i Cryptic Crossword 3158 Phi

March 23, 2021

A Phi with a theme one would be hard pressed to miss. I rarely make reference to time considerations, but today I have to ask: is it just me? This was over in a trice, and really did consist of a series of read-and-writes, leaving me with precious little to say on the subject.

No legitimate complaints about this puzzle – feeling short changed is just my tough luck – but the truth of the matter is that my favourite crossword thing today was the concise homophone. In this one, 28ac was fairly natty and came in a close second behind my clue of the day, 7d:

“Boss has to lead, supported by a fool (3,6)”

Bertandjoyce were on blogging duty at Fifteensquared in March 2017, and did a sterling job as per.

12 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3158 Phi”

  1. jonofwales said

    This is a red letter day, being one of those rare ones where I spotted one of Phi’s themes. No doubt that helped with a quick solving time here too, but I thought this was thoroughly enjoyable while it lasted.

  2. Grodnik said

    Agreed jonofwales. As an ex-junior-lead in many G&S productions the theme stood out immediately and brought tears to my (no longer sparkling) eyes. Record solve time for me and a great sense of satisfaction as I’m clearly getting better at this after nearly two years of apprenticeship.
    As we had the unloved answer to “Life, the Universe and Everything” in yesterdays’ concise homophonic topliner It would be in todays’ for me to make further comment. NDY.

  3. Denzo said

    What Batarde said, though I was disappointed Phi didn’t take the time to make more of his theme. He could, for example, surely have fitted in Guard and Penzance without too much difficulty, and even I could invent a good clue for Ruddigore or Pinafore. As with Jon, it was a red letter day here, though I didn’t spot the theme until I entered SULLIVAN, with GILBERT and all the other themed entries already in. But I tend to forget clues once solved; it is well known that people of my vintage have poor short-term memories.

  4. thebargee said

    I confess I had to glance at my completed grid after reading batarde’s first sentence in order to spot the theme, such is the scale of my theme-blindness. But yes, there it is, hiding in plain sight.

    No complaints about the puzzle, other than that it was all over too quickly in close to a record time for me. I mis-parsed 7d, but now I see how it works it’s a worthy COD.

  5. Saboteur said

    Quickest ever Phi, I think. Not even half-a-coffee’s worth. And a most unPhi-like, easily spotted theme. Very pleasing while it lasted.

  6. Veronica said

    It must have taken me longer to complete than for some of you! Several went in straight away, but I had to think about the rest.
    But, yep, even opera-ignoramus me spotted the theme (eventually … with about four clues to go), whereupon I searched for Penzance to fit somewhere. Nope.
    A fine puzzle. No complaints. No real standard out moments. Probably perfect for me today though, when I just need a quiet settle down.

    • Cornick said

      Done while the kettle boiled, pretty much, but enjoyed for all that. Apart from the two already mentioned I also had a tick next to 1d PARSIMONY and am thrilled to count two consecutive Phi puzzles with gettable themes – long may that continue.

  7. dtw42 said

    Yes, put me down as another … well perhaps not quite record time, but certainly the fastest recently, all done before the stroke of 8am.
    And the theme spotted pretty early, too.
    I was a little surprised that the BRB agreed with that (9) enumeration for 14dn (dunno about anybody else but I’d have written that as a (5,4) but no other frowns. 20ac was my LOI.

    • Denzo said

      FWIW, I didn’t even know there was such a word, but accepted what appeared to be an obvious answer. My ORED doesn’t have it, but has floodlight and floodgate, so why not, I’d say. 20a my last, too, when I eventually remembered slow could be a verb,

  8. Willow said

    I enjoyed this hugely and got the theme just about immediately. Thank you Phi. Memories of directing HMS Pinafore … And my brother loves Yeomen.

    Just a little quibble, maybe? Were there a few too many unnecessary As and THEs in some of the wordplay?

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