i Cryptic Crossword 3301 Hypnos

September 6, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟🌟

In terms of word-play and accessibility, this fun and enjoyable puzzle from Hypnos merits a two-star rating, I would say. But it a few of the references seemed to require somewhat niche knowledge (or to presume age and memory from the solver): Evelyn Waugh has fallen from popularity at present, and although the erudite solvers of the i would be able to name quite a few of his novels, I doubt that BLACK MISCHIEF would be among them. Likewise, James HUNT and Stefan EDBERG, great as their achievements were, are sportsmen whose names are no longer at the forefronts of our minds. DAVID HOCKNEY and Giles BRANDRETH, (and indeed Jo Brand) on the other hand are well-known enough.

I enjoyed this one, which took me about my usual time to solve. Everything seemed to parse perfectly, and the surface readings were plausible throughout. Five clues made my shortlist, which is, in my book, a sign of a good and entertaining crossword. The winner, by a narrow margin, is 7d: “Apple technology’s latest found in place for courses? (6)”.

Here’s the link for the answers and explanations: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2017/07/23/independent-on-sunday-1430-by-hypnos/

5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3301 Hypnos”

  1. dtw42 said

    Yes, felt a little tougher than usual for a Monday – as you say, some dated proper-names. My LOI was 16dn, and that gave me a finish at ten o’clock on the nose. I’d not heard of the Waugh novel, but it seemed plausible sounding, and a Google confirmed it.

  2. jonofwales said

    Just verging on 3* territory here, but definitely tough in places, especially to the NE corner. 6d – where we were expected to know both which comedienne to go for and the entertainer – was what held me up in particular, without much in the way of checking letters to work with for a long time.

  3. thebargee said

    Rattled through this one fairly quickly until my LOI (11a) where I got fixated on AFTER(thought) as the answer, even though I knew it didn’t quite fit the wordplay. It took a while to dislodge that mental roadblock, but got there in the end.

    Yes, there was a bit of specialist knowledge needed here and there, but also some nifty clueing. I suppose one could debate the use of ‘versatile’ in 6d, but it didn’t stop me twigging the answer😉.

    I liked 9a, 26a (which helped with EDBERG) and 7d, but my favourite today by a whisker was PENCHANT.

  4. Willow said

    I finished, but only with a sense of having done the distance rather than really enjoying the process. I am old enough to know all the people referenced, (having lived in Bradford helped with Hockney, and being a Radio 4 listener with both Brand and Brandreth), but, even so, many of the definitions were tenuous. Using both the French M and GILET in 26 was clever, though quite obscure, but I did like the imaginative misdirection of ADMITTING for THOUGH in 4. Most surface readings were OK, but some a bit clunky, of which a couple just didn’t work at all for me – 9 and 13.

  5. Cornick said

    Got 2/3 of the way through this on the app then did a couple of emails, came back to it, found my filled entries weren’t there any more, couldn’t be bothered to fill them in again, and hit the ‘solve entire puzzle’ button.
    I suspect that might be indicative of something or other…

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