i Cryptic Crossword 2644 Hieroglyph

July 30, 2019

A peculiar sort of grid with sub-optimal checking suggested that we might be in for a struggle today, and a peripheral Nina. Wrong on both counts. Instead there’s an explicit and comprehensive theme based around 18ac. It’s an impressive feat of construction, but as is so often the case with this sort of puzzle once the solver cottons on so many of the solutions are known in advance that it becomes an exercise in spotting where they fit. Obviously it helps if you’re familiar with all of them, otherwise it’s off to the reference shelf.

My experience was similar to RatkojaRiku’s, related in the preamble to the April 2015 Fifteensquared blog entry, except that all the thematic material was familiar. I was initially suckered into thinking that we were looking for something German, but not for long, and the breakthrough came with 1d etc – a superb clue, by the way. 9d is a cracker too. The whole thing was polished off in about the same sort of time as yesterday’s, which is to say briskly – a shame, really, because there’s plenty of enjoyable stuff in there, and I for one would welcome more appearances from Hieroglyph, perhaps including some plain puzzles. Thumbs up for 12 and 28 in particular, and I’m pinning the COD rosette on 7ac:

“1D at home in the outskirts of Hamburg’s out of sight (6)”

3 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2644 Hieroglyph”

  1. dtw42 said

    Well, I didn’t know 23ac. Regarding the thematic entries, 4dn was unfamiliar to me and needed looking up; the rest went in quickly enough.

  2. Cornick said

    Great grid fill but too specialist a subject for my liking. Quite a bit beyond my ken today, in fact. Felix Holt and Adam Bede (presumably) didn’t matter, as the word-play was clear enough – even without a reference shelf or t’internet to hand – but the fish at 23a was only dimly recalled and ‘pay dirt’ is completely new to me. Bad dirt fitted too, so I just wrote in DIRT and came here with a shrug.

  3. New word of the day: The good old Alburnus Alburnus. (And, philistine that I am, I needed Wikipedia for a list of the author’s works.)

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: