Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Author Archive

Guardian 26,367 – Logodaedalus

Posted by Andrew on 17th September 2014

Andrew.

My hearyt sank rather when I saw the Logodaedalus, as his puzzles tend to be on the excessively easy side (and sometimes with irrelevant rhyming couplets). However, while there were still quite a few write-ins here there were also some clues that held me up a little longer, and the whole thing is generally sound and competent (apart from a couple of quibbles), if not particularly exciting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 36 Comments »

Guardian 26,360 – Nutmeg

Posted by Andrew on 9th September 2014

Andrew.

This was another of those looks-hard-at-first-but-comes-out-nicely-once-you-get-going puzzles, which is just the kind I like, so thanks to Nutmeg for the entertainment.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 52 Comments »

Guardian 26,353 – Rufus

Posted by Andrew on 1st September 2014

Andrew.

Slightly trickier than the average Rufus, I thought, with fewer cryptic definitions than usual, making it seem more like a “normal” puzzle. Thanks to Rufus.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 24 Comments »

Guardian Genius 134 – Enigmatist

Posted by Andrew on 31st August 2014

Andrew.

A Genius puzzle by Enigmatist – words to strike fear in a blogger’s heart. Fortunately this turned out to be one of his slightly more merciful offerings, though in traditional style it started out with a mistake in the special instructions – the number of clues that did not indicate one or two letters in the answer was wrongly given.. The “four characters” produced from these are the Three Musketeers ATHOS, PORTHOS and ARAMIS, plus D’ARTAGNAN, and their creator [Alexandre] DUMAS, and they appear in a symmetrical shape in the grid (highighted in the diagram below). The eight unaffected clues are 1, 26 and 30 across, and 2, 6, 18, 24 and 27 down. The added letters are shown like this in the answers below; as usual definitions in the clues are underlined.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian Genius | 11 Comments »

Guardian 26,351 – Qaos

Posted by Andrew on 29th August 2014

Andrew.

I didn’t enjoy this as much as some other Qaos puzzles, as I think there are some dodgy constructions, and a couple of rather weak CDs. However, there are are some great clues too, including two nice &lits.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 34 Comments »

Azed 2202 – ‘A Summer Serenade’ (DLM)

Posted by Andrew on 24th August 2014

Andrew.

I’ve never been a great fan of DLM (definition and letter-mixture) puzzles: I tend to find them very hard to get started on, but once even a couple of answers are in it becomes easy to see roughly where the anagrams have to be, and completing the grid is reduced to a rather routine process, without the variety of clue-types that a normal puzzle provides. So it was with this one: after staring at a blank grid for a while I finally spotted TRUG for 31a from “turgescent” (unusual words are a good place to look for anagrams in DLMs), from which I soon got to 13d and 26d, and then was on to the aforementioned routine.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Azed | No Comments »

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

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 46 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian | 29 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »