i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2385 by Phi

October 6, 2018

Saturday 29th September 2018

Something a bit different last Saturday.  Alarms went off in my head when I read the end of 1d: [the first of 12 clues defined as if followed by their locations].  What! This is a daily cryptic, not the Inquisitor, I thought.

But I needn’t have worried, the ruse became clear soon enough – indeed it was the voice of the critic inside my head that helped me; 26d was ‘Decline rise of new routine (4) for which the wordplay clearly seemed to be a reversal of N+RUT. ‘But TURN doesn’t mean decline’, I thought, ‘that should be TURN DOWN’…   Then I got it.

After that things were pretty much plain sailing, with the 12 themed words being SLOW, FACE, SPLASH, WIND, SIMMER, WATER, EIDER, DRESSING, SETTLE, BACK, PIPE and the aforementioned TURN.

Opinions may well be divided between those who twigged what was going on and those who didn’t, but the regular commenters at Fifteensquared back in 2014 [click here] liked it very much (one even wrote a limerick in praise), and so did I.

COD: 22a Redeveloped for UK (not NI), it’s an aquatic plant (4-3)



5 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2385 by Phi”

  1. DB said

    The gimmick made this one relatively easy I thought. I got it all except for the obscure (to me, anyway) Frenchman at the top left.

  2. sprouthater said

    Yes I had a sinking feeling when reading 1dn but it all proved relatively straightforward and enjoyable for a change. 22ac was the only unknown for me but well enough clued only 20dn didn’t really work for me.

  3. batarde said

    You have to hand it to Phi: he puts some effort into coming up with original variations. Even if nobody picks up on them. Anyway, I enjoyed this one, and the only real disappointment is that Cornick’s last sentence does not appear to mean that he’s going to supply us with a limerick.

    However, I mentioned a schoolboy howler last Saturday, which is that Hibernian refers to matters Irish, not Scottish. Phi appears to have been misled by the Edinburgh football team.

    • Cornick said

      So you did – and in spite of that hint I failed to spot it (hangs head in shame). What Phi meant was Caledonian, of course.

  4. jonofwales said

    Thoroughly enjoyed that one, Phi’s best in a long time. Especially like the down gimmick. 🙂

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