i Cryptic Crossword 2695 Monk

September 27, 2019

Well, two surprises today. Firstly, that we’ve got the IoS reprint that I was expecting at the beginning of the week, but that it’s by Monk of all people. Secondly, that an offering by Monk turns out not to be the toughest puzzle of the week!

Anyway, I thought this was a very enjoyable, solidly clued crossword of just above average difficulty. Starting in the bottom right as is my wont of late didn’t help, as I didn’t get anything until the top of the grid, but then quickly got the very generous long answer down the centre that opened things up nicely. From that point on the LHS fell pretty quickly, and the RHS once I’d spotted 13ac that really should have been a write-in.

At the close I was left with – yes, that answer across the centre of the grid that I was sure began PARALLEL something, but the rest needed more than a little teasing out, 1d which luckily I vaguely knew, and to my shame the old labour leader, my own country being the last I thought of.

There’s something hidden in both diagonals, that needless to say I didn’t spot, though I didn’t go looking for anything today.

Lots to appreciate, lots of ticks, my COD going to 4d – “Maybe we spur on Napoleon when struggling to cross river (8,7)”.

To July 2015:


4 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2695 Monk”

  1. batarde said

    I must admit to having a little smirk about 23ac, Jon, guessing correctly that it would be a bit of a forehead-slapper for you. It took a fair old while for the penny to drop with me too, if that’s any consolation. All rather enjoyable, a decent challenge but without yesterday’s grinding of teeth. It reflects poorly on me, but my choice of COD would probably have been 12ac … well, Sprouters would approve. A good way to end the week, in which we’ve seen both ends of the difficulty spectrum. Now awaiting the verdict from the Tortoise.

  2. dtw42 said

    Felt a bit odd – by the time I left the staff car-park and went into the office, I’d got about three-quarters of this done, but it hadn’t FELT easy – a lot of them felt quite tricky.

    Somehow I WAS familiar with 14ac – I think I’ve got a book somewhere about making 3d cardboard models of Escher tessellations that may have made reference to it: my reaction on spotting it was certainly “that can’t be … really? … wow that’s obscure”.

    Can’t remember what was my LOI but 23ac was definitely towards the end (I think it’s the disconnect between spelling and pronunciation that always renders that name non-obvious).

    Did anybody else incorrectly have CANDLE at 22 until 21 became apparent?

    • Cornick said

      I went through the alphabet in my head trying to think of a country that goes ?A?E?, so took me, well, until W I suppose. Good clue that.
      And it was enjoyable fare more generally too – but disappointed that I didn’t spot the Nina, because I usually include a check of the diagonals when it seems likely there’s a Nina. Heigh-ho.
      For 14a I copped out and went to Chambers to scan the entry after ‘parallel’. According to them an O for letter 9, though used, is ‘improper’; yet Professor Monk is head of Mathematics at a Russell group university. Now there’s a competition of authority…

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