i Cryptic Crossword 3056 Alchemi

November 23, 2020

On solving I assumed that my general difficulties (most of which occurred in the NW corner) were down to:

  • The paper appearing late, so that I had to solve on the i‘s App, with which I always struggle;
  • The general clamour here as the new roof is finally installed. Or rather, at the moment, the old one torn off with much associated rather alarming banging and crashing.

As it turns out others struggled too back in the day, so I’m going to say this was one on the tough side. TD for an Irish politician I suspect won’t have been foremost in many solvers’ minds, or GAMELAN for an Asian band either, for that matter. And as for the Canadian city… So I feel I may be forgiven for finishing with a full grid in a time a little over par for the i, though with lots of guesswork throughout. Was it a rewarding solve I will leave others to decide, as at the moment I am more concerned with looming rain clouds and a roof that is distinctly lacking.

COD? I’ll go with 15ac – “Charlie apparently looking for coal to chop finely (5)”.

To August 2016 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


22 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3056 Alchemi”

  1. Denzo said

    Quite tough as Jon and the guys on 225 thought, and even with a lot of lucky knowledge, a DNF for me. However, I enjoyed it until I got at last to the SE corner, which was filled partly unparsed and partly correct! I agree with 225 there was some obtuse stuff, but thought it all just about worked when I saw how.

    Earlier, I had not heard of PETER LORRE, and my research led me first to another actor called Peter Errol! This took some time to untangle as my error was compounded by the crossing REFRAIN. I was fortunate to drag MEDICINE HAT from the recesses of my memory, though I thought it was in USA, and also fortunate that I correctly guessed the cheeky UNDERGO. As a frequent visitor to the Royal Festival Hall, I have actually seen a GAMELAN, and also remembered the Irish MP from an I crossword a few months ago. My LOI and COD was GO FOR, with the superb MICROWATT a close second. Chuckles, too, from ANALYST and EARTHY.

  2. dtw42 said

    Glad I have the day off today and could devote time to this, because yes, it was tricky for a Monday. I finished the NE and SW corners first (have seen Peter Lorre a few times pretty recently in old films). Then the NW corner, then the middle, and finally finished in the SE (29 and 18 were my last ones in).
    Some chewy inventive wordplay (like “can see you” for IS IN). Yes, the Irish politician passed me by; I liked the two clever bits of definition-by-example for the CAR in CARAPACE and the A CEREAL in FACE REALITY.

  3. Cornick said

    Just like dtw, the NE and SW little corners went in very quickly, which made me think ‘Oh, typical Monday easiness’; but no such thing!
    Pretty glacial to fill in thereafter, given that there are so many Canadian cities and US state capitals to choose from, and also given those bits of trickiness like the COD, but I did finish with a flurry in the SE as all resolved itself.
    Was it a rewarding solve? Yes, I think it probably was.

  4. Saboteur said

    Yes, that was tougher than one expects on a Monday, and it took me well over my typical time.

    But it was enjoyable and rewarding, and at the end there were no question marks in my margins.

    For some reason I was vaguely aware of the name PETER LORRE, although I couldn’t think why or what I had seen him in. He does however seem to have been quite prolific in his work, as I discovered on my bonus trip to wikipedia.

    I loved car/seat for one! Had me puzzled for a while.

  5. batarde said

    Thoroughly delighted with this crossword, which is one of the wittiest I’ve seen in a long while. A very pleasant surprise on a Monday. Thinking about 8/21D it struck me that there are rather a lot of actors with 5,5 names: Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, James Mason, Nigel Bruce, Henry Fonda, David Niven … merely an observation, although there might be the germ of a theme there.

  6. Guy Barry said

    Nice puzzle with some unexpected twists in the clues. I started off in the SW corner and got PETER LORRE pretty quickly, which led me to complete the NE corner. Then I was stuck with two little sections in the corners and a big gap between them. A-ha, I thought to myself, we’re bound to have CASABLANCA in there somewhere, and I dutifully looked up the names of his other films to see where they were likely to fit in…nope. On the rare occasion I think I’ve spotted a theme, it turns out not to exist!

    Favourite was probably 14d – I finally noticed CEREAL in the middle of FACE REALITY after various futile attempts with SNAP, CRACKLE and POP. Liked 2d as well (and I’d heard of MEDICINE HAT, though I couldn’t have told you where it was). For some reason I entered CAMP CHAT for 1a, under the impression it was a well-known phrase, and then wondered if a CAMCHAT was some sort of cummerbund… had to resort to Crossword Solver for that one, even though I’m familiar with GAMELAN.

    Only quibble was with 10a, which seems to clue GO UNDER rather than UNDERGO – I suppose “UNDER-GO” was the intention, but it seemed a bit strained to me.

    Last one in was 12a, partly because I had BUCHAREST stuck in my head for some reason…

  7. Veronica said

    I really loved this crossword. It was difficult, but I thought it was exceptionally clever. Many clues made me smile, especially EGGCUP. Every clue was solvable, even when obscure – and I often cannot finish crosswords.

  8. thebargee said

    Definitely a bit of a toughie. 1ac and 1dn went straight in, which for me is often a sign of impending difficulty, and so it proved. Finished off the NE and SW corners in reasonable time, having no problem remembering Peter Lorre, being of a certain age!

    Next came the NW corner, but I really struggled in the SE and had to have a break and come back to it later, a tactic that does seem to work for me.

    I failed to parse the CAR bit of 16ac (too clever for me!) and 29ac where I assumed that line just meant ‘L’. Couldn’t parse 17dn either, I’m not sure I like PI=irrational.

    • Guy Barry said

      I was initally misled by L = “line” as well, and didn’t get 29a until I’d entered 14d; even then I thought it might be PARLAYED (like Pierre on Fifteensquared, it seems).

      As for PI = “irrational”: it’s certainly a noun in the mathematical sense (“an irrational number or quantity”), and PI is an irrational, so I suppose it’s OK. (I’ve seen E = “base” before.)

  9. Alchemi said

    Thanks for the compliments.This seems to have been a bit of a Marmite puzzle, with some finding it horrible and others enjoying it a lot. Oh well, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

    • Guy Barry said

      Very nice of you to come and join us! We’re not normally privileged with the original setter’s comments (not since I’ve been here anyway).

      Do you get “repeat fees” for these puzzles?

      • Alchemi said

        No. Which is why Don Manley stopped setting for the Indy, Which was a great loss, I’m sure you’ll agree.

      • Alchemi said

        No. Which is why Don Manley stopped setting for the Indy, to the regret, no doubt, of many people.

      • Alchemi said

        Nor do I get repeat fees for comments. I got confused about how the comments show up. mumble, mumble WordPress, mumble, bollocks.

      • jonofwales said

        If we could we would pay. 😉

      • Guy Barry said

        Oh. That seems a bit mean, especially when you’re credited.

        I’d be happy to pay 70p for the paper if it meant the crossword setters got paid – even if it’s just a token fee. Maybe I’ll write to the editor about it.

      • jonofwales said

        It’s a little more complicated than just getting the i to agree. The Independent own the rights to the puzzles, which they license to the i together with other content such as journalism, articles, etc for an annual fee. Strictly speaking it is The Independent which is pocketing the profit, though no doubt they would charge the i more if their profit margins were reduced.

      • Cornick said

        I’m curious as to which newspapers overseas also take the Indy’s puzzles.

      • jonofwales said

        I’d never really considered that any might, assuming we’d see comments on Fifteensquared, so I’m intrigued too. I know that the Times puzzle at least used to be syndicated, as I remember seeing comments on TimesForTheTimes.

      • Cornick said

        Well Eimi has mentioned overseas syndication, I just don’t know where. India? Australia? Dunno.

    • batarde said

      Hello Michael, it’s been a while so nice to see you again. 🙂

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: