i Cryptic Crossword 2742 Monk

November 21, 2019

Something a little trickier from Monk that I suspect will have caused difficulties based on some of the comments over on the other side. Problems it caused me too, but mostly of the parsing variety as I had a finished grid in a time somewhat over par for the i, but with question marks beside a good number of the clues. These mostly related to the book referenced at 5d, where the correct abbreviation didn’t occur to me and I wrongly accused Monk of an erroneous spelling, 8ac which I still don’t think is cricket having checked the parsing, the R not being properly clued to my liking, 21d which doesn’t really work for me, and 13ac which I got wrong – my only consolation being that Alchemi also chucked in exactly the same answer. TAMLA was also somewhat obscure, while we’re at it. If Sprouthater solved this, I imagine too that he would have thrown up his hands in horror on reading 9d.

In other words, phew. I’m fond of chucking in answers based on a bit of wordplay / checking letters anyway, and got away with it for the most part, otherwise I suspect I still would have been beavering away.

There’s a Nina I missed, having gone looking for one as well, but as I usually do miss them this is nothing new.

A rigorous puzzle I enjoyed, but let me know what you thought.

COD? I’ll go with 15d – “Reach up above aerial, oddly a long drop from here? (7)”.

To September 2015:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2015/09/24/independent-9031-by-monk/

10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2742 Monk”

  1. Jimbo said

    Pretty much impenetrable. Gave up after getting six or so clues, as it didn’t seem worth the effort and I wasn’t enjoying it.

  2. Topsy said

    I found this painful (as I often do with Monk) and gave up. Never heard of 13a and I agree with your comment re 8a. I was too irritated to raise a smile at 21d. I am still at a loss with 19a, all I can think of is citrus fruit!

  3. tonnelier said

    I agree 100% with Jimbo. I got ten or eleven, but with no enjoyment at all.

  4. Cornick said

    Much happier than most on this one – but quite the hardest Monk we’ve had in a long time.
    Saw the Nina (if I’m allowed to say it’s ‘Respice finem’ / ‘Endings’) but can’t pretend it helped much. My Chambers doesn’t have Coquette = mash, alas, though I bunged it in anyway, and 13a seems wilfully obscure to me – I had no idea at all whether it was Tanned or Tonked. Hence a second day running of not quite finishing, because yesterday I had wrongly entered Laila as that girl’s name (LA [f]I[l]L[e] A.
    Otherwise all satisfactorily parsed and certainly impressed with Monk’s work, but blimey, I feel like I need a stiff one after that!

  5. dtw42 said

    I gave up too after struggling my way to about 14.

  6. batarde said

    A strong candidate for the toughest crossword in the i since that Nimrod. I’m happy to have finished it, but the process was too much like dentistry to be entirely enjoyable. Monk seems to have been more wilfully obscure than usual, which is going it some, and I’ll admit to having sighed several times as another penny dropped eventually. 13ac takes the biscuit. I spotted the Nina on the right hand side but overlooked the Latin: annoyed with myself for that. Think I’ll join Cornick in pouring myself a modest libation after one.

    Incidentally, the puzzle can be divided into two by removing just two cells. Flimsy.

  7. sprouthater said

    I did attempt this. I started it while sat in a hospital corridor waiting for someone to stick a needle in my eye which actually proved less painful and probably more enjoyable than this crossword. I gave up with about 3/4 solved and too many question marks and expletives in the margin. Regarding 9dn, no I dont like foreign words in crosswords, this one has probably been used in every film about the 2nd WW and is easily Googled luckily because cryptically for me it failed to make much sense.

  8. Brakewynde said

    Not quite sure what to say here. Satisfyingly chewy is good in my book, but there was too much gristle in this. The ninas helped me finish this, but the average solver doesn’t have a Latin O-level. Monk himself said that his clues were edited, and I’d pick out 20 for this: the definition of mere (in my SOED) is “nothing more than”, so I suspect Eimi’s hand here. In the insect world I believe that keds are wingless, so shouldn’t be described as flies. Flying ants and all such insects shed their wings before their final adult stage. I’ve done far too many easy crosswords in both Guardian and i recently, but if I see RAVIOLI again anytime soon I’ll have to take up knitting!

  9. michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Im not at my sharpest in the evening, so when I struggle solving after dinner I am never sure if it is me or the puzzle. Now I know. I gave up after getting about two thirds of the answers.

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