i Cryptic Crossword 2875 by Punk

April 25, 2020

I can still remember my sense of wonder when, as a small child,  somebody pointed out to me that Cruella de Vil had ‘cruel devil’ hidden inside her name – maybe that was the start of my love of crosswords? So I was on the look out for her name from the get-go in this very clearly flagged theme from Punk.  We also had HANNIBAL LECTOR, MICHAEL CORLEONE, NURSE RATCHED, TRAVIS BICKLE (Robert De Niro’s character in Taxi Driver) and PINKIE [Brown] from Brighton Rock. As my grandfather used to say: ‘If the devil could cast his net!’ Quite a grid fill that, and nothing ghosty about it this time.

I thought it was going to be very hard at first, and struggled to get going, but once I got a foothold the second half of the clues yielded much more easily with things finishing at a veritable gallop, and what great clues they were! Quite convoluted in places, but scrupulously fair of course, highly ingenious, and even with answers I didn’t know like Mr Bickle, it was all deducible from the wordplay.

COD: 15a Villain’s failure of cochlear implants in start of long journey? (7,8)

And the Fifteensquared review from 2016 with all the answers is here.

4 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2875 by Punk”

  1. dtw42 said

    Quick start, VERY slow middle (resorted to electronic assistance, and didn’t understand several) then finally speeding up for the last quarter. 16dn got a tick – I thought that was a good ’un.

  2. saboteur said

    Thoroughly engrossing and a very satisfying puzzle. One of those where I kept struggling with clues, only to end up saying “oh, of course” whenever I got something, so neat was the cluing. I’m with dtw42 in that I found it to be quite tough in places. But that is far from being a criticism.

    I’d forgotten the name of the taxi driver, and needed all of the crossing letters to get that one.

  3. batarde said

    My first villain in was the taxi driver, but I’m unconvinced that he qualifies as such. No matter – excellent puzzle and towards the harder end of Punk’s scale which is fine by me. 6d was delightful example of a “Great Boo’s up” clue and thorny indeed. Last in was Mr Brown: that’s a film I really ought to revisit. Another funny grid today, but this time it seemed unobjectionable.

  4. jonofwales said

    A very slow solve here, partly because I was convinced I wouldn’t know most of the villains, which proved to be unfounded. Perhaps also because I didn’t really regard some as being so, eyebrows raised on the protaganists from Taxi Driver and The Godfather.

    Today’s IQ btw is another entry level puzzle, for those who might be considering giving it a look.

    You might also want to glance at Eimi’s Twitter account too – our esteemed Saturday blogger got a mention yesterday, with some rather nice replies. 😀

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