Prize Cryptic Crossword 2157 by Phi

January 13, 2018

Saturday 6th December 2017

According to Phi’s comments on the Fifteensquared blog, there’s a ghost theme of New Zealand shipping forecast districts (he lives in New Zealand, don’t you know). It annoys me to discover that.  There I was perfectly happy with a successfully completed puzzle, and now I find out that I’ve actually failed to solve it fully.  Please stop doing this to us Phi.  Have a ghost theme by all means, but make it one that solvers are likely to find for themselves, without needing the setter to point it out afterwards. British shipping forecast areas – Yes; New Zealand shipping forecast areas – No.

Rant over… Let’s move on to the clues, a lot of which used deletion.

For those of you unfamiliar with Phi’s clueing style, whereas most setters will use a deletion perhaps once or twice per puzzle, Phi will sometimes use them seven or eight times and, given that they rank as one of the trickier devices on the Cornick scale of difficulty, that tends to rack up the overall solving time.

Specifically we had:   To gain knowledge of curtailed = LEAR(n);   A lot of noise obscuring first = (b)ABEL; When avoiding looking slimy = GRE(as)Y;   Endearment putting off Prince = (p)ETAL; Exited bypassing fort = LE(ft);  Tally – not all = T(all)Y; Most of region = REAL(m);   Back needing something scraped off = STER(n)

And if you’re interested in setting puzzles, here’s a website with very good lists of deletion indicators, anagram indicators and all the rest, but you won’t find half of the list above there, Phi reminds us that setting at its best involves a lot of originality.

Finally my COD goes to the beautifully assembled 20a, somewhat reminiscent of Morph yesterday, perhaps:

Royal partner about to be announced in sport (7)


2 Responses to “Prize Cryptic Crossword 2157 by Phi”

  1. AndyT said

    New Zealand shipping forecasts? I can hardly be expected to spot that, and therefore don’t care. It just seems a bit silly, frankly. Never mind: good puzzle, above average for Phi I thought, and agreed on the outstanding clue of the day. The similarity to Morph’s tactics yesterday is an amusing coincidence.

  2. jonofwales said

    Of course, that was the theme. 😉 Needless to say it passed me by… Finished pretty quickly for Phi, and thoroughly enjoyable it was too, anyway.

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