i Cryptic Crossword 3306 by Gila

September 11, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of five):  πŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

A game of two halves for your blogger this morning. The LHS went in as readily as if I was giving viewers of ‘Cracking the Cryptic’ a live-time video solve on YouTube; the RHS would have had them switching to PewDiePie.

1* and 3* averages out at 2*, the same as yesterday’s Klingsor. Are we at idothei inconsistent? Forgive us, this star rating thing is new…

So this was Gila’s tenth blocked puzzle for the Independent stable, I think – most of which have been in the supposedly easier Sunday slot. However he also does Inquisitor puzzles, and you could see a few tricks in today’s clues that would be more familiar in that barred world than this perhaps. Tesla means T, there’s a restaurant called Noma in Copenhagen, doughnut can be spelled donut without being indicated as American, the buttocks can be called ‘prat’, dodgy = sus, and an every other letter selection can be indicated by ‘often’. So not all plain-sailing by any means.

We had a few bottom related clues which I know some solvers might find amusing – Bottom! Ho-ho!

Actually the surface reading for one of those was excellent – the clue for PRATTLE at 5d; other superior surfaces were those for 13a SMOOTHIE, 14a TESTES, and 26a SNAFU, while 6d ORBITAL provided a good example of a clue which although it suffered from questionable etymological crossover, was able to be rescued by an amusing surface.

Here’s my CoD though, which had me kicking myself when the penny dropped:

20a Sci-fi film about small green animals (4,4)

Back to 2017 and the Fifteensquared blog:


3 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3306 by Gila”

  1. Willow said

    I agree about the CoD. Many very worthy clues – thank you – and I would spend more time extolling them were it not for the fact that Gila seems to aspire to be Hoskins elsewhere.

  2. jonofwales said

    A 1* for difficulty solve here. No major hold-ups, enjoyed thoroughly, with a tick beside the COD (which took longer to parse than guess).

  3. Saboteur said

    Another Sunday solve for me, after another exhaustingly busy Saturday.

    I’m inclined to agree with Cornick’s assessment of one-star plus three-star, averaging out at two-star. Half of it straightforwardly, half somewhat chewy. STAR WARS would have been my CoD, as well. I spent too long-range to get “star fish” to parse,before the proverbial pdm. Good and enjoyable.

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