Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for October, 2007


Posted by petebiddlecombe on 31st October 2007


The report for No. 42 is now complete.  And 43 is solved so will be blogged promptly.

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Posted in Inquisitor | No Comments »

Independent 6565/Dac — a river runs through it.

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 31st October 2007

Colin Blackburn.

Usual high quality fare from Dac: excellent surfaces, good clear wordplay, and at least one I have failed to get. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Guardian 24,222 – Araucaria/Is there a theme?

Posted by loonapick on 31st October 2007


A typically challenging puzzle from the master himself.  There are a few mini-themes such as religion (NUNNERY, WHITED SEPULCHRE, LOURDES, EXCOMMUNICATION), the Crusades (GRAIL, BALDWIN), a couple of medical terms (FEMORAL, LUSTRAL) and a couple of Welsh towns (MAESTEG, DOLGELLAU), but I can’t bring it all together, so either I’m looking for something that isn’t there, or it’s gone over my head.

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Posted in Guardian | 9 Comments »

Independent 6564/Virgilius

Posted by neildubya on 30th October 2007


More thematic wizardry from my favourite compiler: spot the colours in 6 across clues. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 4 Comments »

Inquisitor 42 – Twenty years later by Schadenfreude

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 30th October 2007


loonapick had to admit defeat on this puzzle.  This was partly because the theme of the puzzle mainly affected England rather than Scotland.  It was Michael Fish and his quote about the telephoned hurricane warning – the puzzle appeared on the 20th anniversary of the 1987 storms (I saw repeats of the quote three or four times on the TV that day – so I think loonapick also struggled as he didn’t start on the day of publication).  The ‘eye’ in the centre of the grid was presumably a visual hint.

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Posted in Inquisitor | 1 Comment »

Guardian 24221/Pasquale — hard not easy

Posted by ilancaron on 30th October 2007


This was hard. Not easy. Some of the clues seem better suited to a weekend puzzle — not to the mention the fact that the online version didn’t indicate enumerations (word divisions) at all which made some clues quite difficult: 1D, 8D, 23A, 19A. A couple of fine clues (e.g. 14A) but overall more dictionary-words than is my wont for a weekday (e.g. LORICA, EFFERENT, HEPTANE). I also must admit I don’t understand 20D (ACCORD?), 21D (LORICA) and 25D (LARK?). Read the comments below to understand how to decode the early-morning online errors (since fixed) which apply to the last few down clues.

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Posted in Guardian | 11 Comments »

Independent 6563 by Tees

Posted by nmsindy on 29th October 2007


I found this very tough indeed.   Usually where there is a theme with interlinked answers, it’s slower but I thought this might be different when I found 16 across etc after just 12 mins.    But not so.   Some very devious, clever, misdirection and very satisfying to finish.

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Posted in Independent | 9 Comments »

Guardian 24,220, Paul: Follow the grapes

Posted by michod on 29th October 2007


Just a quick post to get the ball rolling as I’m in a training course all day. Not sure why we have the treat of a Paul on a Monday – is Rufus on holiday? Anyway, some gems here – 15 down made me laugh out loud.

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Posted in Guardian | 14 Comments »

Guardian 24,213 (Sat 20 Oct)/Araucaria – A lemon tree, Watson

Posted by rightback on 28th October 2007


Solving time: 14:15

Not too difficult this week from Araucaria, with no monster phrases or multiple cross-references. The top right corner held me up at the end, as did the long down clue which still baffles me a bit. I don’t understand the definition for 7dn.

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Posted in Guardian | 7 Comments »

Azed 1847 – Inquisitors and heretics

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 28th October 2007


Solving time: say 2 hours in a couple of sessions

It’s intriguing to see the successor of Torquemada and Ximenes dedicating a puzzle to Araucaria, who some strict Ximeneans might want (metaphorically of course) to see roasting in his sanbenito at an auto-da-fé. Azed seems to be practicing what he preaches in the introductory pages of his A-Z of Crosswords book, where he says of the Ximenean and ‘libertarian’ schools: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Azed | 7 Comments »

independent 6561 / Phi An F’ing Puzzle

Posted by tilsit on 26th October 2007


Solving Time:  26 minutes

Lots of F’s around in today’s Phi puzzle (including four block
shapes in the corners of the grid).  The usual mix of cryptic defs
and good sound clue construction which we havecome to expect from Phi.

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Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »

Independent 6556/Monk (20-10-07)

Posted by neildubya on 26th October 2007


I think I made very heavy weather of this as, looking back at the answers now, there’s not too much there that should have given me problems; the notable exceptions being 12A and 26A. Once I filled the grid I did a quick scan to look for a Nina and, finding nothing obvious, assumed that there wasn’t one. However, I’ve solved enough Monk puzzles to know this would be unusual so I looked a bit harder and sure enough, there it was: running diagonally from top left to bottom right, and bottom left to top right is the phrase: SECRET STAIRCASE. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »

Guardian 24,218, Quantum: 4-ing troubles

Posted by michod on 26th October 2007


It could be the toothache – I might have been more charitable if I’d waited for the co-codamol to take effect – but I found myself being rather picky today.  There are some nice touches here, but also some wordplay that seems a bit iffy, as well as a few cryptic definitions which (as is so often the case) were less well concealed to me as a solver than they must have to the setter.

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Posted in Guardian | 10 Comments »

Independent 6560/Scorpion – Thursday 25 October 2007

Posted by John on 25th October 2007


Solving time : well over an hour. Lots of difficult clues, as one would expect with Scorpion, but some lovely ones and most of them could eventually be explained. I think. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 6 Comments »

Guardian 24217: Brummie — Aspiring (expiring) divas, take note

Posted by jetdoc on 25th October 2007


I was already in Brummie mode when I completed this, having just finished this week’s Cyclops. An entertaining puzzle, with the usual witty touch we’d expect from this setter. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 13 Comments »