i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1972 by Phi

June 10, 2017

i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1972 by Phi

Saturday 3rd June 2017

It was only 7 weeks ago that Phi gave us a crossword themed on the vicars of Charles Dickens, and here the great man is again, in a Nina, top and bottom of the grid. I didn’t spot the additional theme, and indeed it needed Phi to comment on it at Fifteensquared here before anyone there did.  I’m uncertain about the purpose of a theme like this – with just carol, cricket, chimes, battle and haunted dotted around the grid – that we don’t notice without it being pointed out by the setter.

All pretty regulation stuff – 14a had me scrabbling around trying to think of a Daphne du Maurier book called Trilby, but the novel in question was written by her grandfather George – I bet AndyT knew that. Eagres at 6d had me scratching my head for a while, 5d ‘Laic’ was tricky to parse, and the second meaning of Merc had one of its two outings this week – otherwise all pretty straightforward and enjoyable.

For COD, let’s go for the loosely topical 1d:

Minister’s angry, dismissing heads of Home Office (6)

And congratulations to Grace Scott of Perthshire, the prize winner, who must have solved the crossword without sneaking a look at the answers on Fifteensquared because they now magically disappear for the prize puzzle during the week between publishing the i and the appearance of this blog. Quite right too.

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4 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1972 by Phi”

  1. AndyT said

    Haha! Yes, I did know about Trilby, and also spotted the Christmas Books theme – so put me down as Mr Smug just this once. Makes a change. In addition to the COD I also liked 9ac and the uncharacteristically cheeky 13d.

  2. jonofwales said

    Phi about as difficult as he gets, I thought, despite spotting the Nina pretty sharpish – but none of the rest.

  3. Rick King said

    Struggled with this one, maybe an off day but only got about half way. Ouch. Does not detract from an amazing effort by the setter to squeeze the Nina in… Or maybe this sort of thing is effortless for Phi by now. Either way my cap is doffed.

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