Never knowingly undersolved.

Site Feedback

Posted by Admin on December 26th, 2010


This page is where you can provide feedback relating to Fifteensquared or raise issues regarding the website itself.

193 Responses to “Site Feedback”

Pages: « 1 2 3 [4]

  1. 151
    Shenguin Says:

    Why is the Observer Everyman 3,447 26th May published already even though it is a prize crossword and entry has not yet closed?

  2. 152
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Shenguin
    Thanks for the feedback.

    So far as I can see, it isn’t published. It is scheduled for next Sunday, 2nd June. It is possible that the blogger clicked on the ‘publish’ button before changing the date of publication, but then realised his error and rectified it.

    If you can still view the post, or see a reference to it, please let me know, either here or via an email to the Admin address (admin{at}fifteensquared{dot}net).

  3. 153
    james g Says:

    I wonder if you’d mind my saying that I felt some of the banter on Tuesday’s Guardian post was a bit offensive and personal and had very little to do with crosswords. Clearly there’s some history here. But though I do feel there’s often quite a bit of unkind and unhelpful criticism of setters, it all really went well over the line on Tuesday.

  4. 154
    Maurice Kay Says:

    Why can’t I read archive comments from before this summer?

  5. 155
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Maurice
    I’ve checked and, so far as I can tell, all the posts and associated comments since the site’s inception can be accessed either via the category archive, the calendar or the search facility.

  6. 156
    Dewey Says:

    has the mobile site been discontinued? I cannot seem to access it.

  7. 157
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Dewey
    The WPtouch WordPress plug-in, which detects access from a mobile device and alters the display to suit, has had a major update which I installed yesterday evening (~1800 GMT).

    I don’t have the necessary hardware to check it myself but have asked the members of the blogging team who do to let me know if they encounter any problems. So far the feedback has been positive, with no reported errors.

    Please let me know what mobile device you are using to access the site and I will investigate further.

  8. 158
    flashling Says:

    My issue is that you can’t see who the blogger is on the mobile version anymore and some blogs the page layout seems odd, for example the latest Beelzebub it tries to centre justify which looks really weird.

  9. 159
    Gaufrid Says:

    Thanks for the feedback, flashling. I don’t know what is preventing the bloggers name from appearing nor why the Beelzebub is centre justifying. I have checked the post’s source and it is a simple table layout. As there are no ‘align’ instructions in it I would have expected the usual default, ie left justified.

    When there has been a little more time for feedback to come in I will contact the writers of the plug-in to notify them of the errors.

  10. 160
    Mitz Says:

    Mobile version works perfectly for me, and looks great – thanks very much.

  11. 161
    Gaufrid Says:

    Update to #159
    The missing post author has now been rectified. Normally when a plug-in is updated existing settings are retained but in this instance I had to change some of the default settings that had been re-applied.

    The plug-in software developers are now aware of the table formatting problem and have stated that a fix for this, and other bugs, will be found. A new updated version of the plug-in will be made available as soon as possible.

  12. 162
    flashling Says:

    Thanks boss. Be nice if the number of comments could show on the home page too.

  13. 163
    David Hall Says:

    The mobile version has stopped working for me at about the time you did the WordPress upgrade. I am running on a Nexus 7 using latest version of Android. I can now only see the normal website in Chrome. Its not the end of the world but even on a 7 inch screen the mobile version is more user friendly.

  14. 164
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi David @163
    Thanks for the feedback. According to the official documentation, “WPtouch will be active when any of the following user-agents or user-agent combinations are matched:

    iPhone & Mobile, iPod & Mobile, Android & Mobile, BB & Mobile Safari, BlackBerry & Mobile Safari, IEMobile/10.0 & Touch, IEMobile/7.0, IEMobile/9.0, webOS”.

    I will add ‘nexus’ as a custom user-agent but, again quoting from the documentation, “Please note that full functionality is not guaranteed on non-officially supported mobile devices”.

    Please let me know if this has resolved your issue.

  15. 165
    David Hall Says:

    Hello again Gaufrid,

    Your latest change has restored mobile mode on the Nexus; if only more web site managers were so responsive to their users’ needs.

    Whilst I have your attention, I would just like to thank you and your team of bloggers for the enormous pleasure the site has given us over recent years since we retired. We can now give full attention to the Guardian Cryptic every day and the experience is always enhanced by following the words of wisdom, erudition and often wit on the blog. I know you don’t always have an easy time steering a course between some of the conflicting views expressed, but I think you do the job magnificently.

  16. 166
    Trailman Says:

    Just quick congratulations to whoever programmed the new mobile design. It’s much clearer than its predecessor.

  17. 167
    Pelham Barton Says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    I am coming in a bit late to the discussion about the new mobile layout. I agree that it is generally much more pleasant to the eye, but would like to support flashling’s request @162. I like to scan the home page from time to time to see if anything has been added to any of the blogs on which I have commented, and at present it is necessary actually to open each individual page to check this. I have no idea how difficult it would be to add the number of comments to the (mobile) home page, but if it can be done easily I would appreciate it. Again, depending on how difficult it would be to program, it would be nice if the comment numbers could appear as they do on the “full” version of the website, to track cross-references between comments.

    With thanks for your continued hard work in keeping this site a joy to use,


  18. 168
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Pelham
    Thanks for the feedback. The mobile version of the site is generated by a WordPress plug-in which converts the standard display into a more suitable format and I have very little control over what is shown on the home page. I will see if there is a way to include the number of comments but I am not optimistic about finding a solution.

    As for comment numbering within a post, I doubt that this will ever be supported. The WordPress theme that 15² uses is rather old now and on several occasions I have spent quite a bit of time looking for a more up-to-date one. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of themes available but very few include comment numbering, and of those few there have been other factors that rendered them unsuitable. Nested comments, which I strongly dislike, are now the norm and these are problematic to number which is probably why the majority of more recent themes do not do so.

    If the vast majority of themes do not include comment numbering then I think it unlikely that the creators of the WPtouch plug-in will ever provide support for it.

  19. 169
    Pelham Barton Says:

    Thanks Gaufrid – it always helps to know how difficult something would be. I agree that nested comments would be highly undesirable on a site like this.

  20. 170
    flashling Says:

    One more thing the links page appears to not show any links…

  21. 171
    Gaufrid Says:

    Thanks flashling
    I will raise this issue with the plug-in developer. Until it is resolved, if you need a link just switch to desktop view.

  22. 172
    Pelham Barton Says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    Thank you for putting the number of comments on the front page of the mobile view.

    Best wishes


  23. 173
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Pelham @172
    Nothing to do with me. It was a bug that was corrected in the WPtouch plug-in that provides the mobile view. My only involvement was to install the updated version this morning. The ‘display number of comments’ option had been selected previously but did not work.

  24. 174
    Pelham Barton Says:

    Gaufrid @173: In that case, thanks for your honesty – and for having selected the option in the first place.

  25. 175
    Dewey Says:

    Hi Gaufrid,

    The only device I am having problems with is my tablet. It is a Visual Land VL-107 running Android version 4.0.3. Even when I go to the browser settings and choose to identify as a mobile device, I do not get the option to choose “mobile” at the bottom of the page.

    Interestingly, this only affects the Opera “Classic” browser (which I predominantly use because it is the only browser which renders the Guardian crossword grids properly) and Chrome. The native Android browser works normally and displays the mobile site with the “mobile/desktop” buttons at the bottom.

    Perhaps an easy solution is to display the “mobile” option on the bottom of the page regardless of the device type? Or to allow explicit request for mobile in the URL (i.e. “”)?

    Thanks for your attentiveness and especially for the website. My solving skills have greatly improved thanks to the bloggers.

  26. 176
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Dewey

    Thanks for the feedback. Please see my comment #164 for the list of user agents that are currently supported by the WPtouch plug-in that converts the standard, desktop version of the site to one that is better suited to mobile devices. You will note that Opera and Chrome are not included, whereas Android is, which would explain your findings.

    I can add other user agents to the custom list once I know what they are. Would you mind accessing the following site using Opera (and then Chrome if you are likely to use it) and then emailing me the result(s) ( admin{at}fifteensquared{dot}net )? Once I have the user agent information I will add it to the custom list.

  27. 177
    Dave Ellison Says:

    Just a small point: why do the links to this Site Feedback and the General Discussion pages go through an intermediary “here” link?

  28. 178
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Dave @177
    I can only include a ‘page’, not a ‘post’, in the menu bar. When I had comments enabled on a ‘page’ entitled General Discussion or Site Feedback there were many spam comments added, which I had to wade through each day to check for false positives.

    When spam comments are added to a ‘post’, I can, and have, set the spam filter (Akismet) to automatically delete them if the ‘post’ is over three days old, something I cannot do with a ‘page’. So I decided to close the ‘page’ to comments, hence no spam, but instead provide a link to a ‘post’ that Akismet can deal with.

    To put this into context, the site has received over 2,600,000 spam comments since its inception, with a peak in 2011 of nearly 1,000,000 in one year. I have taken various steps to reduce this unwanted load on the server, and my time, so that we are currently running at just over half that number of spam comments each year. Automatically deleting those on ‘posts’ over three days old means that I only have to view a few, if any, each morning when I first log-in instead of 100-200+.

  29. 179
    Mick O'Brien Says:

    My wife and are working our way through old Guardian cryptics, and often need to consult Fifteensquared for explanations.

    However, we have found we can access these only by repeatedly clicking “Previous Entries”, as entering the puzzle number in the search box doesn’t work. Is there any way we can find these old entires more quickly?

  30. 180
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Mick @179
    The search facility should enable you to find old puzzles quickly by entering the puzzle number. However, you may need to try this twice, both with and without the comma, eg 26,151 and 26151, because the numbering in the puzzle title varies depending on who has blogged it.

  31. 181
    grimalkin Says:

    I am trying to post a comment on todays FT crossword but the site won’t accept my catcha ie 6+4=10. This is very frustrating !

  32. 182
    chas Says:

    I am looking for the blog on Guardian Prize 26214 published on 22-Mar. So far I have been unsuccessful. When will you have it?

  33. 183
    NeilW Says:

    chas, mhl published it on Friday – (I responded because I thought the deadline rules must have changed.) I checked back a few hours later, when the UK had woken up, and the blog had been pulled. It seems that somebody forgot to reinstate it. Gaufrid?

  34. 184
    Chas Says:

    Thanks NeilW.
    Please enlighten me: what is mhl?

  35. 185
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Chas
    mhl is the blogger’s pseudonym. NeilW is right about yesterday but unfortunately, instead of rescheduling the post to appear early this morning, mhl reverted it to a draft. I tried to contact him at around breakfast time to see if there was a reason for this, thinking that perhaps he wanted to edit the post.

    I have been busy since then and have only just returned to find that there has been no reply and no action taken. I will publish the blog, as is, very shortly.

    Correction, while I was typing the last sentence a reply from mhl arrived.

    My apologies for the late appearance of this blog.

  36. 186
    chas Says:

    Thanks to mhl for the blog. You explained a couple where I had the right answer but not the parsing.

    I also found this one was solved pretty quickly for a prize.

  37. 187
    chas Says:

    1) Thanks to Gaufrid for getting the blog published
    2) I was going to complain that my post was refused with error message (something like) “you put the wrong value in the captcha” but I see that my post has been added here!

  38. 188
    ValM Says:

    Could you remove comment 29 (currently the last) on the blog for Guardian 26266? It refers to another crossword, I have a horrible suspicion it’s 26267, which I’m about to start, and contains lots of the answers, so being a spoiler on a grand scale. It’s too late for me but it would be nice to spare anyone else from the disappointment. Thanks!

  39. 189
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi ValM
    Thanks for letting me know about the offending comment. I have moved it into the correct post.

  40. 190
    ValM Says:

    Thanks for doing that, Gaufrid.

  41. 191
    Monk Says:

    Dear Gaufrid

    Please could you remove comment #13 from FT 14645 (June 11th 2013) which has little to do with cruciverbalism!



  42. 192
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Monk
    There isn’t a comment #13. It is possible that there was one and that I marked it as spam earlier this morning but as all the overnight spam has now been deleted I cannot check to verify this.

  43. 193
    Monk Says:

    Hi Gaufrid

    It was a weird posting, cetainly timed after 9am on July 12th, from an Anita (in [deliberately?] broken English) and was still on the site as I was typing message #191 above at 09:54. (My wife saw it too, so I didn’t imagine it!)

    So it sounds as though it appeared after both your earlier spam markup and overnight spam clearout. If that is indeed the case, someone may have non-kosher access to your site.

    Might be worth a check because of the combination of weirdness of content and uncertain mode of disappearance.



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