Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for December, 2007

Independent – Review of 2007

Posted by nmsindy on 31st December 2007

nmsindy.

Another very interesting year at the Indy as the new editor, Eimi, who took over early in 2006, puts his mark on the paper. The main features are a continued move towards themed puzzles and attracting many of the top UK setters to set for the paper.

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Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Independent 6616 by Nimrod

Posted by nmsindy on 31st December 2007

nmsindy.

Very tough puzzle to finish the year. There is a theme, which I’ll give after the clue explanations in case anyone wants to have another look at the grid. I found it after 14 mins, but solving took 50 mins in all. I’m confident of the answers, but there are quite a few I do not fully understand. These are listed below.

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Posted in Independent | 7 Comments »

Guardian 24,272 : Enigmatist – “In with the New”

Posted by neildubya on 31st December 2007

neildubya.

Monday is usually the day the crossword editor sends down a “loosener”, such as the recent series of pleasing, humane Rufus puzzles.

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Posted in Guardian | 22 Comments »

Independent’s missing cryptic of Sat 29 12 2007

Posted by nmsindy on 30th December 2007

nmsindy.

There are comments on this following the blog of Dac 6614 (Fri 28 12 2007)

Posted in Independent | 13 Comments »

Guardian 24,267 (Sat 22 Dec)/Araucaria – Hardy lines

Posted by rightback on 29th December 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 35 mins, three missing (14ac, 44ac, 35dn)

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Posted in Guardian | 7 Comments »

Guardian 24,270: Puck – “Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful!”

Posted by neildubya on 28th December 2007

neildubya.

linxit has reported in sick, so I’ve thrown the following last minute blog together.

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Guardian 24270/Puck

Posted by linxit on 28th December 2007

linxit.

This was an enjoyable thematic puzzle based on Samuel Beckett (1,4 ac). I’ll put some more up when I can, but I’ve been in bed with flu for the last 3 days, and this is the first puzzle I’ve solved in that time. Starting to feel dizzy again…crawling back to my pit…

Posted in Guardian | 3 Comments »

Independent 6614/Dac

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 28th December 2007

Colin Blackburn.

Considering some of the tough and thematic puzzles this week this was a nice easy end to the week with no themes or hidden messages (famous last words!)

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Posted in Independent | 6 Comments »

Independent 6610/Scorpion (22-12-07)

Posted by neildubya on 28th December 2007

neildubya.

The easiest puzzle I’ve solved by this usually difficult setter. A few people here have mentioned that they’ve often found many of Scorpion’s clues to be a bit contrived but I don’t think that’s something he could be accused of in this puzzle. There are some really good clues here and my favourite was 20d. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Financial Times 12,642 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on 28th December 2007

Pete Maclean.

A fairly standard Cincinnus puzzle this week with at least one great clue (3D) and one that I do not understand the workings of (26D).

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Posted in FT | 2 Comments »

Inquisitor 51 – For the record … by Eddie

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 28th December 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: a couple of hours, maybe a bit less.

Experienced Inquisitor solvers will know already that Eddie (from Eddie the Eagle, referring to the Indie masthead as well as the ski-jumper) is one of Mike Laws’s pseudonyms. As a quick bit of maths based on the preamble suggested, the phrase to be found in the extra letters in wordplay is: THOUSANDTH CROSSWORD IN OUR WEEKLY SERIES. I can remember tackling the first, and although I haven’t by any means solved the lot in between, this puzzle has provided lots of pleaure over the years.

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Posted in Inquisitor | 2 Comments »

Independent 6613 by Tees

Posted by nmsindy on 27th December 2007

nmsindy.

A very difficult puzzle, which I was not able to finish – clues I struggled with listed in full below – any help provided would be much appreciated. The theme is “The Scottish play” (Macbeth by Shakespeare) which also allows a reference to Hampden Park.

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Posted in Independent | 6 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 932 by Quixote (23/12/2007)

Posted by nmsindy on 27th December 2007

nmsindy.

A special Christmas offering from Quixote, the main theme being the use of a well-known Christmas item in its role as an anagram indicator. Once seen, solving was very fast. Solving time: 14 mins.

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Posted in Independent | 1 Comment »

Guardian 24269/Araucaria – count me out

Posted by ilancaron on 27th December 2007

ilancaron.

Christmas songs not being a strong suit, I would never have worked out the song so thanks to Shirley for putting me out of my misery. It’s “Green Grow the Rushes, O” – a “well-known” counting song. I managed to cut and slash my way through the wordplay and definitions with guesses and some dictionary lookups and now that I know what the song is, hopefully everything else will fall into place.  Comments below have resolved some of the open questions…

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Posted in Guardian | 11 Comments »

Independent 6612/Phi – not so easy as it first appeared

Posted by John on 26th December 2007

John.
Across
7 I POD [with the I “put back”] UM
8 CHESTNUT. 8 Down is “Christmas tree”, but unless I don’t know about Christmas trees in various parts of the world, the connection with Christmas looks a bit tenuous and we end up getting a whole lot of trees. Which I suppose is fair enough: it’s Christmas, and here we are, doing a crossword in which there are lots of trees.
9 PINASTER. Although in Chambers 2003, this was only in one of my several lists of trees.
11 B(A)OB AB I think
15 USER – hidden. I think of a user as someone who uses illicit drugs, but this definition is perfectly OK.
16 M in NOEL rev.
17 ALO(N)E
18 SERVICES. Church services are particularly associated with Christmas.
20 C(RE)ASE. Cricket.
21 K GO, linked to (in this case succeeding) GIN
23 RAM BUT AN. I worked this out from the fairly easy wordplay long before I had heard of it. Not in any of my lists, but eventually confirmed by Chambers.
25 (NO rev. PIN) in HUE. What a struggle. No list suggested the answer; nor did my electronic solver; eventually I worked it out and it was again confirmed by Chambers.
26 ROTHKO – (hot ro(c)k)*. Not an artist at the forefront of my mind, but perhaps that’s just me.
 
Down
2 MICAWBER – mica (brew)*. A Dickens reference.
3 AMETABOLIC – (amicable to)*
5 ST REAM. Leaves = sheets of paper = ream.
6 GUARDROOMS – gu(ar(my) (door)*)ms. Instead of “sticks” we could have been given “8 Downs, say”, and that would have made it even more difficult.
8 CHRISTMAS TREE – (chimes restart)*. This was so easy that I thought the whole thing was also going to be easy, but I was wrong.
12 ABSTEMIOUS – a (I must be so)*. Nice sort of anti &lit. Not sure what the word is for this type of clue.
14 CINE CAMERA – n CE rev., all in (America)*. A semi &lit I think, also very nice.
19 V I KING
22 OVID – (v I) in do rev. Ovid may well be a famous exile – he is I suppose famous and he was exiled, but although I was aware that he wrote Latin poetry I had to look him up to find out the rest. I sense that I’m missing something.
24 ANKH – an (HK rev.)

Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »