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Archive for December, 2007

Guardian 24,268, Rufus: Yule guess the theme!

Posted by michod on 24th December 2007


Just a quick blog between wrapping, baking, drinking etc. Almost all the clues have a festive reference, and most are pretty simple – this was a very quick solve bar 13 down, which maddeningly held me up even though, once the penny dropped, I had a nagginG feeling I’ve come across it before. Down blog all in italic – why? Why not?!

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Azed 1855 – better late than never

Posted by linxit on 24th December 2007


I found this one fairly straightforward, as Azeds go. A fairly low percentage of obscure words meant I wasn’t flicking through Chambers as much as I usually do (or maybe my vocabulary’s finally improving!). There were a couple of glitches – unless I’m mistaken there’s a comp. anagram that doesn’t work, and in the online grid the number 24 appears in mid-word before 23 (although the numbering isn’t messed up as a result). Trying to copy Jane and others with a new layout today.

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Independent 6611/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on 24th December 2007


I found this pretty difficult, although the preamble was a big help in that it suggested that other Indy compilers would be mentioned in whole or in part in the answers and, more obviously, in some clues. Some were easy to spot (Mordred and Nestor were the first two I got), others not so easy (it took me ages to see Virgilius). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 16 Comments »

Guardian 24,261 (Sat 15 Dec)/Araucaria – Da Vinci Code

Posted by rightback on 23rd December 2007


Solving time: 18 mins, one mistake (20dn)

This Mona Lisa-themed puzzle might have been straightforward for any art scholars who knew the ten-word phrase at 24ac (anyone?), but I had to work it out painstakingly from the anagram. The rest of the clues were probably a bit easier than usual for Araucaria.

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Posted in Guardian | 5 Comments »

Financial Times 12,647 by Bradman

Posted by Pete Maclean on 22nd December 2007

Pete Maclean.

This puzzle proved easier for me on the whole than others by Bradman. I still struggled to complete the last couple of clues (3D, 11A) though. And there is one answer I trust I have right but where I do not understand the wordplay (2D).

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Posted in FT | 3 Comments »

Independent 6609/Phi

Posted by John on 21st December 2007


As usual with Phi, everything very enjoyable. There doesn’t seem to be a Nina, but there probably is. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 4 Comments »

Independent 6604/Nestor

Posted by neildubya on 21st December 2007

1 (SINFUL EFFECTS I)* – SELF-SUFFCIENT. SELF was obvious but the rest took a little time to make itself apparent.
10 YUP,PIE – if I had to pick a word to sum up the 1980s it would probably be this.
11 DE CAMP – I liked this: “Go and butch up”.
12 NEG OR TIN< – quite a difficult one to parse.
16 C in (BRAVE ONES)* – OBSERVANCE. Not a tough word by any means and a fairly easy anagram to spot but this still took me a while to get. At any rate, it felt like it should have been obvious, but wasn’t.
18 C in PEER<, C in TALE – cleverly constructed clue which takes one abbreviation – C – and gets us to use it twice.
20 [-qu]EASY – one of the last couple I filled in and only because I could see what else could fit. Have just seen that “green” = queasy.
27 IPM in CHUNK – “thirteen hundred” really held me up here and even when I filled the answer in I still couldn’t explain it. Finally, the penny dropped: 1300 = 1PM = IPM.
2 UM in [-g]ENERATE – the fact that UM and ER both appear made think that these were both indicated by “I’m hesitant” but that meant the rest of the clue didn’t work.
3 hidden reversed in “prAYERFul” – FREYA is the Norse goddess of love and beauty.
5 FRI[-day],ENDS
7 ESP,ION,AGE – “special intuition” for E[xtra] S[ensory] P[erception] and the definition was enough to get this.
8 T,WINE – “tent” is a deep red wine.
13 TURNER PRIZE – filled this in without understanding the clue but looking at it now, “lather” looks to be doing the deception work here as it means “some who operates a lathe”, which could also be a TURNER.
17 AS,HEWN in CUT – at first I couldn’t understand the wordplay here as I thought that “when chopped” was (WHEN)*, which left AS unaccounted for. Later spotted that “when chopped” is AS HEWN.
22 A,DEPT[-h]

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Guardian 24266 Pasquale – “We need a common enemy to unite us.”

Posted by neildubya on 21st December 2007


Condoleeza Rice (15d.) once made the quote in the title. Not her finest hour. Struck me that Pasquale’s puzzle is uniting quite a few people this morning – hope you’re all finding it as challenging as I am.

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Posted in Guardian | 25 Comments »

Inquisitor 50 – Who’s Who by Dimitry

Posted by duncanshiell on 20th December 2007


There were three important parts to the preamble:

1. Every across clue lacked a definition and the wordplay generated a word which could be associated with the entry at that number – i.e the actual entries had to be deduced.

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Posted in Inquisitor | 5 Comments »

Happy Christmas…

Posted by neildubya on 20th December 2007


…to all of our readers. Thanks for all your help, support and encouragement in 2007 – we couldn’t have done it without you.

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Posted in Announcements | 1 Comment »

Independent 6608 by Monk

Posted by nmsindy on 20th December 2007


Monk is a setter whose puzzles I seek out, so Christmas came early to see that pseudonym in the Indy today.    Almost every clue has something special.    Solving time:  43 mins.  There is a theme:   in case anyone wants to look at the grid again, I’ll refer to it after the clue explanations.

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Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Guardian 24,265, Paul: Why do anarchists drink Earl Grey?

Posted by michod on 20th December 2007


A good number of long phrases, with quite a few cryptic definitions and some subtle wordplay. Explanations of 20 ac welcomed.

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Posted in Guardian | 4 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 931 by Quixote

Posted by nmsindy on 20th December 2007


I found this very easy. Solving time: 14 mins

Notes on some clues below: happy to explain others if asked.

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FT 12,644/Neo

Posted by smiffy on 19th December 2007


A far later posting than anticipated. Just realised that I should probably have followed blogging best practice and posted a placeholder here earlier in the day, especially as I actually solved the thing this morning [note to self….].  Anyhoo, yer ’tis.
Smiffy-ness update: Seem that I accidentally managed to save this as a draft, rather than publish it, last night – so now the posting is even later! Apols.

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Posted in FT | 2 Comments »

Guardian 24264/Araucaria

Posted by linxit on 19th December 2007


Solving time – 26:40

I struggled to get going on this, and after 10 minutes only had half a dozen answers in, but gradually managed to work up from the bottom right-hand corner and finish it.

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Posted in Guardian | 3 Comments »