i Cryptic Crossword 2928 Morph

June 26, 2020

This was a Saturday prize crossword – surprisingly, since it seemed more accessible than many, and I completed it in well under my typical time, without recourse to aids, other than to check and confirm.

As is usual from Morph, there was much wit, and the surface readings were delightful, and my paper was smothered in ticks on completion (and how good it has been this last fortnight or so to be back using the dead-tree version!).

Quibbles and queries? The “fenn”part of PFENNIG had me scratching my head. Googling “fenn” and “Chinese coin” didn’t help. After a while I did stumble across the “fen” (with one “n”), which was useful – but eventually concluding that the second “n” was a contraction of “and” left me underwhelmed. I thought there must be more to the clue for SIDES than a whimsical definition, and I am inclined to have some sympathy with OPatrick’s comment in BertandJoyce’s comprehensive blog from March, 2016. LYRIST (my last one in) for “poet” seemed a bit obscure, although there were helpful crossing letters, so once I had those it was clear what I needed to google for confirmation.

I wondered also if I might be missing something in EGGCUP other than another whimsical definition, but it’s such a nice clue, with its nod to Swiftian satire, that it didn’t matter, I felt.

So many good clues: MISSING, ARCHAEOLOGISTS, JAILHOUSE, GAUCHERIE and the aforementioned EGGCUP all got double ticks from me. But the one that made me laugh out loud was 2d; “Channel One producing seamy stuff? (5)”.

8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2928 Morph”

  1. jonofwales said

    I had this down as a Monday reprint, as this was Morph in a gentle mood. A great puzzle nevertheless. I too couldn’t parse 27ac, but the coin crops up regularly enough that I knew it. 5d I parsed as in the comment on the other side. Favourite clues 1ac, 13ac and 28ac.

  2. batarde said

    High quality stuff throughout and highly enjoyable. Is 17ac a chestnut? I’ve a feeling it is, but if so it’s still exemplary. Also liked 16 and 20d rather a lot. This would be my favourite puzzle of the week were it not for yesterday’s Maize in the Indy.

  3. dtw42 said

    I certainly wrote “o.c.” – which is my personal annotation for “old chestnut” against 17ac.
    Same uncertainties about parsing of a couple.
    8dn was my LOI, too (not helped by the fact that I couldn’t quite parse the back half of 12ac).
    I had ticks by 1ac and 9ac, and “haha” alongside 28ac and 4dn (fun to see a Blair reference that wasn’t TONE or TONY).

  4. thebargee said

    A surprisingly accessible offering from Morph and thoroughly enjoyable. Like dtw42 I was left with 12ac and 8dn and couldn’t decide what the back end of 12ac should be.
    I liked 11ac (a word one doesn’t hear enough) and 21ac, but I have issues with the etymology of 4dn, being of a sinister persuasion myself!

  5. Cornick said

    All those dexterous people having fun at the expense of us lefties! We’ve got Leonardo on our side, so do your worst!
    Super puzzle yet again from Morph. I too ended up with that combination of the end of 12a and 8d. Cracked the former but buckled at the last on the latter by looking at a word finder. Should have thought of RY< in LIST, not that hard really.

  6. thebargee said

    Ah yes, I forgot to mention that I too needed wordfinder help for 8dn!
    And I also confess to not understanding the wordplay for 12ac; in what sense does ‘ate’ = ‘worried‘?

    • saboteur said

      It’s in the sense of eroding. To worry at something is to eat away at it. It’s a standard crossword substitution, which once known is easy to remember, although it is probably rather archaic in ordinary usage. Hope that helps.

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