i Cryptic Crossword 3062 Daedalus

November 30, 2020

An interesting puzzle from Daedalus to start the week that I suspect will divide opinion. It’s an IoS reprint, but one it’s safe to say is no walk in the park. A lot of the parsing needs teasing out, to which end I just chucked loads in on definition and checking letters, or just on checking letters where I couldn’t spot a likely looking definition. I came a cropper to the far SE in common with Pierre back in the day doing so, but c’est la vie. The wordplay overall felt quirky, but accessible too, with a grid filled a little under par for the i. The Caribbean stew struck me as being obscure with an obscure element in the wordplay too, but perhaps I’m just displaying my own ignorance. The rest of the vocabulary was fairly commonplace, though with an odd spelling at 5d that shouldn’t have tripped anyone up.

Things I particularly liked were 12d, even if I did make a mess of it first try (THINK THINK anyone?), 16d (just for ATMOS which is an abbreviation crying out to be coined if it hasn’t already), 6d (with the setter’s favourite London area present and correct), and my COD, 10ac – “Ogre’s followed by kinsman hiding every large hammer (7)”.

Those who’ve been following my recent travails closely will be keen to know that the roof is 99.9% complete, though with no sign of any builders this morning, and an alarming pile of debris filling the front garden. In IT we always say that the last 1% of a project takes 99% of the time…

To September 2016 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


17 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3062 Daedalus”

  1. Denzo said

    Jon, I hope you haven’t paid 99.9% or even 90% of your roofers’ bill! This was mostly excellent, though enough was less so to divide opinion, as you suggest.

    I particularly enjoyed MAN, GET OUT! when the penny eventually dropped. I thought much more than TWICE about 12d but, like many others, was defeated by the setter’s really mean (but perfectly fair😪) use of a plural ending in E at 26A. BIGOT crossed my mind for 1A, but I didn’t take the time to parse it, when I might have been able to dig out Günter GRASS from the recesses of memory, and googled his work. It would have been kind of Daedalus to mention that the author was German, but setters are not always kind. However, after first being trapped by 5d, I rescued myself with BE HE MOTH.

    So a completed grid without absorbing too much of the day, Who cares if it wasn’t all correct, when it had two lovely long anagrams and some inventive wordplay in, eg, 10, 11, 20A and 1D?

  2. Topsy said

    I stand with Pierre!

  3. thebargee said

    Nah, too tough for me.

  4. dtw42 said

    Got there in the end, around lunchtime.My last ones in were 14d and 13a, because it took me a long time to work out 25a (and only yesterday I was saying I *like* spoonerism clues! – but it helps if I’ve heard of the definition … added to which this was of the less-common internal-vowel type rather than the initial-consonant type).
    I did wonder if the spelling of 5dn might trip anyone up.
    The only thing I did allow myself to google was who wrote ‘The Rat’ (I knew who wrote ‘The Rats’ but that’s a completely different kettle of fish).
    10a, once enough crossers were in to make the solution apparent, did take a lot of parsing, that’s for sure.

    • Saboteur said

      Tougher than I expected, but I like a challenge. Couldn’t quite parse BIGOT, which seemed a little clumsy. The homophone in SEQUEL doesn’t work for me, but I dare say there are people with different accents for whom it sounds fine.

      PEPPER POT: was it unfair? The stew was unknown to me (although I think I would like to try it!). I had heard of Karl Popper, but he is not the most famous of philosophers. However, the crossing letters were very helpful and made the answer eminently gettable so I think that the obscurities are indulgeable.

      I loved QUEUE-JUMP.

      A good and enjoyable challenge.

  5. batarde said

    Another surprising choice for a Monday, and a very good puzzle indeed in my opinion. There’s barely a cliché or scrap of derivative wordplay in there, which is most unusual. I do enjoy it when setters try out new ideas and force us to think more laterally, and whilst I almost never bother to check the time this one was definitely well above average. Agreed on the COD: I just knew what it was pretty much straight away, but couldn’t justify the first three letters almost until the end when the light finally dawned. That penny certainly dropped a long way. 🙂

  6. Willow said

    What a beautifully crafted piece of work! It took a good ten minutes before I cracked my first clue, but after that it was a steady and very enjoyable solve, with convincing surface readings and loads of imaginative details thrown in. A handful of obscure references didn’t spoil this for me – I feel I have learned some new facts along the way, and only needed to check dictionaries and encyclopedias after writing the answers in first, having guessed them from the wordplay. I also spotted the pangram – a first for me. Many thanks, Daedalus!

  7. Cornick said

    I just love this type of puzzle. Moderately challenging but without any bits of Crosswordese, so it was totally accessible to anyone who enjoys wordplay and who chose to engage and think laterally. Bags of original inventive ideas with the COD being a fine example, although I was betting you’d go for DISH ON OUR [t]ABLE, Jon. 🙂 So many great ideas and the best Monday in the i that I can remember.

  8. Denzo said

    I agree with Saboteur that SEQUEL doesn’t work. It’s pronounced here as seek wool only by lazy people speaking quickly. Here in SE England it’s seek well. I got it after QUEUE JUMP suddenly hit me and was nearly finished; I parsed it as see quell which was nonsense but it couldn’t be anything else.
    I guffawed at MANGETOUT, and am surprised nobody else has mentioned it perhaps, I’m guessing, because it’s not original?

    • jonofwales said

      In this neck of the woods on the other hand it’s always pronounced seek wool. 🙂 Homophones are always pretty contentious.

    • Cornick said

      MANGETOUT was indeed one of my several favourites; well worthy of being a COD in any puzzle.
      For me “Seek Wool” could potentially be fine as a homophone because I don’t mind near homophones, but the pointer was a bit oblique, so there was probably a bit too much going on to make the clue work, unfortunately.

  9. PJ said

    Super puzzle. Found it hard but very satisfying to finish. MANGETOUT WM was LOI with the pan gram already spotted so no help.

    I thought the homophone for SEQUEL was spot on.

  10. allan_c said

    Must have had a subconscious memory of this from 2016 as I got BIGOT and GRASS this time, though one or two others took a while to come to the surface. I knew PEPPER POT from a reference in one of C S Forester’s ‘Hornblower’ novels.

  11. The Nanas said

    We spotted a pan gram here- we can’t be the only ones surely, but no one else has commented. COD Behemoth

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