Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Author Archive

Guardian 26,233 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on 14th April 2014

Andrew.

Well, we know Rufus has his own style, but with (by my reckoning) 8 cryptic and 8 double definitions I think we can justifiably complain about a lack of clue variety in this puzzle. Some of the CDs seem not very cryptic to me, too. Sorry to be negative – no doubt others will have enjoyed it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 22 Comments »

Guardian 26,231 – Picaroon

Posted by Andrew on 11th April 2014

Andrew.

As seems to be usual when I solve a Picaroon puzzle, I started off thinking I was going to get nowhere with this one, but slow progress became a bit faster as I gradually filled the answers in. There are a few words that may be unfamilar, but they are fairly and clearly indicated; in general lots of good fun here, with some nice &lits. Thanks to Picaroon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 41 Comments »

Guardian 26,224 – Nutmeg

Posted by Andrew on 3rd April 2014

Andrew.

It’s only just over two weeks since I blogged Nutmeg’s last cryptic puzzle (and there’s been a Quiptic in between as well)> I have no complaints about that: this puzzle is a bit easier than the previous one, but still nicely crafted and with some amusing clues. Thanks to Nutmeg.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 40 Comments »

Guardian 26,217 – Otterden

Posted by Andrew on 26th March 2014

Andrew.

I’m sorry to say I didn’t find this very satisfying – as in previous Otterden puzzles there are some excessively obvious clues (e.g. 26a, 3d) and some rather dodgy constructions. There are some sound and reasonable clues as well, but nothing to get very excited about.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 30 Comments »

Guardian 26,210 – Nutmeg

Posted by Andrew on 18th March 2014

Andrew.

Nutmeg has become quite a regular setter in the Cryptic seat recently. As she is perhaps better known as a Quiptic setter, I was expecting a fairly gentle ride this morning: maybe it’s just me, but I thought this was quite hard, and it took me quite a while to make much headway with it. Fortunately everything worked out in the end, with some interesting and varied clues. Thanks to Nutmeg.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 44 Comments »

Guardian 26,203 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on 10th March 2014

Andrew.

Once again a Rufus puzzle that is rather too heavy for my taste on the cryptic definitions (four of them, including a couple that seem barely cryptic) and double defintions (six, plus one triple). As often happens, those types can be hard to crack, but in compensation most of the other clues are very straightforward. Thanks to Rufus.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 26 Comments »

Azed 2178

Posted by Andrew on 9th March 2014

Andrew.

A nice easy clue to the long 1 across gave me a good start to this, and I rattled through most of it prety quickly, though with a handful stragglers that needed a bit of Chambers-searching. I’m not entirely sure about my explanation of 34a, but apart from that I think there’s nothing too complicated or obscure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Azed | 1 Comment »

Guardian 26,201 – Tramp

Posted by Andrew on 7th March 2014

Andrew.

I’ve just started working a four-day week as part of a gradual progress to retirement: today is my first non-working weekday of this arrangement, and how better to celebrate it than by blogging a Tramp. I found this one rather harder than some of his puzzles (though no doubt others will say the opposite), with some of the clues taking a while to decipher. I can’t detect any particular theme in this one, though there’s a bit of Paul-ish cheekiness around, but it’s quite possible that I’ve missed something obvious.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 34 Comments »

Guardian Genius 128 – Boatman

Posted by Andrew on 2nd March 2014

Andrew.

I had heard in advance that Boatman was to be the setter of this Genius, so I was a little apprehensive about it, as I often find even his regular puzzles quite hard. Things weren’t helped by it being published without the special instructions for a few days (once again the fact the Genius puzzles usually have such instructions seems to have taken the Guardian by surprise). However, even without them I managed to solve quite a few clues, and it became obvious that RINGs of various kinds were being added to answers and subtracted from clues, as suggested by 9a: RINGS THE CHANGES (and maybe also 24a: CIRCUIT TRAINING).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian Genius | 16 Comments »

Guardian 26,194 – Brummie

Posted by Andrew on 27th February 2014

Andrew.

Looking at previous blogs of Brummie’s puzzles, by myself and others, I find that a common introduction is something like “As is often the case with Brummie, this turned out easier than it appeared at first sight” – and so it was with this one, where after a rather poor showing on my first pass everything started to fall nicely into place. Thanks to Brummie.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 37 Comments »

Guardian 26,187 – Enigmatist

Posted by Andrew on 19th February 2014

Andrew.

I blogged Enigmatist’s last weekday puzzle in April last year, and can repeat almost verbatim what I said then: “It’s been quite a while since we saw Enigmatist on a weekday … and as always I was a little apprehensive when I saw his name.” The grid is a little solver-unfriendly, with the black squares in the centre almost cutting it in half diagonally, with only the four long answers providing connections. I filled in the upper right half without too much of a struggle, but the other half proved more troublesome. In general the fact that there were quite a few multi-word answers was a help. I have a slight doubt about my parsing of 16d, but otherwise I think I’ve been able to explain everything this time. Thanks to Enigmatist for a very satisfying challenge.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 51 Comments »

Guardian 26,180 – Chifonie

Posted by Andrew on 11th February 2014

Andrew.

I see it’s been corrected now, but when I went to the Guardian crossword page earlier this morning it said that today’s puzzle was by Philistine (though the puzzle itself had Chifonie’s name on it). There’s been a lot of this kind of thing on the site lately, with the Genius missing its special instructions, no Azed on Sunday and a late appearance for the Quiptic yesterday. Anyway, this one is unquestionably in Chifonie’s style, with lots of charades, and sound but generally very straightforward clueing, though the name at 18d might cause some head-scratching.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 29 Comments »

Guardian 26,179 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on 10th February 2014

Andrew.

It used to be fairly predictable that there would be a non-Rufus Monday every 4 or 5 weeks, but this one marks his ninth consecutive Monday. This one is very heavy on cryptic definitions (7 of them, not to mention 4 double defs) – sometimes they can hold me up, but I made quick work of them this time, though I think there’s a Biblical error in one. (By the way, I’m standing in for Flashling today, which is why this is my second Monday in a row; so I’ll be back tomorrow.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 30 Comments »

Guardian 26173 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on 3rd February 2014

Andrew.

A very quick solve for me, though I needed references to remind myself what 20a was on about. Apart from that, a characteristic Rufus to start the week and the month. Thanks to the setter.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 34 Comments »

Guardian 26,171 – Paul

Posted by Andrew on 31st January 2014

Andrew.

After yesterday’s excitement, with an outstanding Nimrod and two wonderful Arachnes (well, an Arachne and a “Rosa Klebb”), I was worried that today might be a let-down in comparison. Fortunately we have Paul to keep things going, with, as always, some entertaining and ingenious clueing. A few bits of general knowledge came in handy, but nothing too obscure, I think. Thanks to Paul.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 29 Comments »