i Cryptic Crossword 3522 Tees

May 23, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Quite a chewy morsel to start the new working week comes to us courtesy of Tees this morning. After a fairly speedy start in the NE corner, I rapidly ground to a halt and found that I had to put in a bit of effort for my rewards – and this was a very satisfying puzzle to solve.

The ‘key’ to the crossword, so to speak, is the long anagram at 1d / 8d. I dare say one’s solving experience would be coloured by how readily one spotted what it was. I’m ashamed to say that it took me ages, largely because I rashly guessed that the fifth word would be “good” from the crossing G and O. Nothing suggested itself, and I had to acknowledge my mistake when the part in 1d made it clear what the entries ought to be. There’s a lesson for me.

A little more than the usual level of general knowledge was called for today. I now know more about Swiss towns and African shrubs than I did before. I also know more about a certain ingredient in perfume. OPOPANAX had me scratching my head for a while. The word was very transparently clued with helpful crossing letters, so no complaints, but the definition seemed wrong on my perusal of the internet. Worth it, I dare say, for the surface reading.

Plenty of well constructed clues, but the honours have to go to the very impressive long anagram in 1, 8d: “Great shower of endearment, he backs fallacious truism (7,5,3,4,5,6)”.

Here’s the link: https://www.fifteensquared.net/2018/04/30/independent-9842-by-tees/

7 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3522 Tees”

  1. jonofwales said

    About 3* for difficulty here, a racing start in the SE corner gradually grinding to a halt at the close on the shrub. I knew none of the quite recondite GK, but wordplay / definitons were clear enough in each case to not cause issues. An enjoyable start to the week I thought.

  2. thebargee said

    Great puzzle, but I was struggling until my wife looked over my shoulder and, much to my chagrin, pointed out what the long anagram was! After that, nearly everything went in quickly, but I had to look up the shrub for my LOI, not being aware of the meaning of PROTEAN.

  3. dtw42 said

    Similar experience here, slow but steady. Got 1/8 in sort-of-middling time; it definitely helped. 17d, not a tree, surely? LOI 13a.

  4. Henri said

    Definitely not a tree, but the clear wordplay made it unavoidable

  5. Cornick said

    There were very many of these where the wordplay was really tricky and the definition far from obvious, so it was only the crossing letters which yielded a possible answer which then had to be checked after the event.
    So some quick solves where I had crossers, but long periods of staring blankly when I didn’t, and quite laborious overall. Still good though.
    I reckon my Greek mythology to be better than average, but Protean was new, so that was my LOI.

  6. Borodin said

    Only 3* for me, although I struggled for a bit till KENSINGTON and SOMEONE suggested MAKES for the second word of 1/8 and the rest fell into place. OPOPANAX was a write-in for me from the wordplay and remembering it from the crossword’s first appearance – not that I remembered anything else from it; thinking probably of ‘hosta’ I was wanting to put an unparsed ‘hostia’ for 5dn till I eventually got BACKWATER.

  7. elbertn said

    After my first run through I only had AUCTION. I expected this puzzle to remain impenetrable as second and third runs weren’t much more productive. With perseverance and a modicum of online research I finally finished it; with an enhanced vocabulary which unfortunately is unlikely to find a home in my long-term memory.

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