i Cryptic Crossword 3110 Eimi

January 26, 2021

Since today’s crossword is the work of the editor, presumably complaints ought to be sent to seehowmuchicare@eimi.com. This is your chance, people: if you want to diss the setter, call his clues stupid or expound upon the rules below, chances are good that your wit and wisdom will be seen, and you might even get a reply.

Bloggers first, though: the grid is ‘orrible. Well, it just is. However, we’ve long suspected that Eimi has his own ideas about this, and today we get to find out what they are, in the final comment on ye olde Fifteensquared blog. So that’s all right then. With regard to the theme, who can forget the halcyon days of 2016 when everyone was chasing Pikachus? No, me neither, but Charmaine filled me in. Clever stuff; loads of them lurking in the puzzle; didn’t suspect a thing. In some ways this one really was not aimed at me. 🙂

Eimi doesn’t come up very often as a compiler, and his style is quite distinctive. This always leads to some abnormal eyebrow activity. The range of general knowledge required today includes a couple of singers, both of whom rang a distant bell: as is so often the case, simply being dimly aware that something is indeed a thing is all you need. Thank goodness. Calling these Unknown Knowns to mind is one of the chief pleasures of solving, for me at least. The solutions ran the gamut of the Rumsfeld scale, from 15d which is an old crossword friend of no conceivable use to me in real life and therefore a Known Known; to 12ac, a Known Unknown which may be entered with confidence on the basis of wordplay; and then there’s 17d, who was a fully fledged Unknown Unknown. I’ll probably remember her now: not so much a clue as a mnemonic. No help of any sort required to finish this time.

16ac got a right batting about on the other side on account of the lower case “company”, so although I liked it and thought it novel, it’s probably best passed over for COD, alas. D is the better part of V, after all, and 6d is a worthy substitute:

“Monument gets rebuilt without a single layer (10)”

33 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3110 Eimi”

  1. jonofwales said

    A little trickier than I expected from Eimi. Perhaps floundering around throughout looking for a theme I was never going to spot didn’t help? All good stuff though. Eimi’s comment on the other side is interesting – did he really expect solvers “of a certain age” to be helped by a list of Pokemons? 🙂

  2. thebargee said

    Fair rattled through this one until I was left with 8ac. Thought it might be DITTO but didn’t have the confidence to write it in, so technically a DNF.

    I think this is the first EIMI puzzle I’ve seen since returning to crossword-solving land after many decades in the wilderness. Can’t say I enjoyed it overmuch though. Nothing I can put my finger on, just a vague sense of disappointment, although there did seem to be a lot of obvious anagrams.

  3. Denzo said

    The Pokemon thing passed me by, too. Out of interest I looked at Wikipedia afterwards to see what I’d missed but it all looked too complicated. I thought of asking if anyone here could explain (in 30 word or so), but I’d probably be wasting my time.

    Seeing what appeared to be a straight anagram at 7a, was about to write it in then realised an I was needed rather than an A. I didn’t know or research to find TIG, but couldn’t think of an alternative answer so assumed, as the 225 blogger originally did, that there was a misprint. (Don’t tell me it can’t happen – there’s one at 16a in the paper edition!)

    Apart from that, and looking up three unknown women on Wikipedia, I made good progress. I enjoyed Batarde’s COD, with three crossers tried ONE, and Eureja! BRIE-FED was clever, too.

    Levels of difficulty and pleasure similar to yesterday. No real problems and plenty to enjoy.

  4. Veronica said

    Well, I simply loved this crossword. Finished it reasonably fast, but still had to do lots of thinking. No complaints from me: not fussed about the grid, nor whether company had a capital c or not (though I do get both points). Had to look up some answers to check I’d got it right, but that’s the type of crossword I like. I do know Beth Ditto, and adored that clue for its misdirection. Great woman.

    I’d be well happy with 16 across as COD, but also liked everything everyone else had said.
    Just like to put in a mention for TU YOUYOU: easy to get from the clue. No, I’d never heard of her either, but having looked her up, she should be better known. So I’ll nominate that one as my COD for teaching me something I should have known.

  5. Denzo said

    We might say brew, but I think we would say stand more often. that’s what the tea does, it stands whilst pigments, chemicals and flavours transfer from the leaves to the liquid. It is a mixing process. Brewing implies something more like a chemical change as in converting yeast and malt into beer. So, pedantically, I would say that “stand” is more accurate, but we might say “brew” if in a metaphorical mood. If you’re using black tea rather than green, it has been fermented (brewed) before we get it anyway!

    • batarde said

      I was wondering whether you’d say that it’s “drawing”, because that’s a strong indicator for Hertfordshire. Dialectologists find the business of infusing tea interesting: brewers and mashers are quite common, but those who draw are not. I’ve been (incorrectly) identified as from Hertfordshire on account of that, but it came from my dad who was brought up in Royston.

  6. Saboteur said

    I didn’t know that this was by Eimi until I looked part-way through – I’m back to solving online to reduce trips out – and I could not place the style.

    Good and enjoyable, although technically a DNF insofar as I failed to parse ELECTRODE. It never occurred to me that Carmen Electra might be something. I had heard of Beth Ditto, though, but it took a while for the penny to drop. To my shame, I had not heard of TU YOUYOU, but it was helpfully clued so once I had a few crossers in, I knew what to google.

    I loved MISTER and especially BRIEFED.

    As to the theme, I’m inclined to agree with Jonofwales.

  7. Cornick said

    I have just messaged my 19-yr-old student son to tell him to go out and buy a copy of the i – he’ll love this one and think his 65p well spent. Which, I suspect, is the whole point.
    He (not I without help) would be able to tell you that the little criiters we were looking for were: BERTHA, DITTO, PERSIAN, SCYTHER, SEA KING, GOLEM, HAUNTER, ODDISH, GLOOM, ELECTRODE, PARAS, and MISTER MIME.
    Despite years of confiscating the cards from children during my years as a primary school teacher, I can only bring to mind Pikachu, Squirtle and… no… that’s my lot.

  8. Denzo said

    I’ve heard drawing, not often, not recently, so probably not locally. I don’t think I’ve heard mash other than in connection with potatoes (or beer). Referring to the whole process from filling the kettle to drinking the tea, I might say brew, but would more often say make. Dialects are interesting. Royston is 24 miles North, and they may use several different words. I live in a new town where possibly less than half the population originated in Herts (although I do). Leicester Square can be reached in 45 minutes. If I drive to Royston by the shortest route, I could, after 8 miles, pass through a vilage calld Haultwick (pronounced Ártic). Talk to people there, and you wouldn’t believe it’s the same county!

  9. Willow said

    Sadly, this is the first DNF for me in over a year. DITTO beat me, and I would have had no chance even if I had realised it was referring to a longer version of DO. And the Pokemons were right outside of my orbit, although I have indeed heard of them collectively. Ah well, it’s good to be reminded that I am human. We played Tig in my West Yorkshire street. Tiggy-off-ground-relievo was a favourite version. We made tea, but my next door neighbours mashed it, and my other friends brewed it.

    • Denzo said

      I’ve heard drawing, not often, not recently, so probably not locally. I don’t think I’ve heard mash other than in connection with potatoes (or beer). Referring to the whole process from filling the kettle to drinking the tea, I might say brew, but would more often say make. Dialects are interesting. Royston is 24 miles North, and they may use several different words. I live in a new town where possibly less than half the population originated in Herts (although I do). Leicester Square can be reached in 45 minutes. If I drive to Royston by the shortest route, I could, after 8 miles, pass through a vilage calld Haultwick (pronounced Ártic). Talk to people there, and you wouldn’t believe it’s the same county!

  10. dtw42 said

    Just brewing here, sorry (Hants).

    I rattled through this (apart from Googling “Tu Y–” and seeing what autocomplete suggested, whereupon I realised I should have got the whole name from the wordplay (still hadn’t heard of her though) and bunging 28ac in unparsed) and had the grid full by the end of breakfast … EXCEPT for 8ac. The answer to that one came halfway through the working morning during a toilet break. Yes, I HAD heard of her, I think it just needed my subconscious to turn the parsing over for an hour or two.

    Pokemon themes? Pff, no chance mate.

    • Denzo said

      For what it’s worth, if anyone’s still interested, I have a feeling that my paternal grandma talked of drawing tea. She was originally from Liverpool. But I can’t claim to be an authority on Herts dialect, if there is such a thing.

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