i Cryptic Crossword 2512 Anax

February 26, 2019

Lovely jubbly. Serves me right for that expression of schadenfreude on Friday, no doubt. This one may have been a little easier, the modest theme helping with 23, 24 and 7, but it’s always a process of attrition with Anax. This was his 100th Indy crossword so I should belatedly congratulate him on that, if not on the ghastly “musical” element at 11/12.

Back in October 2014 the praise was nearly unanimous in the comments under Bertandjoyce’s capital blog entry at Fifteensquared, but I strongly suspect that a dissenting voice will make its feelings known before the day is out. So, is this a puzzle for the average reader, whoever he or she may be? Probably not (I have my doubts whether Mr or Ms Average bothers with the crossword), because if it ain’t a stinker it’ll do until one comes along. I had any amount of trouble, and failed to parse 10ac much to my chagrin. The explanation hardly fills me with joy. 21ac is a bit much really, and I’ll leave the question of whether it’s a legitimate homophone op to you. Those aside, now that the gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair is over, it all looks exceedingly good. Oodles of clever misdirection, some unusually well disguised anagrams, and the kind of fiendish inventiveness we’ve come to expect from this setter are all on show – so what to single out for the COD? The runners up include 6, 9, 12, 16 and 19; the finalists are 5 and 14, and by the shortest of heads the former is the winner:

“Garage’s mistake with 50% introductionary discount (4-2)”

10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2512 Anax”

  1. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Mixed feelings about this one. I finished it in more-or-less my average one hour, without too much difficulty, and I found some clues to be delightful. But there were a few where I struggled to see the wordplay. And my heart sank when my first one in was EUROPE; I was hoping that my crossword-hour would be a welcome diversion from hearing about nothing but Europe on the news… Happily, it was bearable.

    I puzzled over AUBERGE’s parsing, not making the uber/exceptional connection. COYNESS had me utterly stumped. I had no idea about the “letters dropped” part of MATHS. I needed to look up Rosberg, and I would not have got RHIZOPODA without the internet, even with all the crossers. I still don’t see the connection between FINAL COUNTDOWN and EUROPE.

    On the other hand COUNTDOWN was splendid, and some lovely misdirection and disguises which had me smiling.

  2. Barrie Cooper said

    Say what you like about Anax (and there’s plenty!) but at least he is never dull. I always allow myself an absolute maximum of an hour, and this one took nearly all of that. It was the usual Anax mixture of brilliance and inventiveness, marred by several lapses into downright unfairness. Let’s get these out of the way first – The definition part of 1 across is inadequate. the same problem with 22 down. And as for 21 – that just won’t do! I’m back on my “Save the letter R” hobbyhorse, and this time with especial annoyance, because whatever the amoebas were, I was sure they just had to end in o/aroma as a homophone for smell, and wasted a fair bit of time seeking such a word on Crossword Solve. Oda is most emphatically not a homophone for odour.

    On the (very considerable) plus side, the low countries mini-theme worked brilliantly, and I luckily remembered that Europe was the name of the Final Countdown band. The anagrams in 25 and 7 were especially felicitous; hosanna and auberge were delightful clues too. I loved the originality of the clues for 1, 13 and 15.

    Now all I have to do is understand (without “cheating” I hope) the seemingly meaningless clues for 2 down and part of 10 and I’ll be happy.

    • Cornick said

      Phew! He definitely pushes the limits does our Anax – this felt like ( in parts) he was operating at his very most fiendish.
      Unfortunately I bunged in Shyness at 10a without even the foggiest idea as to what ‘Letters from Spurs fans’ might mean (COYS? Eesh!) so that meant bunging in ‘Lash-up’ at 5d as the only thing that fitted. So two errors makes this a dnf – even if the squares were all filled in!
      Some better luck elsewhere – like that amoeba which was the first lesson of my A level biology for example – so overall a mixed set of fortunes.
      If I’m honest, and despite the quick bit around the mini-theme, it was a bit above my pay grade.

  3. jonofwales said

    Not as tricky as last week’s, which is to say that I finished just a little over par, but I’m afraid it’s still a thumbs down here. “Letters from Spurs fans”, “Nico Rosberg’s dad”, UBER + AUBERGE in the same clue just for starters pushed this way past being fair. Elsewhere I thought 2d was weak, and 21ac is an extremely obscure word which only sounds like “rise up” + “odour” in the unlikely event you know it already.

  4. sprouthater said

    So another Anax, well he did tell us on Friday to expect another “Fun” puzzle soon, I wonder if this was it and exactly what his idea of fun entails because clues like 10ac and 21ac which I thought to be particularly bad and no fun at all.
    I know who N Robergs dad is and while not liking this type of clue saw it as recompense for the multitude of football clues that I’ve had to endure.

  5. dtw42 said

    Oookay. Another non-delivered paper, collect-from-newsagent-at-6pm kinda day here. Slow start; fortunately I *was* aware that 11/12 was a song, but couldn’t remember whose. Googled that for a bit of assistance; that helped 23, 24 and 7, but I still struggled with about 1/3 of the whole. 22ac was put in as a “well I suppose it must be but I don’t see why”. Had to use a wordfinder in the end to solve the bottom half of 2dn (don’t think much of the clue to that) and 21ac (too obscure for a daily … and didn’t adhere to the Don’s dictum of “heard clues for easy words and easy clues for hard words”). I *did* manage to parse 9ac (after a bit of pencil-chewing) but not 10ac (COYS??? Really? How on earth am I supposed to know that?)

  6. Trying said

    I try my best to attempt the cryptic crossword in i, but when I see the setter is Anax I (nearly) give up before I’ve even started. There’s enjoyable and …….. not!

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