Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for February, 2007

Guardian 24007/Araucaria – beaten by clubs, shield didn’t help

Posted by ilancaron on 22nd February 2007


Solving time: 55’

Humbling. Stared at this for 5 minutes before DRESDEN dropped. The football “club” theme came to mind after another 5 minutes of frustration. At first I thought Premier League but couldn’t think of anything ending in a 3-letter word… until PRESTON NORTH END occurred to me (dredged up probably from some dimly remembered broadcast at age 9). Time for a map, realizing that geography played a role. SHEFFIELD ???E?D stopped me cold because I only knew of United and Wednesday. Then I realized that a “club” wasn’t involved here and totally guessed at SHIELD (OK, “protective plate” helped) to be rewarded by wikipedia and… my fav crossword sport… cricket.

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Posted in Guardian | 6 Comments »

Independent 6349 / Dac – Beau Nash, Fashionista

Posted by bensand on 21st February 2007


My first blog and I’m relieved to get off the mark with no problems! Particularly as I found Monday’s Mass unnervingly hard going! Today’s crossword a good mix of anagrams, homophones and double definitions.
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Posted in Independent | 7 Comments »

Guardian 24006/Quantum – very easy but a sting in the tail

Posted by linxit on 21st February 2007


For a while I thought I was going to go sub 5 minutes on this puzzle, but in the end there’s one left that I can’t get. I got the two 15-letter downs straight away, then nearly all the acrosses went in at first glance which gave me most of the downs with all the checking letters in place before I’d looked at them. So pretty soon all I had left was 4dn…no idea!

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Posted in Guardian | 7 Comments »

Independent 6348/Nimrod and Tilsit – Double the fun

Posted by neildubya on 20th February 2007


A new name for the Independent but one our regular readers will certainly recognise! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crossword attributed to more than one setter before, although the Guardian does occasionally publish puzzles by Biggles, which is apparently 4 different people, all called John (the Biggles books were by WE Johns or “we johns”).

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Posted in Independent | 23 Comments »

Guardian 24,005, Brendan: Lingalongabrendan

Posted by michod on 20th February 2007


There’s usually (always?)  a theme from Breandan, and a rather clever one in this case. The six-letter downs in top left and bottom right are all three letter words doubled, and the eight-letter pairs in the other two corners are all _ing-_ong. For me, it was obvious something was going on after DINGDONG and CANCAN, but the precise nature of the theme still held out for a while.

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Posted in Guardian | 5 Comments »

Guardian 24004/Rufus

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 19th February 2007

Colin Blackburn.

As usual with Rufus cryptic definitions abound. There are no fewer than 6 straight CDs in this puzzle with a fair number of punning definitions playing a part in other clues. I’m not a great fan of the CD, the odd very good one now and then is nice but a couple in this puzzle didn’t seem to me to be much more than definitions. However, it’s not all bad! The non-CD clues were generally straightforward, as one would expect for a Monday puzzle, and there were some excellent anagrams. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 4 Comments »

Independent 6347 by Mass – Very tough

Posted by nmsindy on 19th February 2007


Mass is the only one of the setters, there when I first tackled the Indy, who still sets in the daily paper, though he appears less often.     His puzzles were among the hardest with great skill at exploiting all the meanings of words to the full.    This puzzle exhibits that too. 

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Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Guardian 23,997/Brummie (Sat Feb 10th [corrected from 3rd]) – Gunned down

Posted by rightback on 18th February 2007


Solving time: 10 minutes, one mistake (7 dn).

This felt a cavalier solve, with numerous across clues to which I didn’t look closely at the wordplay while solving (e.g. 1, 11, 14, 18, 25/26). The down clues seemed more straightforward, especially in the lower half; almost as if the compiler wrote the clues in order and ran out of inspiration three quarters of the way through!

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Posted in Guardian | No Comments »

Everyman 3150/Feb 11 – Belgium

Posted by ilancaron on 18th February 2007


I really wanted to be able to say that if it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium. But sorry it’s Sunday. I’m hoping someone will explain 6D for me. Everyman has done so below…

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Posted in Everyman | 9 Comments »

Azed 1811 – waves and wave-dwellers

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 18th February 2007


Solving time 16:05, without Chambers

This is probably about as easy as Azed gets. Easy for me anyway, as 1A was a word I knew, and 9 first letters of relatively easy down words gives you a great start. I slowed down a bit in the bottom half, and I suspect a few people might have done this very quickly indeed. But I’m talking about people with long experience – I’ve been solving Azed on and off since an Easter vacation back in 1981 when I should have been revising for finals but spent a big chunk of a weekend with Azed, Chambers, and Chambers words. I’m pretty sure that (a) this was my first Azed, and (b) I finished it – two or three years before I finished my first Times daily puzzle (rather more lit-based than it is now). Although Azed uses tough vocabulary, the precise clue-writing and extra help from more checking letters give you few excuses, unless you come up against a difficult word with the first letter unchecked, which lurks in an unexpected place in the big red book. Cross-referencing is much better than it used to be in C (Chambers), so this doesn’t happen too often.

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Independent 6340 / Nimrod – a bit of a puzzle …

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 16th February 2007


Solving time: about 38 minutes.

Timing is a bit rough – I was traversing London by train and tube, and there were various interruptions for changes. There is some kind of theme here, but I don’t fully understand it. Part of my slowness was down to a slip on 8D and the odd other red herring (laughter).

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Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Guardian 24002/Logodaedalus

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 16th February 2007

Colin Blackburn.

I haven’t reviewed a Friday Guardian before and I admit that upon opening the paper and seeing Logodaedalus I did consider reviewing the excellent Phi puzzle in the Independent and simply pretending I’d forgotten the rota (apologies to tilsit.) It’s one of those puzzles I did in fits and starts through the day when I could find time between preparing for my annual staff review and having the review. This setter has never been one of my Guardian favourites and I did have to check a few answers. Some of the cluing was spot on but I still seem to not read Logodaedalus that well. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 4 Comments »

Independent 6345 / Phi – Enjoyable fun

Posted by tilsit on 16th February 2007


Solving time: 22 minutes

After a short stay as a guest of the NHS, I came out with the prospect of a long rest and recuperation period with the anticipation of being able to solve lots of puzzles, do a bit of compiling and maybe start the great novel that I had within me. Not a bit of it! It’s been all daytime telly including seeing the remnants of the gene pool selling their secrets and souls on the Jeremy Kyle Show. It’s a show with a host so mug and condescending that you loathe him as much as the cast-offs that appear on it.

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Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »

Inquisitor #6/Military Marches by Kruger

Posted by loonapick on 16th February 2007


 If I had looked up Kruger’s bio before tackling this puzzle, I may have saved myself some time, as he has listed among his hobbies long-distance walking.   

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Posted in Inquisitor | 3 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 887 by Quixote – All clear in the end

Posted by nmsindy on 15th February 2007


Not quite as easy as some recent puzzles in this series, but all clear in the end.

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Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »