i Cryptic Crossword 3244 Silvanus

July 1, 2021

Silvanus is one of those solvers where I’m still not sure what to expect, and this being the Thursday slot we can sometimes get something extremely chewy indeed so I approached this with some trepidation. As it was we had a fairly gentle puzzle with a few bits dotted round the grid that required a little more in the way of cognitive powers. Here I floundered on having too many trees to pick from at 12ac, convinced myself 13d was an anagram, and had eaglet stuck in my head causing me no end of problems in the SE corner. On the other hand the longer entries were a lot more straightforward than they appeared at first glance, and much of the bottom half of the grid was a write-in. 7d would have been similarly so it occurs to me on a better day, in other words one where I’m not limping badly towards the end of a long week. Things to like outside of the COD included the Norwegian Blue reference, “IN CARE” which was nicely done, and the very nice surface reading at 1ac. Finish time akin to that of an easyish Dac, and thoroughly enjoyed.

COD? I’ll go with 9ac – “Appearance of married couple losing weight attracts TV channel (13)”.

And so to April 2017 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


15 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3244 Silvanus”

  1. Carpetowl said

    A straightforward puzzle (especially for a Thursday) from Silvanus. Took me a while to parse 15d – NAT for a “little girl” was IMHO somewhat iffy. But very enjoyable; my COD was 23a – struggled for a while with answers related to or derived from VERBOSE before an alternative approach suddenly dawned!

  2. Saboteur said

    I too was unsure what to expect from Silvanus, other than something chewy for a Thursday. Positively raced through it, though. All good and enjoyable. I liked ILLOGICAL, and TANGIER was neat.

    My only question was why a sausage which seems to be named for Vienna should be referred to as American. I wondered whether it was a mistake…

    • jonofwales said

      Chambers has it has N American, which sounded right to me.

    • Brock said

      It’s similar to “frankfurter”; the name derives from Frankfurt in Germany, but became established in America when the sausages became popular over there during the 20th century. Unlike “frankfurter”, though, “wiener” doesn’t seem to have re-crossed the Atlantic back to the UK..

  3. batarde said

    Clearly Silvanus went to a good deal of trouble with this one, there being oodles of variety and nice clue writing throughout. Jolly good fun, for as long as it lasted. 13d gets a little “hurrah” from me, on grounds of novelty.

    It’s no reflection on the setter, then, if I’m starting to feel a teensy bit short-changed after four quickies on the trot this week … luck of the draw, most likely. However, and with the usual apologies to Mr Saboteur, I’m hoping for something much more malevolent tomorrow.

  4. thebargee said

    First crossword for a week, and a very enjoyable one at that. Popped a few in while I waited for my outpatient appointment, then finished the rest at home.

    The whole of the top half went in first, followed by… yes, the bottom half! I thought it was quite a mixed bag, with quite a few write-ins plus some chewier stuff. I particularly liked 1ac and 13d when I’d unravelled the wordplay.

    LOI was 27a, which took me a lot longer than it should have.

  5. Brock said

    Another reasonably straightforward one, but no less enjoyable for that. The outstanding clue for me was 13d, for its use of an uncommon device that was nonetheless easily crackable. Other favourites were 1a, 9a and 8d (because I’d never spotted the homonym before).

    15d held me up for longer than it should have, because, like others, I’d never thought of NAT as a female name. Nat King Cole, Nat Adderley, Nat Gonella… all male (and also all jazz musicians, for some strange reason). Who are the famous female Nats?

    • jonofwales said

      It’s short for Natalie. Rather annoyingly I can think of lots of non-famous acquaintances called Nat, but nobody famous.

  6. Willow said

    I very much enjoyed this – thank you. Personally I found it refreshing to have Nat as a girl’s name. Why not? Really great clues all round, but when inserting DIFFIDENT I parsed it incorrectly. I thought it was an anagram of FID DEF (a monarch’s title) and IN, and couldn’t work out where the T came from. I thought NOVEL was the anagram indicator.

  7. dtw42 said

    … all in by 7.30 this morning … I had a tick against 4d, so DIFFIDENT makes my COD.

  8. Cornick said

    Silvanus is one of a clump which includes Eccles, Dutch, and that Maize fellow (also Beet, although she only did one for the Indy), who graduated through the Big Dave website at about the same time, so I’ve followed him pretty closely. For me this was his best so far and it garnered a host of approving ticks, including doubles for the CoD, for ILLOGICAL and for VERMOUTH. Really enjoyed it.

  9. Silvanus said

    Thank you all for your kind comments. I remember this puzzle fondly, and it seems to have aged acceptably! Hope I’ll appear again soon.

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