Prize Cryptic Crossword 2128 by Phi

December 9, 2017

Saturday 2nd December 2017

I’m sure you all spotted that last weekend’s theme was the Gervase Fen detective stories of Edmund Crispin – The Moving Toyshop, Fen Country and Frequent Hearses.  Blindingly obvious of course.

In fact Crispin and Fen Country were two of the few that caused me problems – the former because I had absolutely no idea who the patron saint of cobblers is (although I know the speech from Henry V well) and the latter because I imagined whimsical to be wry so got into a pickle trying to decide between Wet, New or Low Country. Oh well, it all got sorted in the end, even if I had to go to the Fifteensquared blog from 2013 to finish off some tricky bits of parsing (lots of Phi’s trademark deletions). 22d came close to breaking Arachne’s injunction, but I just about remembered Specie, and Spec was guessable.

All-in-all a fairly stiff puzzle that was harder to parse than to solve but had plenty of enjoyable clues to keep us amused.

AndyT will be expecting me to pick 16d as COD, so just to foil him I’ll go for 5d:

Cut to next scene: detectives identify perpetrator (8)



10 Responses to “Prize Cryptic Crossword 2128 by Phi”

  1. AndyT said

    I have “a struggle this week” written in the margin: nothing about Gervase Fen or Edmund Crispin of course. Perhaps a visit to the library catalogue is in order, because Phi has themed a puzzle around the Bryant and May detective novels before now and clearly has decent taste in such things. I particularly liked Crispin; ticked 16d of course, and also 5d … does that earn me a mince pie on points?

  2. DB said

    Another ridiculous highbrow theme to leave the likes of me feeling stupid. Never heard the books or writer. Clearly I’m in the minority despising this elitism crap though.

    • Cornick said

      I hope you picked up, DB, that when I said ‘blindingly obvious’ in fact meant the reverse – I never pick up on Phi’s themes when they are as subtle as this or touching upon subjects like this which I too have zilch knowledge of, or interest in.

  3. jonofwales said

    A little on the tough side, though not as difficult as Phi can sometimes be. Regarding the theme, well, I didn’t notice there was one, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of a perfectly good puzzle.

  4. AndyT said

    I’ve been idly toying with the notion of doing a breakdown of the Tuesday crossword themes for the past year on Boxing Day, if anyone would be interested?

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