i Cryptic crossword 2977 by Math

August 22, 2020

Having just looked at Fifteensquared where this puzzle was first blogged in 2016, I was more than a little surprised to see the negative comments and to learn that so many people have no idea at all about ‘The Big Bang Theory’ which, largely thanks to having two sons of the right age (one a mathematician and the other an engineer), has been a massive part of the Cornick family viewing over the last several years.

Every single clue had a surface reading relating to the series, and even 4d which some commenters thought didn’t, seemed to me like a neat summation of the series. The only reference I didn’t pick up on was ‘Bill’ in the clue for 9ac, but I’ll wager that’s a reference too.

So I was a very happy solver, and the convoluted nature of several of the clues was more than forgivable given the constraints of the theme. For my money I’d say ‘Nice one Math’. FWIW, my favourite episode is the one where Leonard’s mother comes to stay, but I accept I might be speaking to a small audience of i crossword solvers with that.

My COD relates to a repeated gag in the show, where Sheldon always has to knock on Penny’s door and call out her name 3 times so she knows it’s him. Yeah, you had to be there, I know.

20d Co-worker knocked his heart out for “Penny, Penny, Penny!” for example (6)

14 Responses to “i Cryptic crossword 2977 by Math”

  1. saboteur said

    I think it is perfectly possible to have completed this crossword – and enjoyed it – without any knowledge of the programme . I come into that category myself.(partly, no doubt, because I no longer have any children living at home) I’m not utterly ignorant of the series, but a but have The overt reference

  2. saboteur said

    I meant to continue:

    I’m not utterly ignorant of the series but have enough knowledge to realise after seeing the overt reference in 6d that at least some of the other clues which I had already completed were part of the theme. I did not appreciate that *every* clue was thematic. Impressive.

    No quibbles or queries once completed, and no need to resort to aids.

    1d was brilliant.

    • Cornick said

      1d was runner-up for COD, but I’ve only just realised it could have been Sheldon’s girlfriend – a biologist – who was speaking. 🙂

  3. Topsy said

    B.B.T. appeals to me but I struggled with this one, although I did like the clues I managed. I have a brain that finds excessive punctuation discombobulating so I struggled. Having got 18a I wondered if Howard has dyslexia so I googled it. I found a meme which amused me (despite my normal abhorrence of smutty clues). Forgive me for this one, “I’m a dyslexic nuclear physicist – you give me a hadron” 😀

  4. thebargee said

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one, being very familiar with the series courtesy of 2 daughters in my case. I totally agree with saboteur about 1dn, and with Cornick’s COD – I even have a “Knock Knock Penny” coaster!

  5. jonofwales said

    I thought that was lots of fun. I’ve watched much of the series so was familiar with the theme, though it probably is an age / channel preference thing. Tough enough to justify the Saturday spot, but not impossibly so, finished a little above par.

  6. dtw42 said

    I did a lot better with this one than yesterday’s. It’s a show I watched & enjoyed a lot in early seasons (though I’ve not seen it recently). The only one whose parsing eluded me was 6dn. *Nearly* resorted to an electronic list for my last one in – 21ac – but the answer came to me just in time to stave that off.

  7. Cornick said

    Just to add that the ‘Bill’ who appears in 9a probably references Bill Gates, who made a guest appearance once.

  8. Denzo said

    In spite of having a son who is a particle physicist with a wife who is an astrophysicist and father-in-law who was a nuclear physicist, I have never heard of the relevant TV programme, but was able to complete the grid, realising that there was a theme lost on me. So well done, Math, for that. My limited knowledge of physics suggests that the dyslexic individual was probably a particle physicist, not unclear, (pardon my temporary dyslexia); take that to your boson!

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