i Cryptic Crossword 3134 Radian

February 23, 2021

Today’s theme will find favour with the mycologists amongst you, but your humble blogger is struggling somewhat to raise enthusiasm for the subject. Nothing better in a risotto, of course. Anyway, beneath the surface of this crossword puzzle there lurks a creeping, pervasive mycelium of 22d matter, and if you want to compare notes with the Fifteensquared foragers, please click here. Eileen’s link in comment 2 is well worth five minutes of your time.

It often falls to me to deal with Radian, and I have a great deal of respect for his diligent, solver friendly approach. This crossword is on the difficult side by his standards, which may be on account of rather ungenerous checking, especially of the across lights. That said, as usual there are no real hotspots and one gets the impression that he’s careful to provide a balanced puzzle with toeholds dotted around so you shouldn’t come to an impasse in one corner, say. We also have the customary wide assortment of cluing strategies, ranging from the very straightforward like 26 and 18 to the more tricksy, such as the subtractions at 4 and 8d. I imagine that all solvers will have made ready headway, but finishing off might have caused some head scratching.

Never an easy task, singling out a Radian clue of the day. Please feel free to chip in with your own. As far as I can see there’s only one potential controversy, so let’s try that:

2d: “Gutted co-op boss? He bounces back nearly (7)”

20 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3134 Radian”

  1. Cornick said

    Your COD was the one I couldn’t parse, Batarde, but I wish I had done as it’s nifty.
    Thoroughly A1 puzzle that.

  2. dtw42 said

    The one *I* couldn’t parse was my LOI, 8dn. (I did have “wow” against 2dn though)
    But it was all done in middling time, and I felt there was some particularly sneaky and subtle meaning-wrangling both in the wordplay and the defs.
    Theme passed me by; oops.

  3. tonnelier said

    I found this tough going, and resorted to electronic assistance more than once. 2, 4, 8 and 15 struck me as particularly difficult. Absolutely no chance of spotting a theme; I was far too busy sorting out some very tricky parsing all over the place.

    Took me considerably longer than usual, and I enjoyed the tussle

  4. Denzo said

    What Cornick wrote. Also didn’t know Tod Fox. Fav was 28a but hard to choose.

  5. Topsy said

    A DNF for me….. again 😦 I got the theme after getting 21d. I have foraged for mushrooms back in the day and to me ceps are boletus (penny bun) and delicious. So that messed everything up. Might 17a fit the theme too?? I don’t get 2d at all. Please could someone explain?

    • dtw42 said

      “gutted co-op” would be “coop” (because you’re removing the centre) so a rooter is the boss of the coop. “He bounces” is ROO as in kangaroo; “back nearly” in STERN without the last letter.

    • Cornick said

      Definitely 17a, and also the clever parallel meaning in answers like 9d, 23a, possibly 26a and 27a too. Love it when they do that!

  6. thebargee said

    Well for once I did spot the theme, helped no doubt by a boyhood interest in matters 22dn. But I found this one tough – instead of my usual strategy of filling in blocks of clues before moving on, I had to adopt a scattergun approach which slightly irritated by obsessive-compulsive subconscious.

    No matter, I got there in the end and rather enjoyed the process. I failed to parse 8dn and 2dn, but the answers couldn’t really be anything else. Also failed to parse 10ac, and only lightly pencilled in TOAD because I had no confidence in the answer. I’ve never heard of TOD in that sense, I dare say it’s in Chambers (which I don’t possess), so I suppose it’s one of those crossword oddities, like ‘r’ for ‘take’, that turn up now and again. Hopefully I won’t see it again for a good while.

    • thebargee said

      Doh! Should be ‘my’, not ‘by’ in the first paragraph.

    • dtw42 said

      I think I learned ‘tod’ for fox as a child when Disney used ‘Tod’ as the actual NAME for the character in their film ‘The Fox and the Hound’, and my parents explained it was an old traditional term or something.

  7. Saboteur said

    Quite tough, I thought, taking me a lot longer than usual, but very rewarding with lots to admire. Took me ages to parse ROOSTER, but well worth it. I did need a bit of e-help on the way.

    • jonofwales said

      I’ve been afraid to seek e-help since yesterday in case Dave Hughes of the i is watching. 😉

      • Saboteur said

        Ha ha! 😃

      • Denzo said

        Interesting article – I looked yesaterday. I didn’t think David Hughes was a regular contributor to the i, but don’t fret, Jon, I don’t think he bites. The article appeared to suggest that more people are cheating, whatever that means. If that is so, it is probably only because more people are doing crosswords, particularly those like me who wouldn’t do one every day but for being under house arrest.

        The website which appears to give an answer to most clues ever written is intriguing. To put that together must take either an enormous lot of time or a fairly sophisticated computer algorithm, considering the clues and answers are seldom published together (unless it’s been nicked from 225!). I am surprised it’s worth anyone’s time doing that.

  8. jonofwales said

    Reasonably difficult I thought. I spotted the slightly recondite theme which wouldn’t have helped with any of the entries, failed to parse the COD, and marveled at TOD for fox. In other words, a very satisfied customer here.

  9. Robin said

    Mr Tod is one of Peter Rabbit’s acquaintances

  10. Veronica said

    I agree with all comments about it being excellent. 👍
    I agree with all comments about it being difficult 😮 …
    … sadly, I cannot agree with all comments of “finished” because I had 6 left unsolved 😌😢.
    Which, I suppose, proves that a crossword does not have to be finished to be good, after all. 👍😊😉

    I can’t award 2 down as my COD, since I didn’t solve it.
    My 2 favourites were 4 down, INFESTS, which was very clever, and 12 across, STOOLS. (Yeah, I know I’ve moaned about risqué clues in the past, but only when the crossword is littered with them. This one was funny, without taking over.)

  11. Willow said

    Took me well over a day to finish this, so sorry about the late posting. I agree that some easier clues helped balance out those that were phenomenally difficult. TOD is a familiar term round these parts. I spotted the fungi theme. ROOSTER annoyed me, though. AA Milne has a character called Roo, but the person noted for bouncing is Tigger, of course. Nevertheless, got it in the end …

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: