i Cryptic Crossword 3017 Klingsor

October 8, 2020

A Saturday reprint today that I found to be a little tough in places, especially in the NW corner. In common with Gaufrid back in the day lobbing in COCKSPUR will not have helped matters, followed by a conviction that 2d ended in NOUS. Ah well. One unknown for me at 23ac, but the rest was pretty common vocabulary. Being Klingsor this is of course top quality, fair, and above all enjoyable. And, oh, it’s a pangram, which I didn’t spot, and didn’t need to finish. Time at the close somewhat above par for the i, though scrappily in spare moments, so your mileage may most definitely vary.

COD? 9ac – “Close to broke and left overdrawn apparently? He wasn’t ready! (8)”.

To July 2016:


10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3017 Klingsor”

  1. Denzo said

    I rarely finish Klingsor’s puzzles, so was pleased I did today.
    Both elegant and enjoyable throughout, though I needed 225 to fully parse KNOCKOUT, ENSCONCE and ETHELRED. I know nothing of the latter but faintly remembred that he was “unready” for something – probably a battle.

    Putting in XENOPHOBIC about half way through made me wonder if it was a pangram, but I forgot about this possibility until my LOI and COD, ZOLA – what a great clue! I had thought before only of Sand, the only four letter female writer who entered my mind. But faced with only two missing letters, I started to think cheese, and the answer came in a flash.

    Now consciously remembering the pangram, I wondered if I had twigged my LOI so quickly because I had subconsciously remembered the pangram. It then occurred that both MARJORAM and ELOQUENT had offered themselves to my thoughts surprisingly quickly. It seems likely that the sunconscious plays a major part in crossword solving.

  2. batarde said

    About as good as it gets in my opinion, the only eyebrow raiser being the first bit of 19d which is a bit yuk but makes for an elegant surface. Everything else was a real pleasure. Like Denzo I suspected the pangram early on and then forgot all about it until I finished.

    Regarding 8ac, if memory serves he was “unrede” meaning ill-advised, rather than caught with his trousers down as it were. A particularly entertaining paper today, by the way, between Stormy Daniels and the Fat Bear contest. Nice to get a bit of amusement to break up all the portents of doom.

  3. saboteur said

    I enjoyed this and found it a bit more accessible than Kingsor often can be. No help needed – much to my surprise. I struggled to parse ELOQUENT until I remembered that in Crosswordland a man can be a queen. Also was a bit bemused by the “being” in ENSCONCED. Last two in were the crossing LARKSPUR and KNOCKOUT, much helped by the need to insert a K for the pan gram.

    Some good clues. ZOLA was great, and so was the succinct CHAT, with its neat surface reading.

  4. Guy Barry said

    Good puzzle with some ingenious clues, especially 9ac, which made me smile. I struggled with 15dn a bit because I didn’t think of “mass” as a verb, and first thought the solution must be ASSEMBLY but couldn’t get ABLY = “fit”. Got it right though.

    I’m another who put in COCKSPUR at 1ac; it’s a perfectly valid solution to the clue as far as I can see. As a result 2dn was my last one in, and even after realizing that 1ac had an alternative solution I was still scratching my head for some time. I eventually got the correct answer but was unconvinced by the explanation: “arch-” is a prefix meaning “head” as in “archbishop”, but ARCH isn’t a word meaning “head” as far as I know. Is it permissible to treat prefixes as though they were separate words like this? I don’t think I’ve seen it elsewhere (you don’t get “again” for RE in wordplay or anything like that).

    Didn’t see the pangram, but then I never look for them.

    • Denzo said

      Interesting. I actually altered ASSEMBLE to ASSEMBLY, with the idea that, if you’re keeping something fit, you’re doing it ably. Also I think mass is more commonly a noun than a verb, in all its meanings, though I certainly don’t deny its use as a verb in this context.

      • Guy Barry said

        “Mass” is certainly much commoner as a noun than as a verb – the usual verb is “amass” in my experience. The only time I’ve come across “mass” as a verb is in phrases like “massed ranks”.

        But it’s not a great clue generally. I originally thought that “about” was the insertion indicator, with “the opposite” as an indication to swap round container and contents. This would lead to MESS (“confusion”) inside ABLE or ABLY for “keeping fit”. Unfortunately this doesn’t work, because there’s no indication that MESS is to be reversed.

        Instead it seems that “about” is the reversal indicator and “keeping” is the insertion indicator, with “the opposite” still as an indication to swap round container and contents. This leads to SSEM (reversal of “confusion”) inside ABLE for “fit”. At least that’s the only way I can make it work!

  5. batarde said

    I read it as per your final paragraph, and thought it worked just fine. Klingsor is as solid as Dac when it comes to construction in my experience, but more inclined to convolution.

  6. Cornick said

    Marjoram and Larkspur are both commonplace down our way, but cockspur? That’s a new one on me!
    I was slightly surprised that the Latin word Ens does indeed have a place in Chambers, but having just read it it seems like a good word to drop into the conversation if you’re out to impress.
    As for the pangram, I stopped to tot up the letters when the going got tough (on the LHS) but already having a full house means, of course, that there was no help there.
    And ‘Gorgon-Zola is my go-to word for explaining to the uninitiated how cryptic crosswords work. Great clue, great crossword.

  7. dtw42 said

    Dammit, I found the second half of this tough going, resorting to a lot of electronic-wordfindery for the last five or so, and eventually failing at the last on 24 which you all liked so much. (I should have paid more attention to the pangram, whose likelihood I *had* earlier spotted).
    Never heard of cockspur, so I was on safe ground putting in larkspur.
    Didn’t really like the grid with its 8 sets of double unches.

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