i Cryptic Crossword 2467 eXternal

January 4, 2019

I found getting into this offering from eXternal very difficult but after losing more hair than I can afford 9 and 10ac finally fell giving a much needed foothold. 1dn was an obvious anagram but of what, the nasty setter had used both Bendy and Bewilders in the clue which left me a bit er bewildered. Similarly 4dn, I’ve been doing these things for long enough but the cricket references still fly over my head. The clues that proved hardest to parse for me were 12ac and 22dn but they didn’t fool the estimable Bertandjoyce on Fifteensquared where you can find all the solutions and explanations. This was an excellent work out with just a few grumbles – primarily 2dn, yes I remember her now but not as a cake maker, and 25ac Plateau = Roof . Hmm.

So to COD where I have a few ticks,1ac is a very well constructed cryptic clue and deserves mention but I think 5dn just takes it –

Initially bewildered in Indian state, grandmother’s to freak out (2,7)

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19 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2467 eXternal”

  1. Cornick said

    Excellent puzzle, although Charles Lindbergh was bunged in without being able to parse it for the life of me. As Geoff Ivory puts it on p18 ‘Occasionally, even after seeing the solution, I still don’t get it’.

  2. dtw42 said

    Yes, I found this hard and needed a few electronic-assistance nudges to keep me going. Everything seemed fair & parsable once the answers were known, but some of them were decidedly chewy.

  3. dtw42 said

    FWIW, I *was* at least able to parse the Lindbergh one: H (for helipad) after D.B.E.+R inside LING, yes?

  4. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    With one caveat, I can say that I gound this to be fairly straightforward and enjoyable. It took me my typical one hour to solve and I had no quibbles about any parsing or obscure /unknown words (obscure or unknown to me, that is…). I sort of agree with sprouthater about plateau/roof, but it was close enough for me.

    However, I could not for the life of me get ROLLERCOASTERED, and neither did the word appear in the online crossword-solver I turned to for help. Moreover, I think that to rollercoaster is to go up and down rather than to simply move fast. To say that an experience was a bit of a rollercoaster is to suggest that there were highs and lows, good times and bad, not that it just moved along at a fast pace. Neither am I convinced by the word-play of coast = taxi. And is rollercoastered really a verb?

    • dtw42 said

      “Rollercoastered” was certainly one of the “electronic-assistance nudges” i referred to above, and I agree with your quibbles about the meaning of the verb…

  5. Topsy said

    sadly no enjoyment for me with this one. I have a mental image of the setter sniggering like Muttley whilst coming up with convoluted clueing. I can’t be sure because I have never been on one, but I thought rollercoasters go fairly slowly on the ascent, almost stop and then hurtle down the other side. Ho hum!

  6. batarde said

    I enjoyed it, but spent a long time gazing at 26ac knowing full well what it had to be but not why. Unsurprising, if “coast” is supposed to be a synonym for “taxi” – that clue feels like a no ball to me, and at the very least is wide open to debate. On Michael’s final point however, I’m afraid that seemingly there is no noun which cannot be verbed, much as we might dislike it.

    Interesting to note that there’s a brand new comment on 15². Unless I miss my guess it’s from someone who has turned up here before to say exactly the same thing in a couple of guises (just the one IP address, though). So, if you’re passing “Carole Penhorwood”, “LeahR” or “The tortoise VM”, hello. Still speaking up for the average i reader, then? I have to say that the venerable Mr Ivory accepts defeat with better grace, you know.

    • Michaelatcobblerscottage said

      Regretfully, I have to agree. I have however tried to construct sentences with rollercoastered as the verb and they all sound strained, to say the least.

    • LeahR said

      I am not The tortoise VM, but I am Carole Penhorwood. Criticism is something any i reader is entitled to express. You represent a small group of people who enjoy banging on about how clever you are and sneering at anyone who feels the cryptic is a minority indulgence. I have not posted anything further because it is a waste of time.

      • batarde said

        I apologise unreservedly. You are not The tortoise VM, and I was misled by the similarity of content and turn of phrase, along with the supposition that someone with two identities might decide to adopt a third. Sorry.

        The accusation of sneering and intellectual snobbery is uncalled for and discourteous. You do not know me, and you are wrong. I like the i crossword as it is and seek to defend the setters and editor, and that’s as valid a position as any other.

      • Cornick said

        Unlike chess, for example, you don’t have to be clever to be good at cryptic crosswords. Sure, that’s one way, but it’s also possible to be medium dim (like me) and just love them. If you’re neither super clever nor do you love cryptic crosswords, maybe you’re right and the i cryptic crossword simply isn’t for you. Shame though, as in my opinion it’s the most fun that you can have with a pen and a newspaper.

  7. jonofwales said

    Thoroughly enjoyable, and marginally difficult. 😀 Couldn’t parse 12ac or 26ac, but the rest went in with a little careful thought and the odd, rare moment of inspiration.

  8. Cornick said

    To return to Mr Ivory and his reflections upon whether or not puzzles have got harder these days – what do you think?

    It’s been discussed on Fiftensquared before now, but I can remember puzzles from the seventies in dailies which had features like incomplete Shakespeare quotations where the missing word was the answer – harder surely for the average Joe than a bit of devilment from eXternal?

    • batarde said

      I was musing about that too. Those older puzzles are less devious in their cryptic syntax, but they often assume rote-learnt literary and Classical knowledge which is no longer common. The other side of the coin is that as the years roll past new setters arrive and naturally many of them will want to test the boundaries and maybe contribute something entirely new in the way of a clue strategy. I’m pretty sure that the current Indy puzzles are more convoluted and tricksy than they were in the 80s. However, I reckon the late Araucaria remains the boss when it comes to cor blimey clues.

    • jonofwales said

      I wonder whether losing some of the regular setters – Rufus, Virgilius, Quixote, Dac, etc – who are / were pretty straightforward, and appeared week on week so you were familiar with their style, has some bearing. In the Independent, and then the i, you could pretty much guarantee that Monday-Wednesday would be pretty plain sailing.

      As to the bad old days, I’ve looked at some older Times puzzles and been completely bemused. 🙂

      • Cornick said

        I have a distinct impression that whereas setters were once drawn from the ranks of retired Latin masters and the clergy, they’re now more likely to be computer programmers and chemists.

  9. Too tough for me. I’ll accept defeat gracefully…

  10. Sheamus said

    Feeling v pleased with myself. I usually struggle through and fail after ages only to read lots of comments about how easy and straightforward a crossword is. This time the opposite I finished and lots of other people are saying how hard it was. Yay! I’m a winner!

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