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Guardian Genius 140 – Paul

Posted by Andrew on 1st March 2015

Andrew.

The special instructions seemed vaguely familiar, and after a bit of searching I found that the idea of the definition applying to the answer of a different clue was used a couple of years ago in Genius 116, which by coincidence I also blogged. However, that one had some extra complications that this one didn’t, and this one had the extra feature that all the answers began with one of the letters W H A M (seven of each), that letter being “not further defined in the clue” (I think that’s a slightly confusing instruction – perhaps “not indicated…” would have been clearer). I don’t know whether Paul intended some kind of tribute to the 1980s pop duo, or if there’s some other significance to the use of the word.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 6 Comments »

Guardian 26,502 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on 23rd February 2015

Andrew.

Eleven cryptic definitions out of 26 clues? I think that must be a record, even for a Rufus puzzle; and some of them are rather weak, or otherwise satisfactory, as noted below. So, not to my taste, but others may disagree.

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Posted in Guardian | 49 Comments »

Guardian 26,500 – Puck

Posted by Andrew on 20th February 2015

Andrew.

Some good Puckish fun today – nicely positioned in difficulty, but with a twist…

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Posted in Guardian | 44 Comments »

Guardian 26,493 / Tramp

Posted by Andrew on 12th February 2015

Andrew.

I found this very hard, and a bit of a slog – I seemed to be staring at a virtually empty grid for ages. Even getting the long answer at 11,2 didn’t make things much easier, though looking back there’s nothing particularly tricky in most of the clues. Tramp is one of my favourite setters, but somehow this one didn’t hit the spot as much as usual. Maybe it’s just me. Thanks to the setter.

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Posted in Guardian | 35 Comments »

Azed 2226 – Playfair

Posted by Andrew on 8th February 2015

Andrew.

I’m glad to see I’m not the only blogger who gets worried when landing on a Playfair puzzle. “I admit to a slight feeling of trepidation when I … noticed that it was a Playfair puzzle” (bridgesong); “the clues in italics often give me the jitters, and even though they’re supposed to be relatively easy (Peter Biddlecombe): my thoughts exactly. As per my usual strategy, I tried to get all the uncoded answers first, which fortunately I was able to do without too much difficulty.

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Posted in Azed | 7 Comments »

Guardian 26,486 – Shed

Posted by Andrew on 4th February 2015

Andrew.

A good week for Guardian puzzles continues with a welcome return of Shed after a bit of a gap (his last weekday puzzle was last September). My first one in was 1a, and I thought it might be leading to some kind of theme, but I can’t see anything. Nothing too hard here, but good solid clueing. Thanks to Shed.

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Posted in Guardian | 38 Comments »

Guardian 26,479 – Brendan

Posted by Andrew on 27th January 2015

Andrew.

A very welcome return by Brendan after an absence of more than six months. I thought this was going to be a walkover after filling in the NW corner very quickly, but things got a little tougher after. Once again I am rather short of time, so please excuse the brief (and in one case incomplete) explanations below.

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Posted in Guardian | 38 Comments »

Guardian 26,472 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on 19th January 2015

Andrew.

I’m short of time this morning, so please excuse the rather brief explanations below. A very Rufus-y Rufus today, with six double and eight (!) cryptic definitions: some of the latter rather obvious, others less so. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 62 Comments »

Guardian 26,470 – Crucible

Posted by Andrew on 16th January 2015

Andrew.

For some reason I found this a bit of a slog while I was solving it, but looking back I see that there’s a nice variety of clues and lots to admire. There are couple of items of “general knowledge” requited that might puzzle non-UK solvers. Thanks to Crucible.

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Posted in Guardian | 56 Comments »

Guardian 26,463 – Pasquale

Posted by Andrew on 8th January 2015

Andrew.

A tough challenge from Pasquale, with quite a few names in the answers, which with the need for some “general knowledge” and a couple of obscure words might not make this to everyone’s taste. Having got that out of the way, I enjoyed it, so thanks to Pasquale.

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Posted in Guardian | 64 Comments »

Azed 2220 – Christmas Crackers

Posted by Andrew on 3rd January 2015

Andrew.

In six-and-a-half years of blogging Azed, this is the first time the luck of the draw has brought me a Christmas puzzle. I was a bit apprehensive at the prospect, as some of them have been quite challenging in recent years. However, this one turned out to very much at the opposite end of the spectrum, despite the rather daunting special instructions, and I was surprised to find that I had finished it (apart from a couple of stragglers that needed some Chambers-searching) by about 9.30 on the morning that it was published.

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Posted in Azed | 2 Comments »

Guardian 26,456 – Qaos

Posted by Andrew on 31st December 2014

Andrew.

Nothing too troubling in this one, with just one (easily gettable) answer that was new to me. Thanks to Qaos for the entertainment, and Happy New Year to all.

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Posted in Guardian | 56 Comments »

Guardian 26450 – Enigmatist

Posted by Andrew on 23rd December 2014

Andrew.

Enigmatist’s name is one that always causes a slight feeling of panic when he comes up to be blogged, but I found this puzzle a very gentle one by his standards. I started at something of a sprint in the top left corner, but it wasn’t a complete walkover, as there was some characteristic deviousness, including an unusual meaning of an unusual form of a word at 22d (new to me, but clearly clued). I can’t satisfactorily explain 26a – no doubt someone wll quickly be able to point out the obvious. Thanks to Enigmatist, and Merry Christmas everyone.

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Posted in Guardian | 58 Comments »

Guardian 26,443 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on 15th December 2014

Andrew.

I found this harder than usual for a Rufus, perhaps because of the generous (some might say excessive) number of cryptic (7) and double (5) definitions. The NE corner held was the last to fall. Thanks to Rufus.

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Posted in Guardian | 35 Comments »

Guardian 26,441 – Qaos

Posted by Andrew on 12th December 2014

Andrew.

Despite a few very obvious clues (e.g. 11a, 19d) I found this a bit of a struggle, though I got there in the end, with 12d (unknown to me) being the last in and needing some searching. Thanks to the setter.

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Posted in Guardian | 64 Comments »