i Cryptic Crossword 3218 Math

June 1, 2021

Math … how very singular. I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of blogging a puzzle by this setter before, but as Hoskins says in his comment on the other side, it’s the sort that welcomes the solver in. My customary “straight-through-the-clues-in-order” approach yielded three quarters of the across clues solved cold, so it was a case of freewheeling through the downs filling in the stragglers as the crossers appeared. Pretty quick, then – but it’s a clever puzzle with lots of deft touches and Math is clearly one of those generous compilers who put in plenty of effort without wishing to give their customers a headache. This is very welcome on a blog day, so thank you, Math.

There is, of course, a theme, about which I know nothing. Not my sort of thing at all, but the Nina down the left hand side tipped me off and Duncan supplied the other bits. A diligent blogger would have chased them up the hard way, and I’m sure that you, dear reader, did precisely that. All seems shipshape to me, except that 28ac should probably read “20 Downs” – a trifling quibblette if ever there was one. Special plaudits for 1, 5d, 17 and 25, and in general for natty surfaces. The Clue of the Day laurels go to 9ac:

“They have lots of empty cans after getting gold can-opener! (8)”

No objection to the exclamation mark on this occasion. I’d also like to give Eimi a high-five for 1d in the 5-clue, because that trick never gets old, does it? We’re still in January 2017 for this one … Fifteensquared:

https://www.fifteensquared.net/2017/01/13/independent-9439-math/

13 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3218 Math”

  1. bop said

    Agreed, the setter has worked hard to give a pleasant solve. I also enjoyed 14d and 19d. Spotted ..LALAND down the left hand side which helped witn the cunning 1a.

    I wish I was clevr enough to solve threequarters cold!

  2. thebargee said

    An excellent day to return to crossword-solving after a week or so of doing more important stuff (if I dare say such a thing hereabouts, but seeing family for the first time since last August definitely trumps puzzles in my book).

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one, although I didn’t find it quite such a breeze as batarde – no surprise there! Lots of nicely crafted clues and smooth surfaces, my LOI being STONE, which I failed to parse, but it seemed like the only possible answer.

  3. jonofwales said

    Love the film, which I’ve seen several times, completely missed the theme, which just goes to show how rubbish I am at spotting them. Enjoyed the puzzle nevertheless, that I thought was on the easy side, with no queries at the close.

  4. Topsy said

    Another theme that went entirely over my head!! For some reason it was a DNF for me, I must have got distracted by that big yellow thing in the sky!
    I also did the 5 word cryptic but I am afraid I didn’t understand 1d. Can anyone explain it please?

  5. Willow said

    I very much enjoyed this puzzle – thank you. It was not an easy one, but it was very rewarding, and I appreciated some highly imaginative wordplay, not least for LEGEND, AUCTIONS, NATION, DEBATERS and MUSICAL. Interesting how some words appear more than once in both clues and entries: Go, Wind, Can.

    If one were to quibble, there were some redundant words in some clues, but they did assist the surface readings. I am unsure if GOS is a recognised variant of GOES (plural of GO when a noun) as it’s not in my edition of Chambers, (in the clue for GOSSIP – have I misunderstood this?), but it didn’t really detract from the satisfaction this puzzle generated. I didn’t spot the Nina, but it didn’t matter.

    I’m with Topsy concerning the uplift produced by actually being able to see the most massive object in our planetary system for a change – it makes so much difference. And, like thebargee, am looking forward to meeting family for the first time in ages tomorrow.

  6. Saboteur said

    Saw the nina, but completely missed the theme, somehow. It looks so obvious when I found out there was one, what with Gosling and Los Angeles… Heigh ho.

    Nicely rewarding, and thoroughly enjoyable. Totally agree on AUCTIONS. Splendid bit of cluing.

    Agree about the five-clue, as well. Our editor does seem to have raised the bar, though. I’ve often struggled a little with it of late.

  7. dtw42 said

    Didn’t spot the nina; didn’t spot the theme. Finished the puzzle happily enough though. Had the same brief query about GOS that Willow has mentioned.

  8. Veronica said

    Completed during advert breaks while watching the French tennis championships. Like bop, I wish I was clever enough to solve most clues by themselves. But I guess it must have been easier for me than some, given my low level of concentration, yet all done except 7 down.

    Very much enjoyed it. Several clues were fun to parse, and all were smooth and satisfying. I solved 7 down, but couldn’t parse it – lied for song was clever and I fell for the misdirection.

    Pleased to hear you are seeing your folks, Willow and thebargee. I’ve got a “busy” week, too, albeit less social: alternating watching the tennis and going to dog agility competitions with some friends. Both top the crossword for me, too!

  9. Denzo said

    Agree with Willow – rewarding and enjoyable but not easy. My best momenit was, after a long period of staring and not writing, realising that I should remember that some words ending in G do not also end in ING, when DOODLEBUG followed by BALDERDASH immediately fell.

    Am I the only one here able to boast the dubious honour of actually having seen a DOODLEBUG? Aged about 5, I was so excited hearing it, then looking up and seeing it, and ran indoors, saying “Look, Mummy, it’s going to land on Mrs Emerson’s house!” (We lived at No 2, the Emersoms were at 6). No fear for our safety and certainly not the poor Emersons’! It actually landed in a field about 2km distant.

  10. Cornick said

    Shows how much I know. The last time we had a Math puzzle I declared it to be his last, but such are the jumpings hither and thither throughout the archives that this one was stilt outstanding.
    And outstanding it most certainly was from Math, who was especially good at those runs of words like ‘Old King Cole’, ‘Show with numbers’ (leading on to numerals), ‘South American city’ and several other lovely examples of deception, including the CoD of course. Very much appreciated indeed.

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