i Cryptic Crossword 2201 Radian

February 27, 2018

Radian was the most prolific supplier of Tuesday crosswords in the i last year by a comfortable margin, but this is his first of 2018. A welcome re-appearance, and this one is a corker. It all revolves around this lady, represented by the rather impenetrable 23ac, so my way into the theme was by way of 29, then 27 at which point the penny dropped. The poet’s daughter in question is well known I thought, but quite a few of the Fifteensquared brigade did not agree, so maybe not. Anyway, nice to see some broadly scientific content for a change: C P Snow would approve.

Lots to enjoy today, including a coffee spluttering moment thanks to 3d. Presumably Radian couldn’t resist, which is either reprehensible or understandable. You decide. The only clue I couldn’t parse (or more accurately didn’t bother to) was 9d – it could hardly be anything else and even I am aware of who Motty is, which was conclusive. Oodles of praiseworthy clues today with nothing obviously standing out, but I rather liked 8d so that can be clue of the day:

“Top spaces exploited on board (7)”

The puzzle first appeared in 2013 on 15th October, which turns out to be 23ac’s Day: an annual celebration of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. I’m indebted to the estimable duncanshiell for that nugget of information, whose contributions on the other side are always impeccably comprehensive.

11 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2201 Radian”

  1. jonofwales said

    Agreed, that was a fantastic puzzle, with lots of smiles along the way. I’m guess most solvers will have heard of Ada 23ac, but I wonder how many got in trouble at work googling 3d 23ac? 🙂

    I had a little trouble parsing 26ac in addition to 9d, and ultimately didn’t, the rest though was pretty clear.

  2. Cornick said

    The first clue to catch my eye was the hidden in 3d; to confirm it I needed to think of a Linda with an 8-letter surname – are there any others? So the gateway clue was early doors today, and the rest then fell smoothly and entertainingly enough.
    Large print today – is that because the clues are shorter than average, I wonder?

  3. sprouthater said

    Yesterday (Mary) Whitehouse and today Linda Lovelace hmm
    As for this puzzle some very nicely written clues but Ada who?

  4. allan_c said

    Well, I obviously remembered what I learnt from solving the puzzle back in 2013, because I fairly whizzed through this, apart from my last two in, the occasional tosser and the ages, but even they eventually emerged from the depths of my subconscious. Definitely a puzzle to appreciate better the second time around.

  5. DB said

    Have to chuckle at all the tossers indignantly scoffing about a well-known scientist appearing, yet they’d have nothing but praise for another puzzle about Tom bloody Stoppard or some other arty elitist drivel.

  6. Harry said

    Did anyone have an explanation for the “L” in the middle of “Lovelace” ? (i.e. how does “ultimately” point to the “L”…do we think Radian meant “formerly lost”..?)

    • jonofwales said

      I think it must be a mistake, TBH. duncanshiell over on Fifteensquared got L from an abbreviation for lost, but I think you’re right.

    • batarde said

      “Ultimately” does seem rum, because you’d ordinarily expect it to point to the last letter of “lost”. In this case I’m sure Duncan is right about the abbreviation, as in W, D, L for won, drawn, lost. The best I can come up with for the seemingly redundant “ultimately” is that she was born Countess of Byron but ultimately wound up as Mrs Ada Lovelace by marriage. Not entirely convinced.

      • Cornick said

        Yes that makes sense, Batarde, thank you.
        The clue says ‘Poet’s daughter’ which implies Ada Byron, so the ‘ultimately’ is there to point away from that to her married name, as you say.
        The choice of ‘ultimately’ to make the said indication is a standard setter’s ploy of cheeky misdirection by using a word typically meaning last letter selection.
        Shame it all got lost on most of us though!

  7. Harry said

    Cheers for the replies guys. Agreed, that if L is from an abbrev for “lost” then the question remains over the purpose of “ultimately”. Shame the setter didn’t contribute & explain in the original blog, but never mind, nothing to lose sleep over 🙂

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