i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2720 by Phi

November 2, 2019

Saturday 26th October 2019

Eight middle names of authors constituted a very well hidden ghost theme last weekend. Did you spot them? Nah, me neither. But here they are anyhow:

We had Philip KINDRED Dick,  Clive STAPLES Lewis, Edgar RICE Burroughs,  William BUTLER Yeats, William MAKEPEACE Thackeray, Hans CHRISTIAN Andersen,  Elwyn BROOKS White, and just one other, according to Phi in the comments at Fifteensquared, although I have no idea who he means. Candidates include IMAGO, DRYAD, BAPTISM, CRUCIBLE, SALT, and GENUS, roughly in that order of likelihood. ROAD and COQUETTE are too improbable, surely?

Pretty tricky towards the end, I thought, especially in the patch in the middle around 16d BOBOLINK, which was new to me, and complicated by it failing to occur to me that ‘a shocking noise’ might be ‘boo’, so I did need to dip into the handy list of bird names in Chambers Crossword Dictionary for that one.

I’m a bit stuck for a COD in a puzzle where the hidden theme was the star rather than the clues, so I’ll plump for the one that dtw42 mentioned last Saturday –  despite it clueing Pathé as being a news provider when they stopped doing so 50 years ago!

Here it is again:

6d News provider quite misrepresented Tchaikovsky symphony (10)

And so to Yokohama…

9 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2720 by Phi”

  1. michaelatcobblerscottage said

    A theme so ghostly that even the most sensitive of mediums would struggle to detect it. I certainly didn’t.

    I recall that I struggled with this one, but I don’t remember much else about the solving process other than having to consult a list of bird names.

    All good this week, with just a couple of queries requiring a check on Google.

  2. batarde said

    Good job Phi isn’t a Tuesday regular – try finding a suitable pictorial hint for that theme. I enjoyed this one a good deal judging by the four ticks and two smilies, which is a good score from me by anyone’s standards. There is also an “erk!” next to 16d, but the clue was of the quality which lets you know what you need to look up, so that’s fine.

    I note with irritation that this week’s IQ is another jigsaw, so Jon’s on his own again.

  3. jonofwales said

    I thought this was fairly straightforward for Phi, though needless to say I missed the ghost theme. Beyond that I can remember little. 🙂

    Commiserations on today’s result!

  4. dtw42 said

    I wonder if anybody DID spot the theme?
    6dn and then 5ac were my last two in – I found the right-hand side harder than the left; though I was OK with the bobolink. Obscure, yes, but the sort of silly-looking word that once you’ve learned it you don’t forget.

    This weekend’s paper was delivered in the sort of condition wherein the first thing you have to do is iron it dry/flat and then sellotape the bits back together. Still, no marginal comments on Monk’s crossword, either positive or negative. The outside part of 12ac was unfamiliar.

    • Cornick said

      No, the commenter on Fifteensquared who did ‘spot’ the theme only did so after a heavy hint from Phi in the previous comment.
      I’m still frustrated by his mentioning that there’s an eighth middle name in the grid but not telling us what it is. Grrr! Can anyone help?

      • michaelatcobblerscottage said

        I too have been irritated by this for the last 24 hours. I certainly don’t know the answer, but more annoying is that I cannot think of a way of googling that will solve the conundrum.

  5. georgethepigman said

    Never spotted the theme but found the eighth name -Clive Staples Lewis

    • georgethepigman said

      Sorry you’ve already got that!! I should read things properly-brain having a bad day today.

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