i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2552 by Phi

April 20, 2019

Saturday 13th April 2019

All pretty straightforward last Saturday until I got to my LOI at 12a, where SLEEPY-HEAD fitted all the crossers and was a plausible answer for the definition ‘fool’ but made no sense with the wordplay. Fortunately though, there’s plenty of time for solving these weekend puzzles, so I double-checked with a wordsearch and discovered another option – SHEEP’S-HEAD. Lo and behold, one of its definitions is ‘dolt’. With ‘women’ equating to SHE SHE all suddenly made sense. Phew.

Little else to comment on really, so on this occasion I’m tempted to agree with John, the blogger from 2015 on Fifteenquared, who compared Phi to Dac for his straightforwardness and his surfaces.

Or maybe not, because in case you were wondering there was another ghost theme last week.  However, with the grid looking so normal it’s very well hidden – I certainly missed it – again!  13a/16a gives us  The BONE CLOCKS, the David Mitchell book (Phi is a  big fan – we had Cloud Atlas not so long ago), and elsewhere in the grid the titles of its six sections are referenced by: SPELL, PERFUME, WEDDING BASH, LONELY PLANET, HOROLOGIST and SHEEP’S-HEAD.

Oops, forgot to nominate a COD. I’ll happily concur with Batarde below that this is a worthy pick:

12a Fool women about recording with promotion (6-4)

And yes, we’ll all be looking forward to the new puzzle that’ll be posted here tomorrow…


9 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2552 by Phi”

  1. batarde said

    I assumed something was going on with clocks and horologist but didn’t feel any pressing need to pursue the matter. Mind you, Cloud Atlas wasn’t a bad tip off last time, so it’ll be off to the library catalogue in a minute. Exactly the same process here for 12ac, which was my LOI and COD.

    A quick plug here for the second idothei Guest Puzzle, which will appear here at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning, assuming I haven’t done anything sheepy-headed with the scheduling thingummy.

  2. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    What Batarde said about the theme.

    Enjoyable as ever. But would someone please explain the seaweed in PLUM TOMATO for me? Unusually, Fifteensquared offers no help., so I presume if is something blindingly obvious to everyone except me!

    Note to self: Today’s was good fun and all straightforward, although I concede that the veneration of Madonna might have been a struggle if theology weren’t my thing.

    I shall look forward to doing the guest crossword after tomorrow evening’s Cultus Latria.

    • Cornick said

      Yes, I probably should have questioned mat, but because I’ve met expressions like ‘a thick mat of seaweed’ before, I didn’t. Doesn’t appear in either Chambers or Collins other than as ‘a mat of weeds’.
      That clue also raises the curious factoid that a tomato is fruit in the garden but in the kitchen it’s a vegetable.

  3. dtw42 said

    Okay, the ghost theme eluded me too. I’m more familiar with the work of the OTHER David Mitchell to be perfectly honest. All fair and above board as far as I recall though. 18dn garnered a “ha!”. 13ac was my last one in by a long way.

    Glad to hear guest puzzle #2 is imminent 🙂

    • thebargee said

      Exactly the same for me with 13ac. Those pesky 4-letter answers often seem to give me the most trouble, as with GOZO yesterday.

  4. thebargee said

    Saved this one until Monday morning. Started as we climbed away from Bristol Airport and had it finished comfortably by the time we landed in Edinburgh. Very satisfying. Like others, I was very tempted to write in SLEEPY-HEAD, but resisted the temptation and got there in the end.

    I shall delay looking at this week’s offering until Monday again, as we’re off on our hols (something about flying seems to get the juices flowing). No i paper for a week, whatever shall I do, it’s becoming compulsive…

    OT, but I thoroughly recommend the musical version of the film Local Hero, on at the Lyceum in Edinburgh until May 4.

  5. Solojo said

    I seem to be all alone in crosswordland in not much liking bRAINSTORM for ‘inspiration’. More often lack of or attempt to find, isn’t it? Though I grudgingly bow to Chambers. I initially scribbled in BRAINWAVE for ‘not considering black rain’ – but didn’t like that much either. Maybe I was just in a grump.

    • Michaelatcobblerscottage said

      I don’t recall having quibbling with this at the time, but on reflection I think you are right: in its present usage at least, to brianstorm is to seek or channel inspiration as a group rather than inspiration itself. A brainstorm , as a noun, is not the same as inspiration, but rather suggests an event of mental chaos. So you are not alone (despite your username!☺)

  6. jonofwales said

    I’m afraid that I missed any theme, and also lobbed in SLEEPY HEAD with little thought. Not my finest moment. I tend to favour speed over accuracy every time. 😉 Apart from that I found last week’s to be fairly straightforward.

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