i App Cryptic Crossword S0034 by Silvanus

July 31, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟

The puzzle can be found online here, available for free, though you do need to register first.

Verily it is written that the prophet shall know no honour in his own land; so it is with me and Silvanus. I remember his coming through the ranks at Big Dave’s website – via Rookie Corner and ‘Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle’ – and then to his being taken on at the Indy around the same time as Eccles, Dutch, Beet, and myself. Consequently I maybe don’t give Silvanus quite the same aura of respect I give to some other setters – and that’s not his fault at all of course.

So this felt like a very good puzzle, but not really outstanding in any particular way. I had a couple of minor gripes – things like the linking words ‘when’ in 11a, and ‘to expose’ in 9a; then ‘topless’ used a deletion indicator in an across clue seemed wrong; but that’s my point – I was looking for faults rather than accepting the clues as written. Heigh-ho.

Still all got finished in reasonable time, and mostly parsed (MISERABLE defeated me) with some nice moments along the way. I liked 1a PIEBALD plenty, but my CoD nomination goes to this one:

16d Train operatorβ€˜s ten hour disruption after beginning of strike (8)

Very good and nicely topical both at the time and again now, that one.

Here’s the blog with the answers from Pierre:


2 Responses to “i App Cryptic Crossword S0034 by Silvanus”

  1. Silvanus said

    Many thanks, Cornick. Maize puzzles have always had my utmost respect, I just wish we’d see them a little more often!

    I used to share your reservations about “topless” in an Across clue, but I’ve seen it used that way by quite a few other setters, so I’ve reached the conclusion that it’s fair game.

    I remember that 16d was mentioned in Alan Connor”s Guardian Crossword Blog, but I must admit wincing slightly at it today and seeing a nounal anagrind after the fodder, something I strenuously avoid these days!

    • Cornick said

      Hi Silvanus.
      Your puzzle was very good, without doubt. I just think you were unlucky to be following Klingsor and Serpent in the i over the last two days – my two favourite setters.
      If you saw me setting you’d be shocked at how appallingly slow I am!

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