i Cryptic Crossword 3083 Hieroglyph

December 24, 2020

It was the day before Christmas, and your hapless blogger short of time quickly nipped through the day’s puzzle, noted the occasional seasonal reference, and the presence too of a certain seasonal film. Unfortunately he has never actually watched the thing, otherwise he wouldn’t have got so badly stuck at the close on 3d, and the crossing 19ac / 19d. Oh well, thankfully the Fifteensquared bloggers were a bit more alert / more aware of their festive films, with the result that they did spot today’s theme. Finish time still easily under par for the i, so not a difficult solve anyway by any means. And one that I enjoyed too, a fine festive treat nevertheless.

COD? I’ll go with 11ac – “One-star review by Her Majesty provokes storm from a particular direction (3-6)”.

So lastly Merry Christmas one and all. Thanks to all the bloggers for their continuing good work, to all who’ve contributed to the comments, and to the silent majority for continuing to visit the site. Hope you all have an enjoyable, restful Christmas, and that you manage to fit in a puzzle or two.

As ever, for all the answers and parsing of the clues, look no further than the link below:


25 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3083 Hieroglyph”

  1. Denzo said

    A pleasant puzzle which turned out less tricky than it first appeared. The SW corner was trickiest. Hieroglyph must have enjoyed setting the nonsensical 12A, one of my last in! I didn’t know the film mentioned in 225 eitherr, so missed the theme. I’m not sure why WICKET = period, but WICKED was the only musical I know of where a T can be substituted for anything.

    My COD should have been WINGS, but I put it in from crossers and didn’t appreciate the subtle parsing until I saw 225 So my favourite was IT’S A SMALL WORLD, which on a bad day would have taken me ages. Like many on 225 I got the wrong Greek letter at13D but the crossing anagram rescued me. 21A was cheeky. Has anyone ever heard of a CHIME FEST?

    Merry Christmas, everyone !

    • thebargee said

      Wicket = ‘period in’ I think, as in cricket?

      • dtw42 said

        Yes, I puzzled over the parsing of that one too – but the bloggers at 15² confirmed it’s “period in” as you say; makes sense.

      • Denzo said

        I thought that, too, but don’t really like it. I suppose the answer is that wicket is not easy to define without being too easy for the solver, which would never do!

  2. thebargee said

    I hope I’m not the only one who put ETA in for 13dn instead of TAU? Equally valid, but unfortunately wrong 😑. Happily I did spot my mistake after twigging the answer to 16ac.

    With limited time today what with all the festive preparations, a DNF for me. Didn’t get 3dn and I don’t think I would have if I’d stared at it all day. Also failed on 19ac/dn. Notwithstanding that, an enjoyable puzzle with an appropriate theme.
    Merry Christmas to all and thanks to all the bloggers. Let’s hope 2021 turns out to be a better year than 2020!

  3. dtw42 said

    Yes, I too started with ETA, but as soon as 16ac started to appear, it became clear that was the wrong choice. Had fun there; for some reason I decided to run an orange highlighted through the thematic entries. URN for ballot-box was new to me, and the concept of a chime fest took me a while to suss!

  4. Grodnik said

    Seasonal greetings to all the setters and regular contributors to this site, none of whom I know from Adam, but who have nevertheless boosted my mental health during the past year. I started doing crosswords to try to ward off dementia, and it seems to be working as my average solve time has improved consistently (or does it just seem like that?). Well, we are NDY but having to retreat into quarantine again as the new virus invades the SW, so thank goodness for the online version and virtual (in the current sense of the word) camaraderie. Let’s hope that all the spraying and isolating pays off, at least until we get the vaccine. Anyone remember Joseph Salk? My mother couldn’t get me down to the clinic fast enough when his polio vaccine was offered. Wakefield and The Lancet have a lot to answer for.
    Enough of my musings; today’s puzzle was only marred by the lack of the setters’ name on the online version which meant that parsing 27 ac took longer than it should have. A better new year to all. 2dn nil carborundum.

  5. Cornick said

    Sorry Hieroglyph, didn’t think much of the actual clues, but I did think the puzzle was redeemed by the theme – just about.
    Merry Christmas everyone at idothei – bloggers, regular and occasional commenters, those who simply read it, but most especially our host JonofWales.

  6. Topsy said

    I enjoyed this one and was fortunate that I got 16ac first , which helped enormously and ensured I got the correct Greek letter. Being an a bit of a twit, I didn’t spot the theme but nothing new there.

    Wishing you all a safe and Happy Christmas 😀

  7. Veronica said

    Happy Christmas to you all. I hope all bloggers, commenters, and silent folk have a good day tomorrow. Thanks to you all for enlivening my days.
    And, Grodnik, I’ll be very happy to toast Mr Salk this year!

    Like some of you, I couldn’t understand WICKET, and I also failed to parse CHIEFEST (really, that’s a word? It does appear to be so). So, even though all answers were found, I don’t feel like I “finished” the crossword today. But still a good attempt, and pretty happy.
    Quite liked the idea of the theme, yet it didn’t add that much in the end.
    Some nice clues, anyway. I, too, liked 12 across, ENTITIES – which took me longer than it should have. Also liked ACTS OUT, which was one of those simple ones that took me a while to spot!

  8. batarde said

    I note from the infonugget above the clues that one of my preferred setters has been responsible for ten medical consultations over the last year. This one had a sting in the tail for me, too, because I know nothing about musicals that post-date Cabaret. Consequently the double whammy of 19s felt blooming unsporting, but in retrospect both clues were decent(ish) and my stab in the dark turned out to be correct. Otherwise a bright and breezy sort of crossword.

    Seasonal felicitations to one and all. 🙂

  9. Paul8hours said

    I put in grauniad as well as eta. Made sense for a while. Looking forward to 2021! Thanks for all the entertainment so far this pandemic.

  10. Saboteur said

    Completely missed the theme, but it made me smile a bit when I came here and found out. A bit of a mixed bag, I thought, with a few too many read-the-clue-and-write-the-answers for my taste. Took me a while to understand WICKET, which I thought was neatly done. All over far too quickly, really.

    To fellow-bloggers, commenters regular or occasional, to readers and and to setters a Merry Christmas and a Much Better New Year.

  11. imsewell said

    I’m not sure why people were prepared, reluctantly, to accept ‘period in’ as a definition for wicket. A batsman’s ‘period in’ is an innings; a wicket is a notional thing to be defended and is unrelated to the length of time involved. Batsman aren’t said to have had a ‘long’ wicket!

  12. Willow said

    A lot of you said this was fairly straightforward, but I found it very tricky in parts and a good deal of lateral thinking was needed. But I got there in the end.

  13. dtw42 said

    Well – Happy Christmas bloggers, commenters and lurkers alike; gawd bless us every one.
    FWIW, I posted a hemi-demi-semifestive puzzle last night, which can be found at http://crossword.info/skirwingle/puzzle_20

    • Saboteur said

      Thanks, Skirwingle. Just right for a lazy (and unusually quiet) Christmas afternoon. Well done for spotting the Australian anagram. Just one question: are clues like 1ac allowed under Boris’s deal?

      • Denzo said

        I couldn’t see a 1ac or a Skirwingle. One of us has overdone the wine (and if it was me, my excuse is that it was Barolo!) but I am interesred to know how Boris’s spiffing, oven-ready, world-beating, frog-squashing deal could possibly impact on our cross words.

      • Saboteur said

        Well, I’ve just checked and 1ac it certainly is! However, I may indeed have overdone the wine… It wouldn’t be unheard of 😉

      • dtw42 said

        (Denzo – to clarify, Saboteur was referring to the puzzle I linked to in my comment, rather than the Hieroglyph one from the original post, y’see.)
        Yes, I thought it amusing to invoke the idea of European regulations. Hope you noticed my tribute to the homophone thing that the i Concise Crossword does in its top row 😀

      • Saboteur said

        I missed the homophone. (Groan) 😉

      • batarde said

        Most enjoyable, thank you dtw42 – all your usual élan and a splash of seasonal cheer. Cheers!

      • Denzo said

        Thanks for explanation, Dtw42. I see it, now

  14. Steve said

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all lovers of things cruciverbial

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