i Cryptic Crossword 2850 Klingsor

March 27, 2020

Just the sort of crossword I like!

Forbidding, even alarming, on first sight (particularly when a blog is to be written); discreetly welcoming when the territory had been surveyed and a port of entry had been discovered; ultimately very satisfying to visit, offering as it does a variety of landscapes and features.

Klingsor’s clue-writing is usually impeccable, with neatly written clues which rarely compromise on the surface reading – I do like the sentences to make sense! And quite often they have a literal feel to them; 11a’s ECONOMY and 16d’s UKRAINE being very pleasing examples of this.

Even so, there were a couple of clues where nice bits of misdirection meant that the word-play eluded me. SHUT-EYE was a write-in from the definition and some crossing letters, but the word-play troubled me, until I realised that “soundly” indicated U as a homophpne for “you” (I had erroneously identified “ye” as “you”). RESENT, too, took a while, as I wrongly thought that “about” took care of “re”. It took me a while, when doing 7d, to remember that there was another academic Cambridge, other than the chilly and misty one in the fens.

Some things required an online check: LIEF worked and sounded plausible, and so it turned out to be; and my dim recollection of the Pilgrim’s Progress turned out to be sufficient to get DESPAIR – but I thought it best to check. WANNABE took me a while, it not really being part of my vocabulary.

My one criticism is for 1d: SHARPIE. It was unknown to me as “cheat”, and the word-play was far from obvious. I don’t believe this follows the rule of “easy clues for obscure words”.

So many good and enjoyable clues make it hard to pick out a favourite, and 21a was a strong candidate as an implied reverse anagram. However, although I’m not generally a fan of homophones, 20d did make me smile: “Beast’s command to beloved oarsman overheard? (3,4)”.

All the answers and explanations can be found here.

13 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2850 Klingsor”

  1. saboteur said

    I hope all who are reading this are ok, coping with the isolation and are physically well. Good wishes to One and All in these challenging circumstances.

  2. Cornick said

    Brilliant, wasn’t it? So many excellent clues. LIEF was an early entry, but I couldn’t have told you which book DESPAIR came from, and I too failed on the parsing of RESENT. However my LOI, when I twigged the link between Harpies and SHARPIE, got a resounding imaginary tick.
    All well here with self, wife and resident son number 2, but son number one plus girlfriend are self-isolating in Londonium, both displaying mild but clear symptoms. Who’d be a parent!

  3. batarde said

    Aha, Pilgrim’s Progress then, not The Faerie Queen. High time I revisited both. Anyway, very much in agreement with the above, and I think it’s fair to say that this was another puzzle pitched at the more experienced solver, whose eyes narrow when “Cambridge University” comes up, for instance. Excellent stuff, much appreciated except for 1d – off to the OED for that one, which confirmed my suspicion that it’s mid 20th century American slang. Yuk. Much amused by 6 and 14d, also impressed by 10ac although the “Lord Alfred Tennyson” does rather give away the definition because it’s inconceivable Klingsor would commit such a solecism without very good reason. Happy bunny this week. 🙂

  4. jonofwales said

    I was pleased this turned out to be a tricky one again, as I was worrying my powers were failing me. Another time off the scale, though with the attendant distractions of the youngest two “schooling at home” both when I’m trying to work from home, and take a lunch break.

    Lots of colds doing the rounds here, but nothing more serious thankfully.

  5. Topsy said

    Bit too difficult in places for me but enjoyed the ones I managed. I have had a strange 3 weeks with many of the classic symptoms but I put it down to my “underlying conditions”. However, when I woke today with no symptoms, an appetite and more strength that of late, I feel 99% sure I have been smitten. Only real way to tell would be a test. I don’t go out so don’t feel I have infected anyone so that’s a blessing. Just relieved 😀 Take care all!

  6. Denzo said

    Re 7d, it is relevant, perhaps, that MIT is actually, like Harvard University, in Camridge, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston.

  7. dtw42 said

    Oh well. I’m back into my old rut of being completely unable to do Klingsor’s puzzles. I thought I was getting the hang of them. Sorry, but I’ve given up with it only half done. Must be me.

    • jonofwales said

      If it’s any consolation I got stuck for an age and took a quite unreasonable time to solve.

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