It doesn’t matter   8 comments

Given half an hour to really put my mind to it I’m sure I could think of areas of interest even more insignificant than crosswords, and I’ll bet all three have their dedicated online forums.

I can also be just as sure that, within them, you’ll find entrenched belligerent shouty views from those who believe the subject matter and their opinions are the most important things in the world. This isn’t shock news. It’s just the nature of the Internet.

So it’s a shame when conflicts over irrelevances explode into extreme action. People sharing the same interests become enemies. Some, because of abuse or simply because others don’t agree with them, drop out. And when that happens, there are others who gloat about it, as if the loss of a community member somehow represents a victory.

The ongoing pseudo-fued between the lesser spotted (extremely rare, in fact) Xim- and Lib-trolls shows little sign of abating, and for my money it’s all wasted breath – or keyboard bashing, anyway. Polarisation is on the increase, perversely at a time when the lines between Ximenean and Libertarian clueing continue to blur.

In the pre-Internet past blatant Libertarian devices such as ‘fire starter’ for F were an absolute no-no for the ‘correct’ newspaper series, but the advent of cryptic blogs around 10 years ago has meant that solvers are seeing and understanding clue devices across all series. Not all are popular, but there is more common ground. The Times of a few years ago would have insisted on ‘fire’s starter’ or ‘starter of fire’, but not now. ‘Fire starter’ will do just nicely.

We will always be in a situation where some groups of solvers will strongly dislike the outer reaches of some clue devices, so rather than get worked up and frothy-mouthed why not just enjoy other cryptic series where they’re not used? There’s enough room and variety for everyone.

Today’s crossword is tomorrow’s fish & chips paper, a light-hearted diversion for perhaps an hour of what might otherwise be a dull day. If you enjoy it, great. If not, let’s hope tomorrow’s effort brings more satisfaction. But don’t dwell; setters don’t want you to, because setters know that, ultimately, what they produce is of no importance beyond the need we all have for a bit of fun.


Posted January 21, 2016 by Anax in Uncategorized

8 responses to “It doesn’t matter

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  1. Twice hammerhead is pushing shell- *like!*

    ^ Too far? 😉

    Michael Lloyd-Jones
  2. Agree with what you said.

    But just dropped in to say kudos on today’s Times (28/2/16).

    Amazingly succinct clues.

    “Do a Hillary Clinton” – don’t attend summit (8)

    Complete laugh out loud moment! Ta.

    • Thanks Hanni. I used the same concept in a clue way back but always felt the wording could be improved.

      • It really works. Deal to trade lenience?…also outstanding. I reckon you’ve only used about 150 words set the whole puzzle!

        • Mind you there’s a bit of stick on the Club forum, which is fine – it happens. That said, odd comment on 13a “How devious (or brilliant in someone’s opinion) can you get?” Feels a bit like a no-win situation!
          The conciseness of clues wasn’t deliberate although I noticed it after checking – the software offers the info at a click and it averaged out at just over 30 characters per clue. Surprised me a bit, and for a while I was tempted to go through the whole thing and look for ways to make them even shorter. Would have been a silly exercise though. As it turns out, again accidentally, the next one averages about 32.

          • Not sure why you are getting stick? Oddly enough 13a was my LOI. The answer was obvious but it took me a bit to figure out where the ‘b’ came from. Nothing wrong with it whatsoever. Yup, no-win situation. You’re right, brevity for the sake of it is pointless if it takes something away from the clue.

            Hope the 32 characters per clue one is in the Toughie.

            Is the Travelodge near the pub in Macc? Need to think about booking. Looking like Shropshirelad will make it too for a bit.

  3. Yeah, Travelodge is on the same road (Sunderland St), less than 5 minutes’ walk. Very pleased to see Shropshirelad might make it; setters love to meet their fans, and I could be meeting all 4 of mine in one go!
    The 32-character one is my next ST, but there’s an Elkamere next week – just did its single edit today – and that looks pretty brief as well.

    • Cheers.

      Yeah he’s nice is SL. The Anax 4? Pretty certain you’ve quite a lot of fans. Glad there’s an Elkamere next week. Right better finish the work I should have done Friday instead of titting around on the piano.

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