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Archive for December, 2006

Independent Crosswords – Review of 2006

Posted by nmsindy on 31st December 2006


Some explanation first: Since handheld computers first appeared I’ve kept personal records of my times solving the Indy Crossword (including the IoS), mainly to compare the setters. When those handhelds went into the dustbin of IT history, I entered the info on my own PC. I’m happy to share it, now that this website has gone up.

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Everyman 3143 – White Christmas?

Posted by ilancaron on 30th December 2006


This was last week’s Christmas Eve puzzle so not surprisingly another seasonal theme but not cloyingly so: some toboggans, crackers, a carol, a miracle, a portent and bit too much drinking. WHITE CHRISTMAS (11A) is clued quite well. A couple of new words (LOLLOP and DIABOLO)…

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Guardian 23,957 / Araucaria – a Midwinter Day’s Puzzle

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 30th December 2006


Solving time 33:50

It’s good to be writing our first posting about a kind of puzzle I’ve looked forward to ever since I started solving cryptic crosswords. Back in the late 1970s, when there was no Independent magazine or Enigmatic Variations as an alternative to the Listener (which I wasn’t ready for anyway), Guardian Bank Holiday puzzles were a big event. One of my oldest solving memories is of a weekend with some family friends. The father, a maths lecturer at Brunel, had the puzzle on a clipboard which was passed around, and we chipped away at one of those double-grid puzzles. I miss those, and would rather see their return than the jigsaw/perimeter quote gimmick that’s been the norm recently.

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Independent 6299/Phi

Posted by neildubya on 30th December 2006


Slightly trickier than usual offering from Phi, with an appropriate mini-theme. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guardian 23,960, Araucaria: Tutu much?

Posted by michod on 29th December 2006


Actually, fairly mild stuff from the octogenarian enfant terrible today – two of his trademark multi-word linked entries, and only a handful of  clues to wind up the purists. But I’m not sure I like reviewing Araucaria – his clues are often better enjoyed without deconstruction. 

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Posted in Guardian | 2 Comments »

Independent 6303/Phi – 15dn + 9ac – 10ac = 8dn?

Posted by rightback on 29th December 2006


Solving time: 5:12

The quickest of the week so far for me. A couple of excellent cryptic definitions (12dn/13dn). No theme that I can see, but then I usually can’t.

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Posted in Independent | 6 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 880 by Quixote – pleasing puzzle with Christmas theme

Posted by nmsindy on 29th December 2006


Lots of traditional Christmas references which forced some of the other words to be a little less familiar, I guess, but Quixote gave accessible clues for them. Reminded me of when I first began to tackle crosswords – at Christmastime, and, just like this, they had that seasonal feel.

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Guardian 23959/Gordius – drunk and disorderly?

Posted by linxit on 28th December 2006


Solving time – about 30 mins

Very apposite theme with New Year’s Eve fast approaching…I was held up for a long time because I foolishly put in EPSILON for 4dn, without reading the wordplay properly. This prevented me from getting 11 and 13ac for a long time, until I finally got the anagram in 7dn and everything fell into place. Quite a few unusual words today too, but only 5dn and 17dn were unknown to me.

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Posted in Guardian | 5 Comments »

Independent 6302 by Merlin – Office etiquette and much more wizardry

Posted by nmsindy on 28th December 2006


Another excellent puzzle by Merlin , which I mostly solved quickly but was slow to finish.

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Independent 6293 / Nestor – late but great

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 28th December 2006


Solving time 14:30

This one slipped my mind in the run-up to Christmas so here it is about 5 days late. Lots more high-quality clue-writing from Nestor here. If you think I’m exaggerating, sit down with some squared paper, make yourself a grid and set of answers, and then try to write some clues that read as well as this. Lots of novel devices used, so a fairly tough puzzle, but I was never really badly stuck. I don’t think there are any hidden messages in the grid but I wouldn’t be very surprised to be corrected. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Independent 6301/Dac

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 27th December 2006

Colin Blackburn.

Solving time : A little over 10 minutes

A typical Dac puzzle and a delightful rest from the Listener-type puzzles I have been looking at over the Christmas holiday. The clues are precise and there are some nice touches and good surface readings. Most of the double definitions benefit from one of the definitions being cryptic. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 1 Comment »

Guardian 23,958/Paul – Online glitches, but brilliant wordplay.

Posted by loonapick on 27th December 2006


This crossword would have been a bit easier, had the web version not had a glitch (at least on my machine) which led to every letter I typed in being repeated in hte next square.

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Posted in Guardian | 4 Comments »

Independent 6300/Virgilius

Posted by neildubya on 26th December 2006


Do my eyes deceive me or is this a theme-less puzzle from Virgilius? There’s the reference to the flags of the US and ex-Soviet Union at 1A and 26A but that’s all I can see. A un-Virgilius-like grid as well, what with those long answers forming the perimeter. Still, the clue-writing is as good as it always is, and that’s the most important thing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 6 Comments »

Everyman 3142 – crossword to cross swords with

Posted by ilancaron on 24th December 2006


Nelson (19D) was the admiral (22A) who led the Royal Navy in the Battle of Copenhagen (18A). Maybe I’ve teased out a theme here after all. Or is the theme golf (see 1A, 18A)?

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The Christmas break

Posted by neildubya on 23rd December 2006


We will hopefully be posting to the blog every day throughout the Christmas break except for the 25th – hangovers and other forms of over-indulgence permitting. In the meantime, I’d like to thank everyone for their support over the last couple of months and hope that you all have a great Christmas.

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