i Cryptic Crossword 3423 Tyrus

January 27, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of 5): ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Or, we’re going to need a bigger difficulty rating. If we just note that I’ve solved some Inquisitors in less time than it took for today’s Tyrus, then that should sufficiently scope the size of today’s mammoth task. There’s a Nina, and theme, and whether or not that “necessitated” the number of obscurities in the grid, I’m not sure. Tyrus is usually pretty tough anyway, but said obscurities made it doubly so, and some would argue that the German town and Irish name were definite no balls. Elsewhere 19d surely doesn’t work, as we have a link word between “costs” and “run” which in my book gives CHARGETOR, and not the desired answer. IC for “in van” is also clever, but probably a step too far for me. Over on the other side the consensus seems to have been that this was worth the time, but tbh I found it a bit of a slog, and often unfair. Sorry Tyrus!

COD? I’ll go with 13ac – “Man U get beaten by Spurs at last! They will make changes (8)”.

All the answers and parsing of the clues can be found in Fifteensquared’s blog from October 2017:


14 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3423 Tyrus”

  1. dtw42 said

    Yeah, I needed electronic help. I’d certainly call it a ***** and the one marginal note I made was exactly that: “does the theme justify the awkward words needed to make it work?”
    Look, I liked the FALL THROUGH / THE BAR concept, but all those proper nouns, some of which were more than a tad obscure … not sure really!

  2. Borodin said

    My internet connection was down most of the morning so in the absence of downloaded Indy and FT puzzles I was reduced to tackling this – and without recourse to aids other than an apprentice solver, a dead tree Chambers and a thesaurus. I did spot the theme, though, but not the nina. However, by by the time I got connected again I only needed the fifteensquared blog for MUTAGEN, THE BAR, and ALANBROOKE. Phew!

  3. thebargee said

    It’s good that the ‘i’ has puzzles to suit all tastes and abilities, but that inevitably means there are days when I’m left feeling like a complete idiot. Managed half a dozen before throwing in the towel.

    Roll on tomorrow…

  4. Saboteur said

    This was very tough. I made it tougher for myself by entering AUGMENTS at 13ac; it’s likewise an anagram of Man U get +S, and means changes. This made ALANBROOKE and NEWSREEL impossible. Only when I had enough for the Nina to reveal itself did I realise my mistake.

    I’m inclined to agree that there were too many obscurities, as noted by our blogger, for this crossword to be fair. I like tough puzzles well enough, but it doesn’t seem either satisfying or fair when so much list-checking is necessary.

  5. Borodin said

    There are comments today on the inclusion of obscurities, and yesterday there were comments on the excessive smut etc. Which prompts me to wonder if any of the comments on this site feed back to the crossword editor and/or the setters. Bear in mind that puzzles on this site only appear some four years after original publication in the Indy. And in some cases the setters, such as the late and much lamented Dac, may no longer be with us (not that Dac’s puzzles generate much adverse comment).

    • jonofwales said

      The editor is aware of our existence, and does come onto the site occasionally, but how much notice he takes I don’t know. It’s possible he has little room for manoeuvre given the choice of puzzles he has. Setters do also visit – but any feedback we give will inevitably take some time to get through to the puzzles we see.

    • Saboteur said

      Speaking only for myself, when I comment here I am doing so for fellow-readers of the blog only. For me, the blogs and comments among ourselves offer sufficient interest to make it worthwhile.

      • Cornick said

        I get the impression that both Eimi and also the more experienced setters take blog sites like Fifteensquared and ours with a pinch of salt. Whereas ‘Harry’ is greatly loved on the other side ‘anyhoo’, and this Tyrus puzzle went down very well there, our collective reception seems to have been markedly different…
        I suspect Eimi has a pretty good idea of how different puzzles go down with the wider public – of all ages and abilities -certainly he has been keen to recruit more easier-end setters and also women to the stable.

  6. tonnelier said

    I completed about half of this, with great difficulty, then gave up, which is unprecedented for me it’s good to know I’m not alone!

  7. Grodnik said

    Total agreement with jonofwales. A real toughie which took me more than twice my par time to solve. Completely missed the Nina and the theme until almost completed. No smut or rudeness today, unless you examine the etymology of 28ac. Would also echo both sets of Saboteursโ€™ comments, except that the Field Marshal was familiar. NDY

  8. Cornick said

    Meh. Not much fun.
    Is OFAH a commonly used abbreviation, like TOWIE say? Iโ€™ve never met it before. Might have helped if Iโ€™d realised. Also entered โ€˜Augmentsโ€™ at 13a, and thought Iโ€™d have to throw in the towel, but eventually the Nina helped me get out of my pickle.
    THE BAR was unparsed, โ€˜partly stoppingโ€™ is a new idea, so credit there.
    But no, Iโ€™m losing the love a bit at the moment. Hoping for something more to my taste tomorrow.

    • Saboteur said

      I doubt you’re alone in “losing the love a bit”. I did wonder how many beginner-solvers threw in the towel after the concentration of very challenging crosswords last week. Or intermediates. Or even hardened old hands…

  9. Henri said

    Hardest since I started daily crosswords in lockdown. Did finish late, without knowing the referenced show. Spotted the Nina, which I do not always do.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: