Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for April, 2008

Independent 6711/Monk

Posted by neildubya on 25th April 2008


Great pangrammatic puzzle from the Bulletprooof one. Not sure about 2 and 3 though. I think they’re both right but I can’t say why.

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Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »

Guardian 24,372, Quantum: Quality Control

Posted by michod on 25th April 2008


Hmm, well as today’s fifteensquared quality controller I have a few negative items to feedback here (OK, that’s enough of that – internal ed). Too many rather straightforward cryptic defs for my liking. Sorry if I seem over-critical – the clues I don’t mention are mostly ones I don’t have an issue with! 

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Posted in Guardian | 8 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 949 by Quixote (20 Apr 2008)

Posted by nmsindy on 24th April 2008


I found this exceptionally easy – Solving time, 10 mins

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Independent 6715/Eimi – Earning my Spurs

Posted by Ali on 24th April 2008


Blog Number 1 from me, so first things first, hello!

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Posted in Independent | 10 Comments »

Guardian 24,371 (Araucaria)

Posted by diagacht on 24th April 2008

1 COPPER: double definition
4 CLEMATIS: M in CLEAT IS. Clematis Vitalba is a wild flower, also known as Old Man’s Beard
9 NORMA: hidden in londoN OR MAnchester. It’s a 19th Century opera by Bellini
10 WOMANKIND: WOMAN + KIND As Eileen points out this is an anagram of MAID KNOWN (kicking myself!)
11,15 TENNESSEE WILLIAMS: US State + Archbishop of Canterbury (Rowan Williams)
12,6 GLASS MENAGERIE: G LASS (good girl) + MEN + AG + ERIE. A play by Tennessee Williams
13 PEARL FISHERS: PERISHERS (the lost) containing A (adult) and LF (low frequency). An opera by Bizet.
18 ADULT: AD (poster) + ULT (last month)
21 ANDROCLES: AND + anagram of CLOSER. This was the chap who fixed up a wounded lion and domesticated the wild beast
23 STORM CONE: (MC (compere) + ON (performing)) in STORE
1 CENOTAPH: anagram of NOT CHEAP
2 PARENTAL: AREN’T (don’t exist) in PAL
3 ERASE: ERAS + E (entirely to start with)
5 LAMBETH BRIDGE: an actual bridge but also a reference to the Archbishop of Canterbury who living in Lambeth Palace is seen as a bridge to the various member churches of the Anglican Communion
7 TAIWAN: anagram of AIT + WAN
8 SADIST: hidden in iS A DISTinguishing
10 WEST INDIA DOCK: WE + STINK around (AID (reversed) + DOC)
14 LION TAMER: &Lit, although I may have missed something here.
16 EGGSHELL:an EGG’S HELL but also a very thin form of pottery china
18 RANSOM: ROM (read only memory) around ANS
19 SUBORN: attributes, according to the nursery rhyme, of the child born on a Sunday
22 OCHRE: CHORE rewritten so that it is led by the heart! An interesting break with the rules, but I like it.

Posted in Guardian | 17 Comments »

Financial Times 12,740 by Mudd

Posted by Pete Maclean on 24th April 2008

Pete Maclean.

This puzzle has no fewer than three clues that I lack a complete understanding of: 26A, 5D and 21D. My copy of the paper did not include the clue for 23D and I retrieved it from the FT web site.

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Posted in FT | 4 Comments »

Guardian 24370/Brendan – placeholder

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 23rd April 2008

Colin Blackburn.

Talk amongst yourselves…

Posted in Guardian | 22 Comments »

Independent 6714/Dac

Posted by neildubya on 23rd April 2008

1 PET,RA – an archeological site in Jordan and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Would “old city” been a fairer definition?
4 (GERMAN IS T)* – great clue, smoothly worded.
10 A in CHIC,NO
11 T,READ,MILL – that’s John Stuart MILL (“of his own free will, on half a pint of shandy was particularly ill”). I think I might have got this a bit quicker had I not thought the definition was “becomes routine”.
14 IN,NY in (TALKS)*,TE – nothing wrong with the clue but I bet there are a few complaints about this phrase. For the non-coffee drinkers, something is SKINNY if it has skimmed milk in it instead of the full-fat version.
17 SAX (“sacks”),OP,(NO THIS)* – SAXOPHONIST. Another top-drawer clue.
19 “mullED WIN”
21 (WHOSE PAST)* – SWEATSHOP. I thought this was great too, especially as “whose past” doesn’t sound like anagram fodder at first.
26 WAKE,FIELD – a novel by Oliver Goldsmith.
4 PIT (“raised”) in MULL,EXES – another fine clue although at the time of solving I couldn’t see where EXES came from. Looking it up, I see that it’s a colloquialism for “expenses”. Not sure why this is “further costs” though rather than just “costs”.
5 SIC – “sick”. “So” is the definition.
8 OD in GOSPORT – I filled this in without really getting the wordplay and it was only later that I saw GOSPORT, which for some reason I thought was up North.
14 CORED in WARS (going up)
15 RIGHT in BEST – some very subtle &lit wording here which makes the clue sound like a straight definition.
20 H in WACK – I didn’t know that “wack” was a scouse word but with W?A?K filled in this wasn’t a problem.
24 SHE – a novel by Rider Haggard.

Posted in Independent | 4 Comments »

Independent 6713/Punk – Rubbish

Posted by John on 22nd April 2008


Well not really; rather good, as I have come to expect from Punk. At first he seemed rather difficult and unsatisfactory, but increasingly nowadays I enjoy his well-constructed crosswords. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Guardian 24,369 : Pasquale – “Bad Tahr Day”

Posted by neildubya on 22nd April 2008


Between a SNAFU with my contract and a chest cold, I actually had some leisure to look at this properly this morning. Just as well – Pasquale is one of the compilers who has in the past beaten me rather badly. Today’s puzzle fortunately had some easier clues that gave you an “in”. A first-rate puzzle with some groan-out-loud puns and a couple of real stinkers.

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Posted in Guardian | 13 Comments »

Financial Times 12748 / The Crux of the Matter

Posted by C G Rishikesh on 22nd April 2008

C G Rishikesh.


1 JERRY BUILDER – jerry, ? – Gerald gives ‘jerry’ but I don’t know how Bob yields ‘builder’. The phrase itself is new to me but the second word can be easily got from the crossings B, I, D, R – all from sure answers.

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Posted in FT | 6 Comments »

Guardian 24368/Rufus

Posted by ilancaron on 21st April 2008


Rufus at his finest: an excellent set of misleading and satisfying cryptic definitions and some devious wordplay as well. As per usual Rufus’s surfaces are coherent, sensible and, as a result, often hard to crack. Needed to look up a thing or two which is unusual for Rufus as well.

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Posted in Guardian | 30 Comments »

Independent No 6712 by Radian

Posted by NealH on 21st April 2008


*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed

The Independent continued its trend of trying out less well-known compilers for the Monday puzzle. Radian was another new compiler for me, although I don’t know if it’s actually a debut crossword or not. The theme was plants, so how well you fared with the puzzle depended to an extent on how green-fingered you are. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 8 Comments »

Azed 1872: Treading the boards

Posted by jetdoc on 20th April 2008


Quite a pedestrian Azed this week, I thought. Definitely one for those with TEA (or a similar anagram buster) to hand — some obvious anagrams for obscure words, which could be hard work otherwise. Also one for the Caledonians, with lots of Scottish words (I will be attending MCC vs Scotland at Lord’s on Monday, by the way. Will I get a chance to use ‘splatch’? Maybe, given the weather forecast.).

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Posted in Azed | 6 Comments »

Guardian 24,337 (Sat 5 Apr)/Taupi – Double trouble

Posted by rightback on 19th April 2008


Solving time: 11:40

This puzzle had a theme of 12 double word phrases, where the second word in one phrase was the first in the next. Starting with 9ac, these were BLANK, CARTRIDGE, PAPER, TIGER, SNAKE, PIT, STOP, SHORT, CIRCUIT, BOARD, GAME, POINT and back to BLANK, and the definitions in each clue were to the relevant phrase and not the individual words. Very clever indeed, and although this isn’t really my type of puzzle and so I didn’t enjoy this as much as a normal crossword by this setter, I’m sure others will say the opposite.

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Posted in Guardian | 9 Comments »