i Cryptic Crossword 2991 Anax

September 8, 2020

This sort of thing – which is to say cryptic crosswords aimed at people who are proficient at solving them – tends to be controversial, and perhaps there’ll be a weeping, wailing and hullaballo over on the other side again. For what it’s worth I’m happy, despite my blissful ignorance of the theme.

This seemed typical of the usual Anax experience: thin pickings at first during the retuning process, followed by a steady succession of realisations once you get on the setter’s wavelength. Fairly difficult, but there’s nothing that can’t be defeated if you stare at it for long enough. Which isn’t to say that there were no surprises, like the “living rock” and Charlie, both of which went in on the wordplay alone. Lots to like, especially 3, 14 and 22 in my opinion but readers are very welcome to nominate alternatives. The COD for me was the exceedingly Anaxy 4ac:

“Daggers are on bag-like thing, and before that I … (3,5)”

The crossword dates back to May 2015, when it went down pretty well with the folks at Fifteensquared.

8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2991 Anax”

  1. dtw42 said

    Hmm, theme? [whoosh]

    4ac I just couldn’t get at the end so I bunged in ICE SKATE as it was the only thing I could see that fit the spaces (even though the ‘I’ was the only bit of it I could make sense of).

    Yes, I liked 22ac, 3dn, and the comma in 5dn.
    No, I didn’t know the charlie or the living rock either.

  2. jonofwales said

    A theme missed, though in retrospect I did know a couple of the titles. One or two guessed too (in particular the living rock), but overall this wasn’t that tricky, perhaps a little over par – with a little perseverance most solvers should at least be able to make good headway. Top quality as ever from Anax.

  3. twobob said

    Loved this… same two guesses as you guys, I didn’t know the “painting”, but easily worked out knowing Anax’s ways… that’s two of his I’ve finished in two weeks… I doubt I’ve got smarter… Anax must be being lenient

  4. saboteur said

    I loved this, too. My most enjoyable solve over the last week or more. My experience seemed to have been rather like Batarde’s – a slow start then a series of epiphanies. Completely missed the theme, but this did not detract from the solve at all. So much to like, but especially, CACTUS, GOLD and COMMUNICATION.

    On the negative side, I was a bit disappointed, shall we say, by UNNOBLE.

  5. Denzo said

    After struggling yesterday and finishing just over half (mainly because I dismissed BREADLINE when it entered my head because I was convinced that POOR was part of the wordplay!), I was on better form today and almost finished what most believe to have been a much more difficult puzzle. ICY STARE and COMMUNICATION came very quickly. MOUSTACHE because nothing else fitted. I should have got CACTUS, might have got GOLD but would never have got ACID BROWN. The theme went over my head, too. An enjoyable puzzle.

  6. thebargee said

    What a terrific crossword! Well I would say that having managed to finish it. And after a distinct sinking feeling when I saw who today’s setter was.
    I can only assume this was one of his easier offerings? There were some great clues, my two favourites being 14ac and 5dn. The top half went in fairly quickly, but the bottom half was much chewier for me. Last 2 were CACTUS and CREATION.
    Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.

  7. Cornick said

    Really superb. Quite a bit easier than last week’s from Anax, although I only got two on the first pass (7.30 in the morning is my excuse). Thereafter things picked up considerably – IMPASTO and GOLD being very much to my taste – right up until the last two, yes MOUSTACHE and CACTUS, although in fairness the former was sort-of guessable and the latter I should have known as my brother grew several ‘stone plants’ in our youth.

  8. Willow said

    Very enjoyable. As ever, took me a long time, but then I am very slow. Just as a matter of interest, I almost entered LUSTRE at 26ac, as it could describe a sort of coat.

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