Fifteensquared

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Archive for March, 2009

Azed 1920 – tough one

Posted by Andrew on 22nd March 2009

Andrew.

An Azed of above-average difficulty this time, with I think what must be a higher-than-usual proportion of rare and obscure words, though in many cases the woprdplay was helpful in leading to the answer. I hope anyone who was encouraged to try Azed by Peter’s excellent “how-to” blog last week isn’t too discouraged by this one.

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Posted in Azed | 6 Comments »

Guardian 24,647 (Sat 14 Mar)/Araucaria – Twin pity

Posted by rightback on 21st March 2009

rightback.

Solving time: A couple of days (10dn and 14dn wrong).

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Posted in Guardian | 11 Comments »

Guardian 24652 – Araucaria

Posted by manehi on 20th March 2009

manehi.

Really struggled with this at first, but almost got there in the end – couldn’t get 7dn without cheating. Not sure I have time now to do all of the clues justice, but I liked a lot of them.

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Posted in Guardian | 25 Comments »

Financial Times 13,030 / Alberich

Posted by Gaufrid on 20th March 2009

Gaufrid.

What can I say!? For me an almost perfect crossword with excellent surfaces for virtually all the clues, a pleasing degree of variety and a good balance between ‘starter’ clues and the more difficult ones. There are too many good clues for me to list them all here but I will mention 6a which, though it was easy to solve, reads so smoothly and 3d for the use of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. Though it took a little longer than usual, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience solving this puzzle.

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Posted in FT | 4 Comments »

Beelzebub 995 (15/03/09)

Posted by Simon Harris on 20th March 2009

Simon Harris.

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

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Independent 6,997 by Phi

Posted by Simon Harris on 20th March 2009

Simon Harris.

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

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Posted in Independent | 12 Comments »

Independent 6992/Nimrod (Prize puzzle 16-03-09)

Posted by neildubya on 20th March 2009

neildubya.
Across
7/25/4 NINE TILL FIVE – “when on duty” is the def, and “Norma Bolton” is a reference to the clue numbers of those answers – 9d and 5d respectively.
8 (I FOUND CLUE)* – FLUID OUNCE
11 THREE TIMES THREE – “Crowds” for THREE and THREE is a nice touch (“three’s a crowd”) but I’m not keen on the surface reading.
12 S(HINDI)G
13 S(ANT)AFE – SANTA FE
14 HELEN WILLS MOODY – Helen of Troy had, according to Christopher Marlowe, a “face that launched a thousand ships”.
17 MUD BATH – I did wonder for a while whether ICE might have been a band in the 70s.
20 CHARGED – must be a double def I guess.
22 MILLY-MOLLY-MANDY – can’t fathom this one out at all: “Children’s favourite with silly lolly – handy 3000 for old heads”. “Silly lolly” probably indicates anagram fodder but that’s as far as I can get.
24 D(ASK,A,PIT)AL – DAS KAPITAL.
 
Down
1 S,[-r]ETINU[-e] (going up) – UNITES.
2 (LET IN AIR)* – INERTIAL
3 FLYING FISH – “Fly Fishing” is the fictional book by the fictional J R Hartley in the much-parodied Yellow Pages ads from the 1980s. For readers too young to know what I’m on about or those not in possession of an idiot-box: Youtube is your friend.
5 BOLT-ON
6 (EM CEE TRY)* – CEMETERY
9 hidden in “paraNORMAl”
10 LEAD-ON
13 SAL,T,CELLAR – is SAL an abbreviation for “salmon”.
14 H(MEMO<)ADE[-s] – HOMEMADE. Nicely disguised split between def and wordplay in “Hell’s Kitchen produced this”
15 (AS IM MA)* – MIASMA
16 ORGAN,DIE – I wondered how “long” could be DIE but then the phrase “to die for” came to mind – perhaps that what it’s referring to?
18 D,ALES – “d ales” could be 500 ales.
19 ANYWAY – “all roads lead to Rome”.
21 (LADY DO)* – DAY-OLD. “Thrilled” seems to be stretching things as an anagram indicator.
23 O,BIT – an angler’s bad day might be one where “nothing bit”.

Posted in Independent | 11 Comments »

Enigmatic Variations 853: Deepest Affections by Kruger

Posted by Dave Hennings on 20th March 2009

Dave Hennings.

Clues were given in alphabetical order and had to be entered where they would fit in the grid. When arranged in convetional order the initial letters would give instructions, and you then had to show complete understanding of the theme and express DEEPEST AFFECTIONS in three words to be entered below the grid. I immediately felt a bit apprehensive about this last step, and I was almost proved right to feel so.

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Inquisitor 115 – In Memoriam by Schadenfreude

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 19th March 2009

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: about 2 hours, with reference help

This puzzle presented thematic material in a novel way in the grid, and from each clue. We were told that the perimeter contained a writer and his description of what his works were about. Letters to be removed from each clue before solving provided four of his works (short of an initial “The”). We also had to highlight the writer’s name and “sixteen other symmetrically disposed cells”. The letters dropped from clues always left real words behind – which seems a neater piece of work than the common “wordplay leads to answer plus the extra letter I need”. It was soon clear that various answers (8 of them, it turned out) were too long for their grid entries. I should have seen immediately that these were connected somehow to the 16 squares to shade, but missed that until nearly the end.

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Posted in Inquisitor | 6 Comments »

Independent 6996 by Mordred

Posted by nmsindy on 19th March 2009

nmsindy.

This was a marvellous crossword, many thanks, Mordred. Great clues all through, very difficult (solving time, 53 mins) but very satisfying to finish. There’s also quite a subtle Nina (hidden message not necessary for solving). I refer to this after the clue explanations.

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Posted in Independent | 8 Comments »

Guardian 24,651/Paul

Posted by Andrew on 19th March 2009

Andrew.

Either this was a very difficult puzzle, or I just wasn’t on Paul’s wavelength today. It took me ages to get started, and things didn’t get much better even when I’d finally got a few answers. A real struggle, and as a result not as enjoyable as Paul usually is, but again maybe it’s just me.
Key:
dd = double definition
cd = cryptic definition
* = anagram
< = reverse

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Posted in Guardian | 51 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 996 by Quixote (15 March 2009)

Posted by nmsindy on 19th March 2009

nmsindy.

I find Quixote the easiest of the Indy setters – I solved this in 11 mins.    I recommend it, along with Everyman in the Observer, to those thinking of first dipping their toes in the waters of the cryptic puzzle.

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Posted in Independent | No Comments »

Financial Times 13,029/Flimsy

Posted by smiffy on 19th March 2009

smiffy.

I hope that my appraisal of this puzzle is not jaundiced by having solved it in something of an already bleary-eyed mood. I found this to be an balanced  blend of innovative ideas, intermixed with some clearly-telegraphed anagram fodder. The NW corner proved to be a mini-battle of attrition at the end for me.

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Posted in FT | 5 Comments »

Financial Times 13,020 – Cincinnus

Posted by Uncle Yap on 19th March 2009

Uncle Yap.

Monday Prize Crossword 9th March 2009

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Financial Times 13,019 by Cinephile

Posted by Pete Maclean on 19th March 2009

Pete Maclean.

FT Weekend prize puzzle from March 7
Cinephile brings us a mix of some clever clues (23A, 25A, 26A, 15D), some pedestrian ones (1D), a couple of familiar ones (15A, 17D) and a daring one (24A) for what I thought was a very satisfying puzzle.

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Posted in FT | 2 Comments »