i Cryptic Crossword 3376 Phi

December 2, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of 5): ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Phi takes the Thursday spot this week with a medium level difficulty puzzle of the expected top-notch quality, and, as far as I can tell, not a gimmick / Nina / ghost theme in sight. We have the one very odd word up in the NE corner that was guessable from the first L and a few checking letters, but elsewhere the vocabulary was all common place (if not always easy to spell, as I found out when getting stuck on 10ac at the close only to find I’d put the L and D in 1d in the wrong order). One or two I couldn’t parse on solving, notably 12ac, but at no stage was I in doubt as to the correct answer, and thoroughly enjoyed the solve throughout, as always with Phi.

COD? Much to like, including here 23d, with the stand-out clue (perhaps of the week) 15ac – “What indicates event from evident modern crime? (8,5)”.

All the answers and parsing of the clues can be found in the Fifteensquared blog from September 2017:


7 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3376 Phi”

  1. Cornick said

    I struggled to get into this Phi, finding it quite a bit harder than usual from him. With no purchase to speak of in any of the corners, it was the excellent CoD which yielded and got me going. Also enjoyed โ€˜character most often seen in Hollywoodโ€™ in 1d.
    With a grid fill like that, and from this setter, surely there HAS to be something going on?

  2. tonnelier said

    Same here as I also found this to be of at least **** difficulty.

    The clues I enjoyed most were for bowdlerise and thriller; just one little moan – guy for tim in 14 – a device which always seems unfair, even a bit lazy, to me.

  3. dtw42 said

    I’d agree with those finding this harder than ***. Still, today I finished around lunchtime, which is a definite improvement!
    Last ones in, with unparsed bafflement, were 8ac (though, agreed, it was clear from earlier on what it *had* to be) and 24ac. So=very good, does it? O.o
    The use of ‘go’ in 5d is something that never fails to make me roll my eyes and sigh.

  4. Cornick said

    Also, I wonder whoโ€™s right about the nature of Antimatter – Andrew in the comments at 15^2 with his link to Wikipedia, or Phi who we know to be an astronomer?

  5. Saboteur said

    Put me down as another who thought this one tough. Four-star, for me.

    I couldn’t parse LILIACEOUS. Early on, on the basis of the crossing L, A and U, I thought “polyanthus”, and couldn’t “unthink” it, if you know what I mean. I couldn’t parse METRIC or IDENTITY THEFT either, though the last clue was brilliant when I saw how it worked.

    I’m inclined to agree with Cornick that there must be something going on. Very surprised when I went to 225 and found there was nothing.

  6. Willow said

    I’d agree with the three star rating. I very much enjoyed nearly all aspects of this puzzle – thank you – although I did think surface readings in a handful of clues were a bit stodgy – and sorry to say I included the COD in that. I liked the clue for ALLEY CAT best.

  7. Borodin said

    Not the easiest of Phi’s puzzles but I didn’t find it too difficult – perhaps I had a vague memory of doing it the first time around. I liked the link between 3 and 21 – in fact it was 21 that led me to the answer for 3.

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