i Cryptic Crossword 2905 by Phi

May 30, 2020

All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil Frances Alexander provided the the theme today; Creatures, Great, Small and Wonderful also featured. I don’t think either Large or Rainbow appear in the original words of that cheesiest of hymns, but they do sort of fit. I didn’t spot all that until I’d finished, but it didn’t take much looking.

I enjoyed the first half of this solve very much, but Phi’s more difficult clues tend to leave me feeling mildly irritated, whereas clues of a similar level of difficulty from other setters leave me feeling pleased as punch for having solved them. I’m not sure why that is, and it’s clearly not a view held by some of his fans over at Fifteensquared here, but there you have it, maybe it’s just a wavelength thing and my mind works differently somehow!

So my ticks were all for the first few I solved, and of those my favourite was this one:

15d Make excellent at packing grain (9)



15 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2905 by Phi”

  1. thebargee said

    Having written in 26a, the penultimate answer, I sadly fell at the last! Failed to get 14d – even my favourite wordfinder gave no matches.
    Never mind, it was otherwise an enjoyable solve.

  2. jonofwales said

    Count me in as a fan here, even if I failed miserably to spot the theme. I thought that was a delightful puzzle, the most enjoyable we’ve had in a while actually. Loved the bit of slang used at 18ac, and throughout felt confident even with answers I didn’t know that the wordplay would bring me home safe and sound. A welcome return, and a big thumbs up.

    • jonofwales said

      PS. Today’s Inquisitor is by Chalicea, which is usually a sign of an entry-level puzzle, and having completed it I can thoroughly recommend it. πŸ™‚

      • Cornick said

        Thanks for that Jon. πŸ™‚
        I suppose it’s inevitable that our taste in crosswords – as with everything else – will vary. And probably a good thing too!

      • saboteur said

        I will give it a go.

        I enjoy your blogs on Wednesdays, but very rarely get very far.

      • saboteur said

        Just dropped by to say I’ve got the grid filled (subject to a bit of googling to check a few things tomorrow). I shall attempt to do the colouring-in tomorrow evening. At present, I don’t quite know what to do…

      • jonofwales said

        I always enjoy a bit of colouring at the end of a Crossword. πŸ™‚ I would recommend a spreadsheet or other copy to avoid mucking up your carefully filled grid (as I’m wont to do!)

      • saboteur said

        I shall see what I can make of it, and look forward to your blog! πŸ™‚

      • batarde said

        Pretty crossword … tempted to sick it up in the window. πŸ™‚

      • jonofwales said


  3. JP said

    I generally enjoyed this – I had no idea of any theme – but I wated a lot of time trying to to put ‘one duped ‘ in side ‘hier’as directed by the clue.I also don’t follow ‘perverted’ as reversed.

  4. saboteur said

    I got the ghost theme – it’s a Phi, so I was looking out for one. But often they are so obscure that I cannot spot them. Shame about the missing “wise”.

    I raised an eyebrow at RAINBOWED, but wasn’t too bothered about it. If I were being pedantic, I would quibble with GREATS as a philosophy degree, but I suppose its close enough to be plausible. I was irritated by CECIL being clued as “trainer”. That does seem to require quite specific knowledge. Otherwise enjoyable and stimulating.

    This marked my return to solving on a paper copy, after two months of using the online version during lockdown. I do prefer solving on paper, although I have to say I missed the reassurance of the yellow tick at the end!

  5. batarde said

    I was mildly irked throughout, as usual, and wasn’t going to waste any time pinning down the theme, it being pretty obvious which bits to google if one cares about such things. A summat and nowt puzzle in my opinion. The IQ looks a lot more promising though.

  6. dtw42 said

    Can’t remember now how I fared speed-wise with this, but I didn’t make any marginal notes (positive or negative) except that the def for 4ac was a bit odd. In the end I failed on 26ac and 14dn (I’m sure if I’d got either one of them the other would have become obvious) and had to resort to electronic cheatery for those two. Didn’t spot the theme.

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