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Guardian 26,344 – Nutmeg

Posted by Andrew on 21st August 2014

Andrew.

I found this a lot easier than some of Nutmeg’s recent offerings in the Cryptic spot; in fact some of the clues seem more in the style of the Quiptic. There seem to be a lot of reversals going on, especially in the downs. All nicely done, though, so an enjoyable, if brief, solve. Thanks to Nutmeg

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Posted in Guardian | 43 Comments »

Guardian 26,337 – Crucible

Posted by Andrew on 13th August 2014

Andrew.

An enjoyable puzzle from Crucible that wasn’t too hard once I spotted the theme (even though I didn’t get the linking word at 9d until quite late on). A couple of slightly obscure words and tricky constructions, but all clearly and fairly clued. Thanks to Crucible.

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Posted in Guardian | 45 Comments »

Guardian 26,330 – Imogen

Posted by Andrew on 5th August 2014

Andrew.

Things got off to a bad start when I went to the Guardian site and saw that “this crossword is not yet available” (as it’s still saying as I write this at 9.20am). Fortunately it didn’t take too much detective work to track down the PDF version, and it was soon obvious that this puzzle has the unusual feature that several of the entries occur in more than one clue. In fact there’s a chain: 25,15/15,10/10,18/18,7/7,21/21,29. Understandably the online version can’t cope with this kind of thing; less understandably, surely someone must have known in advance that this would be a problem, so that the website could have said this and given a link to the PDF, rather than just an error message.

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Posted in Guardian | 28 Comments »

Guardian 26,323 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on 28th July 2014

Andrew.

For some reason I found this harder going than usual for a Rufus, with the bottom half causing the most trouble. The grid doesn’t help: with no answers longer than nine letters it’s more or less split into four separate parts, and there are lots of words with less than 50% checking. Apart from all that, it’s the traditional Rufus fare – thanks to the setter.

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Posted in Guardian | 36 Comments »

Guardian 26,321 – Tramp

Posted by Andrew on 25th July 2014

Andrew.

It’s always a pleasure to see Tramp’s name on a puzzle, but I was worried when I found it took me a while to make any progress. Fortunately I managed it in the end, albeit at a rather slow pace.

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Posted in Guardian | 44 Comments »

Guardian 26,314 – Boatman

Posted by Andrew on 17th July 2014

Andrew.

A strange mixture of clues from Boatman today – some very obvious from either defintion or wordplay, some a lot trickier, an outrageous lift-and-separate that I’m not at all keen on but I’m sure others will like. There’s usually a theme of some kind in Boatman’s puzzles, and here many of the clues, and some answers, involve the idea of speed in some way. There are a couple of places where I think the cryptic grammar doesn’t quite work, and two clues that I can’t fully explain (20a and 29d) – suggestions welcome. Thanks for Boatman for the varied entertainment.

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Posted in Guardian | 56 Comments »

Azed 2196 – “Overlaps”

Posted by Andrew on 13th July 2014

Andrew.

I knew something special was coming up for this month’s competition, because Azed had mentioned in a previous Slip that constructing this one had caused him some trouble. Not surprising, with what are effectively a large number of long across answers, most of which take the full 13-character width. Perhaps as a result of this, there are more down answers than usual (23 instead of 18), with correspondingly shorter words.

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Posted in Azed | 3 Comments »

Guardian 26,307 – Imogen

Posted by Andrew on 9th July 2014

Andrew.

Perhaps a controversial theme in this one … Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 33 Comments »

Guardian 26,300 – Brummie

Posted by Andrew on 1st July 2014

Andrew.

I made pretty quick work of this: there are quite a few clues that either had giveaway definitions or made their cryptic structure rather too obvious (a common feature of Brummie’s clues). I have a couple of quibbles, noted below, but generally this was well-constructed, if a bit low on excitement. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 20 Comments »

Guardian 26,293 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on 23rd June 2014

Andrew.

I found this a bit harder than usual for a Rufus, with the large helping of cryptic definitions causing some of the difficulty. On the other hand the non-CDs were generally straightforward and well constructed, with a couple of nice &lits. Thanks to Rufus.

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Posted in Guardian | 23 Comments »

Guardian 26,291 – Imogen

Posted by Andrew on 20th June 2014

Andrew.

A enjoyable puzzle from Imogen, where spotting the theme early on helped a lot.

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Posted in Guardian | 26 Comments »

Guardian 26,284 – Paul

Posted by Andrew on 12th June 2014

Andrew.

I found this pretty easy for a Paul, getting though most of it very quickly. Unusually I also found quite a few of the clues rather pedestrian, with some giveaway definitions, and generally a lack of the sort of invention we’ve come to expect. Still, there was toilet humour (literally) for those that like it, and the puzzle wasn’t totally devoid of interest – 5,21 was interesting, and I liked 8d and the slightly dodgy homophone in 3,22. So, despite my misgivings, thanks to Paul.

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Posted in Guardian | 24 Comments »

Guardian 26,277 – Picaroon

Posted by Andrew on 4th June 2014

Andrew.

As seems to have become the norm when I contend with Picaroon, I made a slow start, but followed this with steady progress through to the end. I was able to guess, or dredge from my memory, a couple of slightly obscure words with easyish clues, and generally enjoyed this a lot. Thanks to Picaroon

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Posted in Guardian | 38 Comments »

Azed 2190

Posted by Andrew on 1st June 2014

Andrew.

A medium-difficulty Azed (for me) this time. As usual, no problems with the excellent clues (apart from a slight eyebrow-raise at 1d), but there were a few mistakes/misprints in both the online and PDF versions (I don’t know about the actual newspaper) that really shouldn’t have slipped through the editorial net. (By Muphry’s law, this criticism means that there are probably several typos or other errors below.)

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Posted in Azed | 2 Comments »

Guardian 26,263 – Logodaedalus

Posted by Andrew on 19th May 2014

Andrew.

No rhyming couplets today, just a lot of very easy clues, including a large number of double defintions. There were a couple of words that I didn’t know, but even they didn’t detain me long. Generally speaking I think this puzzle would have fitted better in the Quiptic slot.

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Posted in Guardian | 27 Comments »