Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for November, 2006

Guardian 23,926 by Logodaedalus

Posted by michod on 17th November 2006

michod.

 Pretty straightforward, took four to five tube stops (10-12 mins).

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Posted in Guardian | 5 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 874 by Quixote Easy and good

Posted by nmsindy on 17th November 2006

nmsindy.

I found this very easy, solved in 13 mins.

Typical Quixote style, light in cultural references, homing in on the everyday experience of the solver.Simple constructions with, I think, just three complete anagrams. As always, a freshness and good surface reading to the clues.

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Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Independent 6267 by Phi – Typical high quality puzzle, average in difficulty

Posted by nmsindy on 16th November 2006

nmsindy.

Everything perfectly  constructed, wording to set you off on the wrong track at first in some cases.

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Posted in Independent | 7 Comments »

Guardian 23925/Orlando

Posted by linxit on 16th November 2006

linxit.

Solving time – 11:17

Would have been about three minutes quicker but I got stuck on 1ac(!) and 2dn – from the checking letters I saw SANG FROID, which I knew didn’t make sense but couldn’t get it out of my head.

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Posted in Guardian | 8 Comments »

Guardian 23924/Araucaria – no cross-references!

Posted by ilancaron on 16th November 2006

ilancaron.

Solving time: Bits and pieces in about 1h

For the first time in my (limited) Araucarian experience, nary a cross-referenced clue. Not much need for a dictionary either: though 14D, while making some sense, was unfamiliar to me. Likewise, 20D had me guessing a bit and I needed dictionary.com to resolve matters. Finally, 1D was new to me as well but the wordplay fell into place: obviously didn’t sing enough carols in school. Not sure I detect a theme here either.

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Posted in Guardian | 2 Comments »

Independent 6266/Dac

Posted by neildubya on 15th November 2006

neildubya.
Across
1 PAD,U,A – accomodation=”pad”
4 CHE in BUT, RED – Nice clue for beginners: Che (Guevara) is the crossword solver’s favourite revolutionary and a communist is almost always “red”.
9 CH, APTER (“more suitable”)
10/11 PUT ONE’S FINGER ON IT – something else for beginners to note: “one’s” is usually preferred to “your” in phrases like this. One exception was in a crossword from last week – “WHAT’S YOUR POISON”. Using “one’s” there would just sound silly.
16 GAELIC – sounds like “gay” (carefree) and “lick” (defeat).
18 HOT DOG – solvers of last Saturday’s Scorpion puzzle will know that “Mick the Miller” was a famous hot-dog. Walthamstow is home to a famous dog track.
27 ENTICER – anag of “reticent” without the “t”.
28 I’D in PRESENT (here)
 
Down
1 PACIFISM – nice &lit clue. IF,I,CAP (all going “up”) + SM (sergeant-major).
3 AT THE READY – anag of “treated hay”. I thought “freshly” was a good anagram indicator here.
5 TOPPING – Interesting juxtaposition of old and new slang here. If I understand this one correctly, Dac is using the “street” definition of “wicked” to mean “good”. Topping someone obviously means to kill them but it is also a slang word for good although I can’t imagine anyone has actually used it in conversation this side of the 1940s.
7 RINGTAILS – anag of “starling” + I. Not sure about the use of “…spotted being pecked by vicious…” though – seems to be stretching things a bit to make the clue read well.
8 The wrong clue was printed in the newspaper – see eimi’s comment on this post for the correct one.
15 BIOSPHERE – anag of “beer I” and “hops” with “brewed” being a perfect anagram indicator.
19 GEORDIE – I saw G?O?D?E and filled in the rest without bothering to work out the wordplay. Looking at it now, I see that it’s EG (say) “set up” + I in ORDE(-R)
20 A EWE’S in MT – a Mae West is (or was) a life-jacket.
24 RECTO – hidden in “directory”. A simple but nicely worded clue and an illustration that “hidden” clues don’t always have to refer to something being hidden or concealed – “torn from” does the job here.
25 SOLI – plural of “solo” and nearly “solid” (reliable)

Posted in Independent | 10 Comments »

Bunthorne book

Posted by neildubya on 14th November 2006

neildubya.

Message from Dave Tilley:

I am delighted to announce that the proposed collection of Bunthorne puzzles will be available within two or three weeks.

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Posted in Announcements | 1 Comment »

Guardian 23923/Brendan — Spot the theme

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 14th November 2006

Colin Blackburn.

Solving time : about 20 minutes.

I noticed before writing this that Virgilius appears in the Independent today and that there is, as usual, a theme. Well, this puzzle from Virgilius’s alter ego is no exception. It took a while for the theme to dawn, though it was staring me in the face before I had filled in a single answer. The grid contains four black aitches running diagonally across the it. After about half of the across clues had gone in with no obvious connection between the answers I noticed an aitch at the end of each across answer ending on the right edge of the grid and at the start of each across answer starting on the left edge of the grid. The extra checking that this gave meant a very speedy end as the last few answers fell into place. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 1 Comment »

Independent 6264/Monk — two bad bus journeys’ worth

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 14th November 2006

Colin Blackburn.

Solving time : yonks, bits of two 40 minute bus journeys with interruptions

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Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »

Independent 6265/Virgilius

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 14th November 2006

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: 11:30

First step: have a look at the grid. Notice that starting at the black cross next to 12, and emerging at the other side in the one next to 22, you can draw a line that only goes through two white squares – the 6th in 3D and the 7th in 11D (duck through the ‘diagonal gaps’ in between). Confident in the knowledge that Virgulius wouldn’t use a diagram with this fault for a plain puzzle, watch for a theme. Sure enough, there is one – crosses – the word cross appears in the 10-letter entries on the edges, and two types of cross are answers at 12 and 21. And of course there are four black crosses in the grid (one referred to in 21′s clue, so they definitely count), plus arguably two black St Andrews crosses in the middle. Brian Greer, the man behind Virgilius, is based in the US and seems to have picked up the “thematic elements at symmetrical positions” principle and applied it in many of his recent thematic puzzles. A nice cross-fertilisation echo of crosswords crossing the Atlantic 80-odd years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 9 Comments »

Guardian 23922/Rufus – cliched but clean

Posted by ilancaron on 14th November 2006

ilancaron.

Solving time: 16’

Mixture of clichéd crossword idioms and some clever wordplay. As usual, not a shaky surface in sight.

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Posted in Guardian | 3 Comments »

Independent 6264/Monk – Tough for a Monday.

Posted by neildubya on 13th November 2006

neildubya.

A superb offering from Monk, one of my favourite setters. This was fairly easy in parts (I did half of it in about 15 minutes) but the NE corner was fiendishly difficult. Tough start to the week but thoroughly enjoyable. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 10 Comments »

Everyman 3136/Gently bestial

Posted by ilancaron on 12th November 2006

ilancaron.

Solving time: probably 35’ total with lots of interruptions

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Posted in Guardian | No Comments »

Independent 6257/Scorpion – a tough workout

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 11th November 2006

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time 15:40

I like to see Scorpion puzzles, and I’m pleased to be writing the first Scorpion posting here on “225″ – here’s why. From time to time, would-be setters send me puzzles and ask what I think of them. They range from the truly awful to ones that show promise, and a few that I’d be perfectly happy to see in any paper. I try to give constructive criticism, which is usually taken the right way. When the first Indie Scorpion puzzle appeared (this is the third or fourth I think), I had my first ever e-mail telling me that I’d played a tiny part in getting a new setter into a national paper, by commenting on one of his early efforts a few years ago. I say tiny, because the main requirements seem to be a lot of hard work, and practice at setting in less famous places to get yourself noticed. Scorpion has clearly absorbed the important things while probably ignoring a few of my fussier comments. I found his first Indie puzzle very hard, but now he’s in the same “hard but fair” group as Mass, Monk and Nimrod. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 1 Comment »

Guardian 23915/Bunthorne – A tough final challenge

Posted by neildubya on 11th November 2006

neildubya.

The last puzzle from one of the very best setters.
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Posted in Guardian | No Comments »