i Cryptic Crossword 2725 Rorschach

November 1, 2019

Another tough but thoroughly rewarding solve to end the week!

Entering 1a – OVERSEAS – instantly lulled me into a false sense of security, making me think that this would be an usually (given my previous track record in solving Rorschach’s puzzles) accessible crossword. But then I read all the Across clues until the last – MEANTIME – before having any idea about anything; and likewise on my first read-through of the Down clues. My solving experience was not helped by some people with completely misplaced priorities – what could be more important than a crossword? – making demands on my time. But once I got going then slowly but surely the clues began to become unravellable.

There were some impressive anagrams: ESCAPE MECHANISM, SPECTATOR SPORTS, and IVAN THE TERRIBLE, the last being particularly entertaining.

There were quite a few which I struggled to parse, notably OXBRIDGE, KIMONO, and FERRIS, none of which made sense to me beyond their definitions. BATHE being defined by “cover”, “speed” for BREEZE and EFFETE to mean “spent” all seem to me to be close to dubious.

No need to resort to aids today, except to check that AGRESTIAL was a real word. It seems it is.

Lots to enjoy, and the anagrams were hard to beat, but my nomination for Clue of the Day goes to 7D “One engaging in manual work for butterfly producer?” (4-5).

A Saturday prize puzzle from July 2015: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2015/07/25/independent-8943-by-rorschach-saturday-prize-puzzle-18-july-2015/

4 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2725 Rorschach”

  1. jonofwales said

    Another tough one! I managed about a third of the grid fairly quickly, with clues like 1ac, 12ac and 26ac fairly easy to get. The last two thirds though took a while longer, finishing in a similar time to yesterday. 15ac was a guess based on checking letters and no idea what the definition was getting at, 19ac at the close less so, having no idea who the former Lord Chancellor might be.

    A very good puzzle, enjoyed, though I suspect many will be wishing we had this on a Saturday rather than, no doubt, Phi again. Unless the editor’s planning to mix things up again. 😉

    Lots of good clues to choose from for COD, including your nomination. Mine would be 12ac, just because I’m a sucker for the implied anagram thing.

  2. Cornick said

    Very, very good; very, very hard.
    Okay, a sprinkling of gimmes early on, but this was dense with crypticness and left me with half a dozen at the end unparsed. But then looking at Fifteensquared to see that irony = ferric for example just makes me admire the setter even more. Agree this would have been a goodie for the weekend, but rather you than me for blogging this one Michael.

  3. batarde said

    An interesting mixture today, some of which I didn’t much care for (breeze, bathe and effete seemed slightly off to me too), but there a few beauties which more than compensated. 12ac and 18d are both clue of the week quality, if you ask me, and I did like 19ac rather a lot. Incidentally, it’s a long time since we last had a crossword from him, isn’t it?

  4. dtw42 said

    DNF.
    I dragged myself to about three-quarters and lost interest, TBH. Sorry guys.

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