i Cryptic Crossword 2556 Donk

April 18, 2019

This will necessarily be a short blog as, well, I haven’t finished the puzzle. The Fifteensquared post notes that this was quite the challenge, and it certainly appears this is the case. I’m halfway through and out of time having more pressing things to be getting on with today. If I have time later I’ll have another look at the puzzle, but in the meantime you’ll have to make do with my initial thoughts. 🙂 Was this offering a little much for a weekday? At the moment I think so, and TBH I’m finding it a bit of a slog. But let me know how you got on.

No COD, then, necessarily so…

Postscript. 14:06

As if to demonstrate that I solve a lot better after lunch and a strong coffee than before it, I promptly polished off the second half of the puzzle in less than half the time it took me for the first. The first being the LHS… OK, there were lots of questions marks along the way – in particular at 5ac and 21d – but get there I did, and thoroughly enjoyed the second sitting. It’s just a pity I don’t wake up earlier.

There were also loads of ticks by the close. My COD of necessity comes from the second half of the puzzle I solved, so let’s go with the quite succinct 24ac, though it is a pity it’s somewhat given away by the enumeration – “Explain vote (3,6)”.

Here’s the Fifteensquared blog:


And finally just to note that this Sunday we have our second guest puzzle in store from a first time setter. Enjoy.


11 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2556 Donk”

  1. Jimbo said

    One across was a write-in so I metaphorically licked my crossword lips. Thirty odd clues later and I was no further along.

    Tried putting in a couple of answers from the blog but that didn’t kick start me and boredom set in.

    Beyond my solving grade, I’m afraid.

  2. Barrie Cooper said

    1 across went in straightaway, then came a long period of struggle. There were a few more easy-ish clues – 15, 24, 16 and 27 – but huge areas of the grid remained scaringly empty.
    However, it was always an enjoyable tussle, with lots of fiendishly clever clueing – 11 and 19 stand out. Both the long ones I found very hard, but the solutions were pleasing, and fair.
    After 40 minutes or so I was left with 5, 7, 8 and 13, and a break was needed. 13 looked like ROYAL, but the definition confused me. I suppose it’s just about ok.. 7 eventually amused me, and then the parsing of 5 was just about understandable.
    I ticked a lot 7 and 27 possibly favourites.
    I really did not like 23 – seems very weak to me, especially in this puzzle which is full of delights

  3. StanXYZ said

    Should have solved 7d Where kids go bonkers (7)

    Guardian Quiptic this Monday had:

    Potty clue? (9,2,2,2) Something to go on

  4. Topsy said

    I don’t like Donk’s style and so I am glad I didn’t waste much time on this one. After getting only 3 answers I just couldn’t be bothered!

  5. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    A bit of a struggle, this one, but got there in the end with a fair bit of electronic help. Never satisfying when I have to do lots of trawling through lists

    I could not parse SNIPES, SYCOPHANT or ELEVEN. Having seen the blog on Fifteensquared, I should have been able to work out how SNIPES works, but the other two seem too obscure to be fair. Not come across PERDU to mean secret (rather than lost) but it was gettable when the crossers were in.

    On the positive side, there was a lot to like, in particular HEBRIDEAN, PETUNIA and ENRICHING.

  6. Cornick said

    Full of tricks is our Donk – lots of devilishly clever stuff today.
    I was okay with most of those mentioned so far, but put in TIPPEX without really seeing the definition, and TABLE without seeing the wordplay. On reflection I shan’t kick myself for those two, I think they were both a bit weak.
    Otherwise excellent though.

  7. batarde said

    I did okay with this, making steady progress with no grinding halts. Absorbing and amusing, even if Donk doesn’t half push it sometimes. The definition of 12ac being a case in point – needed to check that in Chambers and can’t really see how the setter was allowed to get away with it. However, it’s still likely to be my favourite this week, depending on tomorrow brings. Lots of ticks, with 4 and 27 being particularly satisfying. I predict a loud denunciation from The Voice Of The People on the other side: never a bad sign if you ask me. 🙂

  8. thebargee said

    Oh my, back down to earth with a bump today! 1a went straight in, quickly followed by 2d, 3d, 4d, 18a, then… nothing. Had to blag 6 or 7 answers from the blog to make progress. Juggled with the anagram at 6d for ages, even got as far as ‘no more my nice rug’ and still couldn’t get it! The brain was just too tired by then.

  9. dtw42 said

    Yeees; curate’s egg is my verdict. I’m another who started quickly with 1ac and a few others, then ground to a halt and only slowly regained momentum after managing to pick away gradually at Donk’s more smartass definitions (14ac, 3dn etc.). 5ac was last in for me (didn’t parse that one) and I didn’t know what was going on with 12ac either. Like Michael, I only knew ‘perdu’ as lost rather than secret. Thought complete=royal was a bit iffy, TBH.

  10. sprouthater said

    I usually persevere and end up quite enjoying Donk but not today, like others I made a quick start but I couldn’t really raise much enthusiasm for this one.

  11. AndyO said

    Nope – polished off yesterday’s Times in about 10 mins and Dac’s offering in the i but not a clue with this – only one (28) after 20 mins so in desperation searched for the obligatory embedded (at 9d) and that was it – will have a crack again tomorrow after the hints here before inevitably resorting to 15^2 to explain all – and what the turtle thought about it…

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