i Cryptic Crossword 3552 Wiglaf

June 27, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

In any crossword, some clues will be solved principally from the definition, some start with inspiration from the word-play and some are spotted from the enumeration plus the crossing letters. There’s no right way or wrong way, in my book.

With this very challenging puzzle quite a lot went in on a hunch, followed by a lot of retrofitting to see if I could make sense of the rest of the clue. The long entry at 2, 1d went in very readily from the definition and the enumeration (although I did have to make a minor change from only to just) – but I could make very little sense of the wordplay. A similar story could be told of quite a few other clues. I’m sorry to say that this did not make for a very satisfying experience, as far as I am concerned, although I did relish the challenge, and I don’t like to be beaten… Although there were a small number of readily accessible clues which allowed a toe-hold to be found, I suspect not a few solvers will have thrown in the towel, to mix my metaphors.

With the exception of OPTIME, there were no other truly obscure words, although some required a bit of checking, WAUL, for example. And I was diverted onto the recipe pages in search of the name of a sauce.

Clue of the day for me had to be one I could actually solve and understand without aid, and which yet offered something to think about, and so 7d it is: “Description of centre for refreezing hydrocarbon (6)”.

Here’s the link. You mabe be glad of it. https://www.fifteensquared.net/2018/06/23/independent-9889-by-wiglaf/

8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3552 Wiglaf”

  1. jonofwales said

    Agreed with all of the above. Tough, lots guessed (including the long clue down the left). All a bit much for a weekday really, and especially a Monday, which is a pity, because there’s lots to enjoy.

  2. David W said

    I too agree with all that you say, and particularly about the guessing and retrofitting and the lack of satisfaction. But is that only (or just!) down to our weakness as solvers? I’ve set one or two puzzles and in doing so I’ve had to keep stopping and saying to myself “That’s all very clever, but it is more of a comment on the solution than a means of reaching it.”

  3. thebargee said

    Towel duly thrown in with only 2/3 finished. Too many went in on a wing and a prayer and I eventually ground to a halt. I can mix metaphors too!

  4. Grodnik said

    Off to a flying start with FOI 2dn/1dn. Have actually visited the court in Nuremberg, and that sort of thing stays with you. On a lighter note I once played Strephon in 16d, so fond memories of that. WAUL was new to me except as a syllable of caterwauling, and I had to wrangle with OPTIME. The sauce eluded me for a while as I am no fan of shellfish grown on ropes. LOI 24ac; not a word I have ever used, but surely describes exactly the Trump regime, and also now, according to The Times (the “newspaper of record” as it once was) Bojos’ efforts to reimburse at least one young woman for services rendered. NDY

  5. Vindaloser said

    I actually found this a Hell of a lot easier than that pain in the arse on Friday…! I only got 4 right in that. I still had to look up about 6 mind…

  6. Cornick said

    Friday’s was the hardest Serpent I can remember; this was the hardest puzzle I can remember for at least 6 months, since a particularly thorny Anax.
    Actually the LHS went in painlessly enough, but a big wall of difficulty on the right had me scratching around wordfinders, thesauruses, and anagram generators – everything bar the reveal button in fact – until I eventually limped over the line.
    Hard work!

  7. Borodin said

    Much the same experience here. The LHS filled up fairly easily, helped by 2/1dn, but the rest needed a few guesses and reference to thesaurus and dictionary for confirmation but I got there eventually, with a few answers left unparsed.

  8. Mighty_M said

    There was one puzzle a while back where I thought, ‘Umm, think I’ll give them a miss next time!’ I didn’t record the setter’s name but am now guessing it was Wiggie because today’s puzzle just dragged me over the pain threshold (ever so slowly) and it no longer felt enjoyable to be challenged. Maybe I’ll change my mind as I get more experienced, being a relatively new solver.

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