i Cryptic Crossword 2353 Morph

August 23, 2018

Well, wasn’t that good? I invariably enjoy Morph’s puzzles but thought that today’s offering was quite outstanding, with ticks by many of the clues. It turns out this is a Thursday reprint, and one or two of the constructions, especially some of the longer answers, were quite complex, but overall I found this to be extremely accessible and a pleasure to solve throughout. Apart from today’s COD nomination I particularly liked 24/25, 22ac, 14ac, 23ac and 15d. Yes, it was that sort of puzzle. One or two I couldn’t parse – notably 12ac, like many back in the day, but also 7d where I mistakingly thought a GIBBET might pass for a large stake (I know…), and 3d where my German wasn’t up to scratch.

So the COD nomination, a difficult pick with so many to choose from, but I’ll go with 5d – “A strain struggling to separate university officials – they’re off-putting types (15)”.

To February 2014 for more praise and analysis of all the clues, together with any answers should you need them:


Good luck, by the way, to anybody picking up GCSE results today, or parents for whom the wait can be equally agonising.

6 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2353 Morph”

  1. batarde said

    Agreed – an excellent puzzle and surprisingly gentle for Morph. Mind you, I did think 12ac was utterly dismal and the three self-congratulatory exclamation marks in quick succession caused a curling of the lip – but these are small matters. Otherwise top drawer with far too many COD candidates … my favourite was 3d, for what it’s worth.

  2. sprouthater said

    It didn’t start off well with only 22ac going in during the first reading of the across clues. Things improved a lot with the down clues and left me with a satisfied smirk on completion. A few went in not completely parsed among them 3dn, loved the Cherries and Am part but the rest of it 😖 and as mentioned before 12ac shouldn’t have been inflicted on us. Despite that it was excellent.

  3. Cornick said

    I always love an ‘anagram-plus’ clue like 3d or 5d; if forced to choose I’d go for the latter – because surely our regional delicacy in the South West has to be Cornish cream, no?
    One or two other definitions raised an eyebrow for different reasons (6d, 14a) and I too found that admittedly nice idea at 12a impossible to parse, but overall this was splendid.

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