i Cryptic Crossword 3213 Phi

May 26, 2021

I was expecting to see one of many setters today, but must admit that Phi never entered my mind. But as expected this was well judged by the editor, being a friendly Wednesday-style puzzle that was over in a jiffy and thoroughly enjoyed too. Observant solvers will have noted the number of H’s in both the answers and grid, but I needless to say didn’t. A nice touch though. I questioned “chill” for “unfriendly” at 3d on solving, but to my surprise (but to nobody else’s I suspect), it’s present and correct in the BRB. I should have known to trust both Phi and Eimi. I note that over on the other side there are grumbles about 19d, but, well, onions are, aren’t they?

Bets now please on who we’ll get Saturday.

COD? I’ll go with 1d – “Female force motivated half of them subsequently (10)”.

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


16 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3213 Phi”

  1. Cornick said

    Happy with that.
    Thought Phi pitched the challenge roughly right, then having that finishing flourish with the theme enhanced things delightfully.

  2. Saboteur said

    With the exception, noted before on idothei, of outrageously referring to ARCHER as an English novelist, this was good, clean fun. Just right for the spot usually reserved for Dac. All done and dusted without hold-up, and no quibbles or queries. The H theme was spotted early on, and helped in one or two places. Enjoyable.

  3. dtw42 said

    I assumed the original publication must have coincided with another series of ‘Line of Duty’. I spotted the H theme after only 4 words (and the big one in the middle of the grid is something I’ve done myself pretty recently … nothing new under the sun is there?)

  4. batarde said

    Noted the dirty great “H” in the middle straight away; forgot about it, then picked up on it again at the death. A Phi theme spotted: wonders never cease. The top half felt absurdly simple, but the bottom was a little more interesting. As Saboteur notes, one patiently awaits the day when 16ac is defined as “spotty-backed jailbird” or somesuch.

  5. Mary Hayes said

    Well that was fun! I spent a lot of time but then got started in the bottom left corner and was away. I thought 17D amusing in a corny but funny way. learning loads but only just really noticed the word anagrind. Something to look up! Thanks everyone

    • batarde said

      Ewww … “anagrind” is one of my bugbears, I’m afraid. The need for a compact way to say “the way in which an anagram is indicated” is not lost on me, but it seems such an ugly word. No doubt it’s too late to get an alternative to stick, but wouldn’t “magimix” be nicer, say?

      • dtw42 said

        funny isn’t it? – we don’t have a clunky portmanteau word for other sorts of wordplay indicators (er, reversind? acrostind? bleugh) so why just this one?

        Elsa frowned, but anagrind.

  6. Veronica said

    Great fun.
    If I was being fussy, maybe some of the clues were only just on the correct side of a phrase that makes sense. But who cares? It was really enjoyable and it made me smile on a Good Day for Me. Spotted the H theme ( but not the shape of the crossword 😮), and that helped occasionally. No quibbles from me.
    Favourites were CATHEDRALS and HEREWITH.
    Last of the big adventurers, me – I had a much needed hair cut, and I bought a Costa coffee for first time since early 2020 (though only as a take-away): quite an outing for me! Finished the crossword during my coffee. 😊😊😊

  7. Willow said

    Well done Veronica: seemingly little things like buying a coffee are actually highly significant milestones on the road to something like normality. Last week I was able to see favourite Peak District landmarks for the first time in over 18 months. It was great!

    To the puzzle:

    Good grief! I spotted the H theme! And it helped me to fill in the final two clues, SCHOOL and HILL. A most enjoyable solve – thank you.

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