i Cryptic Crossword 2956 by Hypnos

July 29, 2020

‘Are you an Ephraimite?’ asked the Gileadites. And if he said ‘No’, they would retort: ‘Say Shibboleth.’ He would say ‘Shibboleth’, and because he could not pronounce the word properly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of Jordan. At that time forty-two thousand men of Ephraim lost their lives.

Judges 12 6-7. Let that be a lesson to you.

A Sunday reprint usually means a fairly gentle excursion to Crosswordland, and so it proved again. I must have done scores of Hypnos puzzles, but still his personality seems somewhat elusive. Decent stuff today though. Both long anagrams were very good, I liked ‘Dreamy female’ for ALICE in 12a a lot better than I did ‘woman’ for SAL in 15d, but no real complaints to speak of.

For COD I’m going for one with a topical surface – that being no mean feat to pull off when you’re writing clues 4 years before the event:

20d Effect of holiday for all to see in returning group – infection? (7)

All the answers are here.

7 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2956 by Hypnos”

  1. dtw42 said

    Yeah that all went in fairly quickly & smoothly. I didn’t parse 3dn, but reading the explanation on the other side I see that I should have done, so that’s fair enough. LOI was 23ac, which garnered a ‘bloody football!” marginal note. 6dn was presumably new on the telly at the original date of publication, though it’s fading into memory a bit now. Had a very good opening title sequence, if I recall…

  2. batarde said

    “The shibboleth of foreign policy” – a phrase which has always stuck in my mind. Turns out I imagined it (thought it was Palmerston, Salisbury or one of that crowd), but at least it fixed the word in the old noggin. All quite pleasant crosswordwise today, rather like a Dac but a bit looser.

    On the subject of 6d, I took the opportunity to watch the film of JG Ballard’s High Rise recently, with the Tim Hoddleston lad in it. Precisely the same performance as in the Le Carre, including that infuriating self-deprecatory half laugh. Truly he can run the dramatic gamut from A to B. Fortunately for Ballard, the casting director had managed to engage the services of Jeremy Irons amongst others, so all was not lost. Anyway, I seem to have gone off on a tan., so sorry about that. A clue with a sell by date, was my point.

  3. saboteur said

    I did wonder whether the clue for TETANUS had been rewritten for 2020. Apparently not, so how felicitous that it should come along – the clue, that is, not the pandemic.

    All thoroughly enjoyable. Struggled quite a bit with parsing MINICAB, and had a marginal comment next to NUTMEG similar to dtw42’s.

  4. thebargee said

    All fairly straightforward today, and enjoyable of course, although I made life difficult for myself by unthinkingly bunging in ‘IN STORE’ for 19d. All was well in the end though.

    • Cornick said

      You’re not alone Bargee. Fortunately being able to re-write TEAR-JEREER is one advantage of doing these things on-line.

  5. allan_c said

    Took me longer than it should have done, seeing as I’d done it back in 2016. But at least I remembered NUTMEG this time – maybe because it’s occurred in other crosswords since then.

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