i Cryptic Crossword 2511 eXternal

February 25, 2019

Well, it’s an IoS reprint to start the week, much as expected, but this wasn’t the gentle lead-in to the week many solvers would have been expecting. It’s eXternal, which usually means you’re in for something a little trickier, and today it proved to be so. To be fair the NE and SW corners went in without too much ado, though with a “who?” by the scientist (which probably reveals more about my own ignorance than anything else), but from then on I struggled. A strange island, a slang for face that was obscure to say the least at 19d, another odd word at 14d, and SHISH for kebab elsewhere… Oh, and a bit of obscure mythology just for good measure. Phew. The answers went in, but the wheres and whyfors remained a bit of a mystery. Thankfully we have PeeDee over on the other side to clear everything up.

Clever, always fair, and entertaining, but an interesting pick for the IoS, and indeed for the i a Monday.

COD? I’ll go with 6d – “Emu got ill, sickly bird (9)”.

To November 2014:


8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2511 eXternal”

  1. Barrie Cooper said

    Harder than we’ve come to expect on a Monday. I got completely stuck in SW corner because of 19, 25 and 27. Having kicked myself about how long it took me to see 27, the B made 19 obvious; I understand the clue but do not like it one bit.
    I liked the clues for the unusual entries at 14 and17, but 5 was my favourite.

  2. Topsy said

    I managed about half but got bored. I wasn’t really happy when I saw the answer to 9a because I would never use “partner” to define a mucker, china, pal but clearly that is just me.

  3. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Challenging, but fair, fun and satisfying. A bit sticky in the SE corner, but otherwise steady if slowish progress made. Only one quibble from me, which is the scientist/Henry. Once the crossers were in it was clear to me what the answer should be but I would never have got the chap otherwise.

    Lots to like – in particular the clues for HAIL, DOJO and WHEELER-DEALER.

  4. Cornick said

    I wonder if the editor sometimes struggles to decide which setter to put on which day? Not that it should really matter – I don’t think it’s written in stone that we’re all supposed to be in a state of shock, hangovers and stupidity on Mondays.

    Anyhow, NE and SW pretty quick – despite the unknown scientist – although I was aware of the SI unit called a henry, so maybe fair enough there.
    Then a pause.
    Then OPPO suddenly occurred as a putative solution for ???O at 9a and suddenly all the rest fell like dominoes – funny how that can happen sometimes.

  5. batarde said

    I very much enjoyed this one, being fortunate enough to find the mythological, Cockney, geographic and scientific elements tucked away in the old noggin after a bit of rummaging. Couldn’t tell you a thing about them, except that the scientist has an SI unit named after him (capacitance? inductance? search me) which one must assume is his main claim to fame. 13ac is a particularly ugly word, is it not? I’d leave out the “e”. Anyway, lots of fun and no significant complaints.

  6. sprouthater said

    Busy day including a trip to the dentist which I enjoyed a bit more than this. Mostly it wasn’t too bad but 19dn and 22ac got some serious grunts of disapproval. I see the Tortoise didn’t like it either.

  7. dtw42 said

    Another day where my paper wasn’t delivered, so I picked this up from the newsagent about 6pm and tackled the crossword over dinner. Top half went in with little ado, I ground to a crawl in the SE corner, with 27, 22 and 23 being last in. Like Barrie, I didn’t think much of 27: I think the def’s just a bit rubbish. For a long time I held out hope that “old Liverpool striker” might refer to something OTHER THAN a sodding footballer, but no such luck. My relationship with the word ‘henry’ matches Cornick’s. Rather liked 8dn. Luckily there’s still enough Laahndan in me for ‘boat race’ to immediately say ‘face’ in my mind. Gor’ blimey strike me pink guv’nor and no mistake (etc.)

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