Prize Cryptic Crossword 2140 by Phi

December 23, 2017

Saturday 16th December 2017

MERRY CHRISTMAS !

George Arthur Barnes was an English racing motorcyclist and a pioneer aviator. He may well have enjoyed reading ‘Innisfree’ and ‘Talking It Over’ with his ‘Mama’. Well that’s the best I could do at the puzzle behind a puzzle which a habitual solver of Phi’s puzzles is implicitly invited to try and solve.

In fact ‘Arthur and George’ is a book by Julian Barnes (I might have got there if we’d had a Julian in the grid) and there was also ‘Porcupine’, ‘Talking It Over’, Flaubert’s ‘Parrot’, ‘Metroland’, and The Sense of an ‘Ending’. Congratulations to the bloggers over at Fifteensquared who spotted it – and to you if you did too. The only Barnes books I know are Flaubert’s Parrot and A History of the World in 10½ chapters, so I currently feel a bit of a Philistine.

Never mind, at least I can solve crosswords – and after a slow start this one picked up speed as the impenetrable became progressively more solvable, with plenty to savour along the way.

It’s hard to pick a COD because there are lots of ticks in my margin without any clear winners. Several nice pictures created in the surfaces though, amongst which was the following:

20a Farming monarch feeding last of waste to pig? (6)

Even if it didn’t really need that question mark on the end.

2 Responses to “Prize Cryptic Crossword 2140 by Phi”

  1. AndyT said

    When Metroland came up I did think that it was probably something to do with that Barnes fellow, but he’s not my thing at all so there didn’t seem to be much point in following it up. Good crossword: no ticks in my margins but I don’t always bother, and the COD is a worthy winner despite the superfluous question mark, what what?

    Merry Christmas to you Cornick: thanks for the blogs and the hugely entertaining Maize puzzles.

  2. jonofwales said

    I found this a struggle from start to end, and I think took longer on this than I did on the day’s Inquisitor. Yikes. There was a theme? I should have looked for one, but I was that relieved on finishing that I didn’t want to look at it again. 😉

    Merry Christmas one and all! 🙂

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