i Cryptic Crossword 2698 Radian

October 1, 2019

This is a reprinted Saturday prize puzzle from July 2015, so if it’s a little trickier than we’ve come to expect from Radian that’s understandable. There’s a theme and it’s near enough ubiquitous: well done if you spotted it because I did not. For an explanation along with all the solutions and parsings click here and you’ll be whisked away to Bertandjoyce’s impeccable Fifteensquared write-up.

In his blog Anax talks about the concept of balance in crosswords, by which he means the avoidance of hot spots where the solver can bogged down by intractable clues. Some setters are good at avoiding these situations, others less so, and ordinarily I’d say that Radian is amongst the best. However, the SW extremity caused me a good deal of trouble today, with 20, 22d and 24 all being pretty thorny. You’ll search the current edition of Chambers in vain for a proper explanation of 22d, which is why although I was reasonably sure of the required entry I cavilled for a long time before writing it in.

On the plus side there’s plenty of variety, a high standard of workmanship and one has to applaud the theme. The first three down clues all pleased me for various reasons, and of those 1d stands out as my clue of the day:

“Can Noel put up inspiring names for ex-Liverpool player? (4,6)”


5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2698 Radian”

  1. Topsy said

    Some smiles, some irritation and a DNF for me. I was all for slapping in John Barnes for 1d as he is one of the few Liverpool players I have heard of but the answer came to me eventually. The theme totally evaded me but that’s nothing new and one day I will remember by = X

  2. Cornick said

    Yup, got there eventually. Well, almost – I failed to get 4d, a double definition proving to be my undoing yet again.
    Saw the Os after the first two went in (9a, 10a) and then with 11/5 and a couple of Xs the theme seemed pretty clear, which helped a bit in the SW, I suppose.
    Found the NE trickier actually.
    Good puzzle.

  3. dtw42 said

    Okay, busy day at work today but managed to get most of this fitted in and around other stuff. Yes, many bits of it seemed decidedly chewy; I spotted the preponderance of Os but no more than that.

    Failed in the end on 4dn and 22dn. Meh.

  4. Cornick said

    Thanks for the Anax link, Batarde – I shall remember ‘SENORITA letters’ and also use the concept as my excuse for not getting dOeS. 😉

  5. jonofwales said

    That was very nicely done. I started in the SE corner with little ado, and then got stuck at the close to the NE where I could get nothing at all. Leaving it alone for 8 hours did the trick as it so often does, as I wrote in the last few straight off.

    A nice, fun theme I noticed at the close.

    I would say I’m in total agreement with Anax, except that I find the whole of his puzzles to be hot spots. 🙂

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