i Cryptic Crossword 2249 Radian

April 24, 2018

According to Sir Mark Rylance on the radio this morning, Shakespeare was a committee. Be that as it may, solvers wishing to confirm today’s theme are encouraged to have a gander at As You Like It II vii, where they’ll find something with a familiar ring to it. (Cornick may very well be able to reel it off). Once again Radian has supplied a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, and although all those 22 20s might look daunting it’s actually eminently accessible.

Well, mostly. 17 and 24 were both familiar, but I suspect only from barred puzzles and they seem a bit recondite for a daily crossword. Ditto the Russian river and perhaps the cargo plane, although the clue for the latter could hardly have been more straightforward. Leaving those aside there are plenty of gentle clues to get one off to a start whilst pondering what 22 20 is about. Back in January 2014 some of the commenters at Fifteensquared had a spot of bother with that Herts town (not a phrase which filled my heart with joy, admittedly), but it’s eminently gettable once 13d is in. Favourites today included 16 and 23ac, and 3d; my choice for COD is 8ac – just let’s not argue about whether it’s an &lit or not, please.

“Time, say, covering 5 to 9 (it varies) (7)”

5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2249 Radian”

  1. jonofwales said

    I’m afraid I started out feeling irritated with this puzzle thanks to all those cross-referenced clues, and ended up feeling irritated too. Herts towns – that’s a long way across the country from me, though I did eventually twig it once I had the G in place, but only because we used to (perhaps still do) have an office there. Once that had fallen the themed clues fell quickly, as did much of the grid from that point onward, but by that point I was just keen to finish.

    Didn’t like the “big-chested” reference, which felt puerile, or 6d where Radian had evidently painted himself into a corner. Another instance of the theme taking precedence over the puzzle.

  2. Cornick said

    Hmm, reel it off very imperfectly, alas. But I did once play Adam in As You Like It, so was on stage every time Jaques did his thing. And yes, that helped a lot today. Incidentally Adam is apparently the only part in any of his plays that Shakespeare himself is recorded as having played.
    As for the estimable Mr Rylance, I wonder if he was being wry or some such? Mind you I suppose it is true that the unpublished words of Shakespeare the man were assembled posthumously into the cohesive plays we’re familiar with by group(s) of actors, each clutching their own part. Perhaps that’s what he meant…

    • Cornick said

      Oh, and I feel that Radian should be given credit for including ‘sudden’ and ‘jealous’ at 25a and 23a, both from the monologue.

    • batarde said

      I’m sure Mark Rylance is very much in earnest. He has a lot of form going back for more than a decade, and along with Derek Jacobi was an early signatory to the Declaration of Reasonable Doubt petition. Serious textual scholars tend to roll their eyes at this sort of thing, but it keeps on coming up. Since definitive proof either way is unlikely to emerge no doubt the debate will run and run.

      • Cornick said

        Oh dear. Whilst it may perhaps be reasonable to carry a scintilla of doubt about who Shakespeare was, I cannot for the life of me see how it would be useful to do so. Fake News, methinks.
        On the other hand speculation that his ‘Lost Years’ were spent in Italy is both tantalising and interesting.

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