i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1876 by Phi

February 18, 2017

Saturday 11th February 2017

There was a tremendous puzzle from Phi last Saturday – my favourite from him for quite a while. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the mathematician at 2d is most famous for the sequence of numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 etc. (just add the last two numbers to generate the next) all of which appeared in order in the across lights. Brilliant.

Numbers are notoriously difficult to clue, and yet the clues were all crackers – maybe a bit harder than usual for Phi, but no real obscurities – apart from Ullage, I suppose, which rang only a distant bell but was clear enough anyway from the wordplay.  (Mind you, the blogger over at Fifteensquared  thought Oolitic, Acai and Barquentine were obscure, so maybe I got lucky).

As for spotting the ghost theme, that came pretty late for me – and maybe only even then because I see it every day in my place of work where the building (The Core at the Eden Project) is designed around the Fibonacci sequence itself.

Thanks also to Kathryn’s Dad over in the comments on the other side, who pointed out that the golden ratio (an essential aspect of for Fibonacci enthusiasts because neighbouring numbers in the sequence tend ever more closely to it) is expressed by the Greek letter Phi.

For Clue of the Day I did like 25a a lot, but will have to agree with nmsindy in plumping for 1a.  Here it is again:

Article for working out configuration of locks (4)


3 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1876 by Phi”

  1. Rick King said

    This is why it’s worth reading the blog, adds so much more depth to the puzzle… That is an amazing theme, which I only half got, even though it was well within my grasp to fully twig. I was satisfied to complete the solve and to be honest found it all feel in reasonably well, wish I’d looked a bit harder now. Absolute classic by phi, Cornick thank you for filling in what would otherwise have passed me by.

  2. AndyT said

    A real cracker from Phi which I enjoyed a great deal. It was only when a four failed to turn up that the theme became apparent, very late in the proceedings. A little bit of extra thought and the relationship between phi, the golden ratio and the Fibonacci series would have come to mind – but I’m not that perceptive, alas.

  3. jonofwales said

    There was a theme? 😉 I enjoyed a reasonably challenging puzzle, with a few obscurities that were all perfectly gettable; noticed a few numbers in the acrosses and half thought I wonder what that’s all about, and then moved onto the Inquisitor. Perhaps I should have spent a bit longer looking at this instead!

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