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Archive for July 29th, 2010

Inquisitor 1135 – Six further on, by Quixote

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 29th July 2010


This was pretty much the opposite experience of the Raich puzzle with the World Cup theme. The thematic content was a ‘anagram and one letter change’ 7-letter word chain, the first and last words of which came from extra letters in across clue wordplay, and the rest from unclued answers. The chain turned out to be: STEPHEN, PESANTE, PEASANT, NAMASTE, AMENTAL, MATINAL, MATILDA. Apart from Stephen and Matilda being names, this sequence didn’t suggest much. Google searches after completing the grid revealed that England’s only King Stephen came to the throne in 1135 (the puzzle number). He was married to one Matilda, and replaced another Matilda as monarch – my guess is that the Matilda of this puzzle is his wife, as the natural word ladder treatment of the other seems to be a change from MATILDA to STEPHEN rather than the other way. The note from Mike Laws below tells me that with more careful research I’d have discovered that the Empress Matilda from whom he took the throne replaced him (at least briefly) in 1141 (1135 plus 6), so the puzzle’s title is about more than the word chain, and the order of the word chain DOES relate to the theme. Over the next 17 years or so, I guess we can expect to see more puzzles based on this kind of theme, though I’d expect the thematic treatment in some to be more closely related to the theme – here, the only link I can see is the match in length of the names STEPHEN and MATILDA. I finished up a bit unhappy with the puzzle because (with my incomplete research) there was no real penny-drop moment, though I can see that for people with better historical knowledge, there could have been one.

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Posted in Inquisitor | 8 Comments »

Financial Times 13,450 – Falconry

Posted by smiffy on 29th July 2010


Another bout of Falconry for the Thursday slot.  Progress seemed a little too easy in parts, with the gradient never getting beyond a gentle slope, but I did particularly enjoy 9A and 19D along the way.

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Posted in FT | 9 Comments »

Independent 7421 by Phi

Posted by nmsindy on 29th July 2010


I found this a quite easy puzzle from Phi, solving time 16 mins, with 4 answers in the NW corner taking the final 6 mins after I managed the rest in a very quick time indeed for me, 10 mins.

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Posted in Independent | 11 Comments »

Guardian 25075 / Orlando

Posted by mhl on 29th July 2010


I’ve mentioned a couple of grumbles below, but overall I thought this was an enjoyable (and mostly quite easy) solve

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Posted in Guardian | 32 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 1067 by Quixote – 25 July 2010

Posted by Handel on 29th July 2010


We are proud to say that we raced through this one, and although we didn’t time ourselves, we had only drunk half of our pints before finishing it!

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Posted in Independent | 2 Comments »

Financial Times 13,441 – Dante

Posted by Uncle Yap on 29th July 2010

Uncle Yap.

Monday Prize Crossword on 19 July 2010
Mr Smoothie is back again with his unique brand of slick surface and economy of words for his clues. Very few wasted words and yet so smooth, the surfaces

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Posted in FT | No Comments »

Financial Times 13,440 by Cincinnus

Posted by Pete Maclean on 29th July 2010

Pete Maclean.

Prize puzzle from the Weekend FT of July 10
Here’s another puzzle with a slew of great Cincinnusian clues. How about 27A (ELDER) and 10A (PRISONERS)? Just brilliant. And I marvel at the inventiveness of clues for such simple words as TALK (20A) and SHELL (7D).

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Posted in FT | No Comments »