Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for February, 2007

Guardian 24,001/Gordius – I really must get round to swallowing a dictionary…

Posted by loonapick on 15th February 2007

loonapick.

A preliminary scan through the clues had me worried, as I only got a couple on first reading. It eventually took me at least 30 minutes, probably longer, to complete this, and I had some wild guesses based on wordplay. However, having checked Chambers, my guesses were right, so I suppose that that means the crossword is fair, if difficult. Typical Gordian fare, really!

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Posted in Guardian | 9 Comments »

Independent 6344/Dac – DIAZEPAM

Posted by ilancaron on 15th February 2007

ilancaron.

Solving time: 30’ (except for DIAZEPAM)

This is my first Independent blog and I’m lucky I got Dac who I’ve done a few times and found him quite amenable with nothing too subtle for my American sensibilities. And since both my sister and my son’s initials are DAC I’m predisposed to like him.

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Posted in Independent | 4 Comments »

Independent 6343 by Virgilius – Valentine’s Day Special

Posted by nmsindy on 14th February 2007

nmsindy.

When Eimi indicated on this Board that Virgilius, whose themed puzzles appear on Tuesdays, was moving to Wednesday this week, I was pretty sure we would get a themed puzzle for the day.     I even thought it was odds-on ROMEO and JULIET would appear and they did in the very first answer.    It was a marvellous puzzle with so much thematic material packed into the grid and the clues reflecting it as well.   Great fun to solve.   The single focus on the theme made it a very quick solve for me.

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Posted in Independent | 4 Comments »

Guardian 24000/Puck – well dressed

Posted by ilancaron on 14th February 2007

ilancaron.

Solving time: 35’

A feeling of deja-vu crept over as I solved yet again a long anagram for AT THE DROP OF A HAT (in yesterday’s Times as well). I found the across clues rather hard but the downs were more tractable: long anagrams related to clothing. I kept expecting a St. Valentine day theme to crop up or something to do with 24,000.

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Posted in Guardian | 4 Comments »

Guardian 23,999, Paul: ‘Goodbye!’

Posted by michod on 13th February 2007

michod.

Apologies for late posting – I’ve been for lunch with the ‘gruntlings’, a group of contestants in the Azed monthly clue-writing comp who meet the week after to compare notes, or just eat, drink and talk. We were also celebrating the 80th birthday of Roy Dean, who sets for the Times.

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Posted in Guardian | 1 Comment »

Independent 6342/Morph

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 13th February 2007

Colin Blackburn.

A new setter, I think, and a welcome one. This was a very enjoyable crossword with some excellent witty cluing including a few that might not appeal to Ximenean purists. Morph got a few interesting words into the grid and had a couple of nice political digs. I look forward to mor-Morphing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Guardian 23998/Rufus

Posted by linxit on 12th February 2007

linxit.

Another very easy Monday puzzle from Rufus, although with a better mix of clue types than the last time I blogged one of his puzzles. Still, most of the answers are so obvious there isn’t much to write about, especially in the across clues.

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Posted in Guardian | 5 Comments »

Independent 6341/Mordred

Posted by neildubya on 12th February 2007

neildubya.

There was a lot to admire in this puzzle but I can’t say that I enjoyed it that much. I found it a bit of slog and I filled in too many (for a Monday) answers without really knowing why. Maybe it’s just me… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 8 Comments »

Guardian 23,991/Araucaria (Sat 3 Feb) – England’s Mountains Green

Posted by rightback on 12th February 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 30 mins or so, plus about another 10 with Wikipedian assistance to solve 1dn, 10ac and 2dn in the top left and 22ac and 18dn in the bottom right.

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Posted in Guardian | 3 Comments »

Everyman 3149/Feb 4 – don’t panic

Posted by ilancaron on 11th February 2007

ilancaron.

All the long clues refer to something a bit intense: OVERBOARD, INTENSIVE CARE, PANIC STATIONS, GREAT SCOT (sic), SHOUTING MATCH, NAIL-BITER. Well, except for UPRIGHT PIANOS (uptight?). One unknown composer at 19D (COATES – of which there are at least two). As usual, if I wasn’t familiar with the definition, the wordplay led me to a reasonable guess, which is the sign of a fair and well-constructed puzzle.

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Posted in Everyman | No Comments »

Independent 6334/Phi – 4Ding

Posted by neildubya on 10th February 2007

neildubya.

A trickier than usual puzzle from Phi, which is to be expected for a Saturday. A few words I didn’t know but the wordplay is as fair ever so they weren’t too tricky to get. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | No Comments »

Inquisitor #5 / Psyche – ON STAGE

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 9th February 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: at least 4 hours – maybe 6

A theme with an echo of Phi’s Inquisitor #3 – can’t remember doing a Psyche puzzle before, and have no idea who it is. The grid was to be thought of as a stage, and the letters indicating stage areas were UR,UC,UL,CR,C,CL,DR,DC,DL – with the first letter indicating upstage, centre stage or downstage, and the second (where present) indicating right, centre, or left. The terms are from the actor’s point of view, but of course we as the solving audience see stage left as our right and vice versa. For someone used to working on computer applications showing dental charts, this was almost second nature – they’re drawn from the dentist’s point of view, so UL8 is in the top right corner. Hasty solvers like me, note that every clue refers to the theatre in some way – surface meanings generally seemed better than you sometimes see in advanced cryptics.

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Posted in Inquisitor | 4 Comments »

Guardian 23996/Chifonie

Posted by linxit on 9th February 2007

linxit.

Solving time – around 20 mins, but I had more than half an eye on the cricket! And what a great result for England!

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Posted in Guardian | 1 Comment »

Independent 6339/Phi

Posted by neildubya on 9th February 2007

neildubya.

A nice puzzle from Mr Friday-but-also-occasionally-Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | No Comments »

Independent on Sunday 886 by Quixote – Quite easy

Posted by nmsindy on 8th February 2007

nmsindy.

Sometimes you can be lucky with a puzzle – the words are familiar or you quickly see how most things work and go through it fast. This happened me with this one to give me my fastest Indy solve of the year so far. On reflection, a big factor in this, I think, was that the puzzle contained 4 15-letter entries, 3 of which I solved straight away.

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Posted in Independent | No Comments »