i Cryptic Crossword 2088 Alchemi

October 17, 2017

This felt like two puzzles in one to me, being entirely straightforward at the top and distinctly thorny at the bottom. There is a musical theme which I really ought to have spotted or at least suspected, but it doesn’t get in the way and needn’t trouble the solver who takes no interest in such things. All was explained back in April 2013 at Fifteensquared.

A couple of gripes this time. 14d does not convince, and I take issue with Alchemii’s contention that all Hollywood Hitchcocks are created equal and can be clued simply as a “film”. Some are more canonical than others, surely, and 25ac therefore seems a bit rich. Otherwise a nicely varied mixture today with a few clues which stood out, of which my favourite is 27ac on grounds of sneakiness and a fine surface:

“Figure on the right in America is a fool (5)”

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8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2088 Alchemi”

  1. jonofwales said

    An interesting, quirky puzzle I thought. 14d didn’t convince at all, and I didn’t / couldn’t parse several others. I didn’t have a problem with the obscure film, given how easy the clue was, but must to admit to not being that confident about my answer. Missed the theme, which I shouldn’t given that I was looking for one, and how obvious it is! Cornick complained about obscure answers being clued with anagrams a while back – I wonder what he made of 13ac. 🙂

    • Cornick said

      I use the word matryoshka with depressing predictability every time I meet mother, daughter and grandmother in each other’s company, so rather liked that one. 🙂
      Overall a mostly straightforward puzzle but with a couple of twists at the end (3d, 27a) and with a question mark over the parsing of 14d.

  2. dtw42 said

    I managed the top 2/3 fairly quickly (no problems with 13ac or quibbles with 25ac really, though I agree “film” is a bit vague); then spent AAAAGES on 14, 20, 23, 24 and 27 before they finally fell, and came here to look up 26 and 30. Pff.
    I can see bits of theme now having had it pointed out (probably not all of it) but would never have spotted it while solving.

  3. It didn’t help that I bunged in Wales for 24d which made 27a very difficult. Didn’t know the film either.

  4. allan_c said

    Fine surface to 27ac – agreed. And a layer of meaning that wasn’t there back in 2013. Know who I mean?

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