i Cryptic Crossword 2413 Alchemi

November 1, 2018

Perhaps the kindest thing to do would be to quote the Fifteensquared blogger and say that “I think the kindest thing I can say about this puzzle is that it was not my favourite ever IoS crossword.”

I toiled away for an age at this and, with the grid half complete, decided enough was enough. I did get 16d who was the focus of much discussion back in the day, but stood little chance with 14ac and 17ac among others, and having looked over on the other side don’t really think it would have been worth the effort. The less said about 7d the better…

Here’s a badly needed link to the Fifteensquared blog:


COD? Sorry, but over to you…


11 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2413 Alchemi”

  1. batarde said

    Oh! I thought it was quite a treat: one of those absorbing crosswords with some nice penny drop moments. 7d was cheeky, but didn’t offend. No single clue leaps out, but I did like 20d:

    “The first American Bob fought (7)”

  2. sprouthater said

    Well I finished it but with so many shrugs my shoulders hurt. No problem with 16dn the sheer awfulness of that programme has left an indelible mark in my memory. 14 and 17 went in with only partial understanding, the FOU part of 14 is ridiculous as is 7dn.

  3. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    This was hard work indeed. I was tempted to give up, and only the fact that the dog had gone to sleep on my lap and it seemed cruel to move made me persist. I failed to get MILLWHEELS. In fairness, everything else was ‘properly’ clued but this was another one where I spent too much time searching through lists of words on my phone and not really enjoying it.

  4. Barrie Cooper said

    I find myself in the minority again. I thought this was a superb puzzle, both original and witty. I’m not keen on 17D, but everything else was fair, and often ingenious. The best for some time in the I

  5. Wanderlust said

    Mixed views on this one and I still don’t get the reference to BB in 7d but I wrote it in anyway – could someone explain please? Another slight bugbear was and is the practice of splitting words as in 3d – sure they are 3 separate words but it irritates when they are clued as one, especially as they make no sense apart. Some good bits though.

    • jonofwales said

      It’s supposed to be how a ventriloquist would pronounce Brian Blessed, with G’s instead, in which case ANGLE is a hidden word – griAN GLE ssed.

  6. Cornick said

    I’ll hazard a guess that Alchemi thought about entering ‘Fifteen squared’ in his grid, then realised ‘Fourteen squared’ was just the right length to span the grid, so went with that.
    If he was trying to butter up the community on the other side, it turned out to be an abject failure – they laid into him in a way we seldom see.
    However I’m with Batarde and Barrie – mostly… I enjoyed this a lot and was all set to give it an unqualified thumbs up until the last 2 or 3, but I couldn’t understand how 7d worked and thought the parsing of some others was a bit over-complicated.

  7. Topsy said

    Ach, well, I had paid for my newspaper and really gave this one a go because I don’t like wasting money but this was way, way to difficult for me. Due to my age, Reg Varney was straight in but I only managed a few more. I particularly dislike “split” words even though the answer was obvious. Altogether too “S.A.” for my tastes! Never mind.

  8. dtw42 said

    Well, I had a slow start but eventually got the hang of it and have just finished this one without getting too downhearted. Certainly did better with this than I did with Monday and Tuesday’s. Yes, there were three or four at the end that I didn’t understand. Thanks JoW for the explanation of 7dn.

  9. Got half way and gave up.

  10. Nicky Johns said

    This was an overnighter for me, half-finished last night, completed this morning. Initially off-putting, then very entertaining. It’s a long time since I laughed out loud at the ingeniousness of a clue, but both 16D and 20D set me off.

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