i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2594 by Phi

June 8, 2019

Saturday 1st June 2019

I was very pleased with myself for spotting last week’s ghost theme – or was it JonofWales who did? Can’t remember now 😉 … Anyhow, said theme was the novels of 1a JASPER/ FFORDE (the surname being hidden in the unches of row 12), which include the THURSDAY NEXT, NURSERY CRIME Division, and DRAGONSLAYER series, all of which appeared in the lights.  Fine bit of grid-filling that.

Not too many obscurities as a consequence  just EMBLEMA at 3d, with a decidedly tricky clue to solve it, and two bits of Oxbridge slang in WRANGLER and SERVITOR which will have no doubt delighted the less-than-1% of us who went to either of those august institutions.

I’m not complaining though, all was solved at a steady pace with a pleasant familiarity about Phi’s style – even if the definitions at 14a and 24d did seem a bit tenuous.

I liked the clue for 10a for its cleverly disguised definition, but my top of the crop pick is for the following:

11a Agreed marathon should double back round river and garden (7)

Lovely! And all the answers/ parsings are to be found by clicking here.

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6 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2594 by Phi”

  1. dtw42 said

    Yeah, as I said last week when this one was partially discussed, JF is a favourite author for me, so I *should have* spotted that theme (28 & 29 were obviously linked, but I didn’t notice the others … perhaps sometimes you’re too close to each individual clue to step back and look at the wider picture? That’s my excuse anyway.)

    I had “ew” written against 2dn and 3dn for their obscurity but apart from that can’t remember much about the solving experience for this one, so it must’ve been happy enough.

  2. batarde said

    Phi can be a wilfully obstructive so-and-so from on occasion, and clearly likes to season his crosswords with the odd obscurity – but it’s exceedingly rare to find a clue which isn’t fair even if it’s irritatingly clever-clever. Therefore, given enough thought the answers are rarely in doubt so it doesn’t really matter if one’s knowledge of Oxbridge slang falls a little short, say. I appreciate that, but hope he doesn’t expect me to chase them all up or excavate every genre fiction ghost theme. Good puzzle; didn’t bother with the Wikipedia bit. 🙂

  3. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    I see we had quite a bit to say about this one last week. Not much to add other than that I completely failed to spot the ghost theme – although in retrospect the conjunction of DRAGON and SLAYER in the bottom line should have flagged up that there was something in the offing.

    As to today’s, I’m still struggling with one four-letter answer, otherwise all is good. No e-help needed yet, other than to check a gatropod and a pest.

  4. sprouthater said

    I spotted the theme but only after Batarde pointed out the bottom line, Fforde is one of my favourite authors. Puzzle was good with just 27ac unparsed but its B****y cricket and wicket, bat and ball are all I know of it.

  5. jonofwales said

    I did take notes last week but can’t read them now, so I can only say that I seemed to have finished this in average time for Phi. However, I was pleased as punch to spot a Phi ghost theme for probably the first time ever. That bottom line did scream out though, to be fair, that there was something afoot.

  6. dtw42 said

    On the subject of cleverly disguised definitions, there’s some fun to be had in today’s Sunday Times puzzle by Robert Price.

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