i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1984 by Phi

June 24, 2017

Saturday 17th June 2017

I was cruising along thinking this was going to be a breeze until I hit a bit of a brick wall on the last few – 12a, 26a, 2d and 24d which were stubborn enough for me to abandon the paper for a later sitting – whereupon all miraculously became apparent. Funny how that happens.

Phi gave us an especially ingenious grid fill: In case you didn’t notice, every answer started and finished with the same letter. I love that sort of thing, as is evident in a rather less original way in the few puzzles I’ve compiled myself (tenuous excuse for plugging my next in the Indy on-line, this coming Friday).

With some trepidation (people who live in glass houses and all that) I can’t help wondering if anyone else found some of the surface readings a bit clunky – by Phi’s normal standards that is? 11a seemed uncharacteristically so, for example… Or maybe it’s just me.

Anyhow, my favourite clue, taken from amongst several write-ins, was the following, because it was nice to see that ‘H’ indication again after what feels like decades:

24a One good between rugby posts, having senior ranking? (4)


It’s 11.30 and still no sign of the original blog being restored to Fifteensquared, so I’ve quickly rattled off my parsings. Apologies for any errors.


7 ANGELICA – middle letter of sweet inside Anglica{n}

8  EQUINE – quin inside last 2 letters of Aintree

10 TEXT – abbreviation for Texas + last letter of Department

11 KEEP IT DARK – IT (computer stuff) + D{uke} inside keep (castle) + ark

13 TOMCAT – MC (host)+ a{nnounced} inside tot

14 DETERRED – abbreviation for detective + erred

16 ENTIRE – 1 inside 6d (entrée) less its last letter

17 TRUEST – E inside trust

20 O SOLE MIO – (loose)* + I inside mo

22 MEDIUM – Ed{itor} + 1 inside mum

23 RESPIRATOR – (Reports air)*

24 See above

25 ERMINE – ER + in inside me

26 TRANSMIT – N{umber} inside (Tim’s art)<



1 ENVELOPE – n{ew} + (pole+v)< all inside middle letters of week

2 TENT – if you put ‘in’ with the answer (in this) you’d get intent (purpose)

3 TICKET – t{h)icket

4 REGISTER – Regis ter{m}. Almost my COD

5 DUNDERHEAD – under + h{ope} inside dead

6 ENTRÉE – E + {A1}ntree

8 AGENDA – gen inside ADA – presumably a computer language ?

13 CATALEPTIC – tale inside Capt. + i.c. – another terrific clue and word

16 REMARKER – re{d} marker

18 TRUE GRIT – rue + gri{p} inside TT

19 TOMTIT – t + omit including last letter of extinct

21 SWEARS – s + wears

22 MARRAM – a palindrome

24 HASH – double definition (Chambers has hash as number, U.S.)

4 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 1984 by Phi”

  1. AndyT said

    Gosh, that’s a bit above and beyond: I live in fear of not being able to find the 15² write up and having to produce my own. Many thanks. Nope, the exceedingly clever starts and finishes with the same letter device passed me by, which really is pretty pitiful, but I enjoyed the puzzle anyway. Which is as it should be. Agreed on the COD.

    I look forward to Maize’s latest on Friday, then.

  2. jonofwales said

    Thanks for the blog, definitely going above and beyond! I’m guessing the Fifteensquared blog was for 1st February 2013, but it’s still unavailable.

    I struggled badly last week, and wish I’d spotted the gimmick, as it would have most definitely helped. Last in the SE corner.

  3. jonofwales said

    The Fifteensquared blog is now available here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2013/02/01/independent-8206-phi/

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