i Cryptic Crossword 2509 Anax

February 22, 2019

Looking back on previous puzzles by Anax I see that I’m not the only one that finds them extremely tough and sometimes a bit of a slog. In fact there is only one person who has consistently expressed pleasure, so Mr B will be a happy bunny today.  I started off well with both 1ac and 1dn going straight in but my euphoria was short lived as not much else followed. The blogger Twencelas over on Fifteensquared describes this as “a high standard of subterfuge” and he’s probably right but, for this solver the subterfuge is a bit too convoluted as in 7dn which beat me and the obscure 3dn which I only found in Chambers. The only other (to me) real obscurity was 18/21 which the setter had generously and cleverly made an anagram, but I only realised that when all the crossers for 21 were in, and what was left over could only be one thing.  As usual I had a few quibbles, Added = New, Enjoyed = Had – I’ve had lots of things that I haven’t enjoyed – and Soon = Then. Hmm.

And so to a COD, and there are quite a few to choose from. The excellent anagram at 5dn, 13dn and 27ac both got ticks as did two that initially were entered with question marks regarding the parsing – 4ac was one and 2dn was the other – and it’s this one that gets my nomination:

Picked bones while initially slicing one (5)

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12 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2509 Anax”

  1. Wanderlust said

    Pain? Pleasure? Not sure what I felt most in struggling through this one. I’d never heard the phrase 18/21 although I’d worked out that it was an anagram so got it more by luck than anything and I couldn’t bring myself to enter 25A until I ran out of options – it’s just not done is it? But all that was offset by 5D (my COD) and some cracking teasers. Excellent puzzle albeit a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

  2. Cornick said

    Hmm – undoubtably some excellent clues, but I’m still unsure if they were worth all the aggravation elsewhere. I don’t much like super-long anagrams like 18/21, especially when they clue unknown phrases; but then again I’ve learned something new.
    Liked 1d and 25a among others though. And now I’m going for a lie down.

  3. batarde said

    Hell’s teeth, that was a particularly Anaxy one. Yes, I’m happy and not just because I didn’t have to blog it – there’s a deal of satisfaction to be had from this sort of puzzle, but it’s mostly after the fact. It all seems fair and above board – however tuning into Anax’ wavelength always takes considerable effort. On the whole I preferred yesterday’s Monk (which took less than half as long) but both crosswords are good examples of why the i is the place to go for truly challenging blocked puzzles in print.

  4. jonofwales said

    A rare definitive DNF here. After struggling for an age with only a handful of answers entered, and realising I wasn’t actually enjoying the experience, I threw in the towel. Looking over on the other side I’m glad I did, TBH. Neither my German or French were sufficient to solve 11, for example. And 18/21? Not a good end to the week here. 😦

  5. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    I put this down in despair art lunchtime with only a handful solved. Only a bloody-minded refusal to be beaten made me pick it up again later. Very tough. AU FROMAGE and RURITANIA both went in without my understanding the parsing. I echo the previous comments about 18/21.

  6. Barrie Cooper said

    Quite a struggle today, but I found it both more enjoyable and less difficult than yesterday’s.

    NE by far the toughest section, especially 4 and 7. Didn’t think much of soon in 8, and am still baffled by the first three letters of 11. Apart from that everything was eventually parsed satisfactorily

  7. dtw42 said

    Okay, it’s 8.30am on Saturday and I have just finished this one. On Friday I solved two clues in the morning and two more in the evening, and was hating it. This morning I stubbornly got out the Bradfords and the Chambers and determined to do a little better. By the end I was nodding in grudging admiration for the fiendishness of some of the clues. But boy, that’s not a commuter solve by any stretch of the imagination. Has any setter ever got away with the 10/25 shenanigan before?

  8. AndyO said

    The 10 and 25 repeat was quite neat but this was a struggle to say the least and like jonofwales (a good day lads!) was also a DNF – quite a few bunged in without parsing and think that 18/21 (probably an unfamiliar location to non-Jam fans) wasn’t helped by crossing itself – still don’t get 8d and not surprised that the Turtle’s not best pleased – oh dear how sad never mind…

  9. Topsy said

    I am afraid I as swimming with the Turtle on this one. I gave up because whilst crosswords should be challenging they should also be pleasurable and this one wasn’t.

  10. Emma said

    What the devil is the answer? I can’t happily svribnlr the answer down!

    • Emma Rendall said

      Sorry… ‘scribble’. Doesn’t bode well. This was not really a satisfying experience…I feel I’ve entered the answers on a whim. Anax and I are not on the same wavelength!

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