i Cryptic Crossword 2784 Hypnos

January 10, 2020

“Seals bark, they don’t sing” I thought to myself as I completed SEASONAL, my Last One In, with an ominous awareness that yet again my knowledge of Popular Music would be unequal to the moment. Mind you, so too was my knowledge of C19th Swedish opera singers. These two needed googling just to confirm that each was what I inferred it to be.

Otherwise this was a smooth and swift solve, with little to cause any trouble. SERENA WILLIAMS and KATHRYN BIGELOW are, I think, sufficiently well-known to have been unproblematic once the crossers started to go in, likewise the marine unicorn and the relative of the giraffe. CEDILLA I suppose might be unfamiliar (although I remembered it from French lessons at school). Hypnos followed the rule of easy word-play for unfamiliar words, which, combined with the crossing letters, should have made it nicely accessible.

Like Dac, and Vigo yesterday, Hypnos has shown us that a puzzle set at the easy end of the spectrum need not be dull and unentertaining. This was thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying, and all over far too soon.

Three clues really entertained me: COCOON and PROVERB, but my nomination for Clue of the Day goes to the almost paradoxical and very neat 19a; “Decrease, perhaps, to become equal (4,3).”

A Sunday Prize Crossword from the Summer of 2015: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2015/08/16/independent-on-sunday-1329-hypnos/

14 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2784 Hypnos”

  1. jonofwales said

    Yes, enjoyed that. I struggled a little with 12ac at the close, mostly because I wasn’t sure of the spelling and for reasons that escape me now struggled also with the parsing, but the rest went in with little ado. Thankfully I knew both the director and sportswoman, otherwise I suspect both would have held me up for a while.

  2. Topsy said

    Well, here’s a turn up for the books: a Hypnos that I finished without a single grump and in record time too! My first in at 5d gave me the R for 12a and bizarrely I knew the the answer straight away, that doesn’t happen very often. I couldn’t make sense of 21a so slapped in “ikebana” which held me up for a while. I did like 14a (once I solved it). All in all, most enjoyable:D

  3. dtw42 said

    Yeah that was pleasant enough, and I had it done by 10.15.
    10ac perhaps suffered a little from “wordplay to put a letter in paired with wordplay to take the same letter out” syndrome, but that’s about the extent of any quibbles.

  4. dtw42 said

    …wonder whether 3ac could be clued as “Nameless Star Wars character’s eatery”?

    (Would be nice to see “nameless” in a clue referring to s.n. (sine nomine) rather than its usual role of instructing to remove the letter N)

    • jonofwales said

      It’s one that doesn’t seem to have made many dictionaries – I can’t find it in Chambers or Collins. The mighty Google of course is fully up to date. 🙂

      • dtw42 said

        I had to think back to which dictionary I checked it in … I was at work so it would have been the Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors … quite a small volume: so it didn’t occur to me that it *wouldn’t* be in the bigger usual ones! Oh well! 😛

      • michaelatcobblerscottage said

        Sine nomine does seem vaguely familiar. I can only imagine this must be from some crossword a long time ago, as I can’t think in what other context I would have come across it.

      • Cornick said

        I know Seal well enough – ‘Kiss from a Rose’, Heidi Klum and all that – but Ackbar doesn’t make it into the list of 15 or so Star Wars characters I could name, unfortunately!

      • michaelatcobblerscottage said

        While solving 2d in Saturday’s Phi, I realised that it was not Sine Nomine that I half-remembered, but Sine Die, when some interminable meeting I was at had to be postponed…

  5. batarde said

    Michael puts his finger on the problem with this sort of crossword – enjoyable and high quality it might have been, but it was over and done with before the coffee had cooled down to a drinkable temperature. This can be irksome when you get a bunch of them on the trot. Anyway, no reflection on Hypnos who made a very nice job of this one.

  6. michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Tortoise, if you are reading this, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on today’s and the previous two days’ crosswords.

  7. Cornick said

    6d gained a tick.
    None of the 4 long answers’ clues were my type of thing, unfortunately.
    Happy to see tortoise on 15^2 liked it though.

  8. allan_c said

    I didn’t have any problems getting SEASONAL. I knew nothing about the R&B singer but my mind went immediately to ‘Song to the Seals’ by Granville Bantock (1868-1946) from his ‘Songs of the Western Isles’.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: