i Cryptic Crossword 3129 eXternal

February 17, 2021

No Dac again this week, but an enjoyable Monday reprint from eXternal. A little knotty in places, especially towards the NE corner (it took me an age to work out that ORLANDO was A BLOOM), and 9d I never did fathom the wordplay for. Oh well, overall completed somewhat under par for the i, though with several question marks at the close, and a furrowed brow on occasion throughout. A little pushed for time today, so apologies for the rushed blog.

COD? I’ll go with 30ac – “Captain leading the way for aircraft (8)”.

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


8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3129 eXternal”

  1. Saboteur said

    Enjoyable and mostly straightforward, and completed in a little under my typical time. Last two in were the crossing SPIT which I failed to parse, and PERUSAL, where I was detained by the misdirection of thinking I should be looking at Africa, and then trying to get an E in for “El”. Otherwise all good.

  2. Cornick said

    Yup, liked that one too. 3 good puzzles this week, with 3 somewhat different approaches to making things cryptic. Today it felt as if eXternal was giving us a lot of ambiguity, with reversal that might be referring to the preceding or the following, or by using words like ‘about’ and ‘around’ that can mean almost anything. On the other hand all the vocabulary was straightforward, so once you did get nto it, with help from a few crossers, it all fell into place nicely, with a few touches of humour too. Nice one.

  3. tonnelier said

    Lower half straightforward, a few pauses above, especially in the NW section. COD for me is 12, with 1d a close second. I entered SPIT because it more or less had to be, but couldn’t see why. Actually it’s a very clever clue.
    Isn’t OUTRIVALS an improbable, and rather ugly word! Luckily the wordplay made the answer obvious.

    Not very demanding, but very enjoyable all the same

  4. batarde said

    A touch rum in places, but enjoyable enough withal. I wonder if it’ll turn out that everyone wound up staring bemusedly at 9d … not awfully keen on that one. For some reason 20ac struck me as unusually chortleworthy.

  5. dtw42 said

    Okay, that confirms it’s me: I am losing it. Struggled again today and needed a lot of help. Someone come round and put me out of my misery!
    By the way, someone also please give the headline-writing subbie a clip round the ear for the article above the grid. The article body copy correctly described the snake in question as ‘venomous’, and ‘poisonous’ is not the same thing at all. If you get sick when it bites you, it’s venomous. It’s poisonous if you get sick when YOU bite IT.

  6. thebargee said

    No, not just you dtw, I failed to finish again today. Admittedly it was a late afternoon start for me, which never augurs well, but I gave up with most of the NW corner empty. Enjoyed what I did though.

  7. Willow said

    I enjoyed both Scorpion and eXternal in the past two days, but, as this late post might suggest, I found them quite hard, although it was most satisfying to finish – eventually.

  8. Veronica said

    I couldn’t finish either, dtw!
    But I did enjoy it (if finished rather late in the day, or – more accurately – the next day).
    I couldn’t parse SPIT either – but I rather like it, once all is revealed.

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