i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2618 by Phi

July 6, 2019

Saturday 29th June 2019

I was strongly minded to give last Saturday’s puzzle the thumbs-up, but when the 2015 Fifteensquared blog reappeared yesterday somebody pointed out in the comments that there’s a ghost theme centred on various facets of the film ‘Interstellar’ – which I’ve never seen. If you spotted that and thereby managed to finish the puzzle, bravo, but as I didn’t, I now feel disgruntled because I’ve failed.  I’ve failed to see something that, evidently, others did see.

Call me old-fashioned but I thought the point of a cryptic crossword puzzle was to appear to be completely baffling but then, upon careful thought and application, for the solver to experience a series of mini revelations as bamboozlement becomes clarity and all resolves itself, offering a warm glow of satisfaction and maybe even an existential feeling that life’s other problems could be solved too – if only we had forty-five minutes of peace, quiet, a cup of coffee, and our favourite ball-point pen.

So I’m sorry Phi, I don’t buy the ‘it’s just a way to fill the grid’ line. Or if it is, please find a different way. Ghost themes ARE part of the puzzle and should be solvable too.

Right, rant over! And apologies to regulars for repeating myself on the subject.

How about those clues? Six ticks, two unsmiley faces. Not too bad.

COD can’t go to the nifty A to L +L clue for Atoll because he used exactly the same clue last year, so it goes to the following:

20d Consumer continues picking up last three (3,4)

9 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2618 by Phi”

  1. batarde said

    Oh dear. I sympathise with your disgruntlement, Cornick, without sharing it – taking the view that Phi’s little games are none of my concern if they’re that well hidden and obscure. You’ll probably be much happier with this week’s. No annotations at all this time, and my recollection of the puzzle is dim at best, but now you mention it the COD was a cracker.

  2. dtw42 said

    I suspected there was something going on, what with obvious surnames Cooper and Murphy in opposite corners, but I too haven’t seen the film so wouldn’t have made the connection. (Quite a fan of the soundtrack though.) Didn’t have any annotations (positive or negative) in the margins, so nothing specific to comment on.
    My opinion on ghost themes is equivalent to batarde’s.

  3. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    I too echo Batarde. Nice to get any ghost theme, but not essential to my pleasure in solving a cryptic; and Cornick has expressed beautifully and with poetry what that pleasure is! ☺

    Can’t remember anything about last week’s effort, and I failed to leave a note to myself, so no further comment is possible other than that I surmise I finished it without too much trouble.

    As to today’s, just the answer to 15a and the parsing of 3d eluding me for the time being- and I spotted the Nina!

  4. Cornick said

    I’m probably too much of a completist for my own good!

  5. jonofwales said

    I’ve seen and enjoyed the film, but I couldn’t tell you any of the characters’ names, so missed the theme, but as I usually do miss them I’m not particularly concerned. 🙂

    The puzzle itself? On the easy side, and enjoyed.

    If you haven’t tried last week’s IQ, btw, it was an ideal one for beginners / those not too keen to spend ridiculous amounts of time on a puzzle.

    • batarde said

      I rescued that IQ from the recycling on your recommendation and have just finished it: thank you for the tip off. 🙂

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