i Cryptic Crossword 2614 Hieroglyph

June 25, 2019

Here we have an object lesson in the pitfalls of explicitly themed crosswords. Deciphering hieroglyphs is most effectively done with the help of a Rosetta stone, so once you have the idea (10ac ought to spell that out) a list of thematic items should see off all the across entries nicely. The setter is of course to be congratulated on a nifty bit of grid filling, but if ever a puzzle solved itself it’s this one.

Some of the across answers are quite exotic and that slowed me down a little – I take the view that diving into a crossword dictionary straight away is a bit off on a blog day – but this was almost as quickly finished as yesterday’s all the same. All the clues are fair enough; not all of them are much cop though. 17d, anybody? And there’s that Gabon, too. Anyway, I don’t consider it my job to catalogue a string of niggles, and if it struck me as a disappointingly lightweight challenge that’s not for want of effort on Hieroglyph’s part – just a consequence of this type of gimmick. There was only one candidate for COD for once: it’s a good spot and rather chucklesome:

3d : “Off-colour article repeatedly goes into unmentionables (5,3,7)”

We’re back to March 2015 with this one, and there was a good deal of positivity in the comments at Fifteensquared. Perhaps it’s just me being grumpy then. I did like Bertandjoyce’s contribution.

10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2614 Hieroglyph”

  1. Topsy said

    With you on this one b! I thoroughly dislike themed puzzles because, for me, the gateway clue is either too hard or ridiculously simple. I loved some of the clues but others just “grated” on me 😉 Definitely a curate’s egg today.

  2. jonofwales said

    An enjoyable, light offering that will no doubt offset something pretty tough later in the week. And as it’s been a tough month in the i so far perhaps we were due something a little more straightforward. 🙂

    The theme was obvious enough, but some (loads!) of the 1d’s were obscure enough to still need recourse to the wordplay. I needed to confirm one or two with Mr Google, but only really came a cropper at the close on 25ac that I just couldn’t see, having exhausted possibilities for “sweet”.

  3. Cornick said

    Pretty good of its type; loved the COD.
    I have a Chambers Crossword Dictionary with a comprehensive list of cheeses, but that stayed on the shelf until my LOI 23a. House rules allowed Chambers and Collins to be consulted though – and they were certainly needed for the likes of 7a and 14a.
    Yarg is named after the Cornish farmers called Gray who first produced it, so an obvious reversal there.

  4. dtw42 said

    As all the above here, really. [shrug]

  5. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    My heart sank when I saw that all the across clues were themed. My heart rose when I looked at the gateway clue and got it instantly, and BRIE to confirm it. My heart then sank again in disappointment when I realised that it was now all too easy.

    So I’m inclined to agree with the general thrust of everyone here before me.

    I guessed TALEGGIO, and that and TILSIT were the only answers I needed to check.

  6. Jimbo said

    Oh dear., oh dear.

    Two of my pet hates: cheese (the devils’s issue) and a gateway clue crossed by (no less than three) other clues that reference it.

    Less of this please.

  7. sprouthater said

    Haven’t done many puzzles recently and rather wish I hadn’t bothered with this one.

  8. I agree. Crosswords ought to be do-able without needing to use dictionaries or reference books. I was left with Romona and Telaggio.

  9. allan_c said

    Well, I liked it, even if most of you seem to be cheesed off!

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