i Cryptic Crossword 3172 Anglio

April 8, 2021

My plans for this morning were quite straightforward:

  1. Get up early, breakfast, shower.
  2. Browse the day’s i, do the crossword and blog.
  3. Get the jab, sit back with a well earned cup of sweet tea and relax.

Well, (1) and (3) went as per plan, but (2) was stymied by the paper boy failing to arrive until well after (3). Remind me next time to take the school holidays into account.

I was quite pleased later on popping over to Fifteensquared to note that this was indeed a challenging Thursday reprint, and that my powers of deduction hadn’t completely abandoned me, despite looking at some of today’s clues with something approaching bafflement, even after getting the answers. By 5d for example I’ve scrawled something akin to – where’s the definition? – half suspecting it was probably an &lit, the anagram being easy to spot, but the definition less so, and even after I’m not quite sure it works. Ditto 24ac, but in that case because in my by-this-point quite fevered state of mind, I assumed the definition was something to do with axes (of the kind you see on a graph). The actual one is one that’s rather witty.

Witty being the case throughout if you were on sharper (pun unintended) form than me today, so thanks Anglio for a nice puzzle I was unable to do justice to. Finish time as you might have guessed considerably over-par for the i, with moments when I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish.

COD? Because the definition raised a smile, 15d – “Worker, perhaps the second to drop clanger at yard, is making bay window (4,5)”.

To March 2017 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


12 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3172 Anglio”

  1. tonnelier said

    Quite a struggle today, but well worth it. The only one I failed to parse was PLACATE, because I didn’t spot humour as the definition. I was held up by not knowing the link between omega and resistance, and by never having come across this sense of bay window. So it was a DNF because of 10, in at least twice my normal time.

    So much to admire, even marvel at. My copy is littered with exclamation marks and ticks, notably 11, 2, 24, 20 and 26. Best of the month by quite a way.

  2. thebargee said

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one, I thought it an excellent puzzle, full of clever wordplay that took a lot of unravelling.

    I got off to a good start – FOI was 5d, as soon as I saw the word ‘Deltic’ I knew what the answer had to be. I was similarly lucky with all the other long entries, although it took me a while to figure out the anagrist in 21.

    So many good clues to choose from – I liked 1a, 13a, 23a, 15d… the list goes on, but I agree with Jon’s COD, although it was new to me (not being in possession of that particular attribute).

    My LOI was 20d (another clever clue), preceded by 24a, where I confess I had to use a word finder for inspiration. I always seem to forget that ‘by’ can mean ‘x’ in wordplay.

  3. Saboteur said

    A brilliant puzzle, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the creativity, invention and humour sprinkled liberally throughout the crossword.

    “Bay window” for BEER BELLY is new to me, and not in any of my dictionaries – but I really don’t mind about that because it was such a great clue, and I “got it” once I had unravelled the word-play.

    I was held up for a while by entering “octagon” instead of DECAGON, which made getting DISSEVER and POLICE CONSTABLE difficult before I realised I must have made a mistake.

    Congrats, Jon, on your jab!

    • Brock said

      I solved 21a before 18d, so I didn’t spot OCTAGON as an alternative solution to 18d, but it would have worked just as well if it hadn’t been for the crossers. Aren’t setters supposed to avoid ambiguous clues like this?
      Good puzzle all round with more than its usual share of “&lits” (I counted four – 3a, 12a, 5d and 19d). It was also nice to have four long anagrams, three of which I got fairly quickly, which got me started rather faster than normal!

      • Saboteur said

        Yes, its an ambiguity which really ought to have been avoided. In fairness, if (like you and Batarde) I had got one of the crossers in first, I wouldn’t have given it another thought. And when I came to work on “frogman” it very soon became clear that I needed to have “diver”in there somewhere, and the possibility of a mistake became clear fairly readily.

  4. batarde said

    Thoroughly enjoyed that; made me think a bit. There was clearly an unusual sensibility at work, leading to some fantastic wordplay and a few definitions which are likely to receive a mixed reception. It was right up my street, anyway. The only real problem is the 18d ambiguity, which shouldn’t really have made it into print, twice. That said, 18ac was one of the very few write-ins for me, so the possibility of an eight sided solution didn’t arise – wouldn’t have spotted it without the prompt from Saboteur. Both thumbs up here, all the same.

    Hurrah for vaccine uptake and civic responsibility, Jon. Hope it’s a jab and forget job for you.

  5. Veronica said

    Great that you got your jab, Jon.

    What a brilliant puzzle.
    I’d never have managed it on my own, but SGPB and I managed it together. Fortunately we bring different skill sets and knowledge (kop – I’d never have even checked this was a word, but SGPB knew it; and me for the complicated word play and biology like axillae).
    I thought we’d never finish it when we were still staring at only one answer after quite a time. But two puzzling periods in, we are now exhilaratingly there.
    Simply stunning, twisty clueing. Too many to pick a favourite – 1, 13, 23, 25, 5, 19 ….

  6. Willow said

    Sorry to spoil the party, but I thought this was massively overindulgent. Yes – I eventually finished and parsed all the entries successfully, but the number of question marks in the margin far exceeded the number of ticks. An exemplar of the troublesome clues would be 2D: Stand below deck, in the manner of a diminutive Victorian, maybe? Very clever, but did the rush of endorphins on solving it ultimately displace the frustration felt at the knottiness of the wordplay, and did sunlight then dispel the murky gloom of the cerebral contortions which oppressed me while considering the endless possibilities? No. Would I have had a chance of solving it without having K-A-A/-E-R? Absolutely no way. Even when the answer suggested itself to me I had to think for two minutes to work out why it was correct.

    By the way, Bay Window as a term for Beer Belly has indeed appeared in i crosswords in the past 12 months. However, I think the last time out Bay Window was the answer, not part of the clue.

    I remember very much enjoying Anglio’s previous work, so genuine regret that I feel the need to express less than positive thoughts on this occasion.

  7. Denzo said

    Like some others, I spent some time getting nowhere, but realised that 3a was probably an anagram and scribbled ROBSD ING, which didn’t help, I also wrote down the obvious anagram for 5d, but didn’t immediately solve it. Going round again NOTHING as my first answer, giving me G the weight for DECAGON. Fortunately, I didn’t even give OCTAGON a thought so it didn’t matter that this was a lousy clue. For some reason, my eyes fell out at the scribble for 3a and the answer immediately sang out.

    The O confirmed OMEGA and the D also led to soon solving 5d, which was not so much a penny-drop as a kick-self moment, as I remembered that some of the Diesel-electric engines were Deltics. Bearing in mind the authoritative definition given on 225, can someone tell me if this clue qualifies as an &lit? The whole clue is in the word play, “Deltc, possibly” and , arguably, “relic” are the definition, but “see” is only part of the wordplay. Does this make it a partial &lit?

    At this stage, I had already spent about half the time I normally spend on a whole puzzle, but I had a feeling that, though challenging, I could finish it, so I did, with a little help on
    , eg “Bay window”. I did not enjoy a lot of it, however, for similar reasons as Willow. I found too many of the wordplays very “bitty” and too many definitions cryptic rather than straight, which made the puzzle challenging in an unusual way. Examples of the former are 11, 23, 24, 25a and 15, 19, 20d and of the latter, 12, 13, 14, 24a and 2, 8d.

    Therefore I am not sure I want to dignify this puzzler with a favourite clue, but, as I had a glow of satisfaction on eventually completing, will grudgingly concede that CYAN was cunning and absolutely brilliant, with BEANPOLE also enjoyed.

  8. Cornick said

    I love a setter who goes the extra mile, and there were bags of clues here where a lot of invention and creativity went into wordplay, definitions and surface readings – terrific.
    Personally I’m less keen on long anagrams than some others here but hey, you can’t please all the people etc.
    Many thanks Anglio – looking forward to more!

  9. Willow said

    Just a wee post script from me: I looked back at the comment I wrote about Anglio’s puzzle on 13 January and discovered I had rated it it as best of the year so far. Maybe I just got out of bed the wrong side yesterday.

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