Another hard but satisfying Sunday puzzle, although I do feel that when the first letter is unchecked in 20 of the answers, out of a total of 28, it does make for a difficult puzzle. • Continue reading “ST Cryptic No 2478 – Review”
This puzzle was memorable for the number of cryptic definitions. I like some of them and had reservations about others. The grid is good this week – six different word-lengths, no isolated corners, and 50%+ checking throughout. Other grid designers might have put the 11-letter words on the same row as a 3-letter word, but as Telegraph puzzles seem to have more three-letter words than some others, a puzzle with none of them is fine!
This was probably the easiest of the Saturday puzzles I’ve covered so far – there was no “nasty corner” to delay a solution when everything else was finished.
Maybe it’s a hangover from the hospital, maybe I am just a grumpy old devil, but today’s Toughie struck me as being not terribly tough and was no harder than a weekend puzzle.
I found this to have a whiff of the curate’s egg about the puzzle. Very good in parts with one or two bits that left something to be desired. 1 and 8 across and 9 down were clever. I didn’t like 13 across as it contained a device called “an indirect anagram” (see below), which is frowned upon by most setters.
I wasn’t keen on 21 across and 7 down I have seen several times clued as just “Cha?”, at least this had a definition to accompany it. I like clues to have a nice surface reading wherever possible and this didn’t seem right.
The other thing I wasn’t over-keen on was the grid itself. I felt there were far too many black squares.
Right! Grumble over and let’s look at the clues.If you like to do this to music, may I suggest some soothing Anton Karas zither tunes…….
I found this one slightly trickier than those of recent days and it was slow-going to start with, but I was able to proceed steadily once I had got the long clues, and I learnt a new word on the way. Several of the clues appear at first sight to be more complicated than they actually are, and the whole thing is enjoyable.