Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for May, 2007

Independent on Sunday 901 by Quixote

Posted by nmsindy on 24th May 2007


No major problems with this.

Solving time: 13 mins

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Independent 6428/Math

Posted by neildubya on 24th May 2007

10 ORATE – the muse for love poetry is Erato so you switch the E and O round to get ORATE.
12 EARLY BIRD – I didn’t know what an “archaeopteryx” was but I had E????I?D filled in so took a chance that it might have been some sort of pre-historic bird and that the clue was a CD (or is it a double-defintion? Or even a cryptic double-definition? Answers on a postcard please).
16 O,U,T,DO – the definition “better” does seem to stick out a bit.
17 (PLANE IS ON EDGE OR)* – this is excellent. The surface reading is very smooth and misleading and the definition (“one who’s getting on”) is very well-hidden.
21 RIVALLING – only just twigged how this works. “8 goal draw” is IV ALL (that is, 4-4 or 4 ALL) and arena is RING.
25 DR,ESS – nothing to do with global positioning satellites. G.P is DR and S is ESS.
27 C,O, PE in ORATE – “Charlie and Oscar” refers to the NATO alphabet letters.
1 S AND I,EG,O – “leaders from Staten Island” are S AND I. Nice clue.
2 IPECAC – a new word to me and the last one I filled in. “22 destroyed” indicates an anagram of 22 (which is ICECAP). With ?P?C?C I had to decide where to scatter the vowels and, to be honest, APECIC and EPACIC both looked pretty convincing to me (IPACEC less so, for some reason). After a couple of minutes mulling it over I thought “Sod it, I’ll aks Google”.In case you’re wondering, it’s an emetic or purgative.
3 NED<,Y – 20A and 20D are REBUT and REFUSE, both of which can mean DENY.
6 (POOL MAINLY)* – POLYNOMIAL. I think I got this by knowing that -NOMIAL words are usually maths-related.
7 H in (NOT MALI)* – I didn’t know that HAMILTON was the capital of Bermuda but the anagram sort of leapt out at me. The clue doesn’t really make sense though – how can the capital of one country become the capital of another?
14 LIGHTS,PEED – Monk used “weed” in a similar way in last Saturday’s puzzle.
18 IAN in ROBED (going up) – nice smooth surface reading.

Posted in Independent | 14 Comments »

Guardian 24,085 – Araucaria – always a pleasure

Posted by loonapick on 24th May 2007


When I opened the Guardian website today to see whose puzzle I’d be blogging, I had that familair sense of unease that comes from seeing the name “Araucaria”. Don’t get me wrong – I love his puzzles, and I can forgive his non-Ximenean style because he is fun to solve. My unease comes form the fact that Araucaria puzzles tend to be that litle bit harder, and the last thing you want to do is admit defeat when you are blogging. Thankfully, with the help of on a couple of occasions and Google to check some of my answers, I did manage to complete it (took about 35 minutes).

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Posted in Guardian | 8 Comments »

Independent 6427/Dac

Posted by bensand on 23rd May 2007


A quickish and crossword and a quickish blog as I have to get back to finish some work! Not absolutely sure about 15 across so if anyone’s got a better answer or explanation then be my guest! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »

Guardian 24084/Gordius – middle-aged

Posted by ilancaron on 23rd May 2007


Solving time: 25’

Some very slick wordplay here – in many cases I had to think hard and laterally to identify the setter’s devices. In others, I’m still wondering. A few middle-aged complaints surfaced as well – at it were (FLATULENCE, PHLEGM, PROSTATE GLAND as well as ANGST!).

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Posted in Guardian | 8 Comments »

Guardian 24083/Puck — one for the birds

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 22nd May 2007

Colin Blackburn.

A quick grid fill with some clever clues and some nice inter-linking. I missed the wordplay in a couple but got the answers okay. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 7 Comments »

Independent 6426 by Virgilius – Much ado about Nothing- Nothing

Posted by nmsindy on 22nd May 2007


Another amazing themed puzzle by this masterly setter.   Every across answer contains two successive Os – except for the first and last, which contain another flourish – in the top one the clue contains “contents of book” i.e. its middle letters oo and the final across entry is SCORELESS DRAWS i.e. 0-0s.     All this achieved with the downs being everyday words.

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Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Guardian 24082/Rufus

Posted by linxit on 21st May 2007


Solving time: about 7 mins.

This was another very easy Monday crossword from Rufus. I liked some of the CDs but had issues with a couple of them (as usual). Still, made a nice change from all the weekend barred crosswords I was doing yesterday!

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Posted in Guardian | 4 Comments »

Independent 6425/Mordred

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 21st May 2007

Colin Blackburn.

A fairly straightforward puzzle with generally good word play and some nice surface readings. I made a couple of silly errors in writing in answers which held me up on the last two which crossed with those errors. There were also a few puzzling clues which I hope commentators might help explain. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Azed 1823 / Outrageous!

Posted by tilsit on 20th May 2007


Solving Time: around an hour and 15 minutes (in two sittings)

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Posted in Azed | 4 Comments »

Everyman 3163/Tuscany and Fairbanks

Posted by ilancaron on 20th May 2007


Solving time: 20′

Another rather fast solve for me… though spent a couple of minutes at first staring until the first clue (EVITA) succumbed. VP Spiro Agnew shows up again, proving that he’s not just anagram fodder. A few other American clues (GALVESTON, FAIRBANKS, RANCHES) but not really enough to identify a theme.

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Posted in Everyman | 10 Comments »

Guardian 24,075 (Sat 12 May)/Brummie – Mistaken identity

Posted by rightback on 19th May 2007


Solving time: 8:28

This was a lot easier than most Guardian prize crosswords, with few difficult words and the ones there were deduceable from the wordplay.

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Independent 6423 by Phi – Sumer is icumen in

Posted by nmsindy on 18th May 2007


Harder than usual for Phi – especially because of the title above.

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Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Independent 6418 / Nimrod – what a carry-on!

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 18th May 2007


Solving time 13:40

Overseas or younger solvers will have struggled with this, but for fans of 50s/60s British comedy, it was a very good solve and full of nostalgia as you’ll see. There are effectively two themes – Hancock’s Half Hour and the Carry On films. These are linked by Sid James and Kenneth Williams, who appeared in both. I can’t remember now exactly how the theme emerged – probably from the fairly easy clues to the film titles. “H-H-H-H-Hancock’s Half Hour” ended when I was about one year old and we still didn’t have a TV in the house (our first one was apparently bought for the Tokyo Olympics), but bits of it have seeped into Brit culture and when they do recaps of comedy history on the telly you can rely on seeing a few bits of Hancock. Hancock himself was allegedly the inspiration for the grumpiness of Dougal in the Magic Roundabout. The Carry On films were lowbrow entertainment but can still raise plenty of giggles. Much wordplay worked out while I write this, as many answers were obvious once the theme was known. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Guardian 24,080 by Taupi: Tea-tastic

Posted by michod on 18th May 2007


A pretty fiendish puzzle. Trying circumstances for me, 10 minutes on a crowded tube followed by 20 over lunch approx, but I found this one very tough going, with a lot of quite advanced tricks. Vocab reasonably familiar, although some phrases seem a little contrived, but some very clever references in definition and subsidiary indications.

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Posted in Guardian | 6 Comments »