i Cryptic Crossword 2951 Punk

July 23, 2020

A moderately difficult, enjoyable puzzle from Punk today with a Nina it would have helped to spot to make head or tail of 5d. Needless to say I missed said Nina, which meant that 5d went in on a bit of a wing and a prayer. I did go looking for such things when badly stuck in the NE and SW corners, and didn’t find anything, though in my defence end of term exhaustion has set in which means it was a miracle I managed to solve at all. 🙂 Elsewhere I failed to parse 4d and 15d fully, but everything else went in understood if at a moderate pace.

COD? Well, love it or hate it, 5d is certainly a little different – “Ambitious foursome you’ll find on the periphery from 17, did you say? (8)”.

To March 2016 for the answers and parsing of the clues:


5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2951 Punk”

  1. dtw42 said

    Starting as I did in the SE corner, ‘PHILBY AND’ emerged pretty quick, and certainly did therefore help by pencilling in all the remaining perimeter letters. Surely this entire puzzle sprang from the seed of 5dn’s homophone. 9ac as my LOI, not fully parsed.

    • Cornick said

      Maybe, but given how hard it is to come up with 28-letter phrase that suggests a periphery in some way (I did ‘Around the world in eighty days’ once, which is only 26), Punk might equally have started with the ‘spy ring’ idea then being a clever sort of chap, realised that ASPIRING could be fitted in too with a bit of jiggery-pokery.

  2. Cornick said

    I was on Nina alert from the get-go and after NW corner yielded URGES, it rapidly became a game of trying to remember the last two of the four names, which would have been easier 40 years ago. Easy once you’ve got ‘em of course.
    TerrIfic idea for a Nina, I would have howled with protest had 5d not been COD – brilliant.
    Does anyone remember’Spy Ring’ the board game with the embassies and ‘Fish’ in 20 languages?

  3. saboteur said

    Good fun. Like dtw42 I got going g in the SE, and was able to pencil-in the perimeter pretty quickly. Didn’t know the American cigar or the fungal sacs, otherwise all good. Agreed about ASPIRING.

  4. batarde said

    It was Kim who betrayed the the setter’s little secret to me. Excellent crossword, lots of fun as is always the case with Punk. A shame about those fungal sacs really, but it’s not as if he had much choice.

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