i Cryptic Crossword 3326 Radian

October 5, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟

Radian is a regular contributor to the Tuesday themed spot, and a setter I usually find to be somewhat testing. Today, though, we had a decidedly gentle offering on the subject of 17ac and 11ac. An overt theme without any obscure answers I suspect was what sped me through the grid today, as even when the wordplay wasn’t immediately forthcoming, the answer usually was.

I had question marks beside just a few on completion, notably 13ac, 26ac and (my LOI) 29ac, but the rest went in fully understood, if backward engineered on occasion. In common with solvers back in the day, my first thought for 5ac was BUST-UPS, featuring the lesser known BUP, until common sense (for once) prevailed.

Lots to like as expected from a consistently quality setter, with 7d raising a smile, and my COD nomination going to 1ac – “What may follow assault in court cells? (7)”.

To August 2017 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


12 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3326 Radian”

  1. thebargee said

    Pretty much a re-run of yesterday for me, polished off pretty quickly, although on this occasion even I managed to spot the theme after writing in 1a, 14a and 9d.

    I had no problem with the 3 clues Jon mentions, but had trouble understanding a different 3, namely 12a, 4d (really should have understood that one) and 25d. I think my favourite clue today was the aforementioned 13a.

  2. Saboteur said

    Indeed, another half-a-cup-of-coffee crossword. Enjoyable while it lasted. I had a little bit of trouble parsing AIRBORNE, until the proverbial penny dropped, making that my favourite clue today. I couldn’t parse UNITES, which, I thought on discovering how it worked, did require a bit of niche knowledge.

  3. Willow said

    I may be in a minority but I found this unrewarding and hard going. Although I did get the theme. There was too much that was very tangential, and I dislike having so many linked clues, especially when the links turn out to be part of the wordplay, as was the second 10 in 29. Sure, it keeps you thinking, but this was all very dry. I still have no idea how IES relates to Classical Drama. And the surface readings were not at all fluid in about a third of the material. As ever, I appreciate the skill that the setter has shown in assembling the grid, but putting thought into writing the clues seems to have been an afterthought. Sorry that I can’t be more positive today.

    • Saboteur said

      Hi, Willow. UNITES is a subtraction of “I” from “unities”. This refers to the Aristotelian principle that a good drama should display unity of place, unity of time and unity of action.

  4. Cornick said

    A very good crossword, even if lots of the clues were tangential, as Willow says, whimsical, cross-referenced and a few which I, as a seasoned veteran in these things found impossible to parse.

    I have only one complaint, and it is a heartfelt one, there is no way on Earth that that was a one-star for difficulty crossword. Such things should be judged on more than simply how much time it took the blogger to solve.

    • Grodnik said

      I agree that the initial difficulty rating is too low, but it does point up the fact that much of this assessment is subjective. How appropriate that a “Crime and Punishment” theme turned up on the very day that our delightful Home Secretary introduces her new “We’ll keep you safe” measures at the Party Conference. Another step towards the surveillance society. We’ll see if it works out as well as B****T. In the meantime, join me and throw away your mobile phone. You have nothing to lose but your privacy.

    • Cornick said

      Okay, a slight retraction from me. I see now that the App version is different from the paper version.

      I’d say the App version is 3*, and the Fifteensquared blogger called version which appears in today’s i paper ‘medium difficulty’.

      • jonofwales said

        I will consider myself lucky then that having solved my first clue on the app, the paper arrived, somewhat belatedly, and also note that it was my fastest solve in several weeks. 😉

      • Cornick said

        I don’t doubt it!
        But I would say that for a beginner looking at these blogs, time taken for an expert is not as important a factor as is the accessibility for them. Although clearly easier to measure quantitatively, I concede!

  5. dtw42 said

    I’d have graded it as 2 stars. 12a was my LOI, and the only one unparsed. 13ac garnered a “ha” in he margin. Twigging the theme early (after my usual SE corner star) helped speed a lot of it up; indeed I was out of the room when it occurred to me that PUNISHMENT was very likely to be in the grid, so came back and looked for a 10-letter slot with a clue that would match it.

  6. John E said

    I did this one in the paper and enjoyed it as little as Willow did. I don’t use apps, so the comments regarding alternative clues are wasted on me.

  7. Borodin said

    I only do the dead tree version and rate that as 2* – but a satisfying solve nevertheless.

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