Archive for February, 2010

Azed 1969

Posted by Andrew on 28th February 2010

A puzzle of two halves, I found: I whizzed though about two-thirds very quickly and without aids, then struggled rather more to finish it off. As promised, I’ve done this blog in the style Nick introduced last week. The lateness of this post is mostly due to some (rather unsuccessful) last-minute tinkering with the layout. Comments on the format are welcome (as well as on the blog and the puzzle, of course). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Azed | 6 Comments »

Guardian Genius 80 (February 2010) – Puck

Posted by Andrew on 28th February 2010

I struggled with this puzzle when I first tried it, though getting enough down answers to guess that they all had one or more Bs missing. Then I left it for a couple of weeks, lost my original copy, and when I tried again I got through it in a single session. This was just after I’d blogged Puck’s controversial SpongeBob Squarepants puzzle, so perhaps I was more attuned to Puckishness. The theme is rather cryptically explained in the preamble: “Down solutions must be suitably 14 (TAILORED) in order to be 17, not briefly edited, (BLESSED less ED, so “B-LESS”) before being inserted in the grid.” The last sentence (“Three across clues have solutions that are 17 (BLESSED) and are not further defined.”) refers to three items from the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the Peacemakers/Meek/Pure of heart” (but not the Cheesemakers). In the solutions below I’ve shown the the unmodified version of the downs. The entries in the diagram have the letter B removed wherever it occurs.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 6 Comments »

Everyman 3308

Posted by Arthur on 28th February 2010

Plenty of anagrams this week particularly in the down clues (I count 10 clues containing at least a part anagram). Since these are often the easiest to spot, it should have been quite good going, at least at first, this week but it wasn’t completely plain sailing with a couple of words not necessarily used by most of us on a daily basis – olios and caparison spring to mind. In this sense it was a very nice crossword with an easy “in” but also one where you it was necessary to rely on getting easier answers to have a chance at getting the harder ones. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Everyman | 3 Comments »

Enigmatic Variations No. 902 – Alternative Outcome by kcit

Posted by Gaufrid on 27th February 2010

The preamble seemed quite straightforward, no extra letters etc in the wordplay just the possible modification of six across answers and twelve down ones before entering them in the grid.

Posted in Enigmatic Variations | No Comments »

Financial Times 13,320 / Falcon

Posted by shuchi on 26th February 2010

The usual from Falcon, elegant and not too taxing.

One new word for me, at 24A, nothing too obscure otherwise.

Posted in FT | 3 Comments »

Guardian 24,939 (Sat 20 Feb)/Enigmatist – Criminal record

Posted by rightback on 26th February 2010

Solving time: 14 mins

I don’t think I’ve ever finished a crossword having understood so few of the solutions! It took me at least as long again to fathom them all out. As well as the long quotation starting at 22dn there are several inter-clue references, especially to 17 (CRIMINAL), which always make it harder to get started but I got very lucky by spotting the quotation from the unique enumeration (2,2,2,3,2,2,…).

Posted in Guardian | 38 Comments »

Independent 7,290 by Tees

Posted by Simon Harris on 26th February 2010

A very enjoyable one here. I had expected to say that I found this a bit easier than usual for a Tees, but then I started to struggle towards the end. Still, here we are, though a couple of my explanations might need a second opinion.

Posted in Independent | 15 Comments »

Guardian 24,944 / Bonxie

Posted by Eileen on 26th February 2010

A quite quick second appearance  for  Bonxie this year,  considering we had only four of his / her puzzles last year [thanks, Andrew!]. There was nothing too taxing – some ingenious clues and a few niggles.

Posted in Guardian | 37 Comments »

Beelzebub 1,044 (21/02/10)

Posted by Simon Harris on 26th February 2010

My ongoing quest to complete a whole Beelzebub unaided led to a full grid, yet with a couple of silly errors. Still, a good week and always a pleasure to work out the unfamiliar words from the subsidiary indications.

Posted in Beelzebub | No Comments »

Inquisitor 1113 – Origins by Samuel

Posted by duncanshiell on 26th February 2010

Samuel is a setter I have come across in The Listener and Magpie as well as here in the Inquisitor series.  I have always enjoyed his puzzles.  This was no exception.  Like all good puzzles, a number of different layers were revealed as I went through.

Posted in Inquisitor | 3 Comments »

Independent Prize Puzzle 7285 by Bannsider – Saturday 20 February 2010

Posted by duncanshiell on 26th February 2010

As I only blog Independent puzzles once a month, I don’t have a great deal of experience of individual setters.  A little research though shows that I have solved Bannsider’s puzzles before as he is a Times Setter and also operates as Aragon in The Listener.  I believe he also judges the monthly clue competition in The Times Crossword Club.

Posted in Independent | 12 Comments »

Independent 7,289/Morph

Posted by Ali on 25th February 2010

A nice puzzle from Morph with some great cryptic definitions and humourous touches, as appears to be his wont! I found the NW corner very hard, but overall a very satisfying solve.

Posted in Independent | 9 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 1045 by Quixote – 21st February 2010

Posted by Handel on 25th February 2010

Two unknown words and one unknown spelling made this a tougher challenge for your faithful correspondents. One clue we haven’t successfully parsed.

Posted in Independent | 8 Comments »

Financial Times 13,319 /Orense

Posted by smiffy on 25th February 2010

A paddle in the shallow-end today, with the waters only getting above knee-depth with the slightly obscure – but readily deducible – answer at 17D.  Puns and cryptic standalones seem to feature more heavily than usual. Not necessarily a bad thing per se, but none of them struck me as particularly inspired.

Posted in FT | 5 Comments »

Guardian 24,943 – Paul

Posted by Andrew on 25th February 2010

Quite a tough one from Paul, with some characteristic humour. I don’t fully understand 1 across, and I have some niggles about a couple of other clues.

Posted in Guardian | 47 Comments »