i Cryptic Crossword 2592 Monk

May 30, 2019

A tricky little offering from Monk today, 7d as might be expected, though with a smattering of easier clues to get started. I say easier, but if you didn’t take one look at 1d and chuck it on, or couldn’t get the film quickly, or for that matter the French down the RHS, then I can imagine this taking a lot longer still. The religious imagery remained suitably obscure until I spotted the beginnings of the Nina which helped no end to the south of the grid but not to the north where I needed the Fifteensquared comments to explain what’s going on. Very clever, though I would never have got it on my own. Elsewhere there were loads of question marks at the close, though with everything present and correct and done in a time just a little over par for the i, much to my surprise. So no walk in the park but no monster either.

COD? The either baffling or brilliant 3d depending on how you got on with it – “Zero charge for this sapling, reportedly? Over my dead body (8)”.

To February 2015:


12 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2592 Monk”

  1. Cornick said

    Rigorously fair throughout as you say; ‘cold and slimy’ for ‘dank’ is a good example of Monk’s mixture of a tight definition combined with misdirection – it wasn’t a slimy performer at all.
    The only obscurity today was that bit of maths at 24d, which was handed to us on a plate, so no complaints at all from me; and a Nina that drew a laugh and a heap of admiration to boot.
    Excellent all round in fact, favourite clue was14d, but the COD was top drawer stuff too.

  2. batarde said

    A real treat start to finish, including the Nina. Funny how I seem to be a fully paid up member of the Monk fan club nowadays: he takes some practice but it’s rewarding. Lots of ticks, my favourite clue being 17d on account of the definition.

  3. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    On my first read-through I thought this would take me forever, but once I got a few in, it took me only a little bit longer than my typical one hour.

    However, I did have to resort to Crossword Solver rather too much to find this truly satisfying.

    Could not parse DAY RETURN, TIGHTROPE AND IPSWICH. Looking at Fifteensquared, I am not surprised. I vaguely remembered SINH from maths A-level at school, and it was very clearly clued. Totally agree about NEUTRINO for CotD.

    As for the Nina (it was obvious even to me that one was likely) I think it was corruscatingly brilliant. Bravo!

  4. sprouthater said

    Hmmm clues so contrived they gave me a headache, it was only 17dn that was left but a lot went in just because they fitted like 12ac ?.

  5. dtw42 said

    Ha. Okay, I saw the name this morning and took a deep breath and told myself not to be daunted and that it would be FINE. For a while I seemed to have been right, as I put in about three-quarters of this with a lot less trouble than I’d expect given this setter (yes, 1dn and 8dn were write-ins and helped a lot). But I was left with a block unsolved in the SW corner, and then 12ac where it was obvious what the answer had to be but I couldn’t see where the negotiation came into it, 7dn which I couldn’t parse (and therefore couldn’t be sure whether it was going to start with R or V), and 4dn which I had no idea on. After I came home from work, a bit of electronic word-list assistance kick-started the SW corner block (17dn I wouldn’t have got unaided) and that went in okay. So then I bunged in 12ac with a shrug, plumped for the R version at 7dn, and made a pure guess at 4dn, then came here. At which point the nina was pointed out, which obviously would have helped with 4 and 7 (and 17 too I suppose). Hey ho. At least the guess was right. I was fine with 3dn and 24dn, FWIW.

  6. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    I too vascillated between V and R for 7D, until the ninaless Nina became clear. Normally I miss ninas, but this grid and this setter made me especially vigilant. Without the nina I would have struggled, because the “run out” part of the word-play was only inferred by me retrospectively.

  7. JP said

    Still no proper explanation for ‘tightrope’ either today or on the original date.

    • Brakewynde said

      A tightrope has to be taut in order to negotiate the transversal (course)

    • Brakewynde said

      Ahem, I mean (of course) traversal…

    • Cornick said

      12a was my last one in, which I took as an admittedly unusual mixture of the literal (taut negotiation) and the metaphorical (middle course during negotiation) meaning of ‘walking a tightrope’.
      Innovative, yes, but as tight as the rest of the puzzle, I’d say.

  8. Brakewynde said

    Some really mind-stretching parsing required here, so although completed in a respectable time, full justification took a lot longer (e.g. 3,4,9,12,13,14,17,21,23). Glad I persevered, though, and the Nina was an unexpected gift!

  9. allan_c said

    Another two-session puzzle, and the second session requiring a lot of electronic help. But I did get ECCE HOMO which helped me to see the nina-less nina (rather than the other way round which was how some of the original commenters got it). Not that I understood the nina till I saw the blog. And there were quite a few entries of the sort where you tentatively pencil something in from crossing letters and/or definition and then seeing it on paper you realise the parsing – NONPAREIL was one of those.

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