Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent on Sunday 890 by Quixote – Record-Breaker

Posted by nmsindy on March 8th, 2007

nmsindy.

Well, just a personal record. I’ve done the great majority of the Indy cryptics since the paper first appeared in 1986 and this was my fastest solve ever. Last year I broke my previous best completing a Phi puzzle in 7 mins, but this was quicker. I always round the time up or down to the nearest minute – that Phi puzzle was somewhere between 7 mins and 7 mins 30 secs. This one I solved in 6 mins 53 secs.

Tackled the puzzle in printed order of clues – got all but 6 of the acrosses at first reading, but, then, helped by the crossing letters, solved all the downs at my first attempt. A tribute to the precise setting by Quixote was that this fast time was achieved even with some words in the grid that I did not know.

Solving time: 7 mins

* = (anagram)

ACROSS

1 F(ADD)ISTS

6 WAGE – ends (last letters) in youR bookmaker’S Very good surface. If crosswords had appeared in improving magazines in Victorian times, this might have been a suitable clue.

9 M ANGER One of two Christmas references in this 4th of March puzzle.

10 GE (NOVember)ESE

11 DISINTEGRATION (Nonrigid seat it)* Got this straightaway from the definition and recognising some of the letters in the “anagram fodder”

12 TR (I’D) ENT Topical

13 WE EVIL

14 BREEZE “Bries”

16 SHE BANG “To face” is the link.

18 LADY WINDERMERE’s fan. Play by Oscar Wilde – this jumped out, esp from the word lengths.

20 FAST LANE (Elf + Santa)* Christmassy item number two.

21 SO WET O

22 STYMIE (my site)* From golf, but also figuratively – good surface.

23 SEALYHAM (leash may)* A dog I know from crosswords, with the happy property that “leash” can be extracted from his letters.

DOWN

2 A WARD

3 DIGESTIVE SYSTEM (Veg it’s messy diet)* Stood out – esp with the letters of “system”

4 SPRINGE A snare (One grips)* less loop = O

5 S (EG MEN) T Men = soldiers is v common

6 WIND (Ripen)OW Crops e.g. hay, drying

7 GIVE THE GAME AWAY As this clue did with two straightforward definitions.

8 RE – STORING

12 TERM A G ANT

15 th(EM) IRATE

16 SADNESS Reverse hidden.

17 EURASIA u in (is area)*

19 EXTRA Hidden A run (cricket) not credited to a particular batsman

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four + = 8