i Cryptic Crossword 3545 by Vigo

June 18, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟

A delightful crossword from Vigo of the ‘Something for Everyone’ variety – by which I mean there were quite a few easy end clues but also some real challenges dotted around the grid which certainly caused me a good deal of head-scratching. So 3* in places.

Great surface readings throughout with some beautifully crafted bits of ingenuity. I could pick out several, and we’ll all have our favourites. Even Mrs C. liked the double definition (one whimsical) for FREE SPIRIT, then IN A WAY was similarly smooth. The use of ‘roots’ in the clue for ZONE was neatly done, and all the anagrams were excellent. I’m normally very disparaging about using anagrams for short words, but ‘Felt sadly abandoned’ for LEFT made me think again; perhaps it shows that if you’re going to do a short ‘un you’d better make it a good ‘un, and that means with a very compelling surface reading as Vigo did here – so providing the required element of deception, because without that there’s no penny-drop moment of course, and without that we probably wouldn’t keep coming back for more.

I love a reverse anagram thingy so here was my pick for CoD:

10d Glibness could be seen as dubious gift (5,8)

Just one bit of obscurity with CENA in the middle of MERCENARY which I certainly didn’t know, and then it was a pangram – not that I noticed until reading Sil’s original Independent blog with all the answers here:


5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3545 by Vigo”

  1. Saboteur said

    I’d echo that. Very pleasing, good surfaces and surprisingly good variety in the clues.

    I didn’t know “Cena” either, but the answer was pretty clear from the crossing letters. My only criticism was the ambiguity between geezer and geyser. And that’s a very mild criticism.

  2. jonofwales said

    A fun puzzle, chewier than expected for Vigo – into 3* for difficulty here. Cena I expect most solvers wouldn’t have known, but something learnt!

  3. Grodnik said

    Agree with the previous posts, about par for me too. As for CENA, I knew that Latin β€˜O’ level would come in handy one day! I had to do it, it was a choice between that and woodwork. NDY

  4. Mighty_M said

    I found this a nice solve; chewy without causing too much pain. I was able to get dinner in Spain having lived there for a year a while back. I thought the four-letter clues were rather neat and not as elusive as they sometimes are.

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