i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2558 by Phi

April 27, 2019

Saturday 20th April 2019

A pleasant solving experience last Saturday, thank you Phi.

There was a new word for me in HYPERDULIA  which will doubtless have sorted out the left-footers from the right. And TIPSTAFFS is hardly everyday usage, but does crop up from time to time in Crosswordland. One or two other tricky bits – ‘proper’ for U in 9d held me up, OC rather than the more common CO for military leader in 5d – but it was all perfectly solvable with a little patience.

Picking a COD is no easy task though… Hmm, let’s think, plenty of possibles, none screaming at me… I’ll go for this one:

8d Dishonest wayward lotus-eaters (9)

Edit:  I wrote the above last Saturday, and today I feel like retracting those thanks to our venerable setter, because it turns out there was another of Phi’s unsolvable ghost themes, hidden away for him and… well frankly no-one else, to discover. Very annoying! Please read the comments under the solutions from the 2015 blog here for an explanation, or click here for a more entertaining route to those themed words.

12 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2558 by Phi”

  1. jonofwales said

    Needless to say I missed any ghost theme, but did enjoy an of about average Phi. Oh well…

  2. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Well, I too missed the ghost theme, although I am inclined to think that it was so deeply hidden that it was more a private pleasure for the setter than anything else. And there is nothing wrong with that.

    All very enjoyable and rewarding, with no quibbles or queries from me. I note that I commented to myself that HYPERDULIA might have presented a problem had I not been familiar with the concept. Setting aside my own knowledge, I think it was sufficiently clearly clued for it to be fair.

    Today’s all good for me too. Needed to google to check if a certain river existed, and what old part-songs were commonly called, but that’s all. I do wonder though if one or two of the 13s might have been a little recondite.

  3. batarde said

    28ac is indeed perfectly fair inasmuch as the clue works fine – but I don’t think it’s especially courteous to use an anagram for an obscure word. It would have been more satisfying to be able to get it with certainty from the wordplay and then confirm in the dictionary rather than “looks like it’s going to be ‘hyperdulia’, let’s try that … great: ‘see “dulia”‘”. Heavy on the inverted commas, too. Still, it’s not as if it caused much of a hold up and the rest was typically diverting. As for the theme, I’m sure Phi got a lot of satisfaction from that, so good for him. :-/

  4. Cornick said

    I have this foible of liking to finish a crossword – is it truly finished if you’ve missed a theme?

    • batarde said

      Do you remember the four Fs one, Cornick? When Phi is feeling particularly obscure I can’t see any dishonour in failing to spot the subtext if you have a properly filled in grid. In effect he’s muttering to himself.

      • Michaelatcobblerscottage said

        I know what you mean, Cornick, but if the theme is so ghostly as to be invisible, how could one possibly know that there is a theme to look for? Until the Deus ex Machina in the form of the setters tells you so?

    • sprouthater said

      There must be a hell of a lot of crosswords that I have finished but as I seem to be theme blind not finished😁

      • Cornick said

        Who was it that said a crossword is a battle of wits fought between setter and solver, which the setter should always aim to lose? It’s like Phi’s saying ‘Well done you’ve won, but I’ve won really’.
        I know there’s no shame tit, but I don’t like it!

    • dtw42 said

      I don’t mind missing that sort of ghost theme – it really is just something to make the task less of a chore for the setters if they’ve not really got any expectation that we solvers “should” see the mcguffin.

  5. sprouthater said

    I recall thinking what a good crossword this was with just 28ac that needed checking. Off course I missed the theme I don’t know the song.

  6. dtw42 said

    Pretty much what Michael said. I was fine with today’s 13s, though the forename at 1dn was unfamiliar. I wonder if the top row was some sort of homage to a pair of 15² bloggers?

    • Cornick said

      Good point! I’d missed the homage – but fortunately knew the ethics whizz by both versions of his forename.

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