Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for August, 2007

Financial Times 12,534 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on 23rd August 2007

Pete Maclean.

Tougher than usual Cincinnus perhaps with some challenging clues (for me 1A, 1D, 17D and 25D) and a couple of beauties (28A, 15D).

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Posted in FT | No Comments »

Independent 6505/Dac

Posted by bensand on 22nd August 2007

bensand.

This seemed like a harder crossword than a standard Dac. Looking back I can’t quite see why though although three words being new to me slowed me down (1ac, 27ac, 20d) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »

Guardian 24161/Araucaria – the full monty

Posted by ilancaron on 22nd August 2007

ilancaron.

My Sheffield education was provided to me by the movie “The Full Monty” and the occasional Eurosport broadcast of an endless snooker match at The Crucible. Oh yes there are a couple of football teams there and once upon a time a steel factory or two. But according to The Full Monty none of the latter are left… Anyway, that pretty much sums up this puzzle. Except for The Full Monty, which was just poetic license.

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Posted in Guardian | 19 Comments »

FT 12,542 by Aardvark

Posted by smiffy on 21st August 2007

smiffy.

I solved this one in fits and starts, although each quadrant of the grid fell into place pretty readily once I’d cracked the four “long” clues.  I use quote marks because no answer in this grid is longer than ten letters.  Not sure if that’s a low-water mark for a standard daily cryptic, but it must come close.  Anyhoo, Aardvark did a good job of playing the hand he was dealt (or chose?) by employing a well-balanced array of vocab and devices.

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Posted in FT | 1 Comment »

Independent 6504/Virgilius

Posted by neildubya on 21st August 2007

neildubya.

Thematically, there seems to be quite a bit going on in this puzzle. We have horses/ponies (1A, 10A, part of 14A, 17A, 21A and part of 26A, along with a reference to a horse race at 4D), trees/shrubs (9A, 12A, 23/13A,25A, part of 2D, part of 4D, 15D, 16D, 20D 22D), birds (11A, 27A, 28A, 29A, 7D, 18D, 19D,24D) and a couple of references to dogs (17A, 5D and 6D). In fact, the only non-thematic answer I can see (apart from 6A which I couldn’t get but must be a bird of some description) is 8D.

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Posted in Independent | 4 Comments »

Quixote and Everyman puzzles

Posted by neildubya on 20th August 2007

neildubya.

We need to reduce the workload of our bloggers so we would like to stop blogging the two puzzles at the easier end of the scale which get read and commented on the least: Everyman and Quixote. Instead, we will post a short message once a week so that solvers who are stuck on a clue or don’t understand an answer in either of the puzzles can post the clue in a comment to get some help with it.  We would like to stress that we are not doing this because we don’t like these puzzles; it’s just that with limited time and manpower available to us something has to give.

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Posted in Announcements | 9 Comments »

Independent 6503 by Math

Posted by nmsindy on 20th August 2007

nmsindy.

This had a theme, but I proved you did not need to know it to solve the puzzle, because I tumbled to it only when verifying for this blog having filled the grid in. I give details of this after the clue explanations. Quite an easy puzzle, I thought.

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Posted in Independent | 11 Comments »

Guardian 24160/ Rufus August 20th 2007 Gentle for Monday.

Posted by neildubya on 20th August 2007

neildubya.

Across
1 BAY RUM anagram of may rub. In the old days barbers would offer it as an after shave , posh barbers still do. It’s a distillate from Rum and the leaves of the West Indian Bay tree.
5 INTERVAL anagram of travel in.
9 SCRUBBED
10 STUMPS
11 HOLY MACKEREL
13 A C RE I held myself up by being certain this was ‘dene’, an anagram of Eden. It was only when I got 12Dn that I realised my error.
14 TASMANIA anagram ‘it’s a man’, on a.
17 BOOK CLUB
18 I O TA A short neat satisfying clue.
20 SLOW MOVEMENT was, on the other hand, rather pedestrian.
23 SALO ME anagram of ‘also, set next to ‘me’, and she it was who asked for John the Baptist’s head on a plate.
24 EN TITLE D A championship is a title, and it is held by ‘end’, giving entitled which means to be styled, or named.
25 BEDPOSTS, are uprights, and secrets are shared between you, me and the bedposts.

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Posted in Guardian | 13 Comments »

Azed 1837/uh-uh

Posted by ilancaron on 19th August 2007

ilancaron.

Another mistake from Azed at 1A – the last Azed I did (1831) had one as well. What is the world coming to? I did the first half of this without a dictionary and the second half with Chambers 1998 (courtesy of Jon Delfin in NYC). I came up short in understanding a couple though for which I’m indebted to PeterB’s help.

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Posted in Azed | 3 Comments »

Guardian 24153 (Sat 11 Aug)/Paul – Centre stage

Posted by rightback on 18th August 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 9:29

A chocolate theme this week, with four examples of ‘centres’, i.e. the gooey bits in the middle. Overall probably a bit easier than usual for Paul.

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Posted in Guardian | No Comments »

Independent 6501 by Phi

Posted by neildubya on 17th August 2007

neildubya.

A bit more challenging than the usual Phi, but not as satisfying. A lot of tenuous clueing in place of the usual witty word play. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 4 Comments »

Beelzebub/Phi 912 (05-08-07)

Posted by neildubya on 17th August 2007

neildubya.

I thought this was a cracking puzzle. It looked like it was going to be a lot harder than it turned out to be as my first pass over the across clues yielded nothing; but I got going with 2D and then it all fell into place fairly quickly. A lot of the words were unfamiliar to me but the wordplay was nothing less than bullet-proof; so much so that I’d filled in a two-thirds of the grid before feeling compelled to check Chambers (11D was the first word I looked up, even though there was at least half a dozen words before that that were new to me).

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Posted in Beelzebub | No Comments »

Independent 6496/Nestor

Posted by neildubya on 17th August 2007

neildubya.

Absolutely brilliant puzzle from Nestor and very possibly the hardest blocked puzzle I’ve solved in recent memory (and there have been some tough Times puzzles over the last couple of weeks). To be sure, there are a few obscure answers and some fairly recondite knowledge is needed for some of the clues but the wordplay is exceptionally fair throughout and it’s a Saturday puzzle so it’s assumed you’ll have references to hand. In a way it’s a shame it was a Saturday because otherwise I’d be recommending everyone to get a copy of the Indie and have a go at this one. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 7 Comments »

Guardian 24158/Araucaria – Araucaria?

Posted by ilancaron on 17th August 2007

ilancaron.

Not a cross-reference in sight nor a long anagram. Was this really Araucaria? I can’t even detect a theme of sorts.

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Posted in Guardian | 5 Comments »

FT 12538 by Monk – Nudge Nudge Wink Wink Say No More!!

Posted by tilsit on 17th August 2007

tilsit.

Solving time: 26 minutes

 Terrific fun today from Monk with some real laugh-aloud clues including 1 across and 13 down.  Nina hunters (those little hidden messages in puzzles) will be delighted to see one in the puzzle as well.

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Posted in FT | 1 Comment »