i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2319 by Phi

July 21, 2018

Saturday 14th July 2018

Last weekend Phi cranked up the difficulty level a couple of notches.

Whilst the bottom half went in at a steady pace – helped by a few well-signalled anagrams – the top half had a mass of abstruse vocabulary intersecting itself.  New for me were Crab canon, Arch-foe (not in any dictionaries in my house), Neotic, Gie, Otiose, Clift (despite my being a geographer) and Wardress, whilst Ghillie took a bit of dredging up from the memory banks. So I made very slow progress towards the end, with Ghillie and Dress at 10a and 8d being my last ones in.

Having said all that, there was a lot to admire and I was thoroughly enjoying the puzzle right up until those last few which seemed, frankly, unnecessarily hard – almost as if they had drifted in by accident from the world of barred puzzles. Probably ideal, though, for Jon ‘The Inquisitor’ of Wales and for Batarde-of-the-large-vocabulary, although I’ll be surprised if the latter enjoyed 23d: ‘My bad’ – Eesh!

Anyhow, my favourite amongst many goodies on offer was the following:

5d Close agreement overturned – it’s the drink (8)

And if you go to the original 2014 blog (click here) you’ll discover that there’s a Nina which consists of words that have alphabetically consecutive triplets letters – like crAB Cannon, DEFer, GHIllie, caLMNess, aiRSTrip, moNOPlane, coSTUme, and soMNOlent.

2 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2319 by Phi”

  1. batarde said

    I was going to say “no comment”, having forgotten everything about this puzzle. Reading that academic paper suggests that this is on account of my approach to clue reading: I don’t pay any attention to the surface but treat it as an equation, and therefore there’s nothing to stick in the mind except the solutions. However, now you mention it the vocabulary did irritate somewhat, especially noetic for some reason (there’s an impolite annotation next to that ). I am, however, taken with that Nina – and it would have pleased me no end to have spotted it. 🙂

  2. jonofwales said

    Nope, didn’t spot what was going on, but did feel a little irritated by the close. Now I can see why. 🙂 10ac was a prime example of the sort of thing that shouldn’t be allowed in a daily cryptic. I’ve got a copy of Chambers on my phone so can check such things, but still… This is despite 6ac almost being written with me in mind. 🙂

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