i Cryptic Crossword 1811 Raich

November 28, 2016

An enjoyable, not too difficult solve to start the week. A few unfamiliar terms, but they were all clearly, fairly clued.

COD? 17ac – ‘He controls investigator at hillside leisure facility? (8)’.

Our first IoS reprint of the week is from July 2012:


8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 1811 Raich”

  1. AndyT said

    A pleasant way to start the week with some nicely turned out clues. My LOI was 24ac – one of the particularly natty ones.

  2. sprouthater said

    Good puzzle to start the week. Had trouble reconciling my idea of a rec with a leisure facility, didn’t really like 13a or 19d and 10a always makes me snigger due to its dubious origins:-). My LOI was also 24a.

  3. AndyT said

    In case anyone’s interested, there’s a little discussion about what makes a crossword difficult over at the Grauniad which may amuse. My first reaction was “antelopes” – one of my worst blind spots. If it ain’t an eland, I’m in trouble. Here’s the link:

    • jonofwales said

      Which is why I hit a brick wall in today’s concise at the very close. 🙂

    • Cornick said

      Thanks for the link Andy. A rather brief discussion of an interesting subject.
      Back in August there was a very heated discussion about this subject on Fifteensquared, in the wake of some letters in the Graun claiming puzzles were harder these days. Plenty of counter-examples were provided of very hard clues and setters back in the day, but I have also heard it said that there are few easy setters tha there used to be – other than Rufus and Chifonie perhaps.

      A more interesting but related subject for me is what sort of solvers there are. Some seem to prefer logical calculus Lego block style clues (Klingsor typifies this type of puzzle I think, and I get on well with his style), whilst some are better at the more intuitive lateral-thinking style clues. To satisfy both, it seems to me, a perfect puzzle should have both – but a perfect paper should have puzzles of both types and some which have both, if that makes sense.

      • jonofwales said

        They say that Rufus is supposed to be easy, but I consistently find his puzzles to be extremely difficult, so I guess I’d agree with the above. Intuitive lateral-thinking’s ok until you’re on a completely different wavelength to the setter.

      • AndyT said

        Interesting. Back in the day Araucaria and Bunthorne were the setters my father and I regarded as the most formidable opponents, but both were influential so perhaps they wouldn’t seem so devious by comparison to the current generation of tough guys like Monk, Anax, Nimrod et al. I’m quite sure that Rufus could compile an impeccable crossword in his sleep, but the tropes he tends to use are very familiar which generally makes for a quick solve.

        On which subject, judging a puzzle by the time taken to finish it doesn’t appeal to me. Quite often the required answer will be perfectly evident, but it feels like cheating myself if I haven’t taken the clue apart and reassembled it to my complete satisfaction. I do keep an eye on the clock for those Times championship crosswords which have a rubric telling you what percentage of entrants finished in half an hour, which is often rather humbling.

        Logical calculus is definitely to my taste, but it’s nice to get a few “aha!” moments too – the sort of thing which Punk / Paul, Scorpion and Arachne are so good at. And a hearty chuckle is a fine thing too. So agreed: the perfect puzzle should have a variety. The i / Independent scores highly for giving us a interesting mix over the course of the week.

      • Cornick said

        Yes, humour, of course! Which is why I for one will go in search of an Arachne/ Anarche or a Paul/ Punk.

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