i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2654 by Phi

August 17, 2019

Posted on behalf of Cornick, who is currently in foreign climes…

Saturday 10th August 2019

It seems like many months since Phi gave us a straightforward and gimmick-free puzzle – and so I’m nervous to declare this as such, especially since the presence of FIFTEENS and SQUARED does make me wonder if there’s some sort of tribute going on to the Fifteensuared website – where you can see all the answers to this puzzle by clicking here, incidentally. 

Filled at a steady but not spectacular pace, I was helped by remembering Gaudeamus Igitur from the only other time I’ve met it – yes, in a Phi puzzle a couple of years ago; and he used a long anagram that time too.

However I was stuck for a while on the other 15-letterer ‘Escape Mechanism’ – not so much because it was a new bit of vocabulary, but because I’d slightly miswritten the collection of letters for its anagram fodder; I do that sometimes.

An average number of ticks in the Cornickian margin, with a just one QM, which served as a reminder to check out 23d Cape Fichu – somewhere in Japan most probably… But no, it’s a lace collar-like cape worn by C18th gentlewomen. Fancy.  

I enjoyed solving the following clue very much at the time, so it gets to be the winner of the idothei COD award:

11a Soldier in front of people watching, entertaining via prodigious memory? (8)

10 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2654 by Phi”

  1. dtw42 said

    My awareness of ‘gaudeamus igitur’ comes from this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl3mRjydcPw

    No particular marginal comments from me (apart from “yikes!” next to the definition part of 27ac), but a note that the NE corner held out the longest, and 8dn was last in.

  2. batarde said

    Hmm yes, that sums up my thoughts perfectly. I have written “again?” next to 9ac (familiar to fans of Tom Lehrer, which was how I got it last time), and drawn little arrows pointing to 22 and 27 ac – otherwise nada. The COD deserved a tick or two, but there are none to be seen. So, pretty much par for the Saturday course then.

    Regarding this week’s, is there any other setter who would get away with 23d if he’d painted himself into a corner? Deeply unimpressed with that.

    • dtw42 said

      Yeah I thought that was a bit rich too; I’m sure only 24dn and 27ac (also a bit of a crap word) would need changing to improve that corner. Everybody see the themette?

      • dtw42 said

        I take back “only 24 and 27” … just playing with this in CC … 20, 21 and 23 would need changing too. Hmm

      • Cornick said

        Thanks for that Jon – my mobile phone only lets me comment, not post.
        If you read along the rows starting at the LHS but stopping mid-word, you can see TO GAUFRID AT FIFTEEN SQUARED. Ah.

    • Michaelatcobblerscottage said

      Relieved to read that other solvers were not impressed with this. I had struggled a bit with 23A, only to conclude that I had got something horribly wrong when I couldn’t find anything to fit in 23D. Anything in my English dictionary, that is. Hmmm……..

  3. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    All good, so far as I recall. I knew GAUDEAMUS IGITUR from the distant past, having been reminded of it through recently re-reading some Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey books.

    I noted the FIFTEEN(S) and the SQUARED, but not the other hidden bit. Well spotted Cornick!

    I liked today’s, despite the SW corner, and spotted the 5/9ths of a theme. Or is it 5/8ths, these days?

  4. jonofwales said

    I remember little about this puzzle apart from Gaudeamus Igitur, with which I struggled at the close, though the rest went in smoothly enough. Now if only I’d spotted the Nina…

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