i Cryptic Crossword 3 401 by Hypnos

January 1, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five):  ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Happy New Year to all our solvers, readers, and contributors.

Despite having grappled with approaching 100 of his puzzles over the years, of all the setters at the i, I think I must have the very least idea of the style of Hypnos. True, he appears most often on a Monday, his puzzles are usually an IOS reprint and typically they’re easier than average, and they’re very good, but beyond that I couldn’t really say.

Today we had a good range of pleasing clues that were mostly pretty tractable. I failed to parse the ‘virtually number one’ bit of 11a TURIN and needed to check a list to confirm the identity of Nadine GORDIMER in 7d, but otherwise all went in smoothly enough. Given that Ms Gordimer won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, quite how she escaped my attention I’m not quite sure. When this puzzle first appeared, some found Suggs from Madness or the Renaissance painter MANTEGNA to be similarly obscure, but both are familiar enough hereabouts.

I loved the clever construction of 6d ON THE TOWN but probably just because I’m a Geographer my CoD nomination goes to this Semi&Lit:

14a Panic if ace at sea takes in first signs of cyclone occurring here? (7,5)

And all the answers are explained in this Fifteensquared blog from December 2017:

Fifteensquared/ Independent/ 9733/ Hypnos

5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3 401 by Hypnos”

  1. jonofwales said

    A bit of a pause at the close on the writer and artist in the NE corner, but the rest went in with little ado, and enjoyed while it lasted.

  2. thebargee said

    Fairly gentle but enjoyable start to 2022, although I needed to check both GORDIMER and MANTEGNA as I’ve not heard of either – more confirmation of my low-brow credentials. Couldn’t parse TURIN either. Had the setter been Hoskins I probably would have twigged the ‘number one’ reference.

    Happy New Year to one and all.

  3. Willow said

    You may be interested to know that I (incorrectly) parsed Turin as T (head of T) + UR (standing for You Are) + IN (given in the clue just before the definition)

    My befuddled mind imagined that UR might be an alternative term for First-Person in a virtual reality computer game. Ah well.

    Some great clues to start 2022.

    • Cornick said

      I shall squirrel away the newly encountered โ€˜virtuallyโ€™ as a last letter deletion indicator. The โ€˜INโ€™ at the end of TURIN could have indeed been the โ€˜inโ€™ in the clue, or even N[umber] 1, so probably all a bit tricky!

  4. Saboteur said

    Good fun, but a bit harder than two-star for me, maybe three, I would say.

    I struggled for ages to parse TURIN – working out what the “virtually” was doing puzzled me, until the penny dropped, and then it was blindingly obvious, of course. Needed a list for GORDIMER, a novelist whose name lay tantalisingly just out of reach right up until I saw it. Particularly liked CLARET and UNDERGARMENT.

    Happy New Year, everyone.

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