i Cryptic Crossword 3702 Peter
December 19, 2022
Difficulty rating (out of five): ⏳⏳
A no doubt busy week starts today (your blogger can feel his panic rising as he writes) and I don’t suppose I will be the only one glad of such an enjoyable crossword from Peter this morning. It was entertaining and enjoyable, but didn’t overtax me, and crucially didn’t take up too much time.
It got a second hour-glass on account of a couple of odd words, which may have had solvers reaching for the dictionary. Nobody that I am aware of uses SEXAGESIMA these days to identify the Sunday vaguely nearest sixty days before Easter, although anyone who has been a boy chorister with only the Book of Common Prayer for diversion during the sermon would remember it, for the obvious reason. As is right and proper for an obscure entry, it is plainly clued, with a clear anagram indicator in “cocktail” and a helpful array of crossing letters. The other oddity was NOOB. This needed a crossing letter or two to help me, although I doubt I will be deploying such an unlovely word in my vocabulary very soon. The crossing DINBATS might be new to some solvers, but not to anyone who has used the drop-down menu when formatting their Word documents.
It’s worth noting the appearance of a certain enemy leader, erroneously imagined never to appear in crosswords.
I was amused by the whimsical definition for SPELL CHECKER, but my Clue of the Day is 11ac. We have precise word-play in a charade and an amusing and plausible surface reading: “Second attempt to get hydrogen and nitrogen into surprisingly nice poison (10)”.
Here’s the link for the answers and explanations: https://www.fifteensquared.net/2018/10/28/independent-on-sunday-1496-peter/