i Cryptic Crossword 3258 by Phi

July 17, 2021

After a mixed bag of puzzles in the i this week, normal service has been resumed with Phi on a Saturday. There wasn’t a theme exactly, more of what I believe they call an ‘Easter Egg’ in gaming circles – a little something to go looking for by way of a bonus once you’ve finished. If you didn’t notice it, you might like to go and have a look at your grid now, it’s not too hard to spot…

There. BarTER/ TERabyte in row 1 etc. Quite nice that. And if I’d spotted it sooner it might have helped me with my LOI 12a where I had I_E_R_A_E_ and couldn’t see past ‘Inebriated’. I did wonder if that was another clerical error with the wrong clue written (it has happened in the app before) but a list of ships soon put me right. Level 2 cheating that 🙂

So what about the clues? Well pretty standard Phi material – 6 or 7 anagrams including one for an unknown-to-me American author DREISER, a very nice cryptic definition for DUST BATH – dry cleaning indeed! – and a few other nifty bits of lateral thinking.

Completed in less than average time for the i, my pick for Clue Of the Day is this one:

24a Place with lots of phones but only one line, it seems (4,5)

Full parsings with all the answers can be found from the ever-reliable BertandJoyce by clicking here:

Independent 9475 / Phi

12 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3258 by Phi”

  1. thebargee said

    Yes, I too had to cheat to get a suggestion for 12a! Elsewhere, if I’d spotted what was going on in the grid I wouldn’t have put DIRT BATH in for 28; that held me up for a little while.

    All good stuff though, and took me about average time to finish. Agree with choice of COD, very clever.

    Now on to the Sudokarrow…

  2. thebargee said

    Just noticed from the other side that the clue for 6d has changed, wonder why?

  3. Saboteur said

    A fairly straightforward Phi, I thought, and a pleasant lunch-time solve. Spotted the gimmick, which helped with the rather neat DUST BATH.

    Couldn’t quite parse ELEMENTAL, and hadn’t heard of DREISER, but otherwise all good.

  4. Brock said

    I spotted the gimmick! Not until nearly the end when I had only one clue to go (1a), and it was of marginal help, but I almost never spot these things so I’m feeling a bit chuffed with myself.

    First one in was 5d, whereupon I thought “that’s good – lots of Across clues to pick from next”. Couldn’t get any of them – at least not until I got right to the end with 29a, which was something of a relief. Managed to fill in the left-hand side pretty quickly, with the exception of 1a. Then looked at the right-hand side and realized I was in almost the same position as when I started!

    Fortunately I managed to cold-solve 10a and the rest came gradually. Was held up for a little while by the conviction that 5a must be TERMINAL, so it was my penultimate one in. Then I saw the gimmick, but it still took me ages to get 1a – I was convinced that “broadcaster” must be the definition, so I took “embargo” as an anagram indicator and started hunting for a broadcaster called DAETER, who doesn’t exist. Then the penny dropped…

    Lots of commendable clues: nice double definition at 12a, ingenious anagram of a not-too-common contraction at 13a, neat “&lit” at 14d. I think my favourite was 7d, though, simply because it took me ages to realize that “beneath” had that definition as well as the literal one.

    Like others, needed Wikipedia for 22d. The only one I couldn’t parse was 20d, which I took to be an anagram of PRESSURE with some letters changed and/or left out. Fifteensquared put me straight, but isn’t ER = “hospital department” an American term, though? We call it A&E over here, surely.

    All in all, a fine puzzle of about the right standard of difficulty. Keep it up!

  5. jonofwales said

    That was good I thought – classic Phi. All done fairly sharpish this morning while it was still cool and I could concentrate on something other than melting in the heat. Any gimmick duly missed, though I did look… The ship caused problems at the last here too.

  6. dtw42 said

    Started late as I had a lie in and then a two-hour chat with a friend. Solved in average time; didn’t spot the gimmick. Dreiser I *had* vaguely heard of, but Googled him anyway just to check. No, Saboteur, I couldn’t parse ELEMENTAL either … hmm, mental for wild, not entirely comfortable with that these days but okay.

  7. Veronica said

    Well, I’m glad it was reasonably straightforward … but it was way, way too hard for me!
    Less than half completed. 😞

  8. Willow said

    Mental for wild made me raise an eyebrow too, but that was the only slight issue. I actually finished this, parsed it all and spotted the gimmick well before 11.00 and was about to post my comments here, but something came up.

    I’m going to have a shot at the Inquisitor today, having failed miserably the last time I tried.

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