i Cryptic Crossword 3477 Eccles

March 31, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟🌟

As I commented yesterday, the scheduling of our weekly puzzles seems to have become less predictable of late, with a Saturday reprint yesterday, and today… A Wednesday reprint presumably intended to be a Dac substitute. As the weather has swung from warm spring sunshine back to the depths of winter, we should be used to the unpredictable.

The consensus on the other side seems to have been that there was nothing too tricky here, so perhaps I just made heavy weather of this, finishing with a time that was a little above average. That could be because I still feel that I haven’t really got to grips with Eccles, the clues taking one or two looks rather than yielding quickly. Bertandjoyce on the other side though do note the “ingenious definitions”, which might have been a little too ingenious for me at this stage of the week.

In the NE corner where I finished there’s certainly a little difficulty – “punched” to indicate the insertion doesn’t work at all for me (“punched in” or “pinched” would), and 8d has both an obscure expression of disgust and an equally obscure abbreviation for rabbi. A pity, because the rest of the grid was a nice balance of easy and harder clues.

Elsewhere there was lots that I did like – the alternative “John Goodman” in particular was nicely observed, and there was much to enjoy in the wordplay, with my COD nomination going to 11ac – “Intrinsically sexually attractive torture (9)”.

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


3 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3477 Eccles”

  1. Cornick said

    Yup, 3* seems about right. Looking back at the clues I’m not quite sure why I found it so tricky – things like Referee being a verb are standard misdirection – but I got fooled time and time again!
    Good stuff.

  2. Saboteur said

    Nicely enjoyable. Three-star timing for me, too. Lots of misdirection which is always good, and good surface readings, too.

  3. dtw42 said

    Ah, for once I was ahead of the curve then; took me about 18 mins, and I had it pegged as ** tops. I liked it, but then I usually do with Eccles; think I tune into his wavelength quite well. 🙂

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