i Cryptic Crossword 2931 Raich

June 30, 2020

Raich is seldom seen on a Tuesday, so this is an unexpected pleasure. For my money he’s the top dog on Mondays, and one of the finest compilers of novice-friendly puzzles ever. This one felt straightforward to me, but the quality and polish left little to be desired.

The subject of the theme is not, I fear, my specialist subject, and the subtleties no doubt passed me by. Nice sentiment across the top, anyway. The only thing I didn’t much care for was 5d, on account of my aversion to company names in crosswords. What next … Serco? Spud-U-Like? All the rest was jolly good though: rather in the nature of a series of write-ins, but with uncommonly decent surfaces. The kind of convoluted sneakiness which tends grab my attention for COD selection purposes wasn’t much in evidence today, so I’m going for 28ac which is a concise, quirky clue for a word which doesn’t come up very often:

“”Unlikely local capital (7)”

Solutions, parsing and a sparse sprinkling of comments may be found by following this handy link to the March 2016 Fifteensquared blog entry.

8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2931 Raich”

  1. Denzo said

    Thanks Raich and Batarde, all fair clues, though I agree with B on 5d, the only tiny blemish on an excellent puzzle. I was not a particular fan of CB, and missed the connection in 19a, until reminded by 225. However a good crossword can always be cracked without specialist knowledge of a theme, as was the case here and in 32a, where by chance I knew her real name, so this just pipped 28a as COD.

  2. Cornick said

    Agreed.
    I did have a soft spot for our theme girl ‘You’re my world’ was another belter, plus ‘Alfie‘ of course. Having said that, there were so many singers who died in a rather dreadful cluster about 4 years ago, I don’t think I’d properly registered her among them. Great voice, great character.

  3. jonofwales said

    A fine puzzle as expected from Raich, solved in a jiffy. I spotted the theme right down in the SE corner when the end of the song title looked likely. Loads of the grid was then a write-in, in particular 6ac that I suspect might have given me issues otherwise.

    Regarding 5d – yes, it’s a brand name, but even if you didn’t know it it’s an easy hidden.

  4. thebargee said

    One of the great things about crosswords for me (apart from the chance to use some of that long-buried schoolboy Latin and Greek) is that there is always something to learn. I rattled through the clues in no time, then got completely stuck at the end with 13ac/8dn. I considered AIR RAGE, then dismissed it because I didn’t know that OPERA can be plural (shame on me because of the aforementioned classical education!).
    Of course in modern Italian, if I’m not mistaken, OPERA is singular and the plural is OPERE. So that gave me ?E?E for the second word in 8dn and my fate was sealed.
    Never mind, it was an excellent puzzle and has added another small weapon to my solving arsenal!

  5. Topsy said

    After 1a I got 1, 2 and 3d which gave away the song. Everything else was a doddle. Most enjoyable 😀

  6. saboteur said

    Great fun. Much easier than I expected from my initial read-through. Lots of ticks from me.

    Looking for a quibble, I did wonder whether a CEDILLA is actually a character or an accent on a character.

  7. dtw42 said

    I rattled through this, including the thematic stuff, and wasn’t really excited by anything. Finished with a shrug at ten-past eight.
    I agree with (and was planning to mention, myself) what saboteur said re the cedilla – it’s a diacritic – though Chambers does seem to sort of allow it, with a definition list that includes “a mark of any kind”!

  8. Dednzo said

    As some have said, it was a touch on the easy side, but I managed to make it more difficult and therefore more enjoyable. I got “anyone” then the “o” of “who”, saw that “had a heart” fitterd the spaces then had to google to remember who sang it. I then quickly twigged the dodgy Frençh character which had hitherto foxed me and the two other bits of the anagram.

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