i Cryptic Crossword 2303 Tees

June 26, 2018

Right, let’s have a look at this then. 1ac … well, that’s straightforward enough, isn’t it? Make the most of it, I say, because there’s a deal of unpicking to be done to resolve the rest of the crossword. A spot of knowledge of Greek mythology, Indian politics and – ahem – Albanian bread will be required, amongst other things; some school history complete with dates is involved too.

This puzzle is certainly tougher than the Tuesday average (it was originally a Saturday prize crossword in March 2014), and it’s also about as brilliant as anything we’ve seen in a fair while. There’s a little theme linked to a short series of clues involving cardinals, a sprinkling of related material in entries and wordplay, and as if that wasn’t generous enough it’s a pangram too. A resounding “bravo” for all that, Tees. There was some interesting chatter at Fifteensquared, so I’ll leave discussion of the various standout clues to them and cut straight to the COD. For the sake of sheer devilry, it’s 4d:

“King leaves Queen without clue to find Albanian bread (6)”

I’m expecting some flak for picking that one, but it’s fair, clever, and a lot easier if you’re looking for a pangram!

22 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2303 Tees”

  1. dtw42 said

    FWIW, I failed on 4dn at the end. Feels a bit too convoluted to me, but maybe it’s just sour grapes because I failed to unpick it.

  2. jonofwales said

    4d is one of those that’s obvious once you see it, but before that… And as for that first letter in isolation. 🙂 Challenging, certainly, but the various battles were a help if you could dredge them up from the depths of your memory. A couple I’m not sure I would have got if they hadn’t been themed. All good fun, but I’m not sure I could cope with one like that every day.

  3. StanXYZ said

    Aragorn, Shadowfax and Pasiphae completely unknown to me, but does it matter.

    Loved the “Aggresive female swinger”.

  4. sprouthater said

    Surprised myself by answering quite a lot on the first pass not that I fully understood all of them 2dn 4dn and 11ac in particular yea some were a bit convoluted but it was only the dreadful 19ac that got a grimace.

  5. Cornick said

    I thought all of that was terrific EXCEPT for 4d!
    My problem with it was:
    1. I have a 1 Lek note in my possession, that’s quite obscure enough knowledge thank you very much.
    2. Its subdivision is called the quindarke, not the qindar
    3. Quindarka are no longer issued.
    Apart from that it was an excellent clue!

  6. dtw42 said

    Off topic – do any of you guys do the Radio Times crossword? If so, please let me know what you think of 14dn and 23ac in puzzle #27 (30 June – 6 July issue).

    • jonofwales said

      I don’t, but if you post up the clues I’ll still venture an opinion. 🙂

      • dtw42 said

        Well … 14dn says “Oil tribunal processed carbon capture (9)”, and from other crossing letters one can get _U_R_C_ _ _
        Simple enough anag of tribunal+C to mean oil, right?
        Then 23ac is “Tangle with bird (4)”, _N_ _
        There’s a double definition that fits that.
        BUT … the penultimate letter of the 9 crosses the last letter of the 4, which means something’s awry: one of them isn’t what I think it is, or the anagram’s got a mistake in it, or there’s another tangle/bird that I haven’t thought of, or…?

      • jonofwales said

        The anagram’s as you said, and 23ac indeed looks like a double definition ending in T. If they’re crossing on the penultimate letter of 14d rather than the last, it looks like there’s been an error to me. Let me know what the solution says.

      • batarde said

        Yes, that’s what I was thinking, although how the mistake could arise is a mystery.

        Whilst we’re discussing puzzles in other publications, an elderly neighbour passes on her copy of the Saga magazine to me, which contains a little cryptic crossword. Has anyone else come across it? It’s extraordinarily hard boiled!

      • jonofwales said

        Perhaps they assume pensioners have plenty of time on their hands, or is there a particularly good prize? 🙂

      • batarde said

        I don’t have a copy to hand, but seem to recall that the prize is £100 – a sight more generous than you stand to win for doing the IQ or the Listener, anyway. The clues and vocabulary are barred thematic level, but it being a blocked grid there are fewer checking letters. My initial reaction the first time I tried one was “good grief”. 🙂

      • dtw42 said

        …being the RT, it’ll be several weeks before the solution is published, but I think I’ll be taping this one to a kitchen cupboard or something to try and keep it front-of-mind until then.

        I bet the solution will have the 9 ending -ATE to cross the 4 correctly, and no mention be made of how that contradicts the wordplay of the clue. What would be more interesting to observe is how any submitted entries handle that area, and what they do with them…

      • Cornick said

        Hi DTW, I used to do the RT crossword all the time, but nowadays my wife snaffles it for the Quick crossword before I get a chance!
        Yes, as has been already stated, this is clearly an error. 23a just HAS to be Knot, there are no 4-letter birds that go ?O?N anyhow, Knot works perfectly. Clearly there was a muddle up to get Lubricate clued as if it was Lubricant, but hey, we’re all human, even Roger Prebble, who’s been doing the RT puzzle since 1999. No surprise the puzzle editor kind of trusts him!

      • Cornick said

        I meant ?N?N obviously!

      • dtw42 said

        Quite so. All very awkward especially since there is at least one valid word that would have fit ?N?N (anon … plus Onan, I suppose) so a change of clue would have undone the clash. Hey ho.

  7. I even looked up “Albanian Currency” on google. Still didn’t see it… Can it be used in Scrabble?

    • sprouthater said

      Not sure but it cones up on Countdown occasionally

      • dtw42 said

        To add confusion, my Oxford dictionary has qintar but not qindar for the singular, qintars or qindarka as the plural!

        Meanwhile,Official Scrabble Words allows all the variants with t or s and plurals with -s or -arka – so that’d be “yes” to your question, it seems.

  8. dtw42 said

    EDIT: variants with t or d

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