i Cryptic Crossword 3554 by Loglady

June 29, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟

This was Loglady’s debut in the Indy and actually an IoS puzzle; being from the IoS one might expect a fairly easy ride but there were a few clues I found a bit tricky (easy enough in retrospect) hence two stars rather then one. And speaking of rides, easy or otherwise, references to riding could be inferred in a few clues and/or answers but hardly enough to constitute a theme.

The two clues referencing ‘duck’ and ‘horseman’ were a nice touch but the mythical monster horseman in 14ac had me thinking of a centaur at first before the penny dropped. Elsewhere, the parsing of 3dn seemed a bit awkward, and in 19dn ‘fervour’ as the definition was unfamiliar, but is fair enough since Chambers gives ‘gusto’ as one definition. Some solvers might be unfamiliar with the answer to 29ac; it’s an abbreviation of an American term, although not indicated as such, for apartment blocks where the apartments are separately owned, and by extension to the individual apartments themselves.

I had several candidates for CoD, but the honour has to go to 4ac, a superb example of a clue as definition, making it, to quote the fifteensquared blog, perhaps the most self-referential clue ever: ‘Answer could reference own solving, taking initial characters (8)’.

The fifteensquared blog had several comments about the parsing of 3dn, to which the setter replied; there was also speculation about the setter’s identity, to which there was no definitive answer apart from a clarification of sorts by the crossword editor. All the details can be found at http://www.fifteensquared.net/2018/06/24/independent-on-sunday-1478-by-loglady/

6 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3554 by Loglady”

  1. jonofwales said

    Well into 3* for time here, I think perhaps just because I never felt particularly comfortable with the clues / style, rather than any inherent difficulty. Perhaps a wavelength thing – the puzzle certainly felt a little offbeat, if enjoyable.

  2. Cornick said

    All 1* here apart from the parsing of 3d, where I sort of saw the components but not all the detail at the time.
    Agreed on CoD – superb.
    This had all the hallmarks of each clue having been pored over and time-consumingly polished; I can only hope Loglady keeps up the standard!

  3. Saboteur said

    Always good to have a new solver.

    Perhaps because of unfamiliarity this did take me a little longer, two- to three-star time. Great surface readings, which I always enjoy, and everything parsed nicely. Looking forward to more!

  4. thebargee said

    I thought this was a great puzzle, thoroughly enjoyed. Somewhere between 2* and 3* for me.
    I got 1ac straight away, but wasn’t quite confident enough to bung it in until I’d solved 1 and 2dn. Loved the two ‘duck’ clues, 14ac had me thinking ‘mallard’, ‘pochard’ …, but no! It was actually my LOI. I felt 3dn only works without the plural, but agree with choice of COD – brilliant!

  5. dtw42 said

    Agreed with the general consensus above; no more than 2 stars here as it was finished by 7.30. Felt perhaps a little anagram-heavy but still good stuff.
    The usual brow-furrowing over 3d.
    As well as 4a I had a tick against 15a.

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