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Archive for November 25th, 2006

Observer 3138/Everyman – The Cs have it

Posted by ilancaron on 25th November 2006


Seems like the theme might have been words starting with C given the high proportion (CHERISHED, CARPETBAGGERS, CROWN, CHILE PINE, CHESS, CHRISTABEL, CONFIDENT). Quite an accessible puzzle with generally sensible surfaces (except for 11D – unless I’m missing some local knowledge about dwarfs in Sale) and accurate wordplay.

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Independent 6269 by Merlin – Hard to smoke out that Frenchman (and an error!)

Posted by nmsindy on 25th November 2006


This was really tough.  Merlin has a monthly slot in  the Indy. As a solver who tackles the Times Listener Crossword every week, Merlin is familiar to me in that context also as a very talented setter.  Of all the Listeners I’ve tackled, his Royal Flush at the time of the Golden Jubilee in 2002 remains my favourite.

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Guardian 23927/Paul – dem bones

Posted by neildubya on 25th November 2006


A nice thematic puzzle about bones….

1 VAC, ATE – A brief holiday is a vac(ation) and Ate was the Greek goddess of blind folly and delusion.
9 OTIS – “Mr Redding” gives it away really but it’s worth noting OT=Old testament (“books”), which crops up a lot in cryptic crosswords, along with NT (new testament).
10 I, NUNDATING – brilliantly worded clue and groan-inducing (in a good way) pun. If you have a sister as a girlfriend, you are of course, dating a nun.
11 MBA in ELM
12 USE,T in HOOP
13 ENCHANTED – clever stuff again. An ad for a buxom lady might read “Wench Wanted”; liberate two women (w) and listen out for more groans.
15 B,ONE – the key to a number of other clues in the puzzle and quite tricky. 1 down 3 down is “VITAMIN THIAMIN”, which is also known as B1.
21 LONELIER – anag of “Nellie or”. I liked “Rocky” as the anag indicator here.
25 ULNA – found in the alternate letters of “dUbLiN bAy”. We don’t often see this type of clue in the Guardian (I don’t remember many anyway) but it’s fairly common elsewhere. The setter usually indicates whether it’s the odd or even number letters you need but Paul uses “every so often” – I’m not sure if that would be accepted anywhere other than the Guardian though.
1 VITAMIN – quite a tricky one this, especially as the thematic clues depended on you getting this so that you could then get 15A. Anyway, it’s TA (half of tank) in VIM (energy) + IN.
2 COST,A – which is a technical name for the rib, Fact Fans.
3 In growTH I AM INdebted
8 BUSH TELEGRAPH – lots of elements to put together here: BUS (something you catch) + H TE (anag of “the”) + LEG (member) + RAP (hit) + H (hard). The clue reads pretty well too.
14 HORSETAIL – anag of “soil” and “earth”. I’m hopeless with plants so this was a guess and one of the last few answers I filled in.
18 BI (one born “up”)+V+ AL(i)VE – Collins Word Exchange explains this much better than I can. The last one I filled in.
19 STERNUM – Top Tip of the Day – phrases like “I’m not sure”, “hesitates” etc usually give “er” or “um”.

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