Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for March, 2009

Financial Times 13,039 / Armonie

Posted by Agentzero on 31st March 2009

Agentzero.

Apologies for the late-ish blog.  I was hoping to do this last night before going to bed but the puzzle was not posted on the website at the usual time. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in FT | 2 Comments »

Independent 7,006/Dac

Posted by Ali on 31st March 2009

Ali.

Was it just me being tired from having stayed up late watching The Wire last night, or was some of this quite hard for a Dac puzzle? The middle of the grid didn’t cause me too much bother, but I spent a fair while trying to fill out the bottom corners. Nevertheless, reliably excellent clueing from Dac.

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Posted in Independent | 8 Comments »

Guardian 24,661 – Paul

Posted by Uncle Yap on 31st March 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 | 27 Comments »

Independent 7005 by Radian

Posted by NealH on 30th March 2009

NealH.

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, CD=cryptic def
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Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Guardian 24,660/Araucaria

Posted by Andrew on 30th March 2009

Andrew.

A rare Monday outing for Araucaria, and a puzzle that was mostly fairly easy, though with a couple of shaky definitions and some dubious wordplay. The grid is a bit strange, being almost cut in two horizontally, with only the two long Downs breaking it up. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 26 Comments »

Private Eye/Cyclops 387 – Spluttering bile in springtime

Posted by beermagnet on 30th March 2009

beermagnet.

I enjoyed this and didn’t find it as hard as last time. How hard anyone finds a puzzle must vary not just from puzzle to puzzle and person to person but also depends upon other factors such as your comfort, worries, tiredness, how many pints you are to the good, how many pints you haven’t had, and so on. Last time I did have a struggle, for whatever reason, but looking back at that puzzle now I can understand some of the comments suggesting it was easier than I described. Looking at this one, I’m unsure whether to describe it as easy. It was certainly enjoyable and there are some suitably rude and funny surface readings helped by another clutch of inventive anagram indicators. And I did finish it in one sitting. This time there were no nasty tail-enders hanging on with no score, sometimes overnight, till eventually stumped.
This was under quite idyllic solving conditions – quietly in the garden with the blossom out on an afternoon of a beautiful spring day after with a well earned pint (and another bottle to hand) after giving a couple of hours to turning over the vegetable patch.
This may not be everyone’s experience, and I can well believe there are a couple of clues here that would normally have resisted my attentions longer.

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Posted in Private Eye/Cyclops | 3 Comments »

Azed 1921 – Eightsome Reels

Posted by Andrew on 29th March 2009

Andrew.

The scheduled blogger is unavailable, so I’m acting as sub with this rather brief effort. The “Eightsome Reels” idea was invented by Azed and pops up from time to time. Peter has again given some excellent advice in a previous post, this time specifically on how to fit the words into the grid. Of course, you first have to solve some adjacent clues, and my first success came in the 8/9/14/15 block. Once you get a few answers in the puzzle becomes distinctly easier, with the generous checking. However, it’s noticeable that the answers tend to use the more common letters – I did a little analysis and found the ten letters EILASNTMRO provide over 80% of the 288 letters of the answers, and H, J, K. X and Z aren’t used at all. This tends to make solving the clues harder as there are fewer unusual patterns to catch on to.

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Posted in Azed | 5 Comments »

Guardian 24,653 (Sat 21 Mar)/Gordius – The splice of life

Posted by rightback on 28th March 2009

rightback.

Solving time: 11:08

A rare Saturday outing for Gordius, which I think was of about the same level of difficulty as his occasional weekday puzzles. Some clever stuff here with a good sprinkling of Araucarian looseness. I struggled the most on 20ac (FLAPPED), 17dn (CAPRICCIO) and finally 16ac (SPLICER).

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Posted in Guardian | 16 Comments »

Independent 7003 by Phi

Posted by nmsindy on 27th March 2009

nmsindy.

Quite an easy puzzle from Phi, I thought, getting quite a bit from definitions, verifying wordplay later.    Solving time, 15 mins.

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Posted in Independent | 7 Comments »

Independent 6998/Math (Prize puzzle 21-03-09)

Posted by neildubya on 27th March 2009

neildubya. A fitting theme for a puzzle that appeared the day before 4. A couple of clues make reference to “ladies of tomorrow”, or “ladies celebrated on Sunday”, and there are a number of MUMs, MAs and MAMs scattered through the grid. Finally, the unchecked letters in the first and last columns of the grid spell out PATRICIA MARGARET. If I was to guess, I’d say that may be the name of Math’s Mum. Bless.

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Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Financial Times 13,036 / Viking

Posted by shuchi on 27th March 2009

shuchi.

I found this puzzle tough to start with but it got better when then the anagrams fell into place. 9A and 21A were my favourites, also enjoyed the reversals at 28A and 31A.

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Posted in FT | 6 Comments »

Beelzebub 996 (22/03/09)

Posted by Simon Harris on 27th March 2009

Simon Harris.

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

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Posted in Beelzebub | No Comments »

Guardian 24,658/Logodaedalus

Posted by Andrew on 27th March 2009

Andrew.

Mostly quite a straightforward puzzle today, with some extremely easy clues, though there are a few obscurities that could cause hold-ups. I also seem to have found quite a few nits to pick about some of the clueing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 33 Comments »

Inquisitor 116 — Well Chuffed by Salamander

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 27th March 2009

Colin Blackburn.

A very enjoyable journey from Salamander I was well chuffed with it! The theme turned out to the the SETTLE-CARLISLE LINE, a beautiful and dramatic railway line linking the two towns and travelling along the edge of the Yorkshire Dales passing some of the National Park’s most glorious scenery.

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Posted in Inquisitor | 6 Comments »

Enigmatic Variations No. 854 – Threesome by Ploy

Posted by Gaufrid on 27th March 2009

Gaufrid.

I think Ploy must have a fetish for anagrams, or at least that’s the way it seemed to me when I was solving this puzzle. However, having said that, there were some pleasing surfaces, my favourite being 28d. An easy EV which took over twice as long to blog as it did to solve.

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Posted in Enigmatic Variations | 1 Comment »