i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2504 by Phi

February 23, 2019

Saturday 16th February 2019

Judging by the extraordinary density of ticks in the margin of last weekend’s crossword, and the complete absence of question marks, unsmiley faces, and ‘not sure about that’ glyphs, it seems that this must have been Phi’s best crossword in ages – either that or else I’d been on the happy pills again.

The grid was an especially pleasing one – all entries were odd number of letters long, with ‘positive checking’ in every instance, and given the four long entries around the perimeter, it seemed pretty obvious there would be no need to go looking for either theme or Nina for once. Over at Fifteensquared here one commenter called it a vanilla crossword, which seems wrong to me – there was plenty of invention and chicanery on show I thought.

Hard to pick a COD though. I could go for the satisfying symmetry of ‘Deep space’ at 4d, but I think it’s a bit of a canonical clue, one which even I have met before somewhere; then again the 16a ‘Sylph’ was a perfect example of creating a smooth surface reading from unpromising letters… however, I do like a bit of innovation, so I’m plumping for the following:

20a Novel representation of wino? (5,2,4)


6 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2504 by Phi”

  1. batarde said

    I solved this and The Times in the rather distracting environment of a hospital waiting area and enjoyed them well enough, but since it was a matter of four hours an Anax would have fitted the bill better. A fine puzzle though, causing a few involuntary smirks and chuckles, thus ensuring that the seats on either side went unoccupied. Agreed on the choice of COD for precisely the same reasons: in fact I’ve a feeling that the deep space one has come up quite recently in similar form.

    • jonofwales said

      Hope the hospital waiting didn’t involve anything too serious… With NHS waiting times I suspect an IQ would have been more in order.

  2. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Another very nice and satisfying Phi. I had only one query, but having seen on Fifteensquared how simple it was I am too embarrassed to say what it was. (Oh, all right then, not seeing the subtraction of MO from MOUSE to give USE, since you ask. Yes, I know, obvious, isn’t it?).

    Good one again today.

  3. sprouthater said

    Lots to enjoy with only a couple of queries, one of which was the COD, I’m not good with cryptic definitions, and 19dn, eightvo isn’t a quantity of paper it’s a size but the clue made the answer obvious enough.

  4. jonofwales said

    Very enjoyable, and much more straightforward than Phi usually is. Perhaps solving in the peace of a parked car helped.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: