i Cryptic Crossword 3023 Crosophile

October 15, 2020

I was half expecting an IoS reprint at the latter end of the week, and seeing Crosophile’s name presumed this was it, but no. It’s a Tuesday reprint, which usually means a theme, but in this case a Nina concerning what I suspect remains a little known book. It was generous of Crosophile though to give it a bit of a publicity boost.

The puzzle itself was fairly straightforward, though I must confess to struggling with the parsing of one or two, in particular 9ac where I needed the Fifteensquared blog to help. The same clue made me wince somewhat, though I’m not sure if that was just me being overly sensitive. Elsewhere this was an enjoyable offering, fairly clued, though it helped to know your classics in the SW corner. I didn’t, but Google did.

First in today 23ac, last in 20d, finish time just a little slower than yesterday’s.

COD? Nothing really leaps out, tbh. But whether you liked it or loathed it, the most inventive clue was the aforementioned 9ac – “Move fast when making bitch brunch? (3,3,2)”. This being COD in the same sense that Time named Hitler man of the year. 😉

To July 2016:


20 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3023 Crosophile”

  1. Denzo said

    I have usually given up fairly soon with Crosophile, but was pleased to finish this one, needing a lot of luck as I missed many of the word plays. WEEVIL cane to mind immediately, but I was put off by “stood” in the clue, which seems redundant. “Dropping from eaves” for eavesdropping for OVERHEArD and SLEEK for “thriving” were iffy (IMO) so the NW corner went in decidedly nervously. Fortunately the long anagram fell quickly and the R made me think of RUN FOR IT, but it seemed a crazy clue. I liked LOITERERS and, returning to 9a, saw that taking RUN out of brunch left three letters of bitch (Haha!), which gave me the confidence to persevere. I look forward to the next puzzle by Crosophile, and hope it comes on a day when I am prepared to spend a good deal of time , as I probably won’t be as lucky as today!

  2. batarde said

    Quite diverting, with a few quirky bits here and there to keep things interesting. Crosophile’s puzzles are going down better at Batarde Towers nowadays, but despite the Nina I doubt it’ll stick in the memory for long. 9ac is somewhat unusual but by no means groundbreaking, and for that reason it would have been wiser to devise something without the potential to offend rather than to publish and be damned, I think. Mileages are going to vary on that, no doubt.

    • Denzo said

      Admittedly my favourite clue contained a word that is sometimes used pejoratively🐺, but vulgarity is, like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder, or, as here, in the mind of the reader. Perhaps mine is a minority opinion as I see that Jon also found this clue a bit of a dog’s breakfast!

  3. Guy Barry said

    My last two in were anagrams of words I’d never heard of – ISSUANCES and EMERSIONS – but I was able to write in the remaining letters with a bit of inspired guesswork. I had similar misgivings about 2d, which I got without understanding the wordplay. Had no particular objection to the “reverse cryptic” device at 9ac, which was quite clever. Liked the long anagram at 4d as well.

    HEROIC forming part of the clue at 17ac as well as being the solution to 1d probably goes against some rule in the Crossword-Setter’s Bible, but I wasn’t bothered. Didn’t spot any references to the book or author, needless to say.

    But my Clue of the Day comes from the Five-Clue Cryptic: “Puffer fish can be preserved by one” (6). Very neat!

  4. thebargee said

    I feel a bit drained after managing to finish this one. I did manage to parse 9ac (eventually), but couldn’t parse 24ac, 26ac and 2dn.

    I was held up in the SE corner for ages because I got 23dn muxed ip by cycling MILES to give SMILE as the answer. But I convinced myself that 27ac just had to be EATERS, so all was well in the end.

  5. jonofwales said

    I have just noticed, btw, that our Saturday blogger has a puzzle in today’s Independent. Based on past form I would recommend giving it a try. 🙂

  6. saboteur said

    Fairly straightforward for Crosophile, I thought. I was expecting a nina, what with all those uncrossing lights in the perimeter, but I did need to Google to see what it was. Doing so certainly helped me to decide whether to enter MILES at 22d, as the alternative was valid from the ambiguous clue.

    Also needed to check the meanings of ISSUANCES and EMERSIONS, but they were fairly clued with helpful crossers, so I knew what I was checking. Didn’t get the eavesdropping thing for ages, but liked it a lot when I did – and once I had got bird- or bat-guano out of my mind…

    The sexism in 9ac caused a frown. In a way its a clever clue, but I think the trick might have been wrought with a different choice of words, although I have to admit I can’t think which.

    • Guy Barry said

      Having thought about it for over half an hour, I’ve failed to come up with a common word that becomes another common word when IT is replaced by RUN. It’s possible that BITCH/BRUNCH may be unique.

      • saboteur said

        Well, Guy, I have to confess I didn’t think about it for even half a minute, so I will take your word for it. I suppose then the question is: is employing derogatory language justified by the opportunity for a very neat and clever clue? I think just to ask the question is to imply the answer.

  7. Cornick said

    Good stuff on the whole – a bit quirky here and there as Batarde says but with just ‘put in post’ being ‘sent’ making me struggle; like a diplomat sent to the Shanghai consulate I suppose.
    If I might be forgiven for stating overtly what is blindingly obvious to some, the Nina is THE BOY WHO SPOKE TO STARS and the author is REUBEN MILES. No, I hadn’t heard of it either.

  8. Guy Barry said

    If you’ve put a letter in the post, then you’ve sent it. Nothing more complicated than that!

  9. dtw42 said

    Busy day here, so only a few done over breakfast and the rest resumed in the evening. Steady but slowish progress. The gradual appearance of what looked to be a nina helped . But no, I’d not heard to the book, so it was only upon googling it after finishing, that I discovered its author was in the grid too. Yes, I too needed google’s help in retrieving the name of Priam’s wife. Yes, ISSUANCES and EMERSIONS are somewhat clunky obscurities.

  10. Guy Barry said

    In response to saboteur:

    (1) Just because I can’t think of an example doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist! The closest I could get was GITTING/GRUNTING, where GIT is the American dialect verb meaning “get” (but then GIT as a noun is considered derogatory, so there’s a similar problem).

    (2) “Bitch” is not considered derogatory in the literal sense of “a female dog”, and the clue could be taken as a reference to preparing food for a pet. I don’t have a problem with it.

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