i Cryptic Crossword 3297 Vigo

September 1, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟 

Many thanks to Vigo for providing a really enjoyable puzzle today, in which I found some clues quite straightforward, but others distinctly more challenging, several of which I would never have got without the help of crossing letters provided by the easier answers. So, less experienced solvers should have found much of this approachable, I think. It is also a pangram, not that I spotted that myself.

All clues are carefully and thoughtfully crafted, and the majority have absolutely excellent surface readings. I smiled at the seemingly naïve simplicity of 9 (FLEE) and 16 (OBJECTS), and appreciated the clever construction of 19 (WASTED), in which the definition might either have been DRUNK or DEVASTATED. 1 (BUREAUCRAT) held me up for a while as I was originally thinking of REF rather than RAT for the WHISTLE-BLOWER, and I hesitated over 5 (JUNG) before writing it in, as the word GERMAN in the clue distracted me, until I twigged it was simply part of the wordplay: Jung was Swiss. I should have got 15 (GADZOOKS) much earlier, but initially dismissed the possibility of there being a word in which D was immediately followed by ZOO; and 6d (ST LUCIA) was my LOI, partly because of the misdirection afforded by COMING FROM SOUTH (I already knew there was an S to start with …) and partly because I had to search my memory before realising that CULT can be a synonym for FASHION.

12 (OVERDO) might have been my nomination for CoD, but this is one of the few clues in which the surface reading is actually less than effective, so instead I am going for 3:  “Starting off chaos and confusion bears fruit (7)”

A full analysis of today’s puzzle can be found by following the link below, and I for one am most grateful that the Fifteensquared bloggers tackle their work with such enthusiasm and dedication:

11 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3297 Vigo”

  1. jonofwales said

    Welcome on board Willow, and thanks for the comprehensive blog!

    I failed miserably to spot the pangram here, though as I did note the Z and Q perhaps I should have. Finished in about 1* time, with only 15d giving much pause for thought. I liked the “seven balls” device, which I’ve not seen done before. Thoroughly enjoyable, and a welcome change of pace after yesterday.

  2. thebargee said

    Thanks for the blog Willow, I was wondering who would pick up the baton!

    Even though I finished this in fairly quick time, I found some parts of it distinctly chewy, and rather than my usual top-down approach to clue-solving I ended up with more of a scatter-gun approach to winkle out the easier clues and get as many crossers as possible. I do tend to struggle with clues like 16a where you have no alternative but to work through a mental list of synonyms.

    Nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed the solve. I particularly liked 23a, 2d, 3d and 15d because it’s just a great word.

  3. dtw42 said

    Hey, welcome aboard, Willow! Thanks for the parsing of ST LUCIA – I confess I bunged that one in unparsed. Still, it was all in by 7.45, so I’d agree with the 2-star difficulty rating. And I spotted the pangram quite early. Clearly starting to feel a little better today.

  4. batarde said

    Nicely done, Willow, and all the best.

  5. Saboteur said

    Splendid blog, Willow! 🙂

    Good stuff and enjoyable, if over a little too soon. I spotted the pangram quite early, and it helped with GADZOOKS, my last one in, when I realised belatedly that I needed a Z.

    Agreed about OVERDO Excellent clue.

  6. Grodnik said

    Welcome headless sock-seller! You are much braver than me.

  7. Cornick said

    Nice puzzle – and blog 🙂
    Pangram duly spotted, and difficulty level agreed largely because of the tricky CoD where I didn’t see what ‘Starting off’ meant or what ‘bears’ meant.
    Well, that’s what happens when you do puzzles last thing at night…

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