i Cryptic Crossword 3182 Radian

April 20, 2021

For his theme, Radian has chosen an alleged genius remembered chiefly for his general racism, specific anti-Semitism, misogyny and a number of works referenced in both clues and solutions. For some reason he is held dear by much of the British public, but if you want something to get aerated about today that’s where I’d aim, rather than a couple of routine drug references and 4d. It was his hundredth birthday back in September 2016, by the way.

“Brompton!”, I hear you cry, and by golly, so ’tis. It was a bit north and south too, and in my case the former remained sparsely populated until after the latter was complete. 7, 8 and 13 staged a fierce resistance, and whilst I’m not bowled over by 8d, 7 is smashing and 12 is my COD runner-up. Whether the grid played a part is moot, but this felt quite challenging for a Radian: not especially suitable for inexperienced solvers or people who don’t want to knuckle down and do some concerted thinking. Everything parses to my satisfaction, but the definitions can be quite mischievous. If you want explanations, you can do no better than to consult Duncan at Fifteensquared.

Selecting a clue of the day from a Radian puzzle is usually troublesome, and it’s not as if the pickings are thin today. In addition to the aforementioned, 12, 20,23 and 24 all deserve a mention and no doubt others will have appealed. To my way of thinking there’s a stand-out winner just for once … well, I didn’t see that coming. 🙂

14ac: “It’s surprising you have to install Windows etc after crash (10)”

17 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3182 Radian”

  1. Denzo said

    Certainly challenging, but enjoyable enough for me to decide to spend the extra time I realised I would need to complete. I wondered about HAVE A GO oon first reading, but wasn’’t convinced so didn’t put it in at first. First in was LEWD, followed by DAHLIA. I cannot remember at what stage I twigged the theme, but not being a particular Dahl fan, I read him up fairly early on in case it would be useful. It did – for some reason I was slow to parse PEACH, but happily put it in, and would otherwise have hesitated with TWIT, though parsed.

    I agree with Batarde that the two drug references were miid and unlikely to cause much ofrfence. Curiously, one thing I knew about Dahl before visiting Wikipedia is that his parents and, therefore, his name were Norwegian, a probable hint from Radian which Duncan missed on 225. My only gripe was 14a; Microsoft withdrew support for this two years before this puzzle first appeared, having released Windows 7, its next fully competent OS, in 2009. Among many clever clues, my favourite was INNUENDO.

  2. Saboteur said

    A rare DNF for me, I sofar as I couldn’t get WHISHT, which seemed so unlikely that I decided I must have made a mistake, but couldn’t work out what, so gave up and came here to find out.

    A bit chewy in places, and I’m afraid my enjoyment of this puzzle was a little soured by my realisation that it was themed around Dahl. Finding out about his antisemitism rather cast a retrospective shadow, for me, which I find difficult to overlook.

    Thats not to say there were not things to enjoy. I did like INNUENDO, and especially EL NINO, and the long anagram for REVOLTING RHYMES was impressive.

    The only x in my margin was for “u” from “you” without some sort of “texted” indicator.

  3. jonofwales said

    Tough, but only at the very close I found on some of the shorter answers, including WHISHT which was indeed odd. Theme duly noted, though I know so little on the subject it didn’t help much. Good fun I thought.

  4. Veronica said

    Goodness me, that was tough. Took SGPB and me an age. Finally, I was left with 7 down and 13 across … puzzling and puzzling … eventually I looked up WHISHT as a last resort … had thought of it yonks ago, but dismissed it as not a possible word … and there it was in the dictionary! That gave me 13 across quite quickly.
    Enjoyable puzzle. I agree with the CoD, which I really liked (however old XP is, which is a bit if an issue, I agree). I also balked at u for you. Then I decided I was being old fashioned, and that maybe the average 20 year old would accept it without question 😯🙃.
    WHISHT was also good, I love those ones where you work out the word and have to look it up to see if it exists. And PEACH made me smile – excellent, concise clue.
    I couldn’t remember the term Brompton, but yeah, I did think this is one of “those grids”. In the end, I didn’t mind.

  5. Cornick said

    I found it more tractable than usual for a Radian and had a steady, enjoyable solve with just 7d left at the end. Stumped as I was I eventually entered WHISHT to see what would happen and was somewhat surprised to get the yellow tick. A new word learned, which I shall of course endeavour to use at the earliest opportunity.

  6. thebargee said

    A late afternoon start for me (which never augurs well), and indeed it was very much a DNF. Never heard of WHISHT, not familiar with TWIT as a verb, or the Norwegian currency… I could go on.

    To be honest, I wouldn’t have finished this if I’d started early in the day, so not one for me. I was also unaware of the less desirable aspects of Dahl’s character; gosh, I have led a sheltered life.

    • Denzo said

      FWIW, as everyone else has commented on it, I, too had to look up WHISHT, and confirm TWIT as a verb; I knew the Scandinavian and Bulgarian Currebcies, but couldn’t recall them until the first L of LORELEI appeared.

      Dahl was four years younger than my Dad, and there were plenty of antisenites, racists, misogynists and homophobes around in his time, so I don’t know whether we should judge Dahl or his generation.

      • batarde said

        Denzo, if it was just a matter of prevailing attitudes I wouldn’t have mentioned it, and your implication to the contrary is damnably irksome. If you did your homework you would find that the man was a self identified anti-Semite, not so much a Holocaust denier as an apologist, and odious by the standards of any time. This, I thought, was well known – certainly since the family issued a high profile apology last year.

      • Denzo said

        I am sorry if I caused you offence, Batarde. It seems unlikely that Dahl cared about prevailing attitudes. I have now “done my homework” by researching Britannica (which mentions only his writing) and Wikipedia from which Dahl was clearly a person who spoke his mind, oten on a whim, without caring whom he offended, and therefore was bound to be attacked by those he offended. It is probable that such a person also made pro-Jewish and pro-women comments, which, being non-controversial were not newsworthy so have not survived. Such a person would indeed not have cared about prevailing attitides.

        According to Wikipedia, a Jewish friend of Dahl’s observed that he also had a Jewish publisher and agent none of whom felt strongly enough about his antisemitism to block his work. However, it is clear that Dahl was fervently anti-Israeli. I did not read anything to convince me that he was so objectionable that the public should not appreciate his work..

        I am afraid I have to confess to enjoying the works of antisemites Shakespeare and Dickens, the music of Wagner, and absolutely adoring the misogynist, racist Mozart, all geniuses in spite of what I perceive as some unpleasant traits All people of their time, sensitive to prevailing attitudes.

      • batarde said

        That is an apology worthy of Priti Patel, which is to say that is nothing of the sort and is not accepted. As for your final paragraph, that is an entirely separate issue and an attempt to muddy the waters.

      • Denzo said

        Patel disagreed that she owed anyone an apology (though, like you, I thought she did). Likewise I am not sure if I need to apologise for disagreeing with remarks which appeard to me to hint at cancel culture, but like Dahl’s heirs I took the view that to say sorry would do me no harm. Perhaps I had the wrong end of the stick. The fnal paragraph is relevant because there is very little evidence (in Wikipedia) that Dahl’s work was influenced by any offensive views whereas Shylock and Fagin are major characters, and both Die Zauberftoete and Cosi Fan Tutte had racist and misogynstic comments made by characters.

      • batarde said

        Getting hold of the wrong end of the stick appears to be your speciality, Denzo. For instance you appear to be under the impression that I am not incandescently angry about your previous remarks – why else would you be blithely compounding the insult? I am not in the habit of making unsupported asseverations, and I do not rely on Wikipedia for my information. You, on the other hand, repeatedly pass off mere opinion as fact, make a point of entering into protracted arguments from a position of obvious ignorance, and in general behave as if someone had died making you village elder. No such vacancy existed.

        I shall do you the courtesy of assuming that you have not read my post below, which deals with your irrelevancies about Mozart and Shakespeare, and ignore the stupid remark about “cancel culture” – a favoured talking point of the far right. In return, kindly do not mistake me for an uninformed dolt, and think carefully before you rattle off more in the same vein.

      • jonofwales said

        Gentlemen, can we desist please? I think it’s safe to say we’ve reached the point where everything useful has been said, and tempers have become somewhat frayed. Thank you…

  7. dtw42 said

    Another busy day. Have just finished this (7.25pm).
    My last two in were – surprise – 7dn (which I *did* know existed, but needed to dredge up from the deepest recesses of my brain) and then 13ac. Meh. Put me down as another fuddy-duddy who doesn’t like U for YOU without some sort of texty or even homophoney indicator.
    I think I’d put 16ac as my CoD.

  8. Willow said

    I loved the way that the theme gradually materialised in my head, due to some very subtle cluing. WHISHT is a word I grew up with, having Scottish parents. Some clues took a long time to unravel but were always completely logical. Didn’t know about the anti-semitism etc, so feel I have been educated here. Much food for thought. When I was in my twenties and thirties I did listen to a lot of Wagner. These days, being acutely aware of his prejudices, I find it difficult to do so. But, then again, Wagner was certainly an arrogant and egotistical man: his music reflects that and was composed partly to promote his own ideology. The work of other controversial figures cited above is perhaps much more varied and nuanced.

    • batarde said

      Well, this is a recurrent theme and has been for a long time, and in a way Roald Dahl joins a long and often distinguished roll of artists who were absolute blisters in their private life. They range from the falsely accused like John Buchan to the utterly gruesome like Percy Wyndham Lewis – both of whose work I like as it happens – and if it comes to that, Eric Gill. Don’t worry, I’m not going there! Louis-Ferdinand Céline was unwell, making the extent to which he was culpable wide open to debate. One wouldn’t wish to pretend that this is an uncomplicated area, but in Dahl’s case there’s an abundance of evidence. It’s possible to separate out the person from the work, condemning (or in the case of Buchan, exonerating) the former whilst enjoying the latter, or at least I think so.

      Glad that someone else was familiar with whisht, or wheesht as I know it. 🙂

  9. Veronica said

    I learn a lot on this site. Not just about crosswords but also about the many themes and links. With thanks to you all for sharing your knowledge and thoughts.

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