i Cryptic Crossword 2748 Phi

November 28, 2019

Phiday this week is a Thursday, which presumably means the variation we’ve been enjoying over the past few weekends is set to continue. Today’s offering is one that was in keeping with the Thursday spot, being a little chewy in places, especially to the NE corner where we had three obscurities all grouped together, one an odd foreign phrase that was actually the easiest one to solve.

Thankfully elsewhere there was lots to enjoy, with a good number of ticks beside the clues. There’s also a theme, being works of an author anagrammed at 27ac. You didn’t need to know to finish, but I half wonder if it caused some of those obscurities.

There were one or two I didn’t fully understand on solving, including the double F at 28ac and the homophone at 1ac, but I got there in the end in a time similar to yesterday’s.

COD? With honourable mentions to 9ac, 1d and 3d, I’ll go with 18ac – “One beginning to bother all on road when travelling round motorway? (8,4)”.

To September 2015 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


7 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2748 Phi”

  1. dtw42 said

    Hmm – a few toughies mixed in. Like some of the folks on the other side, I too incorrectly had an -E on the end of 8dn.

    Re the linked obscurities: 10ac I did remember from school, so that was okay. 6dn was clearly indicated so a quick google of an utterly unfamiliar word confirmed that it did indeed exist. 12ac I was aware of from being aware that “Caesar ’ad some jam for tea” was something to amuse the generation of schoolboys before mine, but I didn’t know what it meant so that was another google check.

    The existence of any theme went wholly unnoticed.

  2. michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Well, I made a bit of a mess of this one, and had to put it down and then pick it up again and hope that my head had cleared.

    I over-confidently entered “beetle” at 2d, thinking a beetle was a grub and that a little beet might be vaguely connected to a baby turnip in some specialised agricultural way. WRONGDOER was already in so I again rashly put “elbow” in at 1a, thinking I could parse it later. These mistakes made the rest of the NW corner impossible, until I realised after lunch that 9a must be RIOTOUS and that therefore other things must be wrong.

    I didn’t know YENTA, but what else could it be? Following the rule of easy clues for unusual words. Similarly to Dtw42 I was vaguely aware of ADSUM and TANT PIS from my schooldays. I think that while TANT PIS is reasonably well know, ADSUM is by now sufficiently archaic or obsure to be a little on the unfair side.

    Missed the theme.

  3. batarde said

    Oh right … probably should have tumbled to the theme (but not the 27ac bit) given that I’ve read most of them. No unknowns today, but it was still wearisomely smart-alecky in places but pretty good in others, which is to say about par for the course with this setter.

  4. Cornick said

    A very mixed bag.
    Agreed on the COD which was terrific,but I really don’t like answers that are unknown to me – like Yenta and Adsum. Surely the joy of solving a clue is in that moment you realise the answer. That’s denied the solver when the answer in unknown and, in the case of Adsum, unsolvable. Business? Money? Pfft.

  5. dtw42 said

    I’ve just had a play in Crossword Compiler to see if Phi had any alternatives for that NE corner. It’s having the two thematic answers at 7 and 8 that painted him into the corner. Those two force BALLYMENA, which in turn forces LITTLE OWL, which in turn forces TANT PIS … there’s not a lot else possible. Could have had ASSAM instead of ADSUM at 12, for what it’s worth.

    • jonofwales said

      I’d thought of ASSAM, and don’t know why he didn’t go with that in a pretty tough corner.

      • batarde said

        It looks like showing off to me – nothing wrong with that as such, but having three foreign language entries in one corner is going to raise hackles. Especially if, as Cornick says, one of the clues is wretchedly impenetrable unless you already know the answer.

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