Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for November, 2010

Guardian Quiptic nº 575, by Pan

Posted by Stella on 22nd November 2010


An entertaining puzzle from Pan, with some delightful surfaces and a variety of resources.

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Posted in Guardian Quiptic | 8 Comments »

Independent 7520 by Poins

Posted by nmsindy on 22nd November 2010


A pseudonym that I do not recall seeing before.       A pleasing puzzle that I found was very easy by Indy standards, solving time, 13 mins.

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Posted in Independent | 10 Comments »

Guardian 25,174 / Rufus

Posted by Eileen on 22nd November 2010


It’s Monday,  it’s Rufus, with the usual elegant mix of story-telling anagrams and cryptic and double definitions. I have one real quibble, which I think is a typographical error and / or editorial oversight.

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Posted in Guardian | 41 Comments »

Private Eye/Cyclops 430 – Central skulduggery

Posted by beermagnet on 22nd November 2010


I’m well aware that when we bloggers baldly present the answers and wordplay it can make the solving process seem all too easy. But for some of us our calm exterior belies frantic activity, like a head sticking out of a pool while the legs are treading water like the clappers underneath.
Take for example 8A ALGEBRA: I realized most of the wordplay, but hadn’t understood the definition and thought “putting on” was an insertion indicator. So I tried to put (ALEG)* inside BRA. I have things like BALEGRA and BREGALA pencilled in the margin.
Then there’s the clumsy error that causes trouble: I quickly and gleefully got 6D CRACKLE – then wrote it in the space for 8A. I had an otherwise blank top-right corner till I sorted that out.
I have given up using a pen – pencil only for me.

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Posted in Private Eye/Cyclops | 5 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 1083 by Quixote

Posted by flashling on 21st November 2010


My first blog against any of Don’s crosswords I believe. He’s said his Quixote persona tries not to be too hard. I do remember a Duck(?) in the saturday magazine involving Pi which no-one got. Still here we go.

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Posted in Independent | 4 Comments »

Azed 2007

Posted by ilancaron on 21st November 2010


I note that I totally skipped Azed 2000 — I should probably take a look at it (I’ve been slightly busy).  This one was done over a few days while waiting for long builds.
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Posted in Azed | 6 Comments »

Everyman 3346

Posted by Stella on 21st November 2010


I enjoyed this, a fairly typical Everyman, despite initial technical difficulties, which I find have now been ironed out


1. Long for high praise

Aspire                     *PRAISE, + &lit?

4. In state, vicious hook having caught the Parisienne mother

Oklahoma             *HOOK round LA (‘the’ in French)

+ MA

9. Is to go ashore in Tasmania, perhaps

Island IS + LAND (=’go ashore’)

10. Hit man when given cheek at home

Assassin                AS (=’when’) =SASS (=’cheek’ )

+ IN (=’home’)

11. First to test new footwear in musical

Tea for two           T(est) + *FOOTWEAR

13. Live with wife in small wooden hollow

Dwell                     W(ife) in DELL

14. Fascinating period knitting together

Spellbinding        SPELL (= ‘period’) + BINDING

18. City in Maine has poster showing lighthouse location

Portland Bill       PORTLAND + BILL

The Dorset location of this lighthouse

21.Titled lady losing first two in game of skill

Chess                    (du)CHESS

22. Bananas in a hot pie for African national

Ethiopian             *IN A HOT PIE

24. Culinary herb used in Spanish province, mostly

Tarragon                TARRAGON(a), in Catalonia,

Delicious with fish, and in Béarnaise sauce

25. Figure of speech making one inside grin

Simile                      I in SMILE

I find the word order of the clue a bit odd, though perhaps necessary for the wordplay

26. Tentative, male model visiting social worker

Hesitant                 HE + SIT + ANT

27. At which one may have served before returning

Tennis                     cd.


1. A rigorous appraisal dictates changes

Acid test                  *DICTATES

2. Greatly shocked, European given the sack

Poleaxed                   POLE + AXED

3. Call round for drummer

Ringo                         RING + O

5. Sign of betrayal with fatal consequences?

Kiss of death             cd.

6. Left group, one used in commercial

Abandoned                BAND + ONE in AD

7. Involved story about eastern native

Oyster                        *STORY round E

For “oyster” = “native”, see the discussion here:

8. A service provided by elderly poet

Arnold                        A + R(oyal) N(avy) + OLD

Presumably, this poet, cultural critic and sage writer:

12. A mass of feathery seeds, lots the wind scattered

Thistledown              *LOTS THE WIND

15. Be quick to appear intelligent

Look smart                 dd.

16. Discord in military unit

Division                       dd.

17. Battlefield – force touches down without hesitation

Flanders                       F(orce) + LANDS around ER

19. A short stop

Scotch                           tichy dd.

20. Bride’s lost in wreck

Débris                          *BRIDE’S

23.Express an opinion in a shop in Ely

Opine                            hidden in ‘shOP IN Ely’

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Posted in Everyman | 8 Comments »

Guardian 25,167 (Sat 13 Nov)/Araucaria – Juncture repair job

Posted by rightback on 20th November 2010


Solving time: 38 mins

This very impressive construction may have had the most involved preamble I’ve seen in the Guardian. Essentially, half the clues led to two answers differing by either the first or last letter, and the right selections had to be made to allow all 26 letters of the alphabet to appear in the perimeter.

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Posted in Guardian | 34 Comments »

Enigmatic Variations 940 – Accomplished Solvers by Kruger

Posted by Gaufrid on 20th November 2010


I did not expect to be covering this puzzle and so I am writing this nearly two weeks after solving and my memory of the Sunday before last is now rather dim. I do remember that it was one of my quicker EV solves (<1 hour) because a lot of the misprints seemed quite obvious and I deduced what needed to be done to the non-misprint clues before the message formed by the correct letters was complete.

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Posted in Enigmatic Variations | 1 Comment »

Independent 7513 by Math (Saturday 13 Nov)

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 20th November 2010


Solving time: 17:13

It was fairly obvious from the grid that a theme was likely here – the puzzle is about Civil Rights in its US meaning, with CIVIL RIGHTS and four associated people appearing in the grid.

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Posted in Independent | 3 Comments »

Sloggers and Betters 7

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 19th November 2010


I’m announcing this rather later than usual, for which I apologise. For two reasons, S & B 7 will take place on Wednesday 1st December.

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Posted in Announcements | 21 Comments »

Financial Times 13,547 / Bradman

Posted by shuchi on 19th November 2010


Many roundabout definitions today to add zest to our solving, such as  ‘where Spanish sailor lands’, ‘least likely to be a beggar’. Also a bigger than usual helping of homophone clues (e.g. 20d, 23d), amusing ones, and a couple of nice long anagrams. All in all a really good puzzle.

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Posted in FT | 7 Comments »

Guardian 25,172 by Araucaria – A Labour of Love

Posted by PeterO on 19th November 2010


The luck of the draw gives me an Araucaria for my first Cryptic blog. Not vintage Araucaria, perhaps, and nothing too difficult (thankfully). It is always satisfying when I can look at 1 Across and solve it cold. Curiously, before getting either of the referenced 19, 10 clues, I had solved more than half the puzzle, including some of those that referenced them.

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Posted in Guardian | 31 Comments »

Independent 7518/Phi

Posted by John on 19th November 2010


The usual excellent crossword from Dac (Phi actually. I’m so used to making statements like this that when it’s 2.30 a.m. and both setters have three letters in their names one slips. But no excuse really.) Unusually nearly all the clues can easily be explained in the almost mathematical way you see below and the others are very simple to parse.

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Posted in Independent | 9 Comments »

Beelzebub 1,081 (07/11/10)

Posted by Simon Harris on 18th November 2010

Simon Harris.

I’ve once again made the mistake of waiting far too long between solving and blogging to really remember much about this one. The lack of scrawls, notes and correction fluid on the grid suggest it went pretty smoothly compared to recent weeks, yet there are some absolutely genius clues in there.

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Posted in Beelzebub | 2 Comments »