i Cryptic Crossword 3338 Radian

October 19, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟🌟

I’m guessing that even the most theme-blind solver won’t have failed to spot the names of several well known works dotted throughout the grid today. The puzzle itself was originally published to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of the author, an anniversary I suspect was a big deal at the time. A good pick nevertheless for our Tuesday themed spot – of about average difficulty, helped a little here and there by the themed entries (congratulations if 10ac leapt out without said help), and the little that could be called obscure clued as clearly as you would like. I half expected to find a few more thematic entries (and perhaps there are some I’m blissfully unaware of), but I suspect Radian did well to get all the ones he did into the grid. A nice puzzle overall that I thoroughly enjoyed.

COD? While tempted by the lovely surface reading at 22ac, and both hidden words, my favourite today has got to be 4d – “Fan of Queen’s inspiring European books (5)”.

And so to July 2017 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


9 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3338 Radian”

  1. Cornick said

    Quite brilliant I thought. Loved it. So many great clues. A solid 4* for me though.
    Some unknown vocabulary – Hieratic and Joseph in particular, plus the NZ writer, but as someone who has only ever got through one half of any of Austen’s books (P & P) I was nevertheless fully able to realise the theme.
    It’s a shame we miss out on the topicality of these anniversaries here at the i, innit?

  2. Saboteur said

    I think you are much better than me at solving, Jonofwales 🙂. This was another four-star for me. Second time in two crosswords when I thought four, only to see you rattled through and said two.

    I spotted the theme after PREJUDICE went in, which immediately helped with PERSUASION. I did enjoy the unusual definitions for both of these entries, and a few others. I half expected to see Emma somewhere, and even North, Anger and Abbey, but perhaps that was too much to hope for. JOSEPH was new, and HIERATIC required a quick check.

  3. Willow said

    I started off really not liking this, but as time went on I began to notice the thematic entries and it turned into a most enjoyable solve overall – many thanks. Having said that, several clues were very difficult to fathom. Let’s take 5D, for example: “Pick this row after staff function.” Initially one has a mental image of two work colleagues, perhaps a bit the worse for wear, arguing outside a pub, maybe, after the Christmas party. ROW turns out to be LINE, MAN stands for STAFF (a verb rather than a noun/adjective), and FUNCTION is DO, which is possibly the only part of the clue which isn’t a misdirection. PICK THIS = MANDOLINE? Not exactly the most precise of definitions. I can think of at least twenty others that would fit the bill.

    But … if you guessed the theme, then other crossing letters would have led you to this anyway. So, getting the theme is in fact equivalent to having crossing letters, so all is fair! Huzzah! Perhaps.

    Certainly not a puzzle to give to Young Solvers. 4 star for me.

  4. dtw42 said

    Glad to see others saying **** (not a censored swear there) – despite spotting the theme, I still made slow progress through this. Got there in the end though.

  5. Topsy said

    I haven’t given up doing crosswords in the i but I have to say that, by and large, they have become a chore that I need to get through. It is probably my current mindset but I cannot share the enthusiasm expressed by other solvers. Never mind, I won’t give up trying.

  6. Borodin said

    Solved in one session so ‘about average difficulty, helped a little here and there by the themed entries’ just about sums it up. Enjoyable, too.

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