i Cryptic Crossword 2976 Tyrus

August 21, 2020

When is a theme not a theme? Working my way through this splendid offering from Tyrus it was hard not to notice a few references to the media in one form or another, some references direct, others more allusive. But the finished grid did not really seem to confirm that this crossword was truly themed. The Fifteensquared blog from May 2016 opined that the theme was pretty overt, but I wasn’t so sure.

This was a fairly tough one, and was a Saturday prize puzzle when it first came out. Strictly speaking I Did Not Finish this one, as there were a couple where I could not disentangle the intricately knotted word-play: ROTTEN ROW and PEERS. With the latter I was tempted by the sort-of theme to write in “press”; being a Radio 4 sort of person, the stars of breakfast television don’t spring to my mind readily, so even after I corrected it to PEERS for “fellows”, the allusion to a homophone was lost on me.

There was a nice variety of cluing and some imaginative definitions. I was particularly impressed by the four long anagrams. I nominate one of these, 10ac, as clue of the day; not only is it an impressive anagram, but also it’s an imaginative definition. And it made me laugh when I twigged it. “He’s indecent! Name unholy terror who’s stripped (6,3,6).

8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2976 Tyrus”

  1. jonofwales said

    Surprisingly I found this to be pretty straightforward, finishing easily under par for the i which must be a first for Tyrus. A glance at the grid said go for the long answers and, these having fallen with little ado, so did the rest. If this was supposed to have been an obvious theme then it was one that totally passed me by. 😀

  2. thebargee said

    Well it would have been so easy to give up on this, my FOI being 24dn! But that gave me 27ac and, more importantly, 25 ac. So I pressed on and was pretty pleased in the end to complete the grid with the exception of 18ac. I did consider SLEBS at one point but dismissed it, surely it isn’t a word?
    I twigged the reference to Mr. Morgan, even though it’s a programme I most emphatically do not watch! Couldn’t parse 6dn though.

  3. Cornick said

    Tough. Couldn’t parse ROTTEN ROW or SKEDADDLE, but the definitions were clear and the crossers got me there.
    Lots of enjoyment along the way, but frankly I finished with relief more than anything else.

  4. Denzo said

    I certainly agree 10a as CoD, having got it faster than I should by misreading the last word as “striped”! By another lucky coincidence, having struggled with Klingsor on Wednesday, I went to his website (http://www.alberichcrosswords.com/ …fascinating!) where, inter alia, I learned that “R” = “TAKE”, which today enabled the otherwise impossible 13a. Not a lot of peole know that R=Take as is clear from 225 where it is explained

    • jonofwales said

      It appears a lot in barred grid puzzles, so I don’t tend to give it a second thought now, but it’s an odd abbreviation to be sure.

  5. dtw42 said

    I struggled, and did not come close to finishing. Oh well.

  6. Topsy said

    Probably just me but I dislike it when setters put in silly words like 18a when too many other words could have fitted the grid. Smart-a****y at it’s worst. As I have said many times before, it detracts from what could have been a pleasant solve!

    • Denzo said

      I agree slebs is a silly word, but in some cases for me such clues are part of what makes crosswords so entertaining. Not knowing such a word existed, I googled it as a potential anagram of BLESS, and was chuffed to find it existed and appeared to be a pejorative abbreviation of celebs. I continued research in Wikipedia on Kardashian and “famous for being famous”. So, on this occasion, Thankyou, Sm#####se!

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