Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for November, 2007

Azed 1851 – in the soop

Posted by linxit on 25th November 2007


Solving time 38:18 (with Chambers and Bradford’s)

I made one mistake (9ac, SOOM for SOOP) but realised when I came to do the blog, as I’d never been happy with my original answer and had another look at it. Whenever I fail on an Azed, it’s always a little 4-letter word with an unch at the beginning or end.

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Guardian 24,237 (Sat 17 Nov)/Pasquale – Disorientated

Posted by rightback on 24th November 2007


Solving time: 17:58

About the last 10 minutes were spent on two pairs: 16ac/18dn and 19ac/20dn. The first I sorted out once I accepted that 16ac was an &lit (and realised that 24ac was LENTIGO and not ‘lentego’), but the second pair was harder: I couldn’t explain 19ac while solving and still couldn’t when blogging. Needless to say, I got it about 30 seconds after originally posting. Some very good clues in this puzzle.

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Guardian 24,242, Quantum: Better latte than never

Posted by michod on 23rd November 2007



4. JAM PAN. A guess now confirmed – it’s a kind of sedan chair.

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Independent 6585/Math

Posted by neildubya on 23rd November 2007


In his blog yesterday, nmsindy was wondering why Phi had been moved from his usual Friday slot; this puzzle might provide an explanation… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Inquisitor 46, Royalty by Lato

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 23rd November 2007

Colin Blackburn.

By the time you read this I should be at the top of Manau Kea in Hawaii.
Unless I turn out to get altitude sickness in which case I’ll be in a bar in Hilo!

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Independent 6580/Monk

Posted by neildubya on 23rd November 2007

3 A,MB,U,LANCES – I hesitated a bit over this as I didn’t know that LANCE=move quickly but with A,MB,U and a definition of “hospital transport” there’s not much else it can be.
11 [-s]CARED
12 E in WILDE,D – I liked “an Oscar” to indicate WILDE because it’s a bit different to what we would usually see: “Oscar, say” or “Oscar, perhaps”.
13 REWARD< – one of four answers in the puzzle that uses the same letters.
15 INFERNAL,A CHIN in ME – INFERNAL MACHINE. I’d heard of the phrase but wasn’t really sure what it meant – apparently it’s a concealed explosive device intended to destroy life or property.
21 WARRED – “ward”. The second thematic clue.
23 W in TOE,RED – I’ve been caught out by “legend” (end of leg) before, and by the same setter I think.
26 ED in CAR – is there a technical term for clues like this: “Editor’s vehicle wrapped round tree”, where we have to read it as “Vehicle’s wrapped round editor tree”. Reverse container-and-contents, perhaps?
27 SATYRICON – which was a satirical novel written in the 1st century AD by Petronius. SATYR is a word for a lascivious man (“Chap desiring sex”).
5 hidden in “fUND IDeally”
6 RA (going up),A in CHIC – with A?C???? filled in I had to resist the urge to fill in “ancient”.
7 C,RIS[-e] in (ARETE)* – CAREERIST. “Professional climber” is a great definition.
8 SIDE – was a bit puzzled about this one when I filled it in but I think I get it now. Full clue is “Left Channel 4?” and it was the “Channel 4″ bit I didn’t get. I think it’s a reference to a TV station being a SIDE, as in “Switch to the other side”, meaning to change channels. Unless anyone else has a better explanation.
9 WARDER – the third thematic clue. The “lift and separate” definition is “screw”.
14 BELLY-DANCE – marvellous cryptic def. “Corporation shake-up in the East”.
16 IN LAND in F,AI (going up) – FINLANDIA is a symphonic poem by Jean Sibelius.
17 TIDE (going up) in MATES
19 EAR[-ly],DRU[-id],M[-en] – an excellent clue with an original treatment. “Both feet having been severed” is the indicator for lopping off the last two letters in “early Druid men”.
20 REWARD – the fourth thematic clue, and identical to 13A! “Artist’s back pay for good work”.
22 DES (going up),OD – I originally filled in DOPED thinking “I’ll figure out the wordplay later”, but that’s never a good idea.
25 S,CUP – a “porgy” is a type of sparid food fish, or SCUP. This was all news to me but the wordplay could only take you in one direction.

Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Beelzebub 926/Phi (11-11-07)

Posted by neildubya on 23rd November 2007

1 L in BASH – I hesitated over this at first because I couldn’t see why “go” = BASH. Then I remembered “have a bash at [something]”.
11 (SIGN BLOOMERS)* – REBLOSSOMING. Pleasing &lit clue.
12 ENZOOTIC – this must be right as the definition fits but I can’t untangle the wordplay: “Quickly one should return around zone suffering localised disease”.
16 BEE,SWING – a BEE is a social gathering (e.g. spelling bee) and BEESWING is a flaky deposit found in port and other wines.
19 P in A DRESS
21 DA in DUET,E
24 E in SLP,TOFF – I initially filled in SWEPT OFF even though it didn’t really fit with the definition because I convinced myself that Arthur Scargill was in the Socialist Worker’s Party (SWP). Turns out he founded the Socialist Labour Party.
29 IT’S A< – IT is vermouth, as in “gin and it” (which sounds like a classic martini to me…)
32 (B[-a]BY)*,LOW – BYBLOW. Excellent &lit clue. A BYBLOW is an illegitimate child.
1 BREEZE – I liked this clue a lot: “Refuse to go cheerfully”. As a noun, BREEZE refers to cinders, ash or dust (which is what breeze blocks are made out of) and as a verb it can mean a few things but probably the most relevant is “to move in a self-confident or jaunty manner”.
2 (CLEARLY UNLIT)* – LENTICULARLY. I struggled to get, partly because I thought I was looking for a word ending -ICAL.
4 BE,A in H (FOOT)* – HOOFBEAT. Another excellent &lit: “Horse with foot moving? Happen one will be involved”. I’ve only now spotted that “happen one” is BE,A though.
8 P,P,IE in LIST
15 QUEE[-r],(MAN)*,B – QUEEN MAB is a tantalizing fairy who “governs and produces peoples’ dreams”.
17 SPOFFISH – not sure if this is right as I can’t work out the wordplay. Full clue is “Officious affected types upset a person”. This answers crosses with 33A – which I’ve got as HASTE (the H is where they cross) but I can’t explain that either so it’s possible that might be wrong too.
20 DEFRA,Y[e]S
25 odd letters of SiLk, initial letters of “Used By Braiders”.
27 IT<,R,L – TIRL.

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Our first appearance in the national press

Posted by neildubya on 23rd November 2007


Virgilius Fifteensquared puzzle

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Guardian 24241: Chifonie — Know your abbreviations

Posted by jetdoc on 22nd November 2007


A pretty straightforward daily cryptic, though you did need to know a few single-letter and two-letter abbreviations (like three ‘meanings’ of D). There were several obvious, as it seemed to me, anagrams; if anyone found them less obvious, I’ll gladly explain. Read the rest of this entry »

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Independent 6584 by Phi

Posted by nmsindy on 22nd November 2007


Phi usually appears on Friday rather than today (Thursday).      Wondered if there was a date-specific reason for this, but cannot see a theme.    Quite an easy puzzle, I found.   Solving time, 15 mins

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Independent on Sunday 927 by Quixote

Posted by nmsindy on 22nd November 2007


Tougher than usual, I thought. Solving time: 31 mins

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Independent 6583/Dac – Wednesday 21.11.07

Posted by John on 21st November 2007


As usual Dac’s clues are consistently excellent. Few stand out (except for 14D), but they are always sound and have clear good surfaces. It’s a bit like Mozart (although Dac might feel a bit flattered to be compared to Mozart) – you think “how simple, I could have done that”, but no. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 11 Comments »

Guardian 24,240 Paul – “Egrets: I’ve Had a Few …”

Posted by neildubya on 21st November 2007


A very pleasant and reasonably humane puzzle from Paul. The best strategy with his puzzles I find is to pick off the rare easy ones, hope they give you letters for the multi-word solutions he loves and then hope in turn that you then have enough letters to work out the absolute beasts. Lots of hoping involved (with me anyway).

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Independent 6582/Virgilius – All Square-d!

Posted by neildubya on 20th November 2007


A couple of weeks ago I had an email from someone – let’s call him E – advising me to make sure I was blogging today’s puzzle. “How intriguing”, I thought at the time, and now I see why: it’s a puzzle all about things being SQUARED, including FIFTEEN. A lovely touch, and a great puzzle, so thanks to Virgilius for thinking of us. I usually throw puzzles away when I’ve solved them, but I’ll definitely be keeping this one. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 9 Comments »

Guardian 24239/Gordius – tough but fair?

Posted by linxit on 20th November 2007


I see that a lot of you took advantage of the chance to comment on this beforehand, so I’m glad I left the placeholder message this morning. As it turned out, I was able to finish it inside the 15 minutes I was able to snatch at lunchtime, and now have half an hour to spare to post it before facing the M40 tonight.

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Posted in Guardian | 26 Comments »