i Cryptic Crossword 3313 Gila

September 20, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of five): ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

The most Brompton-y of Bromptons, with each of the four quadrants connected to the whole by only one crossing light, this really did feel to me like four separate mini-crosswords; the top two seeming very accessible to me, meriting perhaps half a star for difficulty, but the bottom two being considerably more challenging, at least to me.

The parsings I struggled with were those for FREE-FOR-ALL, FLETCHER and DISASTER, although the latter seemed obvious when I spotted that the soldiers were the SAS. And I actually couldn’t get BANNER, so a Did Not Finish for me. This latter seemes to me to be a tad unfair, as it requires some seriously niche knowledge, and the crossing letters were not particularly helpful. Last in, apart from the-one-I-couldn’t-get, was SANCTION, which I thought was very neatly done.

Good surface readings throughout, and I enjoyed the solve – and it does me good to be beaten by the setter once in a while! ๐Ÿ™‚. Clue of the day goes to 23a: “Company – possibly Apple – initially agrees to take a lesser charge (3,1,4)”.

Here’s the link for Fifteensquared, where you can see the answers and explanations: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2017/05/14/independent-on-sunday-1420-gila/

13 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3313 Gila”

  1. jonofwales said

    An enjoyable puzzle solved on the train this morning while engaged in a series of dial-in meetings and thus probably driving the other passengers to distraction. Agreed on the difficulty rating. Thankfully I knew the answer for BANNER, if not enough to be able to untangle the wordplay.

  2. Grodnik said

    A similar experience to Saboteur, except how he fitted โ€œcop a pleaโ€ into (4-3-3) for CoD beats me.

  3. dtw42 said

    Okay, well for my part it felt 2/3 pretty easy and 1/3 jolly hard, finish time about five to eight; so I suppose 2* on average about does it. BANNER was my last one in – the penny did finally drop as to how that worked, and I did feel it was a tad unfair. FREE-FOR-ALL went in unparsed. Yes, my first thought was, “What an icky grid.”

  4. Robert Primhak said

    I worked my way across the four minigrids but could only get 21d from the wordplay (yes I am familiar with the Hulk). Can anyone point me to the definition in this clue?

  5. tonnelier said

    A very quick solve indeed (I liked 19 and 27), except for that wretched BANNER. Now that I’ve seen the answer I feel rather pleased I couldn’t solve what is surely one of the worst clues ever – not only is the niche knowledge required surely too obscure, but it’s also yet another of those “not really” homophones which always annoy me.

  6. Cornick said

    Brompton City indeed.
    FWIW I went NW, SE, NE, SW, but it might just as well have been in any other order I suppose.
    Favourites today were FLETCHER, ICECAP, FREE-FOR-ALL, and MASCOT, with question marks for OFF = to kill, SORTED = โ€˜equipped with drugsโ€™ and a lack of knowledge/ remembering about Bruce BANNER, which clue was guessed from Eric Bana, whom I did remember.
    Enjoyed it.

  7. Willow said

    Yes – very enjoyable in almost all respects – many thanks. My question marks tally exactly with those or Cornick. I may be astonishingly naive, but I really have absolutely no idea whatsoever how to get hold of drugs, (despite living quite close to Endcliffe Park in Sheffield), so SORTED was something I had to guess. It was refreshing to have a different version of SOLDIERS for a change – in this case, SAS.

  8. AndyO said

    Think you need to know your Pulp records to get 16d…

  9. Borodin said

    This took longer than it should, and I’d no idea about BANNER. Otherwise fairly straightforward although it took a while for the penny to drop about SEASHORE. I’d have rated it 3*, though, even if only for the Brompton grid.

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