i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2803 by Raich

February 8, 2020

Saturday 1st February 2020

Make no bones about it, Raich is one of the most talented crossworders we have; he sets variously for The Times, The Times Quick Crossword (as Hurley), The FT (as Gurney), The Listener, The Inquisitor, and the Enigmatic Variations in the Sunday Telegraph. You may also remember him as the blogger nmsindy on Fifteensquared – until, that is, he was encouraged to give up his poacher role when he became a gamekeeper, so to speak, with the Indy.

All that means that when Raich gives us an ‘approachable’ puzzle like this one – ideal for solvers still quite new to the game – the difficulty level is entirely deliberate.

So all the clues were good and sound, but personally I was a little disappointed that all four long entries plus another 3 were full anagrams, and obviously flagged as such too. Mind you, I do accept that I’m probably the only one who’s bothered by such things.

Solving time well below average for the i, as we might expect for an IoS reprint, and here’s my nomination for COD:

12a Vanity of court entertaining in the past is half-forgotten (7)

Click here for all the answers. Oh, and by the way, and it was pangram.

6 Responses to “i Prize Cryptic Crossword 2803 by Raich”

  1. batarde said

    Hmm, yes. Raich is my favourite occupant of the Monday slot where he consistently proves that “accessible” and “top notch” are perfectly compatible. Such crosswords are important to lure in the cryptic-curious and provide encouragement to the novice, but it’s not what I look for in a weekend prize puzzle.

  2. saboteur said

    Agreed. Accessible but with lots to admire, although I too look for something meatier at the weekends. And I’m another who tires of anagrams.

    Today’s was more to my taste, with the NE corner in particular being tough to crack.

    • Cornick said

      Anagrams can be superb, but because they’re such an easy type of clue to devise, my view is that the bar for their use should be set high.

  3. jonofwales said

    I always enjoy Raich’s puzzles, so was pleased to see him on a Saturday. Does the weekend puzzle need to be one of the more challenging of the week? Not necessarily, just one of the best.

    Anagrams are a useful way into the grid, so I’m all for them. 🙂

  4. DB said

    I have a gripe. The anagram at the bottom left could equally have been Theodora. Just as unusual a name as Dorothea, in my opinion.

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