i Cryptic Crossword 2799 Radian

January 28, 2020

After three weeks of expert Tuesday bloggery from Jon, for which many thanks, it’s back to me I’m afraid. Batarde but unbowed.

Radian has put in many appearances in this slot, and a consistent pattern has emerged. One can expect excellent workmanship; a middling sort of difficulty; no quibbles and precious few obscurities; lots of variety in the clues; plenty of thematic material, and a spot of difficulty in pinning down one clue of the day, although there’ll be a few contenders. All of this holds true today, and I think this is one of his very best puzzles. The theme (or arguably themes) is ghostly but ubiquitous and done quite subtly so it doesn’t get in the way, and nor does it make things too easy. This is probably a great deal less easy to achieve than it sounds. The only eyebrow raiser was 7d, not a variant I recall hearing before, but the clue is as straight as a die. As for those COD candidates, 5, 9, 14, 17 and 18 will do for starters and further nominations are welcome as usual. My choice is 24ac:

“Ingredients of withdrawn drink (6)”

Back to October 2015 for Bertandjoyce’s Fifteensquared blog.

11 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2799 Radian”

  1. saboteurmichael said

    Very impressive. A very densely-themed puzzle, linking to a single uniting clue at 9d, and all very neatly and fairly clued (my only query was in SET SQUARE, but the crossing letters left me in no doubt). I too had not heard of ADAM’S WINE, only his ale, but ad Batarde says, a very clear clue.

    Welcome back, Batarde!

  2. jonofwales said

    Good to have you back! 😀
    I thought this was extremely difficult, not helped by several unknowns. The Latin ironically wasn’t amongst them! Luckily I’ve got a half day, so lots of solving time. A good puzzle, but one that stretched me badly.

  3. Topsy said

    Welcome back Batarde! I was beaten by 7d, never having heard that expression but never mind because I almost finished. Strangely, 9d came straight away because I am getting used to the use of “saw” in clues. The theme also reminded me to avert an impending vino crisis….. is the sun over the yard arm yet? 😀

  4. dtw42 said

    Ah, I did 90% of this pretty smoothly; needed a little nudging towards the end. Last in were 19ac then 21dn.
    9dn was, I think, one of my first in.
    chalk me up as another for whom ADAM’S ALE was familiar but WINE not.

  5. Cornick said

    Excellent to have you back Batarde – just wouldn’t be the same without you.
    What a cracker this was – makes my list of ‘finest’ setters at the weekend look pretty silly!
    Like dtw I came to 19a/ 21d last of all. Nearly turned to a wordsearch but put it to one side instead. Glad I did because when I came back to it, solving the former via realising what ‘a quarter to five’ was, and that was a highlight indeed.
    Not as good as the COD though!

  6. Topsy said

    Apropos of nothing in particular I do wonder why so few people comment on crosswords. Out of the entire number of crosophiles who take the i, why so few comments? Should these very worthy blogs be advertised underneath the puzzles or are you bloggers quite content with the level of responses? (Clearly, I don’t get out much) Answers on a postcard…

    • jonofwales said

      I’d love to have more comments. 🙂 A hint to all you lurkers out there! I suspect advertising solving blogs would result in less calls to the premium rate answer service the i offers, so will be a while coming.

    • Cornick said

      As far as I can remember, there’s just been the one mention of idothei (in an article about crosswords!) in its existence. Maybe time for another…

    • batarde said

      Thank you for the warm words, everybody. 🙂

      More comments would be very welcome, of course. I suspect that a substantial proportion of solvers are happily tackling the crossword, entirely unaware of any online discussions let alone this blog. That was me, anyway, until the day the i made a spectacular hash of printing the clues and Google pointed me in this direction. I seem to remember Nimrod giving the blog a nod in one his Inquisitor sidebars, in addition to the article Cornick mentions.

  7. allan_c said

    Interestingly, the Indy crossword on Tuesday was by Radian and one of the answers there was STREWTH – clued in the same way (though with different words). And incidentally ‘strewth’ is a minced form of “God’s truth” so another themed answer?

    • Cornick said

      I assumed so. At least 16 themed I’d say, plus a few more like ‘rightly’ and ‘crave’ which are loosely connected. Great grid fill!

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