we had The Iliad, Faust, The Ramayana, The Aeneid, Gilgamesh and Kalevala. Well that’s my order but some of the solvers over at Fifteensquared, being rather more up on their 19thcentury Finnish revivalist works than the pillars of Hinduism, would evidently beg to differ.

The clueing was pretty good too – all fully explained over at Fifteensquared here – although I’m not sure everyone will have appreciated d.h. for the German version of i.e.

My favourite was 20a which had both pleasing surface and wordplay:

Both sexes embracing love with enthusiasm (6)

A further point of discussion has stayed with me since duncanshiell expressed the following sentiment on his blog for Thursday’s Monk: ‘I think I prefer messages to themes’.  Controversial!


11 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1864 by Phi”

  1. AndyT said

    Very good, wasn’t it? Must admit that I didn’t follow up on the d.h., the rest being clear enough and the solution too. Agreed on the COD.

    How did everybody get on with yesterday’s teaser? It jumped out at me, because for some reason whenever I see “number” in a crossword I think “anaesthetic” … 😉

    • Cornick said

      Still none the wiser 😦 My hopes lie with JonofWales…

    • jonofwales said

      You’re going to have to tell us. Or give us a couple of letters. 😉

      • AndyT said

        Okay. The answer to 24 is “there” (although it could have been Reeth), and the two wrong 24s are “three” (a number) and “ether” (which makes you feel number).

        This struck me as capital, but also extremely unusual for The Times, because it’s patently unfair. You may get the answers, but there’s no way of knowing which wrong number goes where until you have checking letters. It’s the kind of thing which I can imagine Eimi or the editor at the Guardian waving through with a chuckle, but it’s quite a surprise in the Thunderer. Mike Laws was the editor at the time, by the way.

      • jonofwales said

        Very good. 🙂 I’d toyed with something to do with ETHER, being the obvious ‘number’ in crosswords, and something to do with an anagram, but didn’t get further than that. Well done for spotting it so quickly!

      • Cornick said

        Well it’s obvious now!

        And very good too 🙂

  2. Rick King said

    Failed on Ramayana… Can’t be that obscure as my predictive text just suggested it, otherwise found it reasonably straightforward compared to my recent efforts, could be a week of sharpened me up a little. Good puzzle and theme, thanks to Cornick for the blog.

  3. jonofwales said

    I found this surprisingly easy given the theme. Ramayana was right near the bottom of the list of ones I’d heard of, but no problems getting even the more obscure ones.

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