i Cryptic Crossword 2789 Morph

January 16, 2020

First thoughts on solving today’s offering from Morph revolved round wondering how amused Topsy would be as there’s a definite thread running through the clues and answers… Second was what a good puzzle this is, one that I wouldn’t have minded spending much more time over, such was the goodness on offer. As it was I finished somewhat under par for the i, appropriately enough on 9/24 where Morph seems to have said – to hell with it, let’s go for broke.

Unknowns for me at 17d and 20d, but nothing that wasn’t gettable from the wordplay. Elsewhere 19d was obvious enough, but the parsing less so. Some nice contemporary references were on offer throughout, notably at 21d and 25ac, which can only be a good thing when trying to attract new, younger solvers.

All of which shouldn’t have taken you too long overall, leaving plenty of time to solve today’s Independent puzzle by our erstwhile Saturday blogger. It’ll be a good one.

COD? Loads to choose from, as this really was a smorgasbord of delights, with my nomination going to 17d – “Sleeper comedian ends in orgasmatron getting fired up (5-3)”.

To August 2015 and a post which Pierre seems to have produced at short notice, and commendably so:


13 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2789 Morph”

  1. Topsy said

    It would seem that you chaps will know by now that, most emphatically, I do not share the same proclivities as Morph appears to. I decided to give up because I didn’t like the way it was going and I googled the setter. I was amused to read that his first ever puzzle was published in The Christian Times!! I also noticed that he has been an Connect semi finalist, a programme I would have entered for had my life been different. I had my (almost) moment of glory on The Weakest Link and I remain satisfied with that.

  2. dtw42 said

    About average time for me; I didn’t mind the mild sauce. 15ac I must admit I only parsed some time *after* bunging the answer in.
    Last ones in were 17 and 18; just because something had to be.

    I think 20 was the only unfamiliarity here.

  3. michaelatcobblerscottage said

    On my first read-through I thought this would take me ages, but once I had got on to Morph’s wavelength and the first few Down clues were solved I was able to work my way from top to bottom fairly steadily.

    Very rewarding and enjoyable, with no quibbles or queries marked in the margin on completion.

    As to the naughtiness, so far as I was concerned this was just about the right side of acceptability. Would I have been embarrassed solving it with my adult offspring? No. Would I have been embarrassed solving with my late maiden aunts? Yes – but they have been “late” for a couple of decades now.

    • Topsy said

      Well please consider me to be in the “maiden aunt” category, Michael, though I am not “maiden ” nor “late”. One day I will stumble upon a crossword that taxes my brain, requires my vast general knowledge but transports my mind away from the harsh realities of this unpleasant world we live in…. perhaps my pseudonym should change to “ostrich” 😀

  4. batarde said

    That was good fun, and as dtw42 says the sauce was more along HP Fruity lines than anything more piquant. Can’t pretend that I was overjoyed by the second gentleman in 21d, whose forename took some dredging up. What’s wrong with Mr Brooke Taylor? – he says, showing his age. William F P on the other side did have a fair point about 5d, but that microquibble aside everything seems fine and dandy to me.

  5. Cornick said

    Nothing but praise from me; that was just excellent. Why was the sexual referencing in this puzzle fine whereas I for one often find such things irritating and gratuitous? Not sure, but that’s how it was. So many good clues!

  6. Jimbo said

    The top half was easy to get into but I really struggled to penetrate the bottom half.

  7. Topsy said

    Hmmmm, is that suggestion that I try the Inquisitor puzzle or become an Inquisitor and enforce my beliefs upon an unwilling world? Answers on a postcard…..

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