i App Cryptic Crossword S0057
January 8, 2023
Difficulty rating (out of five): ⏳⏳⏳
Yet another brilliant grid fill by Serpent *SPOILER ALERT* We had eight 6-letter authors around the perimeter, all of which were chosen because they could be clued other than as surnames – so no ‘Austen’ for example – then there was a central Nina in both row 8 AND column 8, and all achieved with nothing more obscure than a WORMCAST. How does he keep doing it? I think it’s pretty clear which authors Serpent had in mind – Dylan THOMAS and Alan GARNER created some doubt on the other side, but both are vastly better known than the alternatives suggested.
The clues were of Serpent’s usual high standard and mostly pretty straightforward – I have a few observations though: An unusual bit of scatological humour from Serpent in 3d LOOPY; another instance of RR in NATION, as we saw in yesterday’s Phi, and also in the NE corner (I actually entered the answer before reading the clue because I’d just done 11a RATIO); an extremely tricky reverse anagram indication in 27a FREELANCE – we just had ‘Clean using’ to go on, so unsurprisingly that was my LOI; and then another instance of ‘rule of law’ to indicate the letter R, which threw me when it appeared a couple of weeks ago and took me an age to figure out again today… must remember it for next time!
As for my CoD, well I spent yesterday clearing out our attic and along with all the broken suitcases and jigsaws with missing pieces, I have bravely placed all my 40-year-old Geography files from university and ‘A’ levels into the family trailer. I will now take them to the local dump with a little sigh as I do so. Hence it has to be this one:
5a Area beneath earth’s crust shifting end of continental shelf (6)
Here’s the link: www.fifteensquared.net/2018/12/06/independent-10031-by-serpent