i Cryptic Crossword 3215 Punk

May 28, 2021

Our setter today has given us a good work-out today, in a challenging crossword themed on cities. Some of the entries were cities, and sometimes cities were referenced in the clues.

As we would expect from a setter such as Punk who is at the top of the league, there was a lot of creativity and boundary-pushing to stretch and entertain us. ORIGAMI, for example, was clued as “delicate operations” and BOWYER as “Robin Hood’s supplier”. We were treated to a nice bit of misdirection in GELATIN. I for one presumed the “setter” referred, as usual, to the person behind the crossword, and spent some time wondering if the “rash” was “measles”. I had the E from NAIVE, so thought that “setter” was “me. Just couldn’t find a way to derive “asles” from “genital”. I was also misled in HARVEST; having the crossing A, I was convinced the boxer was “Ali”, rather than “hare”.

Again, as we would expect, everything parsed beautifully, leaving me with no question marks in my margin. And I don’t think there are any obscurities necessitating deep delves into the dictionary.

All in all, an excellent, if challenging, puzzle from one of the best.

Clue of the Day? I nominate 20d: “A gathering storm truly starts after boxer claims victory (7)”.

To January 2017 for the answers and the parsing: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2017/01/02/independent-9429-by-punk/

14 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3215 Punk”

  1. Saboteur said

    Just thought I’d come back to say that I failed to get the Five-Clue one today… 🤨

  2. dtw42 said

    Just finished this (13.40). Fond the bottom 2/5 quite a bit trickier than the top 3/5. That GELATIN was my second-to-last-in, followed by EMULATION.
    FWIW, Saboteur, at the time of typing, I haven’t yet finished the 5-clue either.

  3. batarde said

    A helicopter has been circling for a couple of hours now like an over-sized bluebottle, I know not why but I’d dearly like to swat it. That’s my excuse for making heavy weather of the bottom left, anyway. Very nice crossword, entertaining throughout even if the connections ‘twixt top and bottom are a little sketchy. It did feel like a game of two halves, too. No reason for grumbling though. I liked the 5-clue. 🙂

  4. jonofwales said

    Rather tricky overall after a pretty rapid start in the SE corner. Some very well hidden definitions (I still had no idea how the one at 7ac defined the answer even after getting it!) and Geography which is never my strong point will have been to blame here. And, oh, a boxer who wasn’t Ali for I suspect the first time in any crossword I’ve solved. 🙂 Enjoyed rather more than the solvers back in the day who must have still been hungover and grumpy following their New Year celebrations.

  5. Brock said

    The first thing that struck me was how short many of the clues were! Four two-word clues, two three-word ones and six four-word ones – was Punk trying to set some sort of record for terseness?

    Didn’t have too many problems with this. For once the theme was explicit, and cleverly deployed in places (e.g. 16a). The only one I really had difficulty with was 11a, where I didn’t twig the relevant meaning of “conductor”.

    I did finish the Five-Clue but thought 5/6 was a bit cheeky – reminded me of some of those old Guardian puzzles!

  6. Willow said

    Got there in the end, but I can’t say it was a joyous solve. Nevertheless it did keep my mind working, which is good – thank you. I do appreciate the skill that went into compiling this.

    However, I question the definitions for ORIGAMI (especially as the wordplay offers a myriad of possibilities) and EMULATION. Just about acceptable if you have all the crossing letters, but very enigmatic if you haven’t. Imagine this coming up at a job interview: “Do you have any hobbies?” “Yes – I am adept at Delicate Operations.”

    Incidentally, a brief list of songwriters/cities with 6 letters in their names might include Denver, Austin, Murray, Nelson and Watson – but I don’t really have any quibbles about that particular clue.

  7. Veronica said

    I’m a little torn in this one. As one of those who can’t reel off city names, I didn’t find it particularly exciting or satisfying, especially with the double definitions – so I’m sort of with the 15squared lot. On the other hand, I did like some of the tricks, imagination, and misdirections – I’m another “measles”
    follower. I did that one in the end, and I thought it rather clever.) My favourite was NERVE CELL … after a long time trying to think of a physics electric cell of some sort.
    Anyway, I was utterly defeated, and left with several still unsolved.

  8. Cornick said

    I really love the creative thinking in clues like the aforementioned ‘Delicate operations’, or ‘boxer’ for hare, ‘old Italian’ for LATIN etc etc, but I’m much less keen on the short double definitions, which have become something of a Punk trademark recently. Hence my last two in ‘City stop’ for CORK and ‘City vessel, we hear’ for CANNES both proved to be tricky, having so little to go on. In their defence I suppose you do know you’re right when the penny finally drops.

  9. imsewell said

    I am in accord with all the contributors thus far, but not sure why 24d slips in un-commented upon. How does ‘re. food’ equate to ‘on the table’. Un-gettable from that half of the clue. Poor.

    • imsewell said

      Should have re-read clue before firing off, but food = table? Not really.

    • Saboteur said

      I think your question mark is reasonable, certainly as regards current usage. I took it as referring to one’s board, as in a boarding house, if such things still exist, or bed-and-board.

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