i Cryptic Crossword 3191 Rodriguez

April 30, 2021

A themed puzzle from our setter today, flagged up helpfully in the clue for 27ac. Fortunately for me, when I am blogging, I’m in the practice of reading through all the clues to get a general feel for the puzzle before allowing myself to write anything in. Consequently I saw from 27ac that there seemed to be a theme. I have no idea how I would have got on if I had just done my usual slap-dash, all-over-the-place, solving thing, working randomly through the puzzle, not reading 27ac and missing that there was a theme. Knowing that we were looking for INSECTS was a huge, huge, help. For example, my puzzlement over “project” in 24ac was dispelled by knowing it had to be BEETLE, and I didn’t have to go too far down my mental list of French cities before finding the right one.

I had a few queries: I didnt know IO MOTH; NEO-LATIN, though simple enough, was unknown to me; a “ked” as a sheep parasite was also a new one; I’m not sure why O’CLOCK is enumerated (6) rather than (1,5) which is what I think it ought to be. And there seems to be something missing from the clue for ANITA. Isn’t “nit” a noun, rather than an adjectival synonym for “silly”?

Lots to enjoy, with many penny-drop moments, which makes crossword-solving fun. My nomination for clue of the day goes to the delightful 24d: “Lure company of fliers with hanky-panky (4)”.

All the answers and parsing can be found here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2017/04/29/independent-9530-by-rodriguez/

15 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3191 Rodriguez”

  1. Cornick said

    I took ‘silly’ to be a noun, as in ‘You silly!’ and thought the puzzle excellent throughout.
    Unfortunately today was one of my solving on the app days, and I didn’t come to 27a until the death, practically, so didn’t twig the theme until then. Very nice. Helped with BEETLE OFF though.

    Rodriguez is Picaroon in the Graun, for anyone unaware, and a top rate setter indeed.

  2. tonnelier said

    Like Cornick, I didn’t see the theme until too late for it to be any help in what I found a very difficult solve. No complaints; it was just hard!! And extremely clever.

  3. Denzo said

    This setter gets better every time. Agreee with all above; thoroughly enjoyed this and felt smug when complred.

    At first glance, I nearly gave up, and despaired seeing the gateway clue. However, I got the four corner four-letter down clues, and a few others including OCLOCK (and I see why he didn’t specify “(1’5)” as he arguably should!). I saw that INSECTS would fit 27 and thought “surely not”, but then saw I had BEETLE, BUG and MIDGE, which helped enormously.

    Fav clue ST HELENA!

  4. dtw42 said

    Hurrah for having enough time – for once – to do this during the day. I got to the theme gateway about halfway through so it helped with some but would have been appreciated earlier with others!
    LOI was 9dn, which felts like a bit of a painted-into-a-corner word, but otherwise all fair dos 🙂

  5. thebargee said

    Ran out of time and patience today with about half in. Thoroughly enjoyed what I did get, but I think I’ve yet to finish a Rodriguez offering. Knowing that tends to make me give up too easily I suspect.

    Agree with Denzo re COD, had a penny-drop moment after trying desperately to make ET CETERA fit!

    Most of what I solved was confined to the NW-SE diagonal, so didn’t get the gateway clue and didn’t spot the theme. Ho hum.

    • thebargee said

      Having just run through the answers on 225, I could have spent all day on this and not finished. Never heard of WASP in that sense, never heard of a KED, or IO MOTH. And I’m far too long in the tooth to remember such obscurities for next time they crop up (if ever).

      • Cornick said

        ‘White Anglo-Saxon Protestant’ – quite a buzz word, if you will, 4 years ago, but not heard so much these days I think, for some reason.

      • Denzo said

        I had heard of Cornick’s wasp, but not wasp-waist and guessed the latter. The joy of this puzzle was guessing things I’d never heard of and finding they were right, eg io moth, ked.

  6. Topsy said

    This was a DNF for me due to my brain get mashed by the sound, and feel, of pile driving going on nearby. I managed to spot the theme early on, which helped. I am not good at parsing so I was quite happy to throw in “et cetera” at 3d. Never mind, I enjoyed the ones I did get right 🙂

  7. batarde said

    My “through the clues in order with no looking ahead” method being invariable, the theme was less helpful than it might have been. It seemed highly likely that there was some jiggery-pokery going on though, and by the time I got there something was bugging me, as it were. Pretty good, stiffish puzzle in my opinion, and reasonably enjoyable – I’m not sure that the gimmick added a great deal for me, however. The moth was okay: after all nine times out of ten a moon will turn out to be Io so you know what you’re looking for, but “ked” is one of those words that come up often enough in barred crosswords to be worth remembering, but which feel badly out of place in a daily. Anyway, an interesting way to finish off the week, and there’s a wildcard in prospect tomorrow.

  8. Veronica said

    Thoroughly enjoyed. I saw the theme about a third in, and it certainly helped – both in solving and in the fun! I’m another where beetle occurred to me because of the theme.
    A few grumbles. OCLOCK is a pet hate of mine in crosswords (seen it before) – I’d be okay with a simple (albeit incorrect) 1,5 but I didn’t like it shown as 6. Helen as a “prize” grated. Two with first/last letters of a word similarly clued (9 across and 9 down).
    Lots that I liked: nice surfaces, nothing obscure that wasn’t well clued, and I looked up io moth to find a rather interesting looking insect! In fact IO MOTH was my favourite, with TOULOUSE my runner up.

  9. jonofwales said

    A good puzzle finished in about average time. The insects thankfully spotted early on. 🙂

  10. Robwink said

    Nice puzzle, and nearly got there (thanks largely to spotting the theme). Just beaten by 11a and 22a, neither of which I have come across before, and 9d which I should have got..doh!
    Nice to read the comments and see how everyone else fared. I too needed the theme for “beetle off” and I thought you got Keds on birds not sheep, though the dictionary says sheep.

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