Posted by Andrew on 29th March 2009
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.