i Cryptic Crossword 3188 Phi

April 27, 2021

If you commence solving by tackling the first across clue, today’s theme will have been immediately apparent – so that’s three more entries that can be ticked off wordsearch-fashion. As for further thematic goodies, Phi’s comment on the November 2016 Fifteensquared blog entry will tell you what you’ve spotted, what’s coincidence, and what went over your head.

In contrast to Saturday’s puzzle, this was one of those occasions when Phi appeared to be freewheeling. If you ignore the surface readings and concentrate on the structures of the clues, the consistency of his method is striking. There’s nothing to complain of, but some more variety would have been welcome – anyway, the business of finding synonyms, mangling them and compounding them proceeded apace until I hit a brick wall with 5d and 14ac to go. These are both very oblique and were solved answer first, the parsing being accompanied by much eyebrow movement. Pretty darn good in my opinion, but in the final analysis of a piece with so many of the others today.

Three clues stood out for me: 12ac, 21ac and 7d. The first will be widely admired for its &littishness, no doubt – or is it? I don’t know and have to admit that I’ve never given a monkey’s about such things. Discuss by all means. 21 just made for a change, and 7 – well, that sneaky little critter is my clue of the day:

“Sitting up, disregarding one source of sibilant sounds (6)”

19 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3188 Phi”

  1. Saboteur said

    A most unPhi-like Phi! A theme which was very evident right from the start, but with his usual precision in clueing. Having said that, Icouldnt parse DRESSY, my Last One In, and it took me a good while to spot ses(s)ion in NOISE, which I was reasonably sure about from the theme. The word-play put me right when I mistakenly entered “purser” instead of BURSAR, and then realised my mistake.

    All the thematic entries mentioned by Phi on 225 and the nina spotted.

  2. Topsy said

    I was very fortunate that my first one in was Miranda and I spotted the theme straight away. Very happy today, for a change 😁

  3. Mary Hayes said

    I am a TOTAL NOVICE so these comments are really helpful and I am learning- slowly!
    Thankyou everyone

    • batarde said

      That’s a real shot in the arm, thank you very much, Mary. Hope to see you again. 🙂

      • Cornick said

        All duly solved, parsed and theme-revealed without aids, although I did stand up from the patio chair and start heading towards a list of directors for 11a before the chap in question popped into my head just as I was about to enter the front door. Funny how it happens like that sometimes.
        Agreed on COD, and thought the use of ‘over’ in 14a was sneaky but fair.

    • Veronica said

      Hello Mary
      Nice to hear from you. I’m very much a non expert myself, unlike many of the contributors.
      I’ve learned sooooo much from this site. The link to fifteensquared helps me learn how to solve; some of the comments here are very interesting about crosswords; and I love to hear about the likes, dislikes snd experiences of others.

    • Saboteur said

      Persevere, Mary! Each of us was once a total novice! 🙂

      • Cornick said

        Yes Mary, I used to average about half the answers when I started on JonofWales’ site and now, well, I’ve got better at it somehow!

      • batarde said

        All I’m going to say is that I started towards the end of one decade and was tolerably proficient by the end of the next. 🙂

  4. jonofwales said

    Theme duly spotted for once, and a fairly straightforward offering aided by that and the Nina also enjoyed. 🙂

  5. thebargee said

    Being a total ignoramus as far as Shakespeare is concerned I was never going to spot the theme… or was I? Having guessed PROSPERO for 6d, confirmed by a quick e-search, followed shortly after by a similar guess for 28a, even I got it! Not that it was much help in the end.

    Sadly another DNF. My over-racked brain gave up with 14a and 7d still empty. Not particularly enjoyable for me today.

  6. Veronica said

    I rather liked it all, actually. I didn’t notice same-ness about the clues, I’m sorry to say!
    Even I noticed the theme, and sought for and found the nina – though, really? – the sea references were just coincident? That’s hard to believe! For once, I even knew the film director.

    As for favourites: I couldn’t agree more about the sneaky CoD – it took me ages to parse, so a big smile when I did so. There were a few more which I struggled to parse at first – but I love that, hence my appreciation of this puzzle.
    Also liked SCHEDULE, where I missed the anagram and took a while to parse; LANDFALL, for construction and &littishness (which I do like 😊); and TAPEWORM for making me smile.

  7. Robwink said

    I too am a relative newcomer. Hello all. I managed to finish this one (for a change) only to find my ‘purser’ was wrong. Oh well! I also failed to parse 7d. All those thematic answers were over my head, but I enjoyed it all the same. Thanks for the wonderful blogs – it’s a great way to learn!

  8. Denzo said

    I solve most clues by thinking of a possible answer from the definition and other hints, helped by a starting letter and any crossers, if possible, then working out the wordplay if I can, but usually writing in the answer anyway. This worked fairly quickly for me this morning for both the cunning 7d and 21a, helped by crossers. However, I struggled in the NW Corner

    For once, I spotted the theme fairly soon, and it certainly landed MIRANDA quicker and, eventually, CALIBAN. I did not spot the Nina

    Like the fifteensquared bloggers, I was impressed with the symmetric position of 12a,15a and 21a, and think Phi must be having them on when he says it’s accidental.

    Although I have dabbled on and off in crosswords for decades, I still regard myself as more of a beginner than an expert and am pleased to see more here in a similar position. I have found the fifteensquared website (to which this website always provides a link) extremely helpful and heartiky also recommend, when you have tine to spare:

  9. dtw42 said

    Late to comment here today 🙂
    Took me a little longer than many of late, but still finished in reasonable time (8.17 I wrote in the margin). Yes, for once I spotted the unmissable theme entries and the nina. 14 was indeed non-obvious but I *did* parse it rather than just bunging in on def alone as I often might. My last ones in were 9ac and 7dn.

    Hi to the newcomers. Come again! We’re all friendly here 🙂

  10. Willow said

    I think my comments are all going to be on the following day from now on as I have changed my routine a little. I also offer my welcome to Mary and Robwink. It’s a fascinating site. I enjoyed the puzzle and got theme, the Nina, the main characters and some of the other references too, so I’m very happy!

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