i Cryptic Crossword1764 Poins

October 4, 2016

The other day a gentleman walked past my window wearing a zebra onesie. “Aha!” I thought, “that’s unusual but not unprecedented – much like an appearance by Poins in the i”.

Oh, all right then. What I really thought was “the sights you see when you don’t have a gun to hand”, but one has to write something, don’t you know?

Anyway: Poins. Not a frequent visitor, and his previous puzzles haven’t left much of an impression on me. This one, however, is an Independent on Sunday reprint from April Fool’s Day 2012, and has a mini-theme relating to 24d, which in turn relates to this, of which I was unaware. Quite a few quibbles today (the correct abbreviation for Ohio; the difference between “less” and “fewer”, and the double appearance of a word in crossing entries being the ones which spring to mind), but for all that I rather enjoyed the crossword. A knowledge of mythical beasties, Hesiod and Scottish football grounds will all have come in handy, not to mention familiarity with the delightfully outdated slang in 23ac. I am led to believe that the up-to-date expression is “on fleek” – or was last year.

COD? How about 18d? Yes, I jest. On account of a pleasingly smooth surface and the solution being such a nice word, the prize goes to 14ac:

“A short time after, heads of companies openly call king a monster (10)”

For solutions and grumbling, please see the Fifteensquared blog.

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8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword1764 Poins”

  1. sprouthater said

    I’m with Harvey Hawley regarding 20a. Plenty of tuts and a few question marks here. Agree with COD also liked 9a

  2. dtw42 said

    And I’m with pennes re 5dn. While I found 20ac obscure (and 3/24 too), no more so than any other football-related clue: they’re almost all obscure to me so I don’t complain – if I find the national sport about as compelling as drying paint that’s my issue not that of our setters. With all the checking letters in it seemed most logical and likely though I did subsequently Google to confirm it.

  3. jonofwales said

    Thanks for covering today, especially as I only got round to solving at 9 tonight. As it turns out, this wasn’t the best time to begin, as this felt tricky in places. An obscure novel, an even more obscure football ground, and I must admit to not having heard of the monster. The rest, for the most part, though went in smoothly enough.

  4. allan_c said

    One of the reprints I hadn’t done before as I rarely saw the IoS. Once I twigged what was going on from 27/24 it just about all fell into place. All I needed to do then was guess ‘human’ in 3/24, confirm it by googling and google for the name of Hearts’ ground.

    The original being a Sunday puzzle didn’t attract much comment on 15sq otherwise there could have been lively discussion on various topics. I was mildly surprised that no-one picked up on jetdoc’s comment on the upper-case B in 29ac; to me it was perfectly OK as ‘Barney’ can be a personal name (a diminutive of Bernard or Barnabas).

    Having only just discovered where Poins’ pseudonym comes from – he’s an “irregular humorist” in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 2 – I thought it an appropriate puzzle for him to have set for April Fool’s Day.

    • AndyT said

      That’s quite apt – Poins is certainly an irregular as far as the i goes.

      The usual rule with regard to capitalisation, I believe, is that it’s a perfectly acceptable way to mislead, but the reverse (ie. putting a proper noun into lower case) is not. The canny setter can sidestep this by putting the noun in question at the start of the clue where there’s always a capital anyway. No need in this instance.

  5. Cornick said

    I love a bit of footie to leaven my usual mix of High Art and the Classics. 🙂
    Lots of ticks, including a double for 4a which appealed here, and my only grumble was 5d where the Less/fewer thing (bête noir of mine) was compounded by a stre-e-etched synonym of confirmed for chronic.

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