i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2791 by Klingsor

January 25, 2020

Saturday 18th January 2020

Monk, Tees, Nestor, Morph, and Klingsor; leaving aside the more prolific setters Dac, Phi, and Quixote, those 5 seem to me to produce the finest crosswords in the i. There are excellent cases to be made for Punk, Scorpion, Anax, Nimrod, Anarche, Eimi and Tyrus, but their contributions seem to be relatively infrequent. In addition there are some exciting new kids on the block like Hob and Donk, or after yesterday’s perhaps Alchemi too, but we shall have to wait and see if they can be as consistently excellent as my Top 5. John, who wrote the original blog for this puzzle here, declares Klingsor to be his favourite of the lot, and I certainly wouldn’t disagree with him. I’d be interested to hear what you think!

So after that build-up, it’s pretty clear I thought last Saturday’s was a corker. For the technically minded among you, there were no whole clue anagrams, no straight cryptics and no double definitions – take note aspiring setters!  I had a whopping 19 clues with ticks by them, which must be approaching a record, and the great joy for me was the consistency of clueing: none were read & write gimmes, none were overly fiendish, all were pleasingly inventive and had cracking surfaces with the overall effect being to enter into a cruciverbal mindbath of just the right temperature. I loved it.

Choosing a favourite is hard, because there are several candidates.  I’ll go with this one:

8d This rogue imbibes low energy drink (8)


7 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2791 by Klingsor”

  1. batarde said

    It became clear quite early on that this was something special even by Klingsor’s standards, and it gets the first “bravo” of the year from me. Real top drawer stuff throughout. I have a liking for the sort of thing at 5d, and would give that the COD rosette – but there are so many worthy candidates.

    I don’t particularly want to play league tables – all those setters Cornick mentions are fully capable of turning out fantastic puzzles, and the more established ones seem to do so as a matter of routine. There’s a blokey who hasn’t appeared yet by the name of Maize who is pretty tasty too.

  2. Grodnik said

    Could not agree more; a real challenge which took me until Wednesday to solve. Haven’t used the word “ked” in 60 years since doing a long vacation job as a farm labourer helping to deal with fly-strike in the sheep. It was there when I needed it though.

  3. jonofwales said

    Quality stuff there, thoroughly enjoyed. Enough said! 🙂

    • jonofwales said

      League tables proving to be surprisingly contentious. 😉 I’ll just say that I always look forward to seeing Morph, Dac or Eimi’s names.

  4. michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Excellent crossword. A joy to solve. PAST PARTICIPLE was indeed marvellous, and it took quite a while before I worked out how it worked.

    I’m with Batarde in not wanting to think about league tables. Solving a cryptic is about the silver’s mind engaging with that of the setter. I do find that my own circumstances affect how I feel about each solve, quite apart from how “good” the puzzle is. The time of day, whether I have any interruptions, where I am – at home, in the pub, on the train, etc – how much coffee/wine/gin I have had;all of these affect my response to a puzzle. Yes, I “get on”with some solvers better than others, and some crosswords are clearly set at different levels, but I would not want to put them in an order of preference. 🙂

  5. dtw42 said

    What Michael said. Plus, to be honest, I’m not good enough at keeping track of setters’ styles to be able to say this one’s consistently good or that one’s consistently too hard for me or whatever. At any rate, I seem to have enjoyed this – circled “ked” as a new word to me.

  6. Cornick said

    Ah well – I suppose comparisons can be odorous!

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