i Cryptic Crossword 2780 Raich

January 6, 2020

So back to work day for a lot of us, with the accompanying shock to the system and general not-used-to-getting-up-at-this-ungodly-hourishness. So I was glad that Pierre noted in his Fifteensquared blog that this was “[a] curious mixture of the easy stuff we hope for in a Monday Indy and four or five clues that it took me forever to get”, because I thought I was just slipping. In particular the capital which I should have remembered, but couldn’t, together with an odd nautical term, a bit of German and fairly obscure accompanying synonym, plus 12d which has what is perilously close to an indirect anagram. Elsewhere there were plenty of easy clues to get the grid all but filled, and overall this was pretty enjoyable, so a satisfying start to the week, albeit one that took considerably longer than expected.

COD? I don’t usually go for cryptic definitions, but I did like 15d – “One content with Continent?”.

To July 2015 where the correct parsing for 22ac is actually given in the comments:


11 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2780 Raich”

  1. dtw42 said

    TBH, I was more familiar with the ‘German world’ than the ‘state of confusion’, but there we are.
    4dn eluded me, and I had to fire up a wordfinder … which i then also used on 24ac. Everything else was doable enough, and I was done by 10.15.

    Nice to see a different clue for SWANSONG. One would normally expect that the temptation to write something along the lines of “Last performance by one portraying Desmond, N” might be overwhelming.

  2. Topsy said

    I am not too well up on capitals but 24a was on of my first in which pleased me. I was surprised with Pierre’s parsing of 22a because to me, it was obvious. It was a good solve for me but I disliked 4d which I thought was just plain silly. It seems I am never satisfied!!

  3. michaelatcobblerscottage said

    I too knew “welt” for “world” but not WELTER itself. All fairly straightforward, although the crossing DJIBOUTI and FIELDER eluded me for longer than most. Ihad never heard of STILTBIRD, and needed to check that, although once I had decided it must be a bird because of the baronet-Irish-daughter thing there was little else it could be.

    I’m another who thought PUTTER was one of the obvious ones.

    Nicely judged for back-to-work day, and pleasingly rewarding.

  4. batarde said

    No complaints here whatsoever, which is the norm for Raich. I can see no objection to 12d, which probably means I’m missing something, but it seems to me like the sort of thing any number of other setters do on a regular basis. Regarding 4d, a stilt is a bird seen wading around in crosswords from time to time, certainly, but a stiltbird must be a rara avis because it came as quite a surprise. Goes without saying that Chambers supports it, though. Djibouti was a write in – the benefits of knowing your Frank Zappa. 🙂

    • Topsy said

      Okay Mr B, you have me intrigued re Frank Zappa (am almost too afraid to ask) what is the connection????

      • batarde said

        It’s the album called Sheik Yerbouti, Topsy, a rather childish play on words which fixes Djibouti in the brain nicely. The record contains some of FZ’s more scurrilous material …

  5. They’re just making words up now! Stiltbird? Demarche? I don’t stand a chance…

    • dtw42 said

      (…at least ‘demarche’ followed Don Manley’s maxim of ‘easy clues for hard words and hard clues for easy words’: i.e. a pretty blatant hidden-word clue)

  6. Cornick said

    Nothing wrong with this at all; although it took me ages to remember ‘welt’ I did know it.
    Lots of good clues in fact, and it’s surely justifiable to create a crossword with a mixture of easier and harder clues; some might even argue that makes for a better puzzle.
    However, which day of the week that puzzle then gets allocated is beyond a setter’s control; I doubt Raich would have caused any consternation at all if this had appeared on a Friday, say.

  7. Topsy said

    I was never a fan of Frank Zappa but I now recall that album Mr B.

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