i Cryptic Crossword 3407 Phi

January 8, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟🌟

Regular solvers won’t be surprised to hear that there appears to be one of Phi’s ghost themes hidden in today’s grid, though I’m willing to bet a lot of money that nobody will have spotted it. Whether it extends beyond the handful of clues from the title of the work in question (nip over to the comments on the other side if you’re curious), I’m not sure, information on the text in question being somewhat lacking based on a cursory Google search.

Not that you needed to know to solve, because to all intents and purposes this was an enjoyable straight cryptic, with the elements referenced above more for Phi’s amusement when filling the grid than anything else, I suspect. A number of oddities in the grid, from the lesser known spelling of the European city, the synonym for “country”, to the extremely obscure newspaper worker. The latter I suspect I wouldn’t have got if it wasn’t for the crossing Rocky reference (the farceur being another obscurity), and even then I was left wondering what crater had to do with it. we also have a game I’m guessing nobody plays anymore, but as always – trust the cryptic, go with the definition where you need to, and Phi will get you home safe and sound.

I’ve gone with three stars for difficulty, based on the comments over on the other side where the consensus seems to be that this was medium-hard. Personally I finished in a pretty sharpish time, unusually so for a Saturday, so I’ll be interested to hear how you got on.

COD? With lots to delight as ever, I’ll go with 18d – “Such a mishap, with papers being lost, would produce stress (8)”.

All the answers and parsing of the clues can be found in Fifteensquared’s blog from January 2018:


5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3407 Phi”

  1. Saboteur said

    As usual I’m glad I didn’t give more than a passing glance at the possibility of a theme, as without it this was an enjoyable Saturday solve, and I agree that three stars is about right.

    AGRESTIAL was my Last One In. I’d sort of guessed it earlier, but didn’t want to resort to Google before I had to, and it turns out it was my only necessary check. NINEHOLES was known to me, as I recall playing something called that with coloured counters as a child. No holes were involved…

    Having got BOXER early on, the farceur Brian Rix and thence EDITRIX was not a problem.

  2. Topsy said

    I enjoyed this for the most part but, as if often the case, it was a DNF. The farceur was an easy one for me partly because I am of a certain age to remember the Whitehall farces but also because Brian Rix hails from my hometown. His family made their money from petrol and I can picture their logo on petrol pumps.

  3. dtw42 said

    Middling here. Most of it went in fine. 10ac was – as with JoW – assumed from the def and the X of 4d (which I did at least understand). Last ones in were 14ac and then that 7dn, the latter of which I’d never head of.

  4. Willow said

    Yes – very enjoyable. I thought it was refreshing to have the female version of Editor, and (like COFFIN very recently) I remembered AGRESTIAL from an earlier puzzle. I’m not sure a Sergeant Major, for example, would regard himself as being junior to a Lieutenant, but that’s a minor point.

  5. Simon said

    One who puts things in boxes
    One who puts things in crates

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