i Cryptic Crossword 3243 Peter

June 30, 2021

A welcome return for Peter today with an IoS reprint that was finished in a pretty sharpish time, but that also felt a little knotty in places. A few synonyms in wordplay that were a little off the beaten track (STIFF for tiring, the less common RAM, FLY for crafty, etc) will have been mostly responsible for any knottiness, I suspect, but most welcome it was too, making the puzzle feel a little different from the run-of-the-mill, and always engaging and lively. 1ac did make me wonder if some sort of theme might be afoot, but that was because I’d got it mixed up with Krampus. No puzzle is complete here without a chronic moment of misapprehension.

COD? With much to appreciate, I’ll go with 3d – “Minor fairy meeting pantheon’s foremost goddess by lake (10)”.

To February 2017 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3243 Peter”

  1. Cornick said

    A few synonyms I found difficult – like ‘tiring’ to define stiff or ‘male’ for ram (to help clue a dolphin I didn’t know) so I too found it knotty in places, but overall a good puzzle with much to be enjoyed.

  2. Saboteur said

    Me too. Stiff and ram required that extra bit of brainwork. A good and enjoyable solve. My favourite was CHEESED OFF, which I most definitely am not.

  3. Brock said

    Another enjoyable one with few obstacles. Didn’t know PERI = “fairy” in 3d but guessed it easily. 10a and 22a were favourites along with the aforementioned 13d.

    Had some misgivings about RAGA = “musical genre” in 12a, but that’s been done to death on Fifteensquared. Also unsure about DEAN = “college fellow” in 11a; surely they’re different posts? Certainly at Oxbridge colleges the governing body is made up of the Dean and Fellows. Otherwise, no real quibbles.

  4. Veronica said

    Elegant, smooth, delightful. I would have said it was a touch too easy, except that I DNF – having missed 23 down. Though that was me giving up more than anything else, given that it was perfectly clued.
    Is there such a thing as a CoD? I think they all qualify. This seemed like a setter who spends time on construction. I’m inclined to nominate 16 down. This was composed of several elements, yet Peter put them together in a neat little phrase.

  5. Willow said

    I very much enjoyed this – many thanks. I too thought there might have been a theme, but eventually decided there wasn’t one after all. All clues were excellent, and over a third of them delightful! I learned about grampuses in my Geography (Geography? Yes Geography – we studied fishing in the Atlantic and the North Sea amongst other things) classes when I was eight.

    Please feel free to ignore the next bit – or, indeed, the previous bit:

    Incidentally, has anyone else noticed the current trend to spell school subjects without a capital letter? As a form tutor one of my jobs was to correct spelling and punctuation errors in teachers’ school reports for members of my form. Two previous headmasters insisted (and I agreed) that every subject should have a capital letter – Geography, History, English, Physics, et al – but a more recent head didn’t seem to be quite so bothered until I asked for guidance and he agreed with what had been standard practice in years before. It was a topic which raised hackles among some of my colleagues. You need to know that, when report-writing time comes round, teachers are expected to write brilliant reports and still keep teaching, marking, assessing, attending parents’ evenings and running extra-curricular activities as normal. We don’t like being asked to correct trivial spelling errors, especially when we consider that we haven’t made a mistake in the first place. The number of times I sent reports back asking colleagues to change ‘practice’ to ‘practise,’ or vice versa …

    I have noted that in recent i articles lower case letters have been used as initial letters in most subjects. As with the now seemingly accepted spelling of sulfur (as opposed to sulphur) I wonder if this is becoming ubiquitous.

    • Brock said

      Re academic subject names, the Oxford University Style Guide makes the following distinction, with which I’d largely concur:
      Capitalise the name of a subject when it is used as part of a course title, but not when it is used in other contexts. Also capitalise the subject name when referring to the faculty to department which teaches it:
      “While studying economics, she focused on the theories of Adam Smith.”
      “David Cameron studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Brasenose.”
      “A degree in history teaches you to think analytically.”
      “The Law Faculty at Oxford has an excellent reputation.”
      Other style guides appear to make similar recommendations, except of course for names of languages (e.g. English, French), which always take a capital letter.

    • Cornick said

      Interesting on capitalisation. I always think of it as being slightly honorific, if you will, so I’d write ‘there’s been a bit of a drama going on in the Drama department’.

      ‘Sulfur’ was adopted by the Royal Society of Chemistry Nomenclature Committee in 1992 apparently, but I for one still haven’t caught up!

      • Cornick said

        Just checked the Oxford style guide which makes seems to make a distinction between subjects (uncapitalised) and course titles (capitalised). Hmm…

  6. batarde said

    Very much enjoyed that, confirming my high opinion of Peter’s work. What I did not enjoy was the sententious, bloviating nitwittery in the comments on the other side, but serves me right for looking. No complaints here, and as Veronica said the quality is consistent throughout. If forced to pick a COD other than those mentioned before, I’d go for 20d.

  7. dtw42 said

    Another one of those busy days, so apart from the first five put in over breakfast, this had to wait till the evening. Whereupon it all went in at a steady pace. I had ticks against 22ac and 20dn, so one of those would be my COD.

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