i Cryptic Crossword 3517 Serpent

May 17, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟🌟🌟

A quick blog today, sorry, as I have to travel this morning for work. Our Tuesday theme? It’s the… Well, look in the top and bottom rows. I imagine most solvers will have twigged as various items appeared in the grid, and it certainly helped with what was a fairly tricky solve. Enjoyable as always, though, from Serpent.

COD? I’ll go with 6d – “Discovering strange shiny objects on stars? (8)”.

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


9 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3517 Serpent”

  1. Cornick said

    The grid fill inspired and the clues top notch. How does he do it?

  2. tonnelier said

    Always cheering to see Serpent’s name, and he never disappoints. Just the two *s, but a great deal to enjoy and admire.

    Good to get a genuine indisputable homophone for a change.

    I had to “cheat” to find pseudobulb, which I’ve never heard of..

    CoD a close-run thing between 8 and 24.

    Is there another setter who consistently maintains such a brilliant standard?

  3. Saboteur said

    Agreed with the above. Serpent offers consistently corruscating crosswords which display creativity and great surface readings. Always a joy.
    I needed to check PSEUDOBULB, but did so for my own edification, not because I was in any doubt. PDM moment for SEPTIMAL took a while, but was worth the wait. I didn’t know the variant of “suttee”. Thought it ought to be “suti” but decided to trust the wordplay and check SATI on the Internet.
    BLUE was really good.

  4. dtw42 said

    I too had to look up pseudobulb. Couldn’t parse deity at the end. Otherwise fine & fun though πŸ™‚

  5. Henri said

    The theme made it much easier. I thought 4 stars overstated it. If I had written 9 across I would have put excavating.

    • Cornick said

      Sure, that could work for a modern day Pompeii, but I think the intention was to take us to Pompeii at the time of the eruption, when some people (though obviously not all) had been evacuated and the thick dust was swirling.

  6. Henri said

    Yes.. reasonable.

  7. Mighty_M said

    I really enjoyed this – it was definitely a β€˜roll your sleeves up’ solve.

  8. Borodin said

    Not more than two or three stars for me, helped by the obvious theme and nina. A great puzzle nevertheless. I did have to look up PSEUDOBULB, having completely forgotten it (and the rest of the puzzle) since 2018.

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