i Cryptic Crossword 2598 Knut

June 6, 2019

By chance this was Knut’s second appearance in the Independent, and his second appearance in the i too. There’s a vaguely political feel to the puzzle which I think is his stock in trade, but nothing overly topical that would date this badly or make it unsuitable for a reprint in these parts. All those cross-referenced clues and very long answers made it look a little intimidating at first, but as it turns out this was a reasonably straightforward offering, though with a lot of time spent counting letters in the anagram fodder to make sure I had them all. A slight oddity at 18ac – exactly what is “temple” doing there anyway? One obscurity at 29ac, though one that was fairly clued, and as it was my last one in there were lots of checking letters available. 🙂 And oh yes, a puzzle that was thoroughly enjoyable throughout. More Knut please.

COD? Lots to choose from, with the inventive 24ac getting my vote – “Chose exercise to develop definition in dictionary (5)”.

To February 2015:



12 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2598 Knut”

  1. dtw42 said

    Didn’t really understand 1ac, or the Raleigh reference in 25ac. 29ac was sure my LOI. All fine and quite enjoyable aside from that.

    • Michaelatcobblerscottage said

      IA: I think if you are on a toll-free motorway (more of an issue in France than here, in my limited experience) one could be said to be “undisturbed by calls asking for money whilst driving”.

      The word-play is a bit dated as phones now have ring-tones rather than bells (which can be tolled).

      25A : At the time of solving I thought that this simply referred to the fact that Sir Walter was executed with an Axe. But having commented below on the Americanism in 14A, I wonder if in fact it refers to the fact that a chopper in Raleigh, North Carolina, would be an ax. The bike thing is neat.

      • dtw42 said

        Ah, yes, I think you may have hit the nail on the head with the Raleigh, NC suggestion.

      • Michaelatcobblerscottage said

        Dtw42, apologies: re-reading my reply to you I think I sound rather patronising. I did not intend to be so.😯

  2. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    I agree that this was a lot easier than first impressions suggested, and in the end, once I had “tuned in” to an unfamiliar setter’s wavelength, I too found this to be relatively straightforward.

    I struggled for a while to see the word-play in MITTENS, before getting that 10 out of ten is the best score. It also took me a while to grasp that GREEN could refer to an erstwhile minister of the crown who may once have been in the spotlight. The clue could have been modified to “knight” and to refer to Sir Philip, who is certainly in the news. I needed to check OVIDUCTAL online, but it was clearly clued.

    One small bugbear of mine: 14A ought to have “American” at the start of the clue: in England the question is “Will you…” to which the answer is (one hopes) “I will”. In the States it is “I do”, but not here.

  3. batarde said

    Intricate, innit? I bet this one was long in the preparation, and if it all felt rather less than the sum of its parts that’s probably my problem rather than Knut’s. No major quibbles; a few pettifogging ones. Regarding the temple, I’m inclined to regard that as an enhancement to the clue rather than an unnecessary appendage, because of all the intricate proportional relationships to be found in Greek architecture. It would be a pleasure to see more from this compiler.

  4. Cornick said

    Judging by his appearances on Fifteensquared, Knut seems destined to be a once-a-month kind of setter, and I’ll certainly be looking forward to his clever and inventive puzzles yet to come.
    Mind you, the level of cross-referencing we had today was frankly a bit irritating I thought; can’t do that one unless I do that Ione, but I can’t do THAT one unless… sort of thing.
    Nearly gave up in fact at one point, but actually it was all solved in the end without recourse to dictionaries or electronic aids, so Worthwhile persevering. Didn’t parse 1a, 25a or 28a though.

  5. Solojo said

    Another day of tricksy & engaging cross-referencing. What a treat. COD for me = 22D; was very smooth & raised a snigger. (Quite possibly like the chap in question.)

  6. Grandmum said

    Are we at the stage when the i ran the same crossword as the Indy? I keep getting sensations of déjs vu. Though not until I get the answer!

    • jonofwales said

      That was a couple of years previous to this I believe, though the Indy was still in print format at this time.

  7. sprouthater said

    Started this morning before going out for the day and was unsure if I would continue this evening due to all the cross referencing which I found quite irksome, it was only the few write ins and couple of long anagrams that resurrected my interest but being unable to parse a few, especially 1ac, 25ac and 28ac left me feeling a bit disgruntled.

  8. Topsy said

    Some excellent clues, some not….. all in all too curate’s eggy for me.

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