i Cryptic Crossword 2638 Scorpion

July 23, 2019

The Great Wen, again. Doubtless there will be rolling of eyes in the provinces, but one doesn’t have to have been born within earshot of Bow Bells to appreciate today’s inherently humorous theme, I hope. Vague memories of this did the trick in my case, and online phrasebooks are available if need be. Scorpion’s back on top form, and he managed to make this a pangram while he was at it.

A glance at 6/21 was enough to give the game away, and 9 put the theme beyond doubt. Only 27/10 was unfamiliar to me but the clue is a generous one, so filling in the across lights was a bright and breezy matter; amongst the downs there are a couple of four-letter stinkers (22 and 24) where the answers are far more evident than the parsing, but otherwise I imagine this will have been a quick solve for most people. The definition part of 13d didn’t please me much – other than that no quibbles. Amongst the many clues which appealed to me 2d stands out; the trickier 17d just pips it at the post for COD:

“Literary critic finding unknown works in Derby perhaps (7)”

Bertandjoyce were on duty for this puzzle back in May 2015, so we’re in good hands for the Fifteensquared autopsy. Scorpion received a well-deserved volley of positive comments, some of which are rather amusing.

10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2638 Scorpion”

  1. Topsy said

    I am never good with gateway clues but 15a gave it away for me and I am now stuck with an ear worm! Some silly errors meant it was a DNF for me: “beetle” for 11a and “arry Lime” for 13a. Ah well, at least I didn’t hate this one!

  2. sprouthater said

    As a gateway clue 15ac seemed pretty difficult to me but it didn’t really matter because 7ac gave the game away, it was all reasonably straightforward after that with the exception of 17dn which was my LOI and had to be googled to make sure of.

  3. Wanderlust said

    “Doubtless there will be rolling of eyes in THE PROVINCES”? Wow.
    If it isn’t bad enough having a puzzle based on the not-very-funny drivel of self-satisfied illiterates, such condescension doesn’t do much to improve things here in God’s country 🙂
    That aside, having had Cockernee rammed down our throats by London-centric TV producers since Adam was a lad, it wasn’t overly challenging, albeit a little wearisome.
    What next? Pig Latin?

    • batarde said

      We had pig Latin in an Inquisitor not so long ago. 🙂
      Speaking as one who lived the majority of his life in Yorkshire, please do not take my online persona too seriously.

  4. jonofwales said

    Perhaps the distinctly un-British heat has fried my brain, but I struggled quite badly despite getting the gateway clue pretty quickly. Being most definitely out in the provinces 😉 I felt the need to check a couple of the themed entries, but most if not all to be fair were solvable without needing to, so maybe I’m just lacking confidence today. 17d while not themed was one I definitely needed to check!

  5. Cornick said

    Wonderful – gridfill, clues, concept, entertainment value – all top notch.

  6. dtw42 said

    A game of, er, three halves for me.
    1) First ten minutes over breakfast doing my usual erratic glancing round the grid and not being able to solve anything. 26ac looked like it ought to be EAST END but I dismissed that on the grounds that if it was, it’d be a pretty naff clue.
    2) In the car park at work, spotting 9ac, and thereby deciding that perhaps my initial thought for 26ac was right after all, after which big swathes of the acrosses fell like ninepins.
    3) Struggles towards the end. 17dn, then 20ac, then (with a leaf through Bradfords) 25dn – one of those dratted 4-letter-words.
    Oh, and a “tsk” for the return to micturition at 5dn.

  7. Was looking for a soul singer called Kara…

  8. allan_c said

    Spotted the theme at once, which helped, although I needed Google’s help for BOAT RACE (which I knew but had forgotten) and HANK MARVIN (which I didn’t know). So apart from a few pesky four letter entries in the downs taking longer than they should, it all went in very smoothly.

  9. AndyO said

    Late to this – but totally enjoyable! LOI was 19d which I thought might be ‘ovine’ but knew I needed an ‘x’ for the pangram – very wonderful moment when it clicked!!

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