i Cryptic Crossword 3029 Anax

October 22, 2020

When you’ve got a busy day ahead and just want a quick solve and spot of blogging around breakfast time, what you’re not necessarily looking for is an offering by Anax. As it turns out though this was very much on the accessible side of things, with a couple of nice long entries to get a foothold in the grid (in particular 2d, 14ac and 18ac), and some simple anagrams, with the result that much of the south half of the grid went by in a flash. That said obscurities like 9d, 7d and 10ac (VO for “order”!), and BOO for “partner” elsewhere slowed things down somewhat, the upshot being that I finished just a little above par for the i. 13ac in retrospect I suspect will be less obvious to solvers from other parts of the country, but as I regularly have to put up with Essex villages and the like I think it’s perfectly fair. 😉 Did I need a dictionary and Google to finish? Yes I did. But overall this was pretty gentle by Anax’s standards, thoroughly enjoyable, and a nice pick for the Thursday spot.

COD? With 17d and 3ac in hot pursuit, I’ll go with 2d – “Crumbs of old salt (6,2,7)”. Though it did make me wonder if Eimi missed a trick by not scheduling this for Talk Like A Pirate Day.

To a Saturday long ago for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


14 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3029 Anax”

  1. Cornick said

    Yes probably a shade more accessible than Anax usually is, but still devilish hard to complete unaided. In which regard I failed at the end on the intersecting PRIMITIVO and PIS ALLER; in both cases I was surprised Anax didn’t go for easier clues to balance their obscurity.
    Oh, and that Welsh Prince crops up in Shakespeare’s history plays more than once I think, so not just a regional thing 🙂

  2. Topsy said

    It always pleases me when an answer makes me smile as was the case with 2d and 22d. Llewellyn was the first name that came to me for 13a but I got there in the end. I wasn’t happy about 21d though, not an expression I have come across before. It was a DNF for me but I liked the ones I managed 🙂

  3. Grodnik said

    I found this very difficult and needed a lot cheating, but was pleased that I managed to complete it. Some of the parsing was well above my pay grade and I will have to go to 225 to understand it completely. I have one quibble – an Aldis lamp is a SIGNALLING device not a CODE device, although it can obviously be used to transmit coded signals. Had never heard of Pis Aller or Primitivo, so learned something today.
    Now buckling down for the second wave, so subscription to online i proving its value.

    • saboteur said

      It took me ages to get ALDIS LAMP. When I googled, I struggled to get beyond the supermarket. Still, I suppose at least I started with the right one – “Asdas something” seemed unlikely. 🙂

  4. thebargee said

    This is not a good week for me… failed miserably yesterday and it didn’t take long for me to abandon today’s offering after an initial read-through yielded only 1ac and 26ac.

    Maybe I need a holiday…

  5. saboteur said

    I wouldn’t describe this as having been particularly accessible to me, at least. I struggled a lot with this one. I too needed Google and crosswordsolver to complete this one. I failed to parse the VO in PRIMITIVO, the LA in APPLAUSE, BOO in BOOMERANG, FLES in FLESHPOT (but I concede that is obvious – now that I know) and anything in at all for RETCH.

    Still, I like a challenge and enjoyed wrestling with this one. Lots of penny-drop moments which made it overall a rewarding g solve.

  6. batarde said

    Seemed pretty much par for the Anax course to me, which is to say a worthy challenge aimed at the battle-hardened and bloody minded. The BRB came out for 9d; I did know 10ac but couldn’t parse the clue (seriously, Anax?) so the last resort turned out to be the penultimate entry. Those two are vicious if you ask me. Elsewhere, lots of fun. My sympathies to Topsy with regard to that “cat” – it’s pure crosswordese of the sort which gives cryptic puzzles a bad name. That said, this being an unashamedly hard boiled crossword it’s not out of place.

    • Guy Barry said

      I hadn’t heard “cat” for “vomit” either – I got 21d on wordplay and crossers alone. Also, “retch” isn’t a synonym for “vomit” as far as I know (it means “make the sound and movement of vomiting”).

      Funnily enough, YODEL is slang for “vomit”, but that’s a different clue 🙂

  7. Guy Barry said

    My first one in was 22dn, which immediately made me think “this is going to be fun”… and it was, mostly, despite a couple of stinkers.

    Got 2dn early on and thought it was a great clue. (Incidentally, why all the arguments about ME/MY on Fifteensquared? Either will do, unless there’s some Law of Crosswords saying that all solutions have to be unique.) I also liked 1dn, even if the use of “so” as a musical note was a slight cheat (it should strictly be “sol”). 3ac was an ingenious “reverse cryptic”, although I didn’t get it until near the end.

    Was misled for some time into thinking that SUMMER was the first word of 14ac, which held me up with 9dn – I got it eventually as I vaguely knew the phrase, but I agree it’s a bit obscure. Needed a bit of prompting on 17ac, as I didn’t think Will Self was well known enough to make it into a crossword clue!

    10ac was undoubtedly the nastiest one, and my last one in – I had to resort to a site called “Wine Searcher” to find it. Unfortunately I can’t credit myself with a complete solution as I’d put BURST for 11ac, with a marginal note “RS = service?” (Thought there might be something called the Royal Service, but it turned out to be the Royal Navy as usual. Should have guessed really.)

    But an enjoyable puzzle overall, with a few nice surprises.

  8. Denzo said

    DNF, but did enough to think I could have done if I was prepared to give it more time, which I’m not. I left seven clues undone, feeling the puzzle had far too many unknowns and obscurities (as others have already listed) to be really enjoyable. Although one of the seven undone, I thought DOUBLE CHIN was brilliant, and feel somewhat vindicated that even the blogger of 225, Simon, missed it also.
    Rant over, apart from the obscurities, I enjoyed some of it. I was pleased thay I parsed APPLAUSE, and surprised how easily STARTING PISTOL and SHIVER ME TIMBERS came to mind. I don’t know why I knew of HEREWARD, but he sprang to mind even before I had T*E as the second word, when I put him in. And though hardly an Essex man, I knew of GLENDOWER.

    • Guy Barry said

      “…even the blogger of 225, Simon, missed it also”.

      How he got DOUBLE THIN from “extra fat” is beyond me entirely. DOUBLE = “extra”, just about; but THIN = “fat”? What’s that supposed to be? Cryptic irony?

  9. dtw42 said

    Right – my last three were 3ac (only got when all the crossers were in), 11ac (I wrongly threw in BURST as a guess) and 21dn (couldn’t see anything that fit) – I didn’t know that cat could mean vomit, and I agree with Guy that vomit does not mean retch. Hey ho. Everything else went in fine (even if pis aller did need a Google to check what it meant). For FLESHPOT I’m slightly surprised Anax didn’t make use of the fact that it’s *nearly* a reversal of TOP-SHELF, which would fit in with the salacious ssediness of the thing.

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