i Cryptic Crossword 2357 Tees / Hephaestos

August 28, 2018

I think we have a strong contender for stinker of the year today. In addition to Chambers, Brewer’s Phrase and Fable and the Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology or an equivalent will come in handy, unless you have the advantage of a Classical education or an eidetic memory. There’s a theme and a Nina: it’s all terribly clever but if you’re the man on the Clapham omnibus or a blogger trying to get copy out before lunchtime you’re going to feel sore beset.

The puzzle first appeared in the Indy in May 2014 under the byline of one Hephaestos, but in fact it’s the work of the setter usually known as Tees. There’s far too much going on to discuss properly here, so thank goodness for Duncan Shiell at Fifteensquared who made a superb job of dissecting and analysing this beast of a crossword. There are fine clues galore throughout, my favourites including 4, 20, 22ac and 25. My COD perhaps isn’t the best but it’s the key to everything and it is rather aptly worded:

17/19/8: “Battle lines – as our grid asserts – where old chief halts and heel is shot (3,6,2,8)”

13 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2357 Tees / Hephaestos”

  1. jonofwales said

    You might have added “or if you had access to Google…” to your list above, because without that I would have been sunk today, I suspect. This was all very clever, for sure, but for a daily cryptic this went well beyond being a bit much. Never mind, the Telegraph have a new puzzles site, I understand, I can explore later.

    • batarde said

      For blog purposes I affect to assume that the man on the Clapham omnibus doesn’t have access to the internet – yes, quaint I know. He’ll have the relevant reference books in his briefcase though. 🙂

  2. Cornick said

    This would have been a super puzzle for a bank holiday, but never mind, I still enjoyed it.
    Although a million miles away from being a classicist, I did teach Ancient Greece to primary school children in a former life so most, if not all, of the characters were familiar. A bit of help from Google finished things off though and left me with a good deal of appreciation for the setter’s work.
    Missed the Nina though.

  3. Topsy said

    I am getting to the stage where I feel some setters are just too clever for their own good. This was tedious to the point where I gave up! Perhaps I will take up watching paint dry as a more fun occupation.

  4. sprouthater said

    Whilst I completed this with a lot of outside assistance the comments by Kathryn’s Dad at #8 on Fifteensquared sum up my feelings exactly.

  5. StanXYZ said

    Not my cup of tea. Just to prove how little I knew what was going on, I was convinced that Corydon was a typo of Croydon.

  6. StanXYZ said

    Ps. I think your clock is wrong?

  7. Gave up after an hour and went and did something more productive.

  8. Crossword Nut said

    The shield of Achilles

  9. dtw42 said

    I got most of it done, but not all. “The Shield…” eluded me – never heard of the poem. Didn’t see the nina. Meh.

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