i Cryptic Crossword 3341 Phi

October 22, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟🌟

There’s a theme, of course. And of course, it’s not obvious. Regular readers may know that I have learned to rarely give more than a moment’s thought to Phi’s themes. When I am blogging, however, I do feel its part of the job to at least put in a bit of an effort. An effort, in this case amounting to staring at the grid for a while and then entering random combinations of words into Google to see if anything came up. It didn’t. I had a suspicion that books might be involved, but apparently The Truculent Wench and Daughters of the Iceni are yet to be written. Well done to anyone who spotted the actual theme.

Theme aside, this was a typical Phi. Good and solid. Everything parses well, and with a good variety of clues and range of vocabulary. I struggled with a few. Parsing IOTA took me a while, although I guessed the entry from the definition and one crossing letter. I did wonder a bit about CANTABILE, EVENTUATE and GERMANIST, but I think they are all fair enough. The only real obscurity is, I think, the hoki fish, but the artist himself is well known enough, and the crossing letters made it a give-away.

That’s my nomination for Clue of the Day: “Japanese artist depicting fish around America (7)”.

Here’s the link to the Fifteensquared blog for all the answers and explanations: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2017/07/28/independent-9607-phi/

8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3341 Phi”

  1. Cornick said

    A friend at University had a massive poster of Hokusai’s crashing wave, which I greatly admired at the time. Thank you Phi for providing me with a handy method for remembering the chap’s name – plus a Pacific fish to boot.

    A third puzzle of the week to be largely gentle, but with a bit of a sting in the tail.

  2. tonnelier said

    Must admit I’ve never heard of Hokusai. Apart from him, I thought this was a very gentle, single coffee puzzle which I would grade as 1*.

  3. thebargee said

    First puzzle this week. It doesn’t take me long to go off the boil, so needless to say I struggled more than I should have.

    Having said that, 3/4 of the grid went in very quickly (with the exception of EVENTUATE, for which a word finder was necessary), but the SW corner held me up for ages, with WENCH and HOKUSAI proving the most difficult. In fact I had to use Google for a list of Japanese artists in the end; definitely not my strong suit.

    I think my favourite today was 3d, made me smile when the penny dropped.

  4. dtw42 said

    Ah, well, how about that; I nearly did spot the theme. By which I mean, when putting in REMORSEFUL, my brain went, “ah, as in the title of that More novel, wonder if that’ll be a theme” and then thought no more about it. Still, I don’t know his oeuvre well enough to spot any other references in the grid (apart from ‘The WENCH is Dead’, which I should have noticed but didn’t). Hokusai yes, I do know primarily from that famous Great Wave. So yeah, 3 stars feels about right.

  5. jonofwales said

    We’re going to disagree on difficulty again. πŸ™‚ 5* here, though I didn’t get a clear run at the puzzle, and faced distractions throughout. I didn’t know the artist or the fish, so had to guess that one, and checked 27ac (my LOI) convinced it must be a made-up word. Failed to spot the theme, despite having read all the books. Doh!

  6. Willow said

    I’m going to give myself a small prize for spotting that both WOODSTOCK and JERICHO appear in the grid, and that made me think of Oxford, but I don’t know the names of the novels.

    I thought this was a bit harder than three star in places, but I did enjoy solving it and I eventually managed to parse everything. However, I have noted nine clues that I thought were particularly tricky. They include that for HOKUSAI, whose wave I am familiar with, but not his name, which is my fault; and that for MANGO, where GO for SOUND is less than intuitive. I only got CANTABILE because I am familiar with the musical terminology.

    Incidentally, my edition of Chambers does not indicate that WENCH is at all derogatory, so I’m happy to accept that. It’s perhaps encouraging to think that a well worn word might be able to retain its traditional meaning.

    I loved the clue for JEWEL.

  7. Saboteur said

    How interesting that one solver has rated this as 🌟 and another as 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 for difficulty.

  8. Borodin said

    As soon as I had JERICHO and REMORSEFUL I remembered the puzzle from its appearance in the Indy. But that didn’t make it a doddle and I struggled in the SW corner, even taking ages to see the themed WENCH. Nevertheless no more than 2* imho.

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