Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for January, 2009

Financial Times 12,986 / Cinephile

Posted by Gaufrid on 28th January 2009

Gaufrid.

A definite challenge today due to the Oxford College theme and some unfamiliar words. I found it difficult to get into the puzzle until the significance of ‘OC’ emerged and 7a/8d held me up for a while at the end (along with trying to parse 2d). I should have recognised the theme more quickly because there was a similar one some months ago. I have been unable to resolve 2d to my satisfaction (Edit: now sorted, thanks Eileen) and I also wonder about the correct interpretation of 16d.

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Posted in FT | 8 Comments »

Guardian 24608 / Orlando

Posted by mhl on 28th January 2009

mhl.

This was a nice fun puzzle to do – we found this unusually fast to do, and finished it off without needing to resort to external help (which makes a pleasant change :))

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Posted in Guardian | 27 Comments »

Independent 6952/Virgilius

Posted by John on 27th January 2009

John.

The usual nice Virgilius today, but I sense that some of it is passing me by. There was a sinking feeling as I stared at it, quite sure that the usual devilish Virgilius Nina was there, and could see nothing. But as I’ve been doing the blog, it has become a bit clear. Many of the answers are to do with luck, and several clues also. But what’s the whole story? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Independent | 13 Comments »

Guardian 24,607 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on 27th January 2009

Uncle Yap.

dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

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Posted in Guardian | 41 Comments »

Financial Times 12985 / Adamant

Posted by C G Rishikesh on 27th January 2009

C G Rishikesh.

Easy-peasy, with too many anagrams and partial anagrams. A crossword that runs on predictable lines. No clue except 1d excited me.

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Posted in FT | 8 Comments »

Independent 6951 by Punk

Posted by NealH on 26th January 2009

NealH.

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

An enjoyable puzzle that didn’t require vast amounts of general knowledge. There were some excellent surface definitions that appeared utterly bewildering at first glance (particularly 21 down).
Across
9 Epochal: Cope< + Hal.
10 Othello: Hello (magazine) after OT (Old Testament).
11 Yeast: [Baker]y + east.
12 Beelzebub: Bee + zebu in lb.
13 Ego: Go after [avenu]e.
14 Hummingbird: Humming + bird (in the prison sense).
17 Lateral Thinking: Kin in later Althing. The Althing is the Icelandic parliament (which, coincidentally, is mentioned several times in an article about Iceland).
20 Bearskin rug: (sure barking)*.
22 Yam: May<, although May as a synonym for spring seems a bit dubious.
23 Moonlight: Moo (low in its bovine sense) + first letter of luminescence in night.
26 Trust: Double definition.
27 On the go: ghent* in OO.
28 Monsoon: Monday soon.
Down
1 Very well: double def.
2 Cosa Nostra: (actor’s son)* over a.
3 Thatcher: last letter of government + hatcher.
4 Club: double def.
5 Come hither: me in (the choir)*.
6 Phizog: Phi + Zog.
7 Flab: Fab around l.
8 Forbid: For bid.
15 Melting pot: E lt in Ming + pot.
16 I kid you not: I kid + youn[g] + o + t.
18 Negating: eating* + ng.
19 Gemstone: MS in get one.
20 Bamboo: Bamb[in]o + o.
21 Solver: Sole around v + r = u (you in text messaging).
24 Otto: This was the only one I thought was a little obscure. It seems to be the palindromic name of a cyclist. The only moderately famous one I can find is Dag Otto, although there might be someone else.
25 Tome: Self-addressed = to me.

Posted in Independent | 6 Comments »

Guardian 24,606 (Rufus)

Posted by diagacht on 26th January 2009

diagacht.

A nice easy start to the week with some of the down clues proving just a tad more difficult
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Posted in Guardian | 13 Comments »

Azed 1912 – Happy New Chambers

Posted by Andrew on 25th January 2009

Andrew.

I found this mostly a little below average difficulty, but I think there’s an ambiguity in 1ac and a mistake in the wordplay of 13ac. This is the first Azed where the recommended dictionary is the 2008 edition of Chambers.

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Posted in Azed | 6 Comments »

Guardian 24,599 (Sat 17 Jan)/Araucaria – Auf Wiedersehen Monty

Posted by rightback on 24th January 2009

rightback.

Solving time: 11:45

A sports mini-theme this week, with QUESTION[s] OF SPORT including ANYONE FOR TENNIS, APPEAL and HOW’S THAT. I found this about medium difficulty with some nice clues but one or two dubious surface readings. I’m a little puzzled over 24ac, 5dn and 16dn.

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Posted in Guardian | 6 Comments »

Independent 6,944 by Phi (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 17/01/09)

Posted by Simon Harris on 23rd January 2009

Simon Harris.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

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Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Independent 6949 by Phi

Posted by nmsindy on 23rd January 2009

nmsindy.

I found this very difficult, solving time 46 mins. Thought this was maybe to accommodate a Nina, but so far , despite WAYNE being in the bottom row, all I can see is a pangram i.e. each letter of the alphabet used at least once in the grid. NW corner was particularly difficult.
* = anagram
ACROSS
7 G(r)AZE Was not aware of that meaning of ‘graze’ but dicts confirm.
8 MOLYBDENU M (One dumbly)*
10 WATERLO(o) G
11 AVENUE Very unusual – the letters are in ‘adventure’ and in order but not specified further by e.g. regularly if they were alternate letters which they’re not here of course.
12 SE(X)T ON I liked this. X = ten in Roman numerals
13 T (ROLL) OPE
15 S (TALKING) H ORSE (sore)*
18 IS A (BELL) A Automobile Assocation
20 DAR(l)ING Liked this, heart = middle letter, cryptically
22 (l)EF (FOR) T port = left
24 THOUSAND Clever, K or M can represent 1,000 66% was better than two-thirds which might have given too much away.
25 RADIAL TYRE (trial-ready)* The only across clue solved on first run through.
26 U(sin)G LIme

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Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Inquisitor 107 – Syndrome by Loda

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 23rd January 2009

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: not applicable!

I’d started this puzzle and then left it for a bit with theme undiscovered, when another Inquisitor blogger forwarded me an e-mail about it. This gave away a good chunk of the theme, so this solution is rather assisted. The syndrome is what you probably know as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome – an excess of MSG = monosodium glutamate (the e-mail talked of the MSGs and I didn’t think they were messages for long). But don’t look for “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” in the grid – you need to find KWOK’S DISEASE (alternative name) in the NW-SE diagonal. The symptoms from first letters of extra words are ‘Chest pain, dizziness and flushing’. In the thematic answers, the first occurrence of a section of ‘MSG’ was replaced by MSG.

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Posted in Inquisitor | 1 Comment »

Guardian 24,604 / Enigmatist

Posted by Eileen on 23rd January 2009

Eileen.

I really enjoyed this one and learned a couple of new words, which is always good. Getting most of the long clues early on gave me a good start but there are one or two places where I need help, which I have no doubt will be forthcoming.

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Posted in Guardian | 51 Comments »

FT 12,982/Falcon – Bottoms Up!

Posted by smiffy on 23rd January 2009

smiffy.

To be honest, there was little in this puzzle to get my juices flowing. Too much a sense of simply “going through the motions” in this one.  Just hope everyone is well-versed on the neighbo(u)rhoods of prominent capital cities…

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Posted in FT | 2 Comments »

Enigmatic Variations No. 845 – Pros by Warbler

Posted by Gaufrid on 23rd January 2009

Gaufrid.

We were told that 8 answers had been affected by a quotation in ODQ, and its author, which ran clockwise round the perimeter plus 3 squares in row 2 (see below). The quotation was “We haven’t got the money so we’ve got to think” and the author was ‘E Rutherford‘. Only the ‘lack of money’ part of the quotation applied to the thematic entries. The title of the puzzle had also been thematically affected and was originally ‘Propounds’.

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Posted in Enigmatic Variations | No Comments »