i Cryptic Crossword 3416 by Punk

January 19, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟🌟🌟

A puzzle of two halves, with only three links between the left and right hand sides, the latter going in a shade more easily. In fact there were only two answers on the left that I got straight away – MALADY (nice to see the clue had been updated) and LUTETIUM. β€œWho’s ever heard of Lutetium?” do I hear you say?

Well, I have, but with a name like Borodin you might expect that.

Anyway, it all came together slowly, with 7ac/7dn being my last two in. Looking back over the completed grid there was plenty to like, such as CELIBATE, MANICURE, ASTUTE and the linking of HAYDN with SIKH in 13ac and 22dn. But my choice for CoD, because of its apt surface is 3dn: β€˜Help sought by narcissist leader in Trump, feckless individual I gathered (6,5)’.

Bert and Joyce were on duty to explain everything back in 2017; find them at http://www.fifteensquared.net/2017/10/18/independent-9677-punk/

4 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3416 by Punk”

  1. jonofwales said

    5* and more for difficulty in a puzzle that was not only tough, but most unfair in places, “water hardly in short supply” supposedly leading us to IC being the outstanding example. I struggled to get any traction throughout, and must admit to feeling more relieved than anything to actually finish. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

  2. Saboteur said

    Six stars at least for me!

    I had to put this aside after my lunch-time session yielded very little, and come back to it after a break. Only completed after a great deal of effort and not much enjoyment.

    Quite a lot seemed distinctly unfair, as Jonofwales has noted.

  3. dtw42 said

    …and those commenter semtiments secoβ€”, er, thirded from me. Have just finished (5.06 pm) with plenty of electronic help.

  4. Grodnik said

    Tricky one this which I seemed to be solving at a distance in some weird way. As for the fairness of the clues, some were quite easy whilst others I found mighty difficult. The 13ac 22dn combination was delightful. That chemistry degree helped with 17ac and also with the rare (earth) metal. Mrs G knows about the lanthanides so was able to confirm. Did not like OFFAL being classed as rubbish. I’m very partial to liver and lights, resulting from my boyhood days being fed faggots, chitterlings (look it up) kidneys, tripe etc on a regular basis.
    Eventually finished in well over par time, but with a sense of achievement. NDY

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