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30th December 2023, 04:15
Unusual silence so far...thanks to Picaroon for an enjoyable Prize up to his high standards.
Obviously themed, but a theme with much leeway / room for interpretation. I found it more difficult than the usual Prize, but started late at night and haven't been active with crosswords this week, so maybe it's just me.
FOI 9, LOI 11 (the crossers 2 and 11 took a large share of solving time).
Not sure of COD but there were plenty to choose from.
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30th December 2023, 04:41
Hi, Geeker. My experience was similar to yours. Definitely very much on the difficult side, despite getting 25d right away, but as you observed, lots of possibilities for themed clues. Also struggled with the NW corner, and particularly 2 and 11. I learned a new word in 6d.
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30th December 2023, 04:55
Darla, I also saw the theme (25) early, maybe even second one in. I really needed the theme in order to make progress, which is relatively uncommon (generally it's used more to fill in stragglers).
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30th December 2023, 05:09
I thought this was one of the toughest Prize puzzles in recent weeks. I had the same experience being held up by 2 and 11, although the latter, in particular, is now a COD candidate. I have to admire the number of meanings of 25d that Picaroon was able to include in the puzzle. I normally dread seeing that so much of the grid requires solving one clue, but he was kind enough to make it a relatively easy one.
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30th December 2023, 08:50
I had a similar experience. Got 25 straight away and made quick progress but came a cropper in the NW corner which took as long as the entire rest of the puzzle. Appropriate level for the prize I thought.
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30th December 2023, 09:54
Got stuck a while on 4D. Not clear on how it works though
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30th December 2023, 10:11
Dobby, there’s a comparatively recent term for someone whose gender identity is the same as their sexual identity. A three-letter abbreviation of a nine letter word ***gender. Only in dictionaries in the last 10 years. It forms the wrapping of the answer.
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30th December 2023, 10:18
Thanks. You just taught me a new word.
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30th December 2023, 10:42
I found this hard work, though have to recognise the ingenuity. Wonder if the repetition in 1,7 and 22 should maybe have recognised? - perhaps with "a different arm" in 22 or am I being pedantic?
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30th December 2023, 10:43
25 was my FOI, also struggled with NW corner. My answer to 1d went in with shrug, fits second definition in the clue but not sure about first ... Can someone put me out of my misery with a hint as to what 'from the 1910s' is doing in 21across?
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