i Cryptic Crossword 3245 Jambazi

July 2, 2021

Is EVAPORATED MILK a drink? That, fellow-solvers, is the provocative question posed by today’s puzzle. I dare say it might be possible to drink it, but surely it’s no more a drink than is the cream for which evaporated milk was the substitute in times gone by. I suppose the comments section will be filled with reminiscences of tinned fruit and other staples of high tea in the days before the food revolutions of more recent decades.

Jambazi has given us a tough challenge this morning, after a few days of more accessible crosswords. It took me a little longer than usual to complete, but once I got into it, and once I had twigged a little of this unfamiliar setter’s distinctly idiosyncratic style, it seemed easier to finish than my experience at the start seemed to suggest.

Parsing problems included OGLE, PEON, and YOGI, all of which took a bit of niggling at before I could get what was going on. ICONIC seems suspicious as well. But there is, I think, nothing particularly obscure or controversial (apart from the aforementioned EVAPORATED MILK 🙂).

There’s lots of good and imaginative stuff here, which made the puzzle both engrossing and enjoyable. GROOVIEST was a good clue for a fun word. FORM was neat, as was REDRAW. Clue of the day, however goes to 26ac: “Cream cakes round with four lines (5)”.

Back to Easter weekend 2017 for the answers and explanations:

Independent crossword 9518 by Jambazi

15 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3245 Jambazi”

  1. Cornick said

    Yes, pretty challenging. Fortunately I had plenty of time this morning, so was able to indulge in parsing all the clues – very often after the event – which took almost as long as thinking of the solutions. PEON was a new word for me (I should probably read more) and I ended up having to resort to a Wordsearch (level 3 cheating) to get it, although once again the parsing was clear to see in retrospect.
    Enjoyable in a fairly tortuous sort of a way; lots of cleverness certainly.

  2. jonofwales said

    Tougher than the previous few days certainly, but this was a puzzle where attention to detail paid off. All the clues were fair, and just needed a little unpicking. “Gryll’s first in the middle” being a very good case – Jambazi knew exactly what he was saying, but the apparent instruction (and nice misdirection) to take the G from Gryll held me up for an age in that corner.

    Finished somewhat over par here, thoroughly enjoyed, and puzzle of the week as far as I’m concerned.

  3. dtw42 said

    DN(Q)F here – failed on 24 at the end.

  4. batarde said

    Quality has been good all this week, but in run for your money terms Jambazi’s well ahead. Knowing that he’s aka Tramp, I did think that there was a whiff of the Guardian about this puzzle which made a change. Thoroughly enjoyable. Probably the most perplexing problem was the one identified by Saboteur: just how would you describe evaporated milk, anyway? Still mulling that over.

    • Saboteur said

      On reflection, EVAPORATED MILK is a very good clue, with a good anagram and a very plausible surface reading. At the time of blogging I could not get beyond the definition of “another drink”, which seems a stretch. But given the anagram and the surface, I’m now inclined to be much more indulgent of a dubious definition.

      More accurate definitions might include “austere substitute”, or “Carnation, perhaps”, both requiring a completely different clue.

      • batarde said

        Austere?! High days and holidays stuff. I do like Carnation as a synonym though.

        My musing is not really crossword related and the clue is fine as far as I’m concerned.

  5. Brock said

    Certainly the toughest one this week. I started off confidently with 22a and got most of the right-hand side done, then ground to a halt on the left-hand side until a hint got me going again with 9a. Last one in was 20a (which I was convinced must be STRAP for most of the time).

    Favourite was definitely 3d/25d – I must admit I didn’t stop to think whether it strictly qualified as a “drink” or not, so pleased was I at cracking the anagram! I suppose you can drink it if you add water to it (though I’m not sure if I’d want to). Other nice ones were 1d, 6d and 18d.

    I parsed 23d as IC + ON + IC (one “line” of cocaine on top of another), which was completely wrong of course. However I don’t quite get the explanation in Fifteensquared: why “do” = CON?

    24a threw me slightly because the only version of the word I know is POLEMICISTS. The wordplay gave me the answer but I had to check it online (it’s not in the COED).

    • jonofwales said

      To con somebody, do them out of money.

    • Saboteur said

      I think “polemicists” is more usual, but POLEMISTS is supported by Chambers, which does not qualify it in any way, as e.g. archaic or North American, so it must be OK.

      • batarde said

        I think polemicist is by far the more usual too, but the OED is interesting on this one, saying that polemist is a borrowing from Greek, but polemicist is derived from, you guessed it, polemist. The latter appears still to be in use in some circles and I’m minded to adopt it just for the sake of being contrary and to spite spellcheckers.

  6. Veronica said

    I wasn’t entirely convinced about this one. In some ways, I liked the quirkiness. But, overall, I found it rather clunky. I also questioned evaporated milk as a drink – and I still do – not so forgiving over here! Not keen in that clue. There’s were several others that I found clumsy – eg 6 down: with that “(on this)” in brackets.

    I failed to finish – defeated by 19 across and 19 and 24 down.

    Not that I thought it unenjoyable or bad, though. I did rather like SPARROW, POLEMISTS, ICONIC, and also 2 down for its construction.

  7. Willow said

    I had to take a break overnight, but did manage to finish the puzzle this morning. Like many, I didn’t know PEON and had to resort to Chambers to confirm it, but that was the only one. All the clues were really carefully constructed and most imaginative. Even though many required considerable thought it was a very enjoyable experience – thank you.

    1 Down got me on the wrong track to start with. I initially entered GAZE, meaning Look, thinking that a cryptic definition of Website might be GAUZE, and that the missing Turn might be a U. Well, some setters have indeed been equally cryptic in the past. Fortunately, I then got GROOVIEST, and saw the error of my ways. My favourite was STRAD.

    Now for Phi …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: