i Cryptic Crossword 2717 eXternal

October 23, 2019

My lunchtime having been requisitioned by a work meeting, and time being short, what I was looking forward to first thing this morning was a nice straightforward Dac. Well, what we got instead was what I thought was a nice, straightforward eXternal, though on the other side the consensus seems to be that this was on the tricky side, so don’t be put off by my appraisal. To be fair bits and bobs needed a little thought, and I did worry for a while that I was in trouble on the LHS which had remained stubbornly empty for a long time until I hit upon 7d based, TBH, on the French bit at the start, so… Perhaps a little challenging then and a needs must approach winning through?

My question marks at the close revolved round 12ac where you’d have to agree with Pierre on Fifteensquared that ELK for browser “is a bit random”, and also 1d which I suspect most solvers will have chucked in as I did on a bit of a wing and a prayer.

There was also much to enjoy, this being eXternal who is consistently good, with my COD going to 14d just because, well, MOOBS – “Sizeable report brought up man’s large chest containing exotic coin (5,4)”.

To July 2015:


6 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2717 eXternal”

  1. dtw42 said

    Yeah, I’ve got the day off so was able to take this at a leisurely pace this morning; I suspect otherwise I might have found bits of it rather tricky. But slowly and surely I got there. 14dn did indeed merit a “ha ha”, and 12ac a bit of a wrinkled nose. 11ac was quite good going for a hidden. LOI for me was 19ac – I’ve heard of rotgut, but not the other way around.

  2. Topsy said

    I was hoping for a Dac as well. I found this one tricky but not irritating like yesterday’s. Unfortunately for me the only definition of gutrot is tummy ache but have heard of rotgut so in it went. This was a DNF for me but no detriment to the setter (apart from the obvious iffy clues).

  3. michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Easier than yesterday’s, and a solving time which was about average for me – which is no criticism, for I found this to be a nice mix of easily-got clues and those that needed a bit more work.

    No quibbles, beyond the reversing grazing ruminant at 12a. I am one who, as Jon surmises, took a while to get SAUCE. And I took ages to see that an (eye-)lash is a thin hair – except that it isn’t, I don’t think. It’s shorter, not thinner, as far as I am aware.

    Totally agree about the CotD, which made me laugh.

    An enjoyable and satisfying solve.

  4. Twobob said

    Finished reasonably quickly for an eXternal puzzle. Handful of clues on definition alone tho.

    Funny you say that….. I finished yesterday’s puzzle over breakfast but I guess the 90s content suited me well. Found this a far tougher challenge.

  5. batarde said

    A pleasant puzzle and no complaints here. I was rather tickled by that elk, which reminded me of Willie Rushton for reasons too tenuous to be rehearsed here. Good stuff; plenty of entertainment value.

  6. Cornick said

    ‘Solid’ is the adjective I’d choose for this one, so none of the bells and whistles I think I remember in eXternal’s earliest puzzles, but certainly a nice maturation in his style.
    I was fine with the elk and vegan clues; the only quibble in my margin was for the supposed double definition in the clue for Gospel, each half of which felt too similar to the other.

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