i Cryptic Crossword 2508 Monk

February 21, 2019

How not to prepare for an offering by Monk:

1. Spend a busy morning in work.
2. Enjoy a leisurely lunchtime walk, sandwich and coffee, by way of recovery.
3. Leave as little solving and blogging time as is strictly necessary.

Thus the late post, so apologies.

This is a Thursday reprint, and from this setter it was always going to be a little tough, but thankfully it wasn’t as impenetrable as it could have been and I finished in a time a little over par for the i. Admittedly along the way I did curse the presence of a non-existent German punctuation or arithmetic mark, confidently lobbed in MONIKERS for 24ac with minimal support from the wordplay, and ignored for a long time my hunch about the answer to 10ac. The advantages of having a father who was a fan of the radio series in his childhood. So, forgetting mistakes, my first one in was 19d, a saint who for once I did know, last in, yes, 24ac. Partly I suspect because of the mess I’d made of the grid in that corner.

All fair, all above board, though I’d describe this as being more rigorous and satisfying to finish than strictly speaking enjoyable. But that’s just me and puzzles by Monk, I suspect.

COD? 2d – “Punch in the face and leg (5,2)”.

There’s a discussion over on the other side about a Nina that, as ever, seems to have totally passed me by.

To October 2014:


10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2508 Monk”

  1. batarde said

    Hard lines, Jon. 🙂 Not having a deadline to meet I did enjoy this and managed to finish it with only Chambers to assist me. 6 and 11 are ripe for discussion, but everything else worked out nicely. The saint eluded me for a while, and since there are so many to choose from I’d have been happier and more amused if Monk had opted for something like “Baker’s holiday …” – but whatever. 5d was my favourite today, but as usual the standard was high throughout.

    My cursory search for a Nina was fruitless … should’ve kept on looking. Orkneys eh? During the war the navy marooned my granddad there and he never had a polite word to say about the place.

  2. Cornick said

    Not been there – put off by the Shetlanders’ suspicious attitude towards the ‘wee dark men of the South’. And I didn’t look for a Nina either.
    Enjoyed this a lot. Pretty impenetrable at first, it filled from the bottom up, and then once the long anagrams tumbled, the rest fell into place with increasing rapidity. In other words the exact opposite of yesterday’s experience!

  3. Barrie Cooper said

    I found this very hard going, and relied on electronic aids far too much. 25 was my favourite.

    But more importantly, what is a nina, and what have the Orkneys/Shetland got to do with it, please?

    • Cornick said

      If you call the columns of the completed grid 1 to 15, then read vertically down column 3 and column 13, there’s a hidden message…

  4. sprouthater said

    Did this in short bursts so it didn’t hurt too much, got a few on the first pass but it was 1dn that created the worst hold up, yes it was obviously an anagram but I still managed to enter it wrongly making 10 and 12ac impossible. My main quibbles are with Prime = Original and Site for Garage both seem a bit tenuous to me. Still cant see the Nina unless it’s Ken Mcrol 😁

    • Cornick said

      Nina is Orcadian Vacation in columns 3 & 13.
      I took 9a to simply be a description of a place (site) where you’d keep an estate car. No?

      • sprouthater said

        Thanks, I did see your previous post but we crossed. That’s how I saw 9ac but I still think it’s very tenuous.

  5. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    After a read-through this morning I decided not to spoil my pub lunch with a too-challenging crossword, so I did not pick this up until late afternoon. In the end it did not take much longer than usual to complete (sort of). A combination of inspired guesses (BRANDENBURG GATE, PETITS BOURGEOIS) and a great deal of trawling through lists got me there in the end. But I needed so much e-help that it was not a particularly satisfying solve for me. I made one mistake – entering SMACK instead of SPANK, seeing a word which answered the definition but without checking the word-play. SCHLIEREN? In a daily? Really? And is centre fairly clued by stronghold? Missed the Nina.

  6. dtw42 said

    Nope. Struggled desperately with this, especially the bottom half, for much of which I had to resort to extensive electronic assistance.
    For 21dn I had ‘GREED’ pencilled in for a long time.
    I agree with those quibbling over some of the definitions.

  7. AndyO said

    Tricky but good! A little while to get going but steady progress after that once the 15-letters were filed – nice to see 10a making an overdue appearance and after a little letter-juggling located 1d in the OED. Only query was for 21 as a slightly flaky dd – but thanks for the pointer to the nina – does it mean ‘on’? Just joking…

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