Never knowingly undersolved.

About Fifteensquared

The purpose of this site is to provide a daily analysis of, and commentary on, the cryptic puzzles published in the Financial Times, Guardian and Independent (Enigmatic Variations in the Sunday Telegraph and Cyclops in Private Eye are covered as well). 

The site was inspired by the ‘Times for the Times‘ blog and it is maintained by a team of solvers, all addicted in various degrees to the black art of the cryptic crossword. We want to appeal to all types of solvers, those new to cryptic puzzles and those with more experience, and we welcome your comments and feedback.

What to Expect

Each day we aim to post an analysis of that day’s crosswords. Posts relating to prize puzzles will normally be published the day after the closing date for entries or, in the case of the Independent, the day the puzzle appears on-line.

We will usually include all the answers to a puzzle so it’s best not to read the blog until after you have solved the puzzle, unless you are stuck and want a couple of answers to get you going again.

Current Coverage

Guardian/Observer – daily cryptic, Azed, Everyman, Quiptic and Genius.

Independent/IoS – daily cryptic, Inquisitor and Beelzebub.

FT – daily cryptic.

Sunday Telegraph – Enigmatic Variations

Private Eye – Cyclops


If you’re interested in getting involved as a blogger, please send an email to admin {at} fifteensquared {dot} net. You don’t need to be a fast solver but you should be able to complete a cryptic crossword more often than not.


You may see the following notation used to explain elements of some clues:

  • *(fodder) to indicate an anagram, eg *(ORCHESTRA)
  • “quote marks” to indicate a homophone, eg PEALER = “peeler”
  • < to indicate that an element is to be reversed, eg PAN< is NAP
  • CAPITALS to indicate which bits are part of the answer, eg R in CEASE means that ‘in’ is not part of the answer
  • […] to indicate a letter or letters omitted or unused, eg FI[r]ST
  • dd to indicate a double definition
  • cd to indicate a cryptic definition