I buy the i newspaper – the neatly scaled down version of The Independent – loyally most days for one main reason. Its Five-clue Cryptic Crossword alone is worth the modest 20p cover price.
Today I completed the puzzle for the first time (hurrah) but I don’t know if my answers are the correct ones (boo).
The solution to the Page 11 crossword (five clues each with six word answers) was not to be found on Page 46 as promised.
It appeared instead upside down on Page 50. However unless I’ve slipped into a parallel universe the answers related to a different crossword. My sense of triumph evaporated.
I was never any good at crosswords – cryptic ones the worst – and so I couldn’t see their point. However since I retired I’ve found i’s mini one suited me with its quick mental workout. Even though I was flummoxed daily by two or three clues, there was always the pleasure of seeing the tortuous way the puzzle’s compiler arrived at his or her answers.
Coming from national newspapers I’m broadly sympathetic to today’s (rooster takes off) cock-up*. I imagine i is produced with the minimum of staff and such things happen.
On the other hand I’ll never forget the morning conference vitriol my editor directed at department heads when a front page splash misdirected readers to where it continued inside the paper.
If I have any serious bones to pick with what is now my newspaper, it has to be its awkward name. I can’t bring myself to ask my regular newspaper seller “i, please” and for me “the i” will always mean Private Eye magazine. The transaction is now conducted in silence.
Nor can I see the logic of wasting space on flagging up stories, which at times turn out to be hardly any longer than their précis.
These though are quibbles and probably work much better with the newspaper’s target audience, which is likely a lot younger than myself.
As a newspaper i lives up to its front page billing The essential daily briefing. At 20p it’s almost churlish to complain.