Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for June, 2007

Guardian 24,111 (Sat 23 Jun)/Enigmatist – Taiping error

Posted by rightback on 30th June 2007

rightback.

Solving time: Forgot to record, but I think I gave up on 17dn after about 15 mins. The bottom left corner was the hardest, if I remember correctly. Some very inventive clues in here.

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Guardian 24116/Taupi

Posted by neildubya on 29th June 2007

neildubya.
Across
1 BESIDE THE POINT – double definition.
9 RI,T in IRAN,T – excellent surface reading.
11 H in (METEOR)*
12 DUN,(GONE)*
15 HOMOPHONE – nothing to do with the answer at 4D, simply that “For” sounds like 4.
20 RID(g)ES – I liked “zero gravity” to indicate the lack of a “g”.
23 ENFORCE – sounds like “N for C” which is the replacement you make to turn “salicet” into “salient”. [Edit: as the commenter says below, this should of course be "EN for CE", which is what I meant to write]
25 JUNK MAIL – nice cryptic definition.
26 hidden in “reveaL A BELiever”.
27 CHINLESS WONDER – is this right? If so, I can’t see the wordplay, although “chump from Eton” would seem ok as a definition.
   
   
Down
1 (ON RUN BUT THEY)* – BOUNTY HUNTER. Excellent clue, with a well hidden anagrind (“rent”) and a sly definition (“their trailer”).
3 ERG in DETENT – I filled in DETERGENT without understanding the bit about “wheel-checker”. I’ve just looked it up and apparently it means anything that “checks motion”.
5 A,R,L in MODE (all going up) – EARLDOM  
6 (s)OFTEN
7 (DONE CROWN)* – NONCE WORD
10 (LINER RATTLES)*
16 reverse hidden in “OIL OF TROPical” – excellent hidden clue as it’s not the kind of word that you’d expect to be hidden.
22 A,K in TEN – I’m assuming that “one” refers to 1A here…? [Edit: this should be OAKEN, see comment below]
24 B in RAID.

Posted in Guardian | 11 Comments »

Independent 6459/Phi

Posted by bensand on 29th June 2007

bensand.

I thought I’d got the schedule wrong when I came to post this and saw the top Independent post from Neil for a Phi! Closer examination revealed a different crossword completely so business as usual. [Change to 8 down, thanks to nmsindy for pointing it out]

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FT 12497/Mudd – nourishing

Posted by ilancaron on 29th June 2007

ilancaron.

Even though his name is Mudd here – it’s Paul in the Guardian. I definitely solved this more quickly than the typical Paul – so maybe there is something to the theory that FT puzzles are pitched somewhat lower. Seemed to be a mild food and drink theme (9a, 12a, 19a, 7d, 11d, 17d, 24d, 27d) which is probably more than my imagination. And, as an American, I appreciate that the Britishisms are kept to a minimum.

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Independent 6454/Hard-Phi – Moving to the Weekend

Posted by neildubya on 29th June 2007

neildubya.

We had a tough Saturday Phi puzzle a couple of months ago but I think this one was harder. I solved this one in deepest Suffolk, with no access to a decent dictionary or other solving aids (ie, the Internet) so I was unsure about a number of answers; I filled them in anyway in order to make progress but I had to wait until I got home to be sure about the last two or three. There’s a Nina too – starting at the left-hand corner of the grid and going round clockwise, the unchecked letters spell out: IS THIS A HIDDEN MESSAGE OR ISNT IT. Read the rest of this entry »

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Inquisitor 25 – Conclusion by Zero

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 29th June 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: about 90 mins

A fairly standard challenge here: find extra words in four across and four down clues which allow what’s presumably a quotation to be identified, and clashes between across and down answers which are resolved by continuing the quote in some part(s) of the grid. The author appears in a couple of unclued answers, and the rest of the quote must be written under the grid (the part not to forget!).

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Independent on Sunday 906 by Quixote

Posted by nmsindy on 28th June 2007

nmsindy.

Solving time: 23 mins

* (anagram)

ACROSS

1 RAP TOR

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Guardian 24115/Gordius – Twins and tarring the bush

Posted by ilancaron on 28th June 2007

ilancaron.

1A was the best cryptic political comment I’ve seen in a long time. I had to look up 21A and 14A for being too esoteric. Found this overall rather hard but with many diamonds (well, they are hard, aren’t they?) in the rough.

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Independent 6458/Dac

Posted by neildubya on 28th June 2007

neildubya.
Across
1 PAT,C,ASH(e) – excellent topical clue.
9 P in SOHO,MORE – one of the last 2 or 3 answers to go. “Part of London again” had me puzzled for a while.
10 WAG(n)ER
11 (MOP)*,ADE (“aid”) – superb &lit clue. Best clue in the puzzle, I think.
12 (O QUA-rTERS)* – I didn’t know QUAESTOR so this was the last answer to go in. With ?U?E?T?R filled in and the fairly safe knowledge that the wordplay was an anagram of o + quarters with the “r” missing it was just a case of deciding what to do with the remaining letters. The “q” was easy and the rest followed as QUOESTAR just doesn’t look right.
14 H,TIER< – shouldn’t this really be “former BBC bigwig”?
22 ME in INCA,RA
24 IS,N in LAD – “in van[guard]” indicates that IS has to be at the front of the clue.
28 (RENT WIDOW)*
29 PASS in S,KY – a reference to Boris Spassky who, amongst other things, played Bobby Fischer for the World Championship in Reykjavik in 1972 – one of the most famous matches ever.
 
Down
1/2 (TO PRO SOCIALIST PM)* – PASSPORT TO PIMLICO.
5 “czech”,CAR,D – “traveller can get dinars” for CAR,D took me far too long to get.
8 R in TORE,O
15 (THE PALS ME)* – HELPMATES. Another nice &lit.
17/18 MAKE A SONG AND DANCE – Bussell is Darcey, the ballet dancer, but I’m not sure who Jenkins is supposed to be.
21 DI(m),SHES
25 SEE TO – “C2″. Clever reference to social grades.

Posted in Independent | 6 Comments »

Financial Times 12,486 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on 28th June 2007

Pete Maclean.

Across

1. ENGLANDER – *(GREENLAND)
6. TORCH – double definition.
9. STAID – homophone
10. NOTEPAPER – reverse(ETON) + PAPER. Very clever!
11. SPECTATORS – *(ACTORS STEP)
12. PELF – P + ELF. Pelf is a word I was unfamiliar with meaning riches, especially those dishonestly acquired. This learning gives new dimension to the character Clara Pelf in that wonderful old movie, Semi-Tough.
14. CHAGRIN – CHA(GR)IN. I am not sure I understand this one. King George gives us GR but “annoyance” seems a bit of a stretch for defining chagrin and I do not understand how CHAIN can mean display.
15. DEMETER – reverse(MET) in DEER
17. REDOUBT – RE + DOUBT
19. PETASUS – *(PAT USES). I was a bit confused by this one because I had come across the word “petasos” before (in another crossword puzzle) but was unfamiliar with the “petasus” variant. The word refers to the winged hat that Mercury/Hermes wears. I love the way Cincinnus has concocted the surface of this clue with an implied reference, I assume, to Postman Pat.
20. APSE – A(S)PE
22. BORROWDALE – homophone
25. EYEBRIGHT – EYE + BRIGHT
26. RISEN – R[hode] I[sland] + SEN[ator]
27. NYMAN – N.Y. MAN. I had some trouble getting this one in spite of the fact that Michael Nyman is one of my favourite composers. His music for The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover stands, I think, as one of the best film scores of all time.
28. TUNISIANS – reverse(IN) in *(SAS UNIT)

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FT 12,495 by Cinephile

Posted by smiffy on 27th June 2007

smiffy.

At first glance this looked liked it could be one of those lesser-spotted species, a totally athematic Cinephile puzzle.
But it turned out that there was actually a healthy dose of climate change material stashed away in several of the longer downs clues (1/20, 3,6) and their answers. Given that it’s 36C where I am today, the “big heat” theme seemed very topical.

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Azed 1829

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 27th June 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Apologies for a late Azed report – can’t remember my time for this, or how much I used the big red book – I re-solved from memory after prematurely chucking the original. Read the rest of this entry »

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Independent 6457/Morph – Stepping down

Posted by neildubya on 27th June 2007

neildubya.

Fantastic puzzle from “one of us” with a very clever and very topical theme. You probably know the game where you have to change one word into another in a certain number of steps by changing one letter at a time – this puzzle re-enacts that game by showing how to transform BLAIR in BROWN in 4 easy steps. Ingenious. As if that wasn’t enough there’s also some excellent clueing and very imaginative wordplay going on, and I’m not just saying that because I know the setter! That said, there are two clues I don’t understand – 7D and 19D – and I thought 19D was a bit unfair (but see my comments on that). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 6 Comments »

Guardian 24,114/Brendan – I may be missing something?

Posted by loonapick on 27th June 2007

loonapick.

Given the number of black squares in the grid and the lack of difficulty in this puzzle, I was expecting there to be a theme, but, if it’s there, I can’t find it.

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Independent 6456/Virgilius

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 26th June 2007

Colin Blackburn.

A fairly easy Virgilius today with no obvious theme other than the inter-linking of a couple of the long entries. Though someone will now tell me that a knight’s move sequence reveals something important!

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