i Cryptic Crossword 3048 Daedalus

November 13, 2020

A puzzle of medium difficulty, I would say, from Daedalus. A nice balance between sufficient challenge for the more experienced, and accessiblity to beginner-solvers. I don’t think there were any real obscurities – although perhaps THE VICAR OF BRAY isn’t quite such common coinage these days.

There were seven anagrams, either partial or in full, eleven charades, three homophones, three insertions, a couple of reversals, a double-definition, a subtraction, an initial-letters and a hidden inclusion. (Not a definitive list, just a quick count-up on my fingers.) The high proportion of anagrams adds to the accessibility, especially as some were long ones which opened up the grid. I’m not so keen on anagrams these days, but in my early solving days I was glad to spot them and could generally unravel them and they were a real help in getting going.

DINAH I had down as a homophone for “diner” as “someone in the kitchen”. This was the one clue which elicited a frowning-face in my margin. But I see from the Fifteensquared blog that it refers to a Nat King Cole song – which takes us back to yesterday’s discussion about the balance between contemporary and more distant cultural references.

My nomination for Clue of the Day could have gone to BUMF, but instead I choose 1d, for its combination of misdirection and accessibility: “Restrained by Portia, gold-digging Shakespearean villain (4)”. I know Shakespeare lived a long time ago, but I think he is exempt from any putative 30-year rule. 😉

11 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3048 Daedalus”

  1. Cornick said

    You’ve said it all. Excellent puzzle, excellent blog. Happy today.

  2. Barrie Cooper said

    Excellent puzzle indeed, but spoilt for me by DINAH, which is definitely not a homophone for DINER

  3. thebargee said

    First foray into crossword-land this week and a thoroughly enjoyable one to boot. I fairly romped through most of the grid after a good start in the NW corner, 1dn and 10ac going straight in.

    Somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind I could hear a faint voice singing something about being in the kitchen with DINAH, so that helped with 2dn. I was very tempted to bung in THREE-CARD-TRICK for 12ac without looking too closely at the anagram fodder, but I’m glad I resisted the temptation.

    LOI was 11dn. Unusually for me, my two favourites were 4-letter answers – 6ac and 22dn.

  4. jonofwales said

    Yes, excellent puzzle that didn’t cause too many issues. Favourite here was 16d, but there were loads of good clues to choose from.

  5. Denzo said

    Not too long ago, I thought Daedalus flew too high and found his puzzle obscure and difficult. This was far more accessible and though, IMO, mostly slightly on the easy side of average, I did not manage to complete, as I could not bring BYRE to mind. The puzzle had some good challenges, but the hardest was self-inflicted by yielding to the temptation which Jon was able to resist. It took some time to realise that a K at the end was not possible.

    My favourite clue was FLYCATCHER, followed by DINAH, which I parsed, not as a homophone, but as DIN = “noise” and AH = “I see”.

    • Denzo said

      Sorry, I misread the comments above. No doubt Jon also parsed 12a correctly, but my comment referred to Thebargee’s just above.

  6. Topsy said

    I savoured this one and enjoyed it for the most part. I do struggle with homophones probably due to my up North accent so 22d didn’t work for me. Had 2d actually been a homophone then it would have worked for the same reason. 2d took me back to the 60s when we sang it at school. I also learnt that Redcar is in Yorkshire 🙂

  7. batarde said

    It seemed a little odd all told, leading to an uneasy feeling that there was something lurking under the surface. Apparently not though. Pretty enjoyable puzzle, with some good surfaces I now notice (never pay them any mind when solving). Dinah … ye-es. I parsed it the same way as Denzo and chucked it in with a shrug at the end, Nat King Cole being one of my blind spots. That feels just a little too antique to me, but knowing where to draw the line on pop culture stuff must be a very difficult judgment to make.

  8. Henri said

    Fastest solve since I started doing them daily.

  9. dtw42 said

    All fine for me except for 2dn, which I failed to get. DINAH was indeed one of several things that went through my head as possible fits but I couldn’t see what it had to do with the def (nor could I parse the wordplay) so I didn’t put it in.

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