Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for February, 2007

Independent 6355 / Dac to Normal

Posted by tilsit on 28th February 2007

tilsit.

Solving time: 24 minutes (one dubious answer)

Another sound puzzle from Dac which held my enjoyment right the way through.
Not terribly sure about 13 across, I wondered if the countries had been switched.  I thought (wrongly) MATÉ is a food in Japan, and a China is Cockney for a MATE (China Plate).   However a check in Chambers reveals MATE to be a Paraguayan bush that can be made into a tea, so any ideas?

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Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Guardian 24012/Araucaria – this is a really hard week!

Posted by linxit on 28th February 2007

linxit.

I was at a beer-tasting event last night, so was hoping for an easy puzzle today – no such luck! I groaned when I saw it was Araucaria, but after looking over the clues I saw the theme and relaxed a bit. As a former Ladbrokes betting-shop manager I’m very familiar with the racecourses and big races that make up today’s theme, and quickly found them all. As for the rest of it though… This would have been OK as a Saturday prize puzzle, when most solvers are at home and have access to dictionaries and reference books, but I certainly wouldn’t have finished it on the train! As it is I had to look up 4 or 5 answers in online dictionaries and/or Wikipedia. I’m half convinced 12ac is actually a made-up word! I couldn’t find it on OneLook.com.

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Posted in Guardian | 8 Comments »

Independent 6354/Virgilius

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 27th February 2007

Colin Blackburn.

Ah what’s the theme, I thought as I opened the back pages of the Independent. Momentarily distracted by the pictures of weekend’s big fight between Arsenal and Chelsea, I returned to wondering if the theme was that there was no theme. Then I noticed the grid and the big H staring me in the face. A couple of clues later I filled in the initial aitches of all the across entries. Have we had this one before or was that Virgilius’s side-kick Brendan?

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Posted in Independent | 4 Comments »

Guardian 24,011/Gordius – very difficult for a Tuesday

Posted by loonapick on 27th February 2007

loonapick.

Apologies for the lateness of this entry, but I had technical problems earlier today, and have since had to sit through a mind-numbing Property Strategy meeting for a couple of hours.  The delay has nothing to do with the difficulty of the crossword, but if it weren’t for a couple of moments of inspiration and the handiness of an old edition of Chambers, it could have been… 

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Posted in Guardian | 6 Comments »

Independent 6353/Tees – Something tricky this way comes…

Posted by neildubya on 26th February 2007

neildubya.

Another fine puzzle from Tees and, in keeping with the last few Monday puzzles, quite difficult in places. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 14 Comments »

Guardian 24010/Rufus – a bit of a calamity but not too scandalous

Posted by ilancaron on 26th February 2007

ilancaron.

Solving time: 16:49.26

I usually don’t time myself down to the split-second but I have a new desktop timer gadget thingy, with hundredths of a second which will be useful at the next Olympics. I got held up by the NW corner: 1A seemed a bit of a… well… stretch. And all my hard earned cricket knowledge suddenly vanished, making 4D a challenge.

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Posted in Guardian | 3 Comments »

Azed 1812 – My first Azed blog, and just relieved to have finished the puzzle…

Posted by loonapick on 25th February 2007

loonapick.

My first Azed blog, and I kinda left it to the last minute to start solving it (ie last night), but I got there in the end. Typical Azed puzzle, full of obscure words and definitions, but all perfectly fair. I solve Azeds by passing over the clues once, and placing the half-a-dozen or so clues I get first time in the grid. Then I go over it a little more slowly, using checked letters to elp me add some more. If I can get half of the answers in before reaching for my Chambers, I am generally happy. I think I achieved more or less that amount while solving this one.

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Posted in Azed | 1 Comment »

Everyman 3151/Feb 18 – 17th century

Posted by ilancaron on 25th February 2007

ilancaron.

If Monday is the Day of Cryptic Definition (from Rufus), then Sunday’s Everyman is a day for well-constructed Ximenean clues without recourse to puns.

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Posted in Everyman | No Comments »

Guardian 24,003/Auracaria (sic) (Sat Feb 10) – G whizz

Posted by rightback on 24th February 2007

rightback.

Solving time: about 14 mins + a bit of guesswork on 1dn, which I got wrong.

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Posted in Guardian | 5 Comments »

Independent 6346/Monk – Tough

Posted by neildubya on 24th February 2007

neildubya.

I found this really difficult but never frustratingly so. There seemed to be just right mix of easy clues to get you started and tough ones to stop you getting too cocky. I can’t see a theme, apart from the fact that 1A 4A and 27A 28A form well-known but unconnected phrases, so this the cue for a fellow blogger or reader to point out something spectacularly obvious that I’ve missed. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »

Independent 6351/Phi

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 23rd February 2007

Colin Blackburn.

I found this puzzle incredibly easy, for me, for a Friday, and for Phi. I usually start my crossword on the train from Newcastle to Durham and then pick the paper up later in the day to finish it off. Instead I found myself with nothing to do by the end of my ten minute journey other than to wonder what the definition of quiet means to the numerous mobile phone users in the quiet coach.

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Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »

Guardian 24,008/Orlando – took longer to blog than to solve

Posted by loonapick on 23rd February 2007

loonapick.

Not quite sure how to summarise this puzzle. It was fairly easy, even if some of the references and definitions are not immediately obvious, and, for the most part, the clues made sense. I solved it in about 12 minutes, then spent a good twenty minutes researching for this blog.

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Posted in Guardian | 8 Comments »

Inquisitor #7 by Buff – ACADEMY AWARDS

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 23rd February 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time 2-3 hours

I joked with Loonapick a couple of weeks ago that even-numbered Indies were easy and odd-numbered ones hard. Not now, with last week’s Offa’s Dyke marathon and this (for me) straightforward puzzle.

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Posted in Inquisitor | No Comments »

Independent on Sunday 888 by Quixote – tricky in places

Posted by nmsindy on 22nd February 2007

nmsindy.

This was my slowest Quixote solve of 2007 – contains some good stuff as set out below.

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Posted in Independent | No Comments »

Independent 6350 / Virgilius Curate’s Egg

Posted by tilsit on 22nd February 2007

tilsit.

Solving time: 55 minutes (including 35 minutes of staring at a blank grid)

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Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »