Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for May, 2008

Guardian 24399 Paul : “Render Bender”

Posted by neildubya on 27th May 2008

neildubya.

Pretty straightforward Paul today, but full of fun.

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Posted in Guardian | 20 Comments »

Independent 6743/Dac

Posted by John on 27th May 2008

John.

What’s Dac doing on a Tuesday? Something’s afoot. Oh yes, today must be special – look at the outer unches – in which case many congratulations.

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Posted in Independent | 12 Comments »

Financial Times 12778 / Highlander

Posted by C G Rishikesh on 27th May 2008

C G Rishikesh.

Quite an easy crossword that I finished in just ten minutes. A beginner-level puzzle with simple words and uncomplicated and rather familiar wordplay.

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Posted in FT | 4 Comments »

Guardian 24398/Rufus – should have stayed in bed

Posted by ilancaron on 26th May 2008

ilancaron.

Somewhat patchy Rufus — some doubtful cryptic definitions but elsewhere some clever misdirections. I’m writing this up through the fog of a migraine so no promises as to quality. In retrospect, I wonder why I got up so early to do this. Wasn’t really worth it. On reading the comments below, I feel I must have let my migraine-induced grumpiness get the better of me.  There are some nice clues here indeed: 5A, 18A, 20A — I found 26A and 19D transparent but i can understand their appeal (on the other hand, I am often mystified by allusions that others find obvious…).

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Posted in Guardian | 15 Comments »

Independent 6742 – Eimi / Bank Holiday Fun

Posted by tilsit on 26th May 2008

tilsit.

Solving time: 24 minutes

A good stiff Bank Holiday mental workout. A very entertaining curate’s egg of a puzzle for me in that i really liked some clues, but one or two definitions seemed a bit “loose” to me. 10 across’ definition is an example. Correct, I suppose, but inadequate to me. Incidentally, I can’t find a cartoon dog named Tom ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_dogs ), was this a misprint for Cat?.

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Posted in Independent | 10 Comments »

Private Eye/Cyclops 365 – I will survive

Posted by beermagnet on 26th May 2008

beermagnet.

This was most enjoyable.

Across
6 NOAH NO-AH “Flood survivor” I had a real blank on this one. I expect it was just me. It ended up being the last in. I left it at N?A? but saw it immediately when I looked a while later. Nice clue.
7 COLOSTOMY CO (MOSTLY O)*
11 IAGO I-A-GO One-on-one giving I and A Naughty boy.
13 GOVERNMENT (GNOME TV ER N)* Gnome enterprises of all sorts are controlled by the legendery Lord Gnome, supremo of The Eye
15 TREMOR T(REM)OR ROT< about R.E.M The Chinese might dispute “tremor” being synonymous with “tingle”.
17 COHORT COO and HRT interwoven (“before and partly during”) I liked this and was surprised and pleased when the answer popped out using the wordplay
20 ADAM AND EVE ADA MAN D EVE Cockey slang for believe, i.e. credit
23/12 ONCE OVER ON C[ivil] E[ngineer] [l]OVER
24 COWPUNCHER COW PUNCH ER I had the check that a C is a cowboy (“He’s often mounted”)
25 BRASSIERE BR ASS IE RE Re is an alternative to Ray in the Solfa scale
26 BERK BERK[s]
 
Down
1 IN CLOVER LOVE (“really enjoy”) inside INCR (“solvent briefly” in the money sense)
2 LABOUR (BAL[f]OUR)* We’ve seen the “F-off” technique used before, it still raises a smile.
3 CONCAVE (CAN)* inside COVE (“old bloke”)
4/22 DOGSBODY DOGS BODY
5 IMOGEN [l]IMO GEN[t] Despite using the general “Girl” as a definition, this gets the favourite clue award:
Girl, fancy car, top off, bloke getting end away (6)
8 TRIUMPH PM (“Brown”) and later I (“Cyclops”) inside HURT (“sting”) all reversed (“mounted”)
9 HANGER-ON HANGER (NO)*
14 RACKED UP [c]RACKED UP On first reading the clue implied to me the “opposite” wordplay to that required. I was wondering how “Raked up” apparently meant “burst into laughter” before parsing it as shown:
Burst into laughter when Conservatives’ leader goes “Accumulated points” (6,2)
16/10 MEMBERS ALLOWANCES
18 REDNECKS NECK inside REDS
19 NETWORK (WET)* inside NORK is Nork a particularly Aussie term? Well known enough in the UK now anyway.
21 DONORS CD
22 BUCKET BUCKE[d i]T This is the trickiest in the puzzle, I hope I’ve parsed it aright. It would’ve been the last in if I hadn’t suffered Noah-blindness. The answer is clearly bucket as you kick the bucket when you die, I’ve assumed the last phrase is the definition, the middle “kicked it” gives “bucked it” and the first “Di going spare” indicates removal of “di”. If so, all very clever but there is no way anyone would use such wordplay to discover the answer:
Di going spare, kicked it, Di kicked it (6)
24 CHIT C HIT

Posted in Private Eye/Cyclops | 4 Comments »

Azed 1877: Take a bow

Posted by jetdoc on 25th May 2008

jetdoc.

Very much at the easy end of the Azed spectrum (I hope that doesn’t upset anyone). I don’t know how long this took me, as I don’t time myself and I’m usually multi-tasking (in this case, I was drying my hair in preparation for day 4 of the test match at Lord’s; but you don’t need to know that). Anyway, I’d guess that I have never completed an Azed more quickly than this one.

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Posted in Azed | 6 Comments »

Guardian 24,391/Araucaria – Herbal medicine

Posted by rightback on 24th May 2008

rightback.

Solving time: 45 mins

This was the hardest Guardian prize puzzle for ages and I thought for a while that I was going to fail it completely, with less than half of the grid filled. Eventually I realised that ‘nick of time’ at 22dn was incorrect, and after that I started to make some slow progress. A few clues I’m not keen on, but probably no more than usual for this setter.

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Posted in Guardian | 8 Comments »

FT 12,775/ Sleuth

Posted by smiffy on 23rd May 2008

smiffy.

With apologies for the later than usual posting.  Nothing desperately troublesome in this puzzle.
Given the grid structure, I was half expecting some sort of Nina message to emerge in the outside columns.  That possibility looked promising at first (with IS CLA…) but turned out to be wishful thinking on my part.

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Posted in FT | 2 Comments »

Independent 6735/Morph

Posted by neildubya on 23rd May 2008

neildubya.
Across
6 MA,(HID)* – MAHDI (“Guided one”) was the prophesied redeemer of Islam. MA is the Internation Vehicle Registration (IVR) for Morocco.
9 (MESSY ST)* – SYSTEMS.
10 ANDOVER – DNA is “AND over”.
11 (MAN HURT BY)* – URBAN MYTH
12 AUNTS – “relations” looks like the definition but I don’t get the wordplay: “Targets for abuse, without friends”.
13 (DEVIL AT PARTY TO)* – TOTAL DEPRAVITY.
21 RETAKE in CAR
26 G,[-?]AY,RIGHT,S – not sure which word is indicated by “guillotined vote” – ?AY.
 
Down
1 MOSQUITO – not sure if this is right but it fits the potential definition “high-pitched sound emanates from this”. Don’t understand the rest of the clue though.
2 LAST,BUT NOT,LE[-wis]A,ST – somewhat convoluted clue but it all fits together smoothly enough. “Ton up rival” is (Jenson) BUTTON (with the last three letters reversed), a F1 racing driver touted as a potential British world champion until Lewis Hamilton came along.
3 STERN – which is not where a figurehead on a boat would go
4 STY in (LINE)* – IN STYLE.
5 (HANGS)*,ER – does the Queen actually breed corgis? I thought she just kept them?
7 HAVEN,(COURT)*, IT in KWH – HAVE NO TRUCK WITH.
8 I[-a]NRUSH
14 (LOVE TYING)* – LONGEVITY.
17 ETCHING – is this a reference to the euphemistic phrase “come up to see my etchings”?
18 CURSOR-Y – that’s the mouse on your computer, which can control your cursor.
22 TUTS,I

Posted in Independent | 21 Comments »

Inquisitor 72 — Neighbours by Lato

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 23rd May 2008

Colin Blackburn.

I nearly didn’t finish this puzzle. I was a page turn from giving up despite having completed the grid. I had no idea what the theme was and with a couple of ambiguous answers from the misprinted definitions I was uncertain that I had a correct grid. I reasoned that if I understood the theme then I would be able to resolve the ambiguities.

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Posted in Inquisitor | 9 Comments »

Independent 6740 / Phi – Elegant Stuff

Posted by tilsit on 23rd May 2008

tilsit.

Solving time: 22 minutes

The usual high-calibre fare we have come to expect from Phi. Lots of clever clues and a smattering of new words. I was interested to see 3 down in Chambers, as I assumed it was one of those dreadful phrases imported from across the Big Pond.

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Posted in Independent | 8 Comments »

Guardian 24396/Audreus – men are chesspieces

Posted by ilancaron on 23rd May 2008

ilancaron.

The only HELMSLEY I know is the very wealthy NYC socialite Leona who I think recently died and was not well-loved in America. Well, I didn’t actually know her.
Across Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 18 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 953 by Quixote (18 May 2008)

Posted by nmsindy on 22nd May 2008

nmsindy.

Quite easy, I found, solving time 13 mins.

* = anagram

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Posted in Independent | No Comments »

FINANCIAL TIMES No. 12,774 Set by Orense

Posted by Octofem on 22nd May 2008

Octofem.

FINANCIAL TIMES No: 12,774  Set by  ORENSE , May 22, 2008

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Posted in FT | 1 Comment »