i App Cryptic Crossword S0023 by Monk

May 15, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟

I will start by saying that it is with some trepidation that I’ve offered my difficulty rating today. Monk has a well-deserved reputation of being one of the trickier setters in the i, and this is also a Saturday reprint, which would usually mean four stars if not five. But, well, I fairly tripped through this, from a pretty plain “Who’ll never forget” onward, with only a brief pause for the defunct magazine and unlikely looking 24ac.

The odd looking letters might also have led you to suspect a pangram, but it appears we’re a couple of letters short of that. Not that I paused to check such things.

Hidden away as this was on the i‘s app, yet again I’m bound to say that this is a pity, as it was such a great puzzle. This probably says more though about the consistently good puzzles the editor has to pick from rather than any desire to hide away poor Monk. “Jazz mags and books hidden by Heather” raised a smile, and “I die” at 27ac was a fantastic bit of misdirection, just for starters.

In other words, do solve, because this is quite the treat.

Which leads me to my COD nomination. I was tempted by 24ac, just for the great word, and unlikely looking letter order, but have gone for the equally misleading 7d – “Art gallery’s opening with Faulkner novel (9)”. Yes, that Art.

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

https://www.fifteensquared.net/2018/01/13/independent-9751-by-monk-saturday-puzzle-13-january-2018/

7 Responses to “i App Cryptic Crossword S0023 by Monk”

  1. thebargee said

    Being somewhat incapacitated today I thought I’d have a crack at the Sunday puzzle. I really enjoyed the 3/4 I completed but was ultimately disappointed when I had to cheat in the SW, so this was definitely a 5* for me.

    Loved ICE CUBE.

    • jonofwales said

      Hope the recovery is a swift one!

      • Grodnik said

        Had the same op as an outpatient a couple of years ago. Hope yours is as successful as mine and your recovery as uncomplicated.

  2. Cornick said

    Yes, howls of protest from me at your star rating Jon. You are a seasoned Inquisitor solver so perhaps how difficult it is for you is not really the point!
    For me the NW corner was indeed 1*, the NE was 1* touching on 2, the SE a fairly solid 2* (KVETCH needed checking in the dictionary although EQUUS was familiar) then the SW corner was harder again, 3* in places. Jazz mags? Fine if you knew it I suppose; SASHIMI was another unknown word; then ‘boss’ as a first letter indicator was a bit of a stretch, and the parsing of MATTE was brilliant but difficult.

    Where I must agree with you is that the puzzle was wonderful – a real shame to have it hidden in the app. Yes, the others have been good recently, but this was the puzzle of the week for me.

    • jonofwales said

      I still failed at the final clue on today’s Everyman, so still green enough to be surprised, sometimes. 😉

  3. Saboteur said

    More like three-star for me too.

    Really enjoyable, agree its a shame its app-only.

    A few as mentioned above needed a bit of checking out /teasing out. GARFUNKEL was a brilliant clue. Bravo, Monk!

  4. Grodnik said

    A good workout today with some seriously good clueing and what I took to be a distinctly ‘Sixties’ theme (after I had dismissed the possibility of “alternative names for” pachyderm, dugong and monkey in the NW corner). New vocabulary KVETCH, never heard of it, but then I am a landlubber. Favourite clue also 7dn. So smooth. NDY

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