i Cryptic Crossword 2692 Hieroglyph

September 24, 2019

A peculiar crossword with a humdinger of a phantom theme. Did you spot it? I noted a couple of the components but failed to excavate the majority of them until prompted to try harder by George’s comment on the July 2015 Fifteensquared blog. A top notch example of thematic grid filling in my opinion, which justifies the presence of a few rather uncommon entries.

As for the clues, that’s where the peculiarity comes in because they run the gamut between trivially straightforward and downright intractable. I do think that Hieroglyph might have taken it a bit easier with 10ac, for instance, which was my last one in after a good deal of mental contortionism. Some disciples of Ximenes will not be best pleased by 11ac and 14d; and the spelling of 6d is just asking for trouble. All the same, I’m inclined to be indulgent under the circumstances, and 14d made me smile – eventually. 15d and 29ac get an appreciative thumbs up and my clue of the day is 12ac:

“Writer cryptically using black and white characters (8)”

9 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2692 Hieroglyph”

  1. Topsy said

    A bit “curate’s eggy” for me and I must be very dim because I can’t spot any sort of theme. Heigh Ho!

  2. jonofwales said

    Yes, a peculiar one. Three quarters was done in a flash, but the NW corner was a different matter altogether. I didn’t spot the theme (though did wonder on seeing 29ac), otherwise… Well, I wouldn’t have struggled at all. Nicely done by Hieroglyph, all in all.

  3. Cornick said

    My turn to feel smug today. Got all 10 theme entries and a completed grid without any help for once.
    Well, actually it was with a little help, because the theme helped with the tricky last three – 9d, 10ac and 21ac.
    So very good indeed from the Puzzler, my only slight quibble, once I’d reluctantly accepted the Guardianese ‘definition’ in 14d, was the instruction to ‘over Irish singer’ in 15d. How can you over anything?

    • Cornick said

      Actually I think it’s 11 themed entries – I would also include DUO, but not TURBAN as someone suggested on the other side – that seems no more significant than RUCTION or indeed URBAN for that matter.

      • dtw42 said

        Oh – has the thematic count included BANE too?

        (I’m wondering about the reference to “throws up” in column 10, haha)

      • Cornick said

        Good spot dtw, good spot.
        Let’s venture a whole list: BATMAN, ROBIN, TWO-FACE, PENGUIN, RIDDLER, JOKER, GOTHAM, POISON IVY, BANE, CATWOMAN, (dynamic) DUO, (bruce) WAYNE.

    • dtw42 said

      (If it had said “…won Irish singer over” that would still have worked for the surface and I think been more acceptable as wordplay, no?)

  4. dtw42 said

    As above – 90% done in short order; didn’t spot the theme, though it’s spottable in retrospect. 18ac was in in pencil because I didn’t much like ‘cur’=CURRENT. Needed a wordinfder at the end for 9dn and then (incorrectly) bunged in TORIES at 10ac. Of course, if I *had* twigged to the theme, the correct answer might’ve suggested itself. Hey ho.

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