i Cryptic Crossword 3190 Hypnos

April 29, 2021

Today we have an IoS reprint that I found to be a mixture of the pretty easy and the decidedly tricky. The rider took an absolute age at the close, and a few oddities elsewhere needed a little teasing out, though all to be fair were gettable with a little thought. I’m unconvinced regarding the definition at 17d, and must admit that the PM at 19d was the last I thought of (is she doomed to be an unfortunate footnote in political history?), making what would have been a write-in back in the day something a little more arduous. Quite a few elsewhere went in not fully understood, reinforcing the suspicion voiced on the other side that IoS puzzles are / were no longer always the “easy” one of the week. Finished just a little over par for the i, and the challenge enjoyed.

COD? I’ll go with 13ac – “Love of old Corsica among natives – it marked out Napoleon? (5)”.

To October 2016 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


16 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3190 Hypnos”

  1. Cornick said

    I have discovered another Achilles heel – the grammatical term defined with
    an example. The other day it was ‘loan word’ defined by ‘Putsch’, today it’s ‘agent noun’ defined by ‘Writer’.

    A little joyless for me today, sadly. I’ll put that down to my state of mind rather than Hypnos though, because apart from the clue for coeducational, which wasn’t really cryptic, I couldn’t see much to complain about.
    Liked the Nick Skelton clue – he’s one of the only two horse-riders I could name, Charlotte Dujardin being the other.

    • Denzo said

      …and TENOR defined by Pavvrotti..? Not an uncommon device I woud say, but not only for grammatical terms

  2. Denzo said

    I agree with Jon that this was a mixture of the easy and tricky. I parsed SCRUTINY differently from 225 (and less convincingly), and there were other tricky parsings, a little known painter and obscure words. AGENT NOUN defeated me, but I will try to remember in case it pops up again.

    However, I enjoyed the solve. A little surprised that my first two, 9a and 3d were both the same type of clue, and put in 1a, though I don’t remember coming across IN HOCK meaning behind bars before. I enjoyed getting 1d and 2d, though I agree the CoD.

  3. thebargee said

    A surprisingly quick solve for me, and very enjoyable for the most part. Quite a few went in without fully understanding the wordplay (8d, 13a, 25a…), but all were reasonably gettable. I particularly enjoyed being able to unravel the clues for CAPRICCIO, AGENT NOUN and MANTEGNA without recourse to electronic help other than for confirmation.

    My only minor quibbles were with ‘in hock’=‘behind bars’ and ‘clinical’=‘plain’. My personal COD today was 7d.

  4. batarde said

    A bit of obfuscation by uncommon definition going on in this one, not something which tends to impress much. However, it was entertaining enough for the most part, even the horse rider who went in unheard of and unchecked. Pleased to see the artist; amused by the island and the CoD and unperturbed by the old PM, she of the ghastly down market John Lewis tat. I was left with the feeling that this was a funny old crossword, and rather an uneven one as regards both difficulty and quality.

  5. tonnelier said

    Just about average difficulty and satisfaction for me. I really didn’t like 25 or 21, but everything else was smooth enough. Most went in quickly but I spent quite a time (too long?0 sorting out SCRUTINY, and failed with the artist because I missed the idea of loaded as anagram indicator.

    Best were definitely 13 and 14, the latter just preferred.

    Horse riders not my speciality either, but a few names somehow stick – David Broome, Harvey Smith and Pat Smythe in my case – and Nick of course!

    • Cornick said

      Oh yes, Harvey Smith – who could forget!

      • batarde said

        How about … Lucinda Prior Palmer? That name has been bugging me all afternoon, and I’ve finally worked out why. 🙂

      • Cornick said

        Okay, back in the 70s showjumping was pretty massive. I should have said ‘non-racing equestrians contemporary with this puzzles first publication’. Skelton, Dujardin… that’s my lot.

  6. Saboteur said

    An odd one. For the most part perfectly pleasant and enjoyable. But I did have a few quibbles which made this a less than satisfying solve. As The Bargee has already commented, both IN HOCK and CLINICAL seemed to be wrongly defined. Also, AGENT NOUN seemed decidedly obscure, as did the use of “sensational” for “yellow”.

    But on the positive side, I thought COEDUCATIONAL was good, and I rather liked the “in Notre Dame” device in INDECENT, making a change from Nancy and Nice.

    No problem with Nick Skelton, as I was at school with him back in the ’70s (never really knew him, though). But who on earth is Caprice?

  7. Veronica said

    Flip! I found that tricky! Can hardly believe I finished it (with some help from SGPB). Very satisfying, so I rate it highly. In particular, I was impressed that the obscurities were all possible by carefully working them out, ie by just doing what was asked by the clue!
    Didn’t parse YELLED correctly, but had my own ideas (less good than the real parsing), so I’m going with “all done”.
    Agree with the quibbles in principle, but my brain was too tired to care by the time I’d finished, so no complaints from me.
    My favourites were 2 down for such a nice surface reading, and AGENT NOUN. I’d never heard of this phrase, and it was fun to finally tease it out from the word play. Similarly, I liked NICK SKELTON, only vaguely familiar, so again derived from the word play.

  8. Willow said

    About half way through this puzzle I decided I would never be able to finish, but persevered, and did finish in the end! Some very demanding clues, but overall most satisfying in the final analysis. Chambers, an atlas and an encyclopaedia were needed to help me confirm AGENT NOUN, ISCHIA and MANTEGNA, and the internet for Caprice.

  9. dtw42 said

    Perhaps I shouldn’t start puzzles late afternoon after a long day’s work, because I might be in the wrong frame of mind. But I found this far too hard to be enjoyable and only finished it by plugging practically the whole of the second half into wordfinders and looking names up on the internet. Several whose parsing I didn’t understand.

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