i Cryptic Crossword 3345 by Silvanus

October 27, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of 5): 🌟🌟

Silvanus is a graduate of Big Dave’s Rookie Corner and NTSPP slots and today’s puzzle was one of his early appearances in the Indy. Since then he has gone on additionally to set Toughies for the Telegraph but whilst this puzzle took a little getting into I would not describe it as particularly tough. There were, though, a couple of answers – NO LONGER and FRIENDSHIP – for which I needed the fifteensquared blog to get the parsing.

I found this a delight to solve, with some quirkiness in both definitions and wordplay. There were also some nice misdirections, as in 8dn with ‘abolition of bishops’ suggesting removal of two Bs was needed, and penny-drop moments as in the outrageous 12ac. The only downside was 5dn which, as someone commented on fifteensquared, was not particularly cryptic.

Selecting a CoD was difficult. I liked the surfaces of 21ac, with its suggestion of seeking refreshment on the way home from the Albert Hall, and 20dn with its overgrown creeper. 1ac and 2dn also suggested themselves but for sheer quirkiness I’ll go for 28ac: ‘Element evenly distributed throughout Kosovo? (6)’.

For all the answers and the parsings I missed go to https://www.fifteensquared.net/2017/08/09/independent-9617-silvanus/

11 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3345 by Silvanus”

  1. tonnelier said

    This was heading for a 1*, until 11, 17, 26 and 28 caused some difficulty. All four are really good clues – I got stuck with “ancestor” at 11a, for no good reason, and was at a loss to parse “oxygen”. It’s one of those “kick yourself” clues which is much appreciated, as is the brilliantly misleading use of Cleethorpes in 12. Knowing Cleethorpes quite well, I wanted something to do with mud, but annulment (another excellent clue) put me straight. For COD I can’t decide between 12 and 28.

    All very enjoyable and a perfect example of a 2* puzzle.

  2. jonofwales said

    Yes, a great puzzle, and agreed on the 2* difficulty rating. 8d and 26ac were the only ones to cause any real issues here. I thought 9ac was a perfect example of how to clue a word that I’m sure many of us can’t spell!

  3. thebargee said

    A lovely puzzle today, 2* nudging 3* for me, with some neat wordplay. 9ac was new to me, but very clearly clued. The only one I couldn’t parse was INVESTOR; father=INVENTOR seems a bit strained to me, but I dare say it’s in that BRB I still don’t have a copy of.

    Highlights were all those mentioned by Borodin, and completely agree with the choice of COD.

    • Borodin said

      The BRB has ‘originator’ as one meaning of ‘father’ as a noun, and ‘invent’ as one meaning as a verb. It’s sometimes said, for instance, that Alexander Graham Bell was the father of the telephone – implying that he invented it (although others may have done so independently).

  4. Cornick said

    Very good, with some delightful extras as mentioned.
    I was half expecting it to get 3* , but fair enough Ii suppose.

  5. Silvanus said

    Many thanks to Borodin and to all kind enough to leave comments.

    Four years on from its initial appearance I had forgotten many of the clues so it was a delight to re-visit them again.

    This was my fifth Independent puzzle, as well as Telegraph Toughies (my next appears a week today) I am also one of the three current Friday back-page setters for the Telegraph too.

  6. Saboteur said

    A good and enjoyable puzzle. It took me a while to get into it, probably because Silvanus puzzles are rare, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

    I suspected we might get a pangram, but in the end I was left trying to fit a Z and a Q into my last one in, which I had decided was OXYGEN, so I was wrong there. This last elicited a real groan when I saw how it worked.

    My only criticisms would be the ones already mentioned, INSURANCE COVER and MIDDLE. I was wondering whether I was missing something in each case.

  7. Willow said

    I really enjoyed this – many thanks. And many thanks also to Silvanus for joining in the conversation. Some clues were quite idiosyncratic and needed a lot of thought, but were also delightful once you realised what was going on. The clue for OXYGEN was also my CoD.

    My LOI was GRAVES, partly because I was sure Gravesend is in Essex. Oops …

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