Fifteensquared

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Archive for January 30th, 2009

Financial Times 12,988 / Bradman

Posted by Gaufrid on 30th January 2009

Gaufrid.

I found this generally up to Bradman’s usual high standard, with some good clues, but unfortunately there appears to be one significant error (4a). I am also not too happy with the wordplay in 22a.
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Posted in FT | 7 Comments »

Independent 6,955/Phi

Posted by Ali on 30th January 2009

Ali.

A very quick solve for me on this one, but equally a very enjoyable one. I’ve been trying my hand at writing a few puzzles of my own of late and there’s so much good stuff in this puzzle from which to learn. Effortlessly neat and elegant clues with barely an ounce of fat on any of ‘em. Excellent work, Phi.

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Posted in Independent | 4 Comments »

Guardian 24,610/Arachne

Posted by Andrew on 30th January 2009

Andrew.

A fairly tricky puzzle from Arachne which I’ve been intermittently struggling with all morning in between trying to get some work done. Some nice clues, but I think 4dn is very poor, and I can’t see how 19dn works. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 50 Comments »

Independent 6950/Tees (Prize Puzzle 24-01-09)

Posted by neildubya on 30th January 2009

neildubya.

A very enjoyable puzzle which I found pretty tough in places. I doubt I would have got 10 at all without Google and I’m still not sure about 4. Good fun though – my favourite clues were 26, 27, 1d and 9. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 7 Comments »

Enigmatic Variations 846 Three Fours by Jophu

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 30th January 2009

Colin Blackburn.

Jophu is another new setter to me so I didn’t know what to expect with this one. The clues were normal and, as it turned out, fairly straightforward. There were some very easy clues here with parts of the word play appearing en claire in the clue. This helped with getting quite a few entries into the grid and noticing that the checking letters didn’t help with some of the more stubborn clues. Luckily the easy, but very good, anagram at 48 and most of its checking letters suggested deleting the letters HAMLET. The unclued 28 then leapt out and baring the odd sticking point everything fell into place quite quickly. The error in the grid at 16 fooled me for a bit as I saw an unnumbered entry and missed the actual clue for a while. examining the rows above and below the central row the message turned out to be: REMOVE SHAKESPEARE CHARACTER(S) (though UNNEST could work in place of REMOVE but it wasn’t as cleverly hidden). I was greatly helped in this puzzle by an excellent book, Exit, Pursued by a Bear by Louise McConnell. This concise encyclopaedic guide to all of Shakespeare’s work lists all the characters down to non-speaking cameos. For future reference it has synopses of all the plays and lots of other information for the less literate crossword solver such as me. Oh, and it is also available at a remaindered price from the right outlet.

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Posted in Enigmatic Variations | 2 Comments »

Inquisitor 108 SKYLIGHT by Phi

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 30th January 2009

Colin Blackburn.

An excellent puzzle from Phi as usual. The title immediately suggested something either astronomical or related to atmospheric physics. I considered rainbows and halos but eventually, after getting some letters in 44, saw the theme as stellar. The letters in 27 represent the spectral types of the main sequence stars, essentially their temperature or colour. The main sequence is the life-line of your average star. As a star ages it traces a path along this line, represented on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram as a plot against absolute brightness, or some related quantity. I studied this diagram in minute detail for my astrophysics module as part of my physics degree. I knew I could scrape a pass by answering the one question on the H-R diagram well. I did just scrape a pass too. Still, it came in handy here.

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Posted in Inquisitor | 2 Comments »