i Cryptic Crossword 2590 Crosophile

May 28, 2019

themed crossword which is very clever indeed. I’ll leave it to others to decide by how wide a margin it’s too clever – solving this felt very much like double-digging the vegetable patch to me and it was a relief to finish.

Let’s get the grid out of the way first: it’s a disgrace. The checking is fine but it’s two puzzles in one as near as dammit. You may take the view that it’s justified in view of the complex thematic gimmick, but we’ll just have to agree to differ if so. Add some unusually tortuous clues, shaky surfaces and very little in the way of gentle starters, and it all becomes a slog. I’ve no intention of reciting a litany of moans, so suffice it to say that this crossword irritated more than it entertained. Duncan was on blogging duty at Fifteensquared in February 2015, and he enjoyed it more than me, so please click here for explanations, comments and a more positive assessment.

Clue of the day? One of the gnarliest ones, but it did please me when the penny dropped:

23ac: “Practically impossible, what I do mostly when holding the pack and then getting pontoon? (10)”

8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2590 Crosophile”

  1. jonofwales said

    Pretty tough I thought, though it did fall with a little persistence. I assumed a sort of general horticultural theme and so failed to spot the real one. Oh well… Satisfying to finish.

  2. dtw42 said

    Hmm. Tough here too. Your COD was my LOI. The general gardening theme was apparent though I didn’t quite spot the specific reference. (Probably should have in hindsight, since my parents used to listen to it regularly so most of those names seeped into my brain fairly permanently.) 6dn and 21dn were wholly unfamiliar.

  3. twobob said

    I did not enjoy 20 and 21 and really struggled top right hand corner, but got there in the end. Quite pleased with myself actually, I rarely finish a Crosophile.

  4. Cornick said

    I liked that plenty. I saw GQT but only went as far as thinking it a part of the theme, not really being familiar with the panellists’ names (Greenwood, Flowerdew, Clay Someone, Daphne Someone).
    My only two grumbles were the parsing of 26a CAROTID and that surely unreasonable alternative definition of 22d HINDER. Otherwise I have a liking for convoluted clues – like the COD indeed.

  5. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Gosh, that was tough! Finished only after twice putting it down and picking it up again. Could not parse IDEALISTIC OR CAROTID, but once I had consulted Fifteensquared both were fine, so just me being dense. Or exhausted.

    Spotted, for once, both the superficial theme and the GQT theme, although not all the variety of gardens.

  6. sprouthater said

    Had three goes at this before throwing in the towel with just 20 and 21 left although I had sort of solved them but wasn’t inspired enough to check them out it all seemed a bit leaden to me.

  7. Brakewynde said

    Got the theme OK, but failed to spot the GQT panellists names! My only gripe was with 26, where a humble root vegetable would have been the basis of a better clue. Kept me occupied until the weather bucked up and then I trimmed the hedge. Now totally wrecked so will do my tax return tomorrow for a spot of light relief…

  8. allan_c said

    Definitely a two session puzzle with a lot of head-scratching and cogitation in between, but I got there eventually. I had a vast empty space in the bottom half but eventually thought 13dn might begin VEN…, pencilled in VENTILATOR, found I could parse it, and that opened up the rest. CoD for me was QUINCES.

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