i Cryptic Crossword 2279 Scorpion

May 29, 2018

A typically impressive puzzle from Scorpion today, who clearly wasn’t content with the well-realised theme and decided to supply us with a pangram too. This has resulted in a few oddities, and in addition a couple of definitions are eyebrow-raisers. That’s about par for the course for this compiler, and I don’t see anything which really isn’t fair. Can’t imagine anyone being very keen on 22d, mind.

All the necessary explanations are provided by duncanshiell’s January 2014 Fifteensquared blog, and he also points out a few absentees from the theme. It turns out that there’s a sound technical excuse for this which I won’t pretend I understand but it’s to do with the foundation of dynasties – besides, when you look at the list it would be a brave setter who undertook to crowbar that lot in. Nothing really stands out as an obvious pick of the day, but I did like the gateway clue, 8/9ac:

“Fashion occasionally constrained The Police to practise such music? No (4,5)”

5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2279 Scorpion”

  1. jonofwales said

    I thought I was in trouble when I got almost to the end of the across clues without actually managing to solve any, but then got 29ac, guessed 8/9, and then began to make some progress helped by the theme.

    22d is well, yes, a bit odd. Let’s pick some random obscure German name and use it in the wordplay. I guessed the answer but had no idea why that would be the answer so didn’t have that much confidence in it.

    Also disliked 7d – “middle of lindy hop…” in my book gives you N, and not DY, with “hop” another part of the wordplay altogether. A stretch too far. 17d also seemed to contain two definitions, both of which were hopelessly obscure.

    Not my favourite Scorpion puzzle ever, then. Makes you long for the days when we had Virgilius on a Tuesday. 🙂

  2. Cornick said

    I enjoyed it, and knowing a girl called Heike certainly helped, as did realising there was a pangram near the end with my last two in, 18d and 24a – I had forgotten that R can mean run as well as runs.
    Attracts as an containment indicator seemed a bit rum, but some other innovations like brothers for TU were very nicely done.

  3. dtw42 said

    I failed on 6dn. Managed everything else but took a while. Heike’s a new name to me. Chalk me up in the same camp as JoW on this one.

  4. sprouthater said

    Thought 25ac was just wrong Freak = Adherent and 22dn was a ridiculous clue.

    • batarde said

      That sense is supported by multiple dictionaries of course, often illustrated by “health freak” or “Jesus freak”. Far more enjoyable, however, is the OED’s earliest example from 1908, proving that it goes back a good deal further than the ’60s (which would’ve been my guess):

      “He had a camera. Evidently from the evidence in this case he was one of your kodak freaks”.

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