i Cryptic Crossword 2124 Punk

November 28, 2017

There may have been some glum faces in crosswordland this morning on account of all those interlinked clues, but I do hope nobody was too badly put off. Punk is just about the best in the business when it comes to this particular kind of gimmick (honourable mention for Scorpion, mind you), and this puzzle is right out of his top drawer. All the usual ingredients are there: wit, playfulness, bathos, and a smidgeon of mild ribaldry to keep the primly disapproving sorts happy.

The theme concerns various 26/4s, and the gateway clue is quite a gentle one: the real fun and games are to be found elsewhere. It’s quite a tricky crossword in my opinion, but all fair and above board. The only thematic entry which might seem a little obscure is 6d, but the clue is pitched accordingly. I’m not going to reel off a list of admirable clues today because they’re all good – but I can’t resist pointing to 24/2 which is so very Punkish. My COD is 15d:

“Extraordinary game half finished, sailor turned over first (3-7)”.

Nearly all sweetness and light in the comments on RatkojaRiku’s excellent blog atΒ Fifteensquared when the puzzle first appeared in July 2013. The curious enumeration of 24/2 remains despite Eimi’s comment: I am still scratching my head about that so if anybody has an explanation please don’t be backward in coming forward.

10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2124 Punk”

  1. jonofwales said

    I must admit that these linked clues sort of puzzles aren’t my favourite, but persisted, and was gratified when I finally worked out what it was all about (when a second boxer appeared in the grid…) Tricky, but worth the payoff. That enumeration – yes, that didn’t help matters! πŸ™‚

  2. dtw42 said

    Phew, got there in the end … despite “the gateway clue is quite a gentle one” 26/4 was about fourth-from-last for me, when I finally worked out what it was (despite having worked out what sort of thing it must represent). 6dn was LOI for me.
    No idea re the zero in 24/2. A mistake/programmatic leftover after an edit in whatever application Punk works in?

  3. Jimbo said

    Sorry, not for me. Lost interest very quickly as it was obviously going to require significant effort and most likely, given my skill level, cheating. Plus it has interlinked number reference clues, which is a particular bugbear of mine. If I had had a bit more free time today, I may have stuck at it.

  4. sprouthater said

    Yup big groan when I saw all those linked clues but I kept going and was pleased I did. Had a bit of a bit of an inkling that we were looking for boxers and it was 8dn that confirmed it. Only two that I couldn’t properly parse, 6dn and 12ac. I expect the 0 is a result of clumsy typesetting and the lack of a Reader.

  5. Cornick said

    With Punk being so brilliantly clever, I thought for quite a while that that 0 in the enumeration was some new devilment of his creation, but no matter, this puzzle was one of the most enjoyable bits of sorcery in weeks – delightful.

  6. carl twobob said

    Absolutely adored that puzzle. Daunting as it was. Rye smile when I finally got 23a. Always mourned the loss of Virgillius, glad Punk keeps the themes coming.

  7. Alan said

    The trouble with linked clues is that when one has entered a wrong answer in the “gateway”, the rest becomes insoluble! I struggled for a long time with ” Roof Mender” instead of Ring Master. I parsed “M” and “Offender” but I can’t remember how I explained the “Ro”! I’m no sports fan but it was a pleasant challenge in the end. Thanks to all the setters and bloggers, from a long-time lurker.

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