i Cryptic Crossword 1621

April 20, 2016

A question for you, prompted by 16d. Can anybody tell me the difference between a joist and a girder?

I always feel a little cheated when a solution comes to me instantaneously based on the letter count without any thought, and that’s what happened with 10ac, followed immediately by 2d. A firm toehold thus established the rest of the puzzle didn’t put up much of a fight. That’s the trouble with long words and phrases I suppose: they either hold proceedings up interminably or do the crossword for you. Anyway, that aside today’s offering was par for the Wednesday course: pithy, elegant and generally unimpeachable. Clue of the day? Well, candidates included 1, 21 and 23ac; 3, 15 and the aforementioned 16d among others, but simply because it’s rather flippant and amusing I settled on 9d:

“Cries of delight from doctor before surgical proceedures (6)”

The original and distinctly autumnal 2011 Fifteensquared blog contains a suggestion in the comments that 26ac is obscure. This is clearly nonsense, because if I’ve heard of him, he can’t be. QED.

14 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 1621”

  1. Michael said

    Joist played Mildred in George & Mildred and Girder is a lake in Italy. (Just kidding – the original joke is one of my all-time favourites; wish I knew who came up with it first.)
    Re 9d, it’s probably been said by others but I’ve never liked ‘doctor’ for ‘who’ in crosswords. ‘Who’ is just part of the programme title, it isn’t the Doctor’s name.

    • jonofwales said

      The good Doctor has been credited off and on (mostly off) as Doctor Who in the closing titles, much to my horror (I’m a life-long fan). I’m afraid it’s a battle lost, up there with Frankenstein v Frankenstein’s monster.

  2. sprouthater said

    Found via Google this might help:-)

    In his book of esays, Love, Poverty and War Christopher Hitchens starts his essay of James Joyce with the following joke:

    A surly English overseer is standing at the entrance to a construction site in London. It’s a filthy wet day. He sees approaching him a shabby figure, with a clay pipe clenched in mouth and a battered raincoat, and scowlingly thinks, Another effing Mick on the scrounge. The Irishman shambles up to him and asks if there’s any casual job going. “You don’t look to me ,” says the supervisor, “as if you know the difference between a girder and a joist.” “I do too,” says the Irishman indignantly, “The first of them wrote Faust and the second one wrote Ulysses.”

  3. jonofwales said

    Lots of ticks by the clues, and a solve that was neither too quick or too slow. If I hadn’t messed up penning in OVERBOARD it would have been even quicker. 26ac was definitely obscure, but not a particularly difficult clue, so…

  4. Michael said

    Thanks, sprouthater, but I definitely heard a shorter version of the joke in the 1980s, years before the Hitchens essay was published. It was probably old even then.
    And now I’ve just remembered the amusing Shakespeare/DH Lawrence joke – better not repeat here because it includes an offensive term!

  5. Cornick said

    Far from being obscure, Oscar Peterson is highly useful when compiling a list of famous people whose initials form a chain from A to Z. I’ll start you off with ‘Ann Boleyn’ so your next should be someone with the initials C D. oh, go on, I’ll throw in Wang Xun – another pianist – for free.

  6. Cornick said

    Yevgeny Zanyatin – very popular down our way.

  7. AndyT said

    And “Brave New World”. Huxley said that he had never read Zamyatin, apparently – a claim I consider risible on the basis of reading “We” many years ago.

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