i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2409 by Phi

November 3, 2018

Saturday 27th October 2018

Thinking back to the other side of what has been quite a testing week of cryptics in the i, you might remember last Saturday’s as being, relatively speaking, something of a read-and-write.  Apart from an almost forgotten meaning of ‘limb’ in 24d, the only clue to cause me any noticeable difficulty was my LOI 6d – a reversal of stuc[k]o(n)il ; otherwise it was probably as gentle a Phi as I have ever encountered.

Lots of long, clearly flagged anagrams, if you like that sort of thing – impeccably constructed as ever – and of course the grid fill was quite interesting with those paired lights in four of the across rows.

To find out all the parsings, and to read how 9a caused a bit of confusion (because ‘actor’s’ and ‘co-star’ share both meaning and letters) you can go to Fifteensquared here.

For the COD, with nothing particularly sticking out and just to be different, let’s go to the quick crossword, which had CELL and PHRASING along the top line. I have no idea who does them, but that was neat!


9 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2409 by Phi”

  1. batarde said

    9ac seemed perfectly fair to me: whether it’s a coincidence or a bit of devilry on Phi’s part is up for debate, of course. All rather jolly, and I was left wondering where I’ve come across that meaning of “limb” before. Could be Mervyn Peake … it’s the sort of insult Barquentine would throw around. Might come in handy for the grandson one day. 11/12 was quite a piece of work and COD-worthy in my opinion, but the two across the top of the quickie also raised a smile.

  2. jonofwales said

    All pretty straightforward and enjoyable again from Phi. Nothing controversial, nothing that wouldn’t have been out of place for a Friday puzzle. 😉

  3. DB said

    I see one of the clues in this weekend’s (very easy) puzzle was defined by ‘video game’. I cannot wait to see what the snobs over at 225 thought of that, with no self-awareness whatsoever!

    “Ugh, Marjorie, can you believe it? A video game! How could anybody possibly have heard of that? Tut tut, bad form. Now back to my Verdi- and Paganini-themed puzzle. Hopefully there’s a Nina all about my favourite 18th century Scottish poet!”

    • Cornick said

      DB, you may well have a point 🙂

    • batarde said

      You know what, DB, and feel free to blame the notoriously lethal combination of Famous Grouse and Crabbie’s Green Ginger wine if you wish, but I reckon it’s high time that someone called you out on your inverted snobbery and it may as well be me.

      It appears that your general knowledge runs to video games, but not to classical music let alone Tom Stoppard. Great. In the unlikely event that I should be invited to compete on Mastermind my specialist subject would be the Dead Kennedys, 1980-1985. No kidding.

      However, the business of solving cryptic crosswords involves a wide range of knowledge – high brow, low brow, technical, slang ancient and modern; aptotes, tmesis, gluons, quarks, mawmetries, bosons, zeugma; Duke Nukem, that blasted woman Cher, nitre, etui; heaven help us “def or “rad” … the whole bally lot. If you have a problem with that, you either need to raise your game, or start taking the Telegraph. I don’t wish to be unpleasant, but this pastime is about being clever, and having a passing acquaintance with subjects outside your immediate areas of interest.

      Feel free to retaliate, as best you can. The most accomplished crossword solvers I have met have included a mathematician with a double first from Cambridge; a retired prostitute, and a career criminal who learned the tricks of the trade inside.

      So, the hell with your assumptions about the kind of people who like to play around with cryptic crossword puzzles. You’re way out of order.

      I’m really looking forward to your reply, because this needs thrashing out.

      • Cornick said

        I’ll look forward to that reply too, Batarde – but what a rant! The finest of the year so far, I’d say, and one deserving of a wider audience. Well, I read it out to Mrs Cornick at least 🙂

        For my part I see my own general knowledge for what it is, I hope, and I am aware that it fades away rapidly towards both high opera and soap opera. For some reason though, I find myself curious about one, but dismissive of the other. Is that snobbery? I’m not sure, but it does embrace an attitude of aspiration for self-betterment which is available to everyone who lives near a library or has access to the internet, and I would find it hard to defend its Pol Potian opposite.

        In my limited experience of setting puzzles, I’ve only twice been criticised for unfairness in terms of the GK expected of the solver: On one occasion I had ‘Blythe’ defined as ‘Spartans’ and the other was ‘Siri’ defined as ‘voice of a know-it-all’ – one football, the other tech-speak, so maybe DB does have a point. But of course there was also supportive wordplay, which I hope was commensurately straightforward.

        As Peter Biddlecombe says ‘Mostly, you don’t need detailed knowledge, but “wide and shallow” knowledge’. He also urges solvers to read widely, to approach the puzzle with the expectation of learning and to ‘Read the other pages of the newspaper between solving the crossword and throwing it away’. Yup, I’ll go with that.

  4. sprouthater said

    An easy grid fill but 24dn seems a bit of stretch Limb = Dismemberment = Tearaway, is that how it works?

    • Cornick said

      I think it’s just an old-fashioned (as opposed to archaic) word for a scamp, a young tearaway – but that might be the etymology indeed.

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