i Cryptic Crossword 3309 by Raich

September 15, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of five): ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

I’m not sure how fair an assessment I can make of this. I’d forgotten I have to go to a meeting this morning so I had to solve the puzzle in a rush before breakfast and put this blog together in rather a hurry too. So I found it a bit tricky in places but that was probably because, being short of of time, I had recourse to wordfinder and anagram solver for clues which I would have solved unaided given time. However, I’ll go with Pierre back in 2017 who rates Raich’s puzzles ‘accessible’ so it’s a two star rating although I might have given it just one in other circumstances..

I did find some write-ins, though โ€“ 1ac, 5ac, 14 and 16 for example. Overall, a nice mix of clue types โ€“ anagrams, homophones, cryptic definitions and some fairly involved wordplay. Several candidates for CoD; I liked 1dn and 17 but I’ll go for 26: ‘In from France warning about lake โ€“ area surrounded (7)’

Normal service will be resumed next week. Meanwhile for more detailed comment go to:


5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3309 by Raich”

  1. Saboteur said

    Agreed. I might have given a one or a two for difficulty, depending on mood and circumstances, etc. I raced through most of this, with only two or three requiring real work, and only HELLUVA causing a frown. All parsed, no resort to help necessary.

    AFOOT was my winner, today.

    Very pleasant while it lasted, entirely in keeping with the tradition of Wednesday-accessibility.

  2. jonofwales said

    A nice puzzle that I think I made heavy weather of, being more of a 3* solve here. I suspect it was probably just a case of my mind not being in the right place. 19d and 2d gained ticks here.

  3. Liz said

    Sadly I donโ€™t get along with the i crosswords – canโ€™t put my finger on why

  4. Willow said

    Before I leave my comment, a note to Liz: I felt exactly the same as you do some years ago. The thing is to keep persevering. Some are harder than others, but you gradually learn about the variety of tricks the compilers use.

    In the final analysis, I enjoyed this and found much of it very satisfying – thank you. I did flinch at the definition for MALLARD, but I laughed out loud when I finally got HELLUVA. I initially thought 12 might be PEDESTRIAN, and was tempted to put it in, but couldn’t parse the clue. I eventually got the right answer after other answers were slotted in around it. ENCOURAGE was my favourite.

  5. Cornick said

    A fine puzzle that, thank you Raich. Some natty definitions like โ€˜Willโ€™ and โ€˜Footmanโ€™ were balanced by some very straightforward wordplay – by cryptic standards that is, of course.
    It would have been a 1* except that in my haste I put in โ€˜Lhasaโ€™ as the reversed city of 23a, then took a while to sort out the pickle of my own making.

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