Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for June, 2007

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

Posted by rightback on 30th June 2007


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

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.
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
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.

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Independent 6459/Phi

Posted by bensand on 29th June 2007


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


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


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


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


Solving time: 23 mins

* (anagram)



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Guardian 24115/Gordius – Twins and tarring the bush

Posted by ilancaron on 28th June 2007


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

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.
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.
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.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of June 16, 2007

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FT 12,495 by Cinephile

Posted by smiffy on 27th June 2007


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


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


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 »

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

Posted by loonapick on 27th June 2007


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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