i Cryptic Crossword 2596 Hob

June 4, 2019

A perky puzzle from Hob, over surprisingly quickly despite a hesitant start. My customary approach to a crossword with an explicit theme and many cross references between clues like this one is to ignore all that and crack on with the rest, after which nine times out of ten it will have become clear what’s going on. Had I followed my own advice instead of faffing around this would probably have been done and dusted in about the same time as yesterday’s Commoner.

A couple of not-so-common words notwithstanding, both of which were precisely indicated by the wordplay, there’s nothing very obscure here so long as the solver is old enough to remember a few bygone 26s. Ordinarily I’d expect some googlies from this setter, but it’s quite conventional fare if convoluted in places (notably the excellent 18/28 and 25). No complaints here: all good enjoyable stuff. Just for once my COD is thematic:

5ac: “Former 26 hero, another that’s desperate to get read about (3,4)”

Bertandjoyce were on hand in February 2015 to do the Fifteensquared write-up, which ought to cover any questions and clarifications admirably with a little help from the chorus. Not everybody liked this one, and it’s my guess that the same might hold true today.

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13 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2596 Hob”

  1. Topsy said

    I was extremely fortunate with this one as I am usually terrible at working out gateway clues. My first in was 3d which gave me the O for 9a. I couldn’t parse 9a and my strange mind came up with “That’ll be a no then”. After that the whole puzzle was fine and 5d 😀

  2. dtw42 said

    Hmm. A few were bunged in without really getting the parsing (11ac, 25ac), but it finished in reasonable time nonetheless. Like Bertandjoyce, I wasn’t sure where MIC came from but suspected (as Herb supplied) that it was MIC(e). Think calling a mouse an appliance is pushing it a bit.
    Is this the first use of “unoriginal” as a deletion indicator? Not sure I like it, TBH.
    Some of the others were rather nice though – e.g. 19ac, 2dn.

  3. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    I didn’t really enjoy this for some reason: perhaps because it was all a little self-referential, with too many interlocking clues, which irritated me – maybe unreasonably so. And probably because my first one in, INTERBRED, seems to me to be in poor taste.

    I found it to be actually easier than I first thought, and finished it in only a little over my typical one hour, without resorting to dictionaries or the internet – except to check that TACET really was a word, and that a TOMOGRAPH was an x-ray machine.

    Couldn’t properly parse ESSAYED; it never occured to me that unoriginal’ meant ‘remove the initial letter’.

  4. dtw42 said

    …dunno what the moaning (over on 15²) about TACET was for though.

  5. sprouthater said

    Ugh football teams, actors and comedians all the stuff I usually don’t get on with but I enjoyed this, needed to check the unknown at 16dn and a few went in unparsed. Agree with COD but thought 4dn worthy of a mention.

  6. Brakewynde said

    I believe CI is a recognised abbreviation for Church of Ireland, so there are two possibilities for 24. Good fun, nonetheless!

  7. jonofwales said

    Not my favourite puzzle for some of the reasons already given, the gateway clue in particular. I’m never particular fond of so much cross-referencing either, but never mind, there’s always tomorrow.

  8. Cornick said

    Have we met 10 or 5 as unindicated anagram fodder for TEN/ FIVE before? I can’t remember doing so, so both 10a and 4d took me quite bit of head-scratching, although I did get there eventually. Failed to fully parse 26a though.
    Bottom half much easier than the top and I have mixed feelings about the puzzle as a whole; 18/ 28 was brilliant – Eimi will have loved that one.

  9. Solojo said

    Terrific fun. I love a bit of cross-referencing, assuming it falls in that tiny sweet spot between write-in gateway/obvious follow-ons leading to rapid fall, & applied mathematics. Hob squeezed this one in comfortably. (Though I’d never have parsed that airport in a hundred years.)

  10. allan_c said

    All done and dusted in one session, only needing to check TOMOGRAPH in Chambers; it could be that I had a vague recollection of doing it back in 2015, although I didn’t comment on 15^2 at the time – one or two of the clues seemed familiar. CHIPOLATA was my favourite; I got it from crossing letters and then saw the parsing – great!

  11. Grodnik said

    A great puzzle for us over-seventies. Dan Dare’s first “Eagle” adventure to explore Venus; weekly nonsense from Dandy and Beano; Tough of the Track in Hotspur (I think). It has sent me back to the little corner newsagent’s shop, opposite the cottage hospital, which my sister and I WALKED past on our way to primary school. Ah, imagination and trust, where did they go?

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