Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for December, 2007

Independent 6607/Dac

Posted by neildubya on 19th December 2007

neildubya.
Across
1 PACK, L in CAB (all reversed) – the BLACKCAP is a small songbird.
9 INDI[-a]‘S,POSITION – I found this very tough and only got the answer by finding a word that fit the letters I had and working back from there.
10 W,AGE FREEZE – “frees”. This was deceptive too as, to me at least, “relieves” sounded like it was part of the definition.
12 KENS,IT – Patsy. Is she in some soap or other these days?
14 T,I,B in MALES
24 ZA in TARN
25 (THE RACES)* – CHEATERS. Wasn’t sure about this at the time of solving but dictionaries confirm that CHEATERS is a slang word for spectacles or glasses.
 
Down
2 AIR in LAGE[-r] – I think LAIRAGE is right although it’s not in any dictionary I currently have access to (which doesn’t include Collins or Chambers).
3 R in CADE – was a bit unsure about this one too but a bit of searching finds that Jack CADE led a rebellion of men who tried to force reforms on the government of Henry VI.
4 CAST,RATED – was definitely not expecting “having lost balls” to be the definition here!
5 (STINT TOP TEACHER)* – PROTESTANT ETHIC.
6 JU[-st]ICE
8 (UNNAMED)* – I can’t believe how long it took me to spot “suspect” as the anagram indicator. But what a good clue though: “Unnamed suspect with no distinguishing features”.
17 BANK,I’S<,A – I’m hopeless with plants, flowers and whatnot but this wasn’t too tricky.

Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Financial Times 12,636 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on 19th December 2007

Pete Maclean.

Last week we had an unusually difficult puzzle by Cincinnus. This week we have an unusually easy one by Mudd.

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Posted in FT | No Comments »

Guardian 24263 / Gordius An odd puzzle

Posted by tilsit on 18th December 2007

tilsit.

Solving time:  28 minutes (with help from Chambers and TEA)

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Posted in Guardian | 8 Comments »

Independent 6606/Virgilius

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 18th December 2007

Colin Blackburn.

Excellent puzzle as per. Any theme is lost on me although the grid suggests one.

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Posted in Independent | 10 Comments »

Guardian 24262/Rufus – and more cryptic defs…

Posted by ilancaron on 17th December 2007

ilancaron.

A surfeit of cryptic definitions today which isn’t of course out of character for Rufus. It’s tempered by several well crafted clues though so a smile or two were produced.

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Posted in Guardian | 13 Comments »

Independent 6605 (Morph) – Some Excellent Cryptic Definitions

Posted by NealH on 17th December 2007

NealH.

This was a satisfying mix of relatively easy and difficult clues. Of particular note were 5 down, 13 across and 25 across, all of which had clever cryptic definitions. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Cryptic crosswords article

Posted by neildubya on 17th December 2007

neildubya.

There’s an article on cryptic crosswords and the competition they face from <affects disdainful look> Sudoku in the Independent today:

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Posted in Announcements, Independent | 18 Comments »

Private Eye/Cyclops 354 – Held up by a no. 10 screw

Posted by beermagnet on 17th December 2007

beermagnet.

Because I have some trouble using the “less than” sign to indicate reversals in these blogs I noticed that unusually there were no reversals in this crossword.   No totally straight Cryptic Defs either.  What is here is a good mix, in particular the last four across lights were all nice solid concise clues.

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Posted in Private Eye/Cyclops | 3 Comments »

Guardian 24,255 (Sat 8 Dec)/Araucaria – Coined words

Posted by rightback on 16th December 2007

rightback.

Solving time: 21:45, one missing (17ac)

Across clues had wordplay leading to the defined answer minus a coin. The (normal) down clues weren’t too bad though so this wasn’t much more difficult than usual, though a few on the left hand side took me a while to get and 17ac defeated me. Clue of the day: 6dn.

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Posted in Guardian | 3 Comments »

Independent 6603/Phi

Posted by John on 14th December 2007

John.

I found this unusually difficult for Phi, but perhaps that’s just because of my own incompetence. Certainly several clues that eluded me at first were simple enough when the answer eventually came. No doubt there’s a Nina somewhere, but I can’t see it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 6 Comments »

Independent 6598/Bannsider

Posted by neildubya on 14th December 2007

neildubya.

A very good (and tough in places) puzzle with an unusual theme: the top and bottom rows read OUR COUNTRY WEE ONE ENGLAND NIL. See 21a for a full explanation as to what this means. I think OUR COUNTY WEE is a reference to the Northern Ireland fanzine “Our Wee Country”. As an Englishman, this puzzle dug up some hitherto deeply buried memories for me, although I have to say that recent results have demonstrated that England were more than capable of sinking far lower than being beaten by 17a. Great puzzle, though. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 8 Comments »

Inquisitor 49 – CHANGING PLACES by Loda

Posted by Hihoba on 14th December 2007

Hihoba.

Good  Crossword by Loda! Ten countries  with new names had to be written as their old names in the grid, and ten old names had to be substituted for their new names before the clues could be solved, which explains the title.
Unusually, I spotted the theme after solving only two clues. A record for me! I confess to Googling for old/new pairs as Geography was never my strong suit. I used http://www.winentrance.com/channame.asp, which led to a problem understanding the clue for Myanmar, as they have mis-spelled it Mayanmar. I should have been wary as they also have countries called Hollad and Sam!!
Solving time :About 1 hour for the bulk, then another hour or more to sort out the final details for this blog! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Inquisitor | No Comments »

Guardian 24260/Brendan – The Sound of Musicians

Posted by ilancaron on 14th December 2007

ilancaron.

I always feel more intelligent after solving a Brendan puzzle — I think it’s because he is fair, challenging and there’s a clever nina or theme which is always gratifying to identify. Anyway, this time it’s homophones of musicians (5D).

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Posted in Guardian | 11 Comments »

Guardian 24,259 Paul : If it wisnae for your Wellies, where wud you be ?

Posted by neildubya on 13th December 2007

neildubya.

Apologies for lateness – wrote a whole entry this morning and lost it. Baaad IT bloke – didn’t save my work as I went along.

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Posted in Guardian | 9 Comments »

Independent 6602/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on 13th December 2007

neildubya.

This is the first puzzle I’ve solved in what has so far been a pretty miserable week, with myself and MrsD both laid low with a virus and our 8 month old son cutting two new teeth. Not the happiest combination of events. I’m usually mystified by at least 3 or 4 clues in any given Nimrod puzzle and this was no exception, although I did manage to solve it fairly quickly. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 13 Comments »