i Cryptic Crossword 3510 Raich

May 9, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

I really ought to refresh my German beyond maintaining the ability to order beer. I was alive to the possibility of a nina as the grid is a “sticklebrick”, but then dismissed the thought when the letters seemed to make it unlikely. But a nina indeed there is, albeit in German, and the crossword is a tribute to Chancellor KOHL and the reunification of Germany after the post-war partition.

This pleasing and satisfying puzzle took me no more than a one-star amount of time. I bumped it up to two-star on account of a few slightly rare (though barely obscure) entries which required a check, though all were very transparently clued. These were no doubt necessitated by the demands of the nina, and it is a tribute to Raich’s skill in setting that he has managed to incorporate the hidden messages without having to resort to considerably more recondite vocabulary. As to the cluing, only the musical instruction to slow down in RITZ, and the “reed” from “instrument” in CROSSBREED may have been unknown. Otherwise all is as clear as day. I even got the shrub and the tree, such things, along with birds and fish, being a challenge for me.

Clue of the Day? 10ac: “Country workers’ group have high opinion of when finishing early (6)”.

Here’s the link for the answers and explanations, and the ninas and theme: https://www.fifteensquared.net/2018/02/27/independent-9789-raich/

7 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3510 Raich”

  1. jonofwales said

    A little into 2* time here because of the odd entries mentioned. My German is nowhere near good enough to have deciphered the Nina, though as I missed the possibility of one altogether there was no chance! A good, fun start to the week.

  2. Grodnik said

    A pleasant under par solve today, with some slightly obscure vocabulary in the northern down clues. So, on the lookout for a โ€œsticklebrickโ€ nina from the start but had almost completed before the penny finally dropped (very little German, in my youth it was not taught at my school, for obvious reasons). Agree with CoD. As Donald Trump would say, โ€œTuvalu is a country, not many people know that.โ€ NDY

  3. dtw42 said

    Spotted the nina for once, googled it to make sure, twigged that it related to KOHL and then assumed the original publication had been in the wake of his death in 2017. Two-star territory felt about right to me; was finished by 8.05, and my last two in were DISMAL and TRAWL NET.

  4. tonnelier said

    Congratulations to all who spotted the nina. I failed, as usual, with no excuse as I do have A Level German!!

    Nice gentle start to the week, with Ritz and seaman my favourites. Inhauler seems a rather unlikely word, and forelock bothered me for a little, but still just the one * I think

  5. Borodin said

    Not tackled the puzzle yet, just dropped by to note that after not encountering Raich for ages there’s now a double helping as he’s in the FT (as Gurney) today.

  6. Cornick said

    I wondered if ‘Einheit Kanzler’ might been a famous German… checking on Google it apparently means ‘Unity Chancellor’, like Unity Mitford say, so only a bit stupid perhaps. Anyhow, it seems Helmut Kohl had died some months before the puzzle first appeared so presumably it just took a while from setter’s inspiration through clue writing and eventual publication.

    For me the only obscurity was the LAM in ‘Dismal’. It’s not a word I have ever encountered outside of crosswords, whereas all the other vocab is either similar to well-known words (like ENCLOTHE) or pretty mainstream general knowledge (like TUVALU).

  7. Borodin said

    This all went in pretty quickly, turning my late evening into an early night. Spotted the nina and its reference to KOHL. The only one i had problems with was TUVALU and that was due to my own carelessness getting the letters of ENSUED in the wrong order. So just one star from me.

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