Themes and Haikus

December 31, 2020

The point of this annual exercise has become obscure, to me at least, but as promised here is the list of Tuesday crossword themes for the past year. This time it’s incomplete, owing no doubt to an unfortunate episode of ischaemic addlement, so my apologies for that. Won’t happen again – lordy, I hope not anyway. As in previous years the main takeaways are that there’s loads of variety; low is far more common than high brow, and Radian is a real mainstay when it comes to thematic puzzles.

01 High Fidelity – Hob
02 Sharks – Crosophile
03 George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” – Hieroglyph
04 In Vino Veritas – Radian
05 James Bond – Scorpion
06 Insects – Hieroglyph
07 Astronomy – Alchemi
08 Alfred Hitchcock – Radian
09 Cops and robbers – Vigo
10 Climate change – Radian
11 Pace – Radian
12 [Seasonal Nina] Crosophile
13 Business and Pleasure – Radian
14 Earthquake drill – Phi
15 Towns on the river Severn – Phi
16 Massacre of Glencoe – Tees
17 Rain – Vigo
18 Edward Lear (in limerick form) – Morph
19 David Bowie – Knut
20 Franks – Alchemi
21 Ronnie Corbett – Eimi
22 England cricketers – Scorpion
23 Support – Hob
24 Modes of expression – Radian
25 Cilla Black – Raich
26 Composers – Hieroglyph
27 Indie record labels – Scorpion
28 Chess – Hieroglyph
29 Foxes – Hob
30 “On The Twentieth Century” (musical) – Phi
31 Prince (late musician) – Eimi
32 Victoria Wood – Lohengrin
33 “First Amongst Equals” – Radian
34 Erik Satie – Hob
35 Spandau Ballet – Anax
36 Money – Radian
37 Windows 10 Ringtones – Vigo
38 The Size of Wales – Scorpion
39 Novel Genres – Hob
40 1966 World Cup – Jambazi
41 Ray Henderson songs – Phi
42 Sunderland AFC – Hoskins
43 Sherlock Holmes – Radian
44 Fruit – Hieroglyph
45 The Old Woman Who Swallowed A … : Kairos
46 Advent – Hob
47 The Great Fire of London – Hob
48 Horses – Punk
49 Utopia – Radian
50 Scott Pilgrim – Math

And now for the Haiku Competition. I’ve been wrong footed, having forgotten that the sun sinks below the yardarm a lot earlier in Mogwash than it does at Batarde Towers, so there’s a chance that the cat is already out of the bag. Anyway, it will surprise nobody to find that our celebrity judge was none other than Scarlet Blue herself (cruelly omitted from the New Year’s Honours List once again), and to discover the result of her deliberations you can click here. The lucky winner should get in touch in the usual way (whatever that is), and we’ll see what’s to be done about this prize.

And finally, may I bid good riddance to 2020 and wish you all a vastly improved 2021?  Happy New Year, everybody.

13 Responses to “Themes and Haikus”

  1. Denzo said

    Interesting. I remember about half the themes, though mostly by having them pointed out on here or 225 with puzzle done (or given up on). But I did get 47 in time for it to be able to assist in finishing.

    I fear, however, that some themes may be missing from the list. Phi, who famously (or infamously?) loves themes, and supplies at least one puzzle a fortnight, so should feature at least 20 times on the list, but appears only thrice. How strange that they should be overlooked!

    • batarde said

      “… here is the list of Tuesday crossword themes”. First sentence above. Saturday is Cornick’s fiefdom, and I do not trespass upon it.

      • Cornick said

        Yup. And I have gone through several emotions over the years with regard to Phi’s ghostiness, and find myself happier with current indifference than any of those previous.

        Congratulations to dtw and Basingstoke.

        My vague recall of the theme list’s genesis was in order to help us decide if the themes were high-brow or low.
        #nonethewiser

      • dtw42 said

        Thanks Cornick; so I think the answer to are the themes highbrow or lowbrow is “yes”.

      • Denzo said

        Mea Culpa, Dass ist Sschlim, Je suis désolé,etc, I missed the Tuesday bit. Blame Auntie Rioja.

        The esoteric ghostliness of Phi’s “themes” had escaped my seivelike memory. Blame Uncle Balwhinnie. (hic)

        (In case Phi is eavesdropping,I like your puzzles, mate. But that’s unlikely as it’s 2021 in Covid-free Kiwiland, and he’s probably tucked up in bed. Not so here, 20 miles from Leicester Square, I’ve heard at least two firework parties. Selfish A#s#h#l#s!)

        Congrats to dtw of smoky Basingstoke, Congrats to Aunt Scarlett and HNY to all!😈

      • jonofwales said

        I have a strong suspicion that Phi does indeed pop by sometimes to see what we’re saying about him. So be careful, the walls have ears. 🙂

      • Cornick said

        I like his puzzles plenty, it’s his ghost themes I’m indifferent about.
        I think he’d be okay with that, they’re not really intended for the public at large.

      • Cornick said

        Hence I shall not be compiling a list of Saturday themes 🙂

  2. jonofwales said

    Thanks for taking the trouble to collate this, it’s interesting to see the range of themes on offer. A tendency to the lowbrow I suspect, which suits me down to the ground.

    Congrats dtw on the win, well deserved. I trust you’ll pass round any bottle of bubbly that may come your way. 🙂

    • batarde said

      Yes, we occasionally get something in the literary or musical line that fits the highbrow tag, but if those stick in the memory it’s because they’re rare. On Tuesday it can be almost anything under the sun … same goes for Phiday except it won’t be anything you’ve ever heard of. 🙂

      Regarding our worthy winner, it might have to be a bottle because the intended prize is (ahem) perhaps not what he’s always wanted! If you get in touch with Jon via the “contact” link, dtw42, we can come up with something suitable, I’m sure.

  3. Saboteur said

    Congrats, btw. Richly deserved.

    • Saboteur said

      That’s dtw. Congrats again!🍾
      Spellcheck seems to think it knows better than me what I mean.

  4. Saboteur said

    Oddly, I can remember only a very few of these, even though I know for a fact I must have done all of them, or only missed one or two at most.

    Mind you, in the days when we had to wait a week, I used to forget what the previous Saturday Prize was like when the blog came out.

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