i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1966 by Phi

June 3, 2017

Saturday 27th May 2017

My favourite Phi for quite some time with Puck’s commentary on humanity (Act III Scene ii) ‘Lord what fools these mortals be’ appearing as a peripheral Nina, with the four specimens of humanity in question being Hermia in 25a, Helena in 19a, Demetrius as the initial letters of the first nine clues, and Lysander as the initial letters of the last eight. Rather wonderful that.

I must confess to failing to go looking for those missing male lovers – but I should have done. There was some talk after Scorpion’s similar ruse on Thursday about whether such things constitute a setter being self-indulgent. Well, don’t we do these puzzles for the joy of solving? Isn’t this another potential thing to solve? So as (and if) we twig the theme, Nina or even the acrostic in the clues, don’t we, as solvers think: ‘How clever am I?’ So I say ‘Bring it on!’

COD 9a Expanse surrounding lion or Christian, ultimately? (5)

All the answers from 2013 plus comments on grid asymmetry and 28a can be found here.


4 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1966 by Phi”

  1. AndyT said

    Agreed – this was a triumphant return to form for Phi after a few rather humdrum Saturdays. I’m all for clever embellishments like this, with the very necessary proviso in my case that the puzzle should permit of solution if the complications go sailing over one’s head. Although it was pretty hard to miss in this case.

    What I neglected to say in passing yesterday is that this last week has been exceptionally entertaining cruciverbally speaking, with three nicely turned out thematic puzzles and both Quixote and Dac on fine form. A vote of thanks to Eimi for spoiling us rotten.

  2. jonofwales said

    Another in the run of easier Phi’s, though that did mean that I completely missed the Nina. Oh well.

  3. Rick King said

    Total fail on the Nina, but satisfying enough to complete, another good one from Phi so thank you for that and Cornick for the blog.

  4. I’m not really a Shakespeare aficionado, but did still manage to sort out the message round the outside of the grid. Didn’t spot the guys in the clues though!

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