i Cryptic Crossword 2377 Nestor

September 20, 2018

In which we must have a leading contender for puzzle of the week. This is a Saturday reprint so as expected the difficulty level is cranked up a little, but this was as accessible and enjoyable as you could hope. And the setter being Nestor all the clues are of top notch quality. All the X’s and that Q in the grid led me to believe we were looking for a pangram which slowed me down somewhat on my LOI – 9ac – where I was looking for anything other than the, as it turns out, obvious. The X’s and Y’s down the RHS do make me wonder if there might have been a stab at a mini-theme going on, perhaps in conjunction with 11ac, that was later abandoned, but on the other hand that could just be the work of my fevered imaginings. And work being about as work-like as it could be today, that is entirely plausible. Today my brain hurts and not because of the crossword.

First in 4ac, last in already mentioned, finish time just a little above par for the i. Many more like this please.

COD? Just because I felt quite frankly more than a little smug when I solved it without recourse to a dictionary, 6d – “Gazella gazella is one possible signature for A Minghella on letter from Greece (8)”.

To May 2014 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2014/05/10/independent-8596-sat-3-may-2014-nestor/

5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2377 Nestor”

  1. dtw42 said

    A day off here meant I was able to give this proper attention. Did ¾ of it in the morning, then went shopping and have just done the last (SW) corner now. I liked this one, didn’t need to look anything up or cheat with wordfinders. Only a missing Z kept it from being a pangram – I’m now sitting here looking for a way to get one in with as minimal alteration of the existing words as possible. Nothing’s leaping out as obvious…

  2. batarde said

    Yes, all very good, and I was a little thrown by the pangram-which-wasn’t too. Steady progress finishing in the NW corner, with 2, 9 and 11 being the last to fall.

  3. Cornick said

    High quality from Nestor as ever. Very much enjoyed indeed.
    I too wondered about all those high-scoring Scrabble letters, and like dtw I finished in the SW corner.
    I wonder if the internet has a list of Tautonyms somewhere…

    • dtw42 said

      I do like Puffinus puffinus. Which is …

      No, not the puffin, but the Manx shearwater.

      My setter pseudonym of choice is/would be “Skirwingle”, which the OED defines beautifully as “some kind of bird”, but which is popularly suspected also to be the Manx shearwater 😀

      • Cornick said

        Great definition that – taking a leaf out of the ‘Chambersism’ book. 🙂

        And aren’t there some goodies? I’ve been amusing myself by asking colleagues which ones they know – Troglytes troglodytes is top followed by Vulpes vulpes. Sadly they don’t exist in the plant world, but Wikipedia has a list of Triple Tautonyms – like Bufo bufo bufo.

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