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Archive for the 'Enigmatic Variations' Category

Enigmatic Variations No.1075 – Blame the Setter by Chalicea

Posted by Mister Sting on 6th July 2013

Mister Sting.

I got through this one quite quickly, aided by a liberal use of solving aids once I’d worked out how the clue worked (always useful for anagrams of words that are new to me). Although I do not, setters seem to regard difficulty as a proxy for quality, so I’m wary of declaring a puzzle ‘easy’. Nevertheless, there were a number of ‘gifts’, such as 14ac. I’m always grateful when the puzzle is on the easier side when it’s my turn to blog, but in any case this was an enjoyable entertainment for the Sabbath.

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Enigmatic Variations 1074 Almost Without Poor Clues by Ifor

Posted by twencelas on 28th June 2013

twencelas.

Straight clues, but an unconventional entry for one down clue in each column. A phrase to be deduced and advice against using a pen to fill the grid!

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Enigmatic Variations 1073: Crowning Glories by Glow-worm

Posted by Dave Hennings on 22nd June 2013

Dave Hennings.

“Four musical CROWNING GLORIES are clued without definition.” So we were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation. That would explain why she popped up in so many of the clues.

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Enigmatic Variations No. 1072: Companions by Wiglaf

Posted by mc_rapper67 on 15th June 2013

mc_rapper67.

I found this puzzle quite challenging, partly due to a gap in my cultural references, which will be revealed – although I suspect many people who don’t have this gap may have got to the thematic entries, at least, straight from the title? Six thematic answers (undefined) need to be found, 20 extra letters identified to describe a related  ‘object’, which is then to be highlighted/shaded in the grid…

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Enigmatic Variations No.1071 – The Empty House by Nutmeg

Posted by Mister Sting on 8th June 2013

Mister Sting.

My house is, indeed, empty as I write these few lines, as is my stomach. My diary is empty, as exams very recents came to an end. Apparently, most empty of all is my head, since I can’t think of any more appropriate introduction to this enjoyable puzzle.

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Enigmatic Variations 1070 Perimeter by Kruger

Posted by twencelas on 31st May 2013

twencelas.

Relatively straight forward in the preamble department – extra letters from the wordplay spell out a quotation and this will enable the solver to complete the un-clued perimeter cells. Sounds straight forward enough.

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Enigmatic Variations 1069: Greetings … and Farewell from Rustic

Posted by Dave Hennings on 25th May 2013

Dave Hennings.

Little did I realise when I wrote my last fifteensquared blog that I would be blogging another Rustic puzzle this month as well … for all the wrong reasons.

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Enigmatic Variations No. 1068: Bargain by Nutmeg

Posted by mc_rapper67 on 18th May 2013

mc_rapper67.

Some sad news to report first – which I don’t think has been mentioned on this site yet - is that the preamble to EV1069, published on Sun 5 May informs us that James Leonard, aka EV setter Rustic, the EV editor for more than 20 years, had died the previous week on 28 May, at the age of 72. I’m sure all EV fans, and indeed all 15×15 contributors and visitors, will be saddened to hear this. There is an obituary in the telegraph here, and the announcement above EV1069 states: “If you have ever solved an Enigmatic Variations puzzle, then you have enjoyed the work of James Leonard. So we are very sad to say that James Leonard, the editor of the EV for more than 20 years, died last Sunday, aged 72. He will be greatly missed. James launched the EV in The Sunday Telegraph on October 11 1992 and had edited it ever since, as well as contributing EVs which he compiled under his alias of Rustic. He was held in enormous respect and affection by his team of compilers, some of whom say they learned almost everything they know about barred crosswords from James.

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Enigmatic Variations No.1067 – Top and Tail by Wan

Posted by Mister Sting on 13th May 2013

Mister Sting.

Firstly, my apologies for having this blog up so late. I have finals starting soon and I misjudged my workload. I’m sorry for making you all wait.

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Enigmatic Variations 1066 Taxing by Eclogue

Posted by twencelas on 3rd May 2013

twencelas.

So how taxing is taxing? That is my first question – Misprints in the definitions of all but 2 clues, once corrected they will reveal a French proverb and ten thematic adjustments to boot. The final step is to encircle the clue number(s) that are normal.

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Enigmatic Variations 1065: Hotiuhtw by Rustic

Posted by Dave Hennings on 27th April 2013

Dave Hennings.

Having escaped from the jaws of Playfair codes with yesterday’s Listener (Oh, No! Not Another Playfair), courtesy of Mordred, here I am well and truly in at the deep end! Time to see if I can sort out one of these pesky blighters.

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Enigmatic Variations No. 1064: Upper Half by Shark

Posted by mc_rapper67 on 20th April 2013

mc_rapper67.

OK – I know when I’m beaten – I surrender! I’ll come out quietly with my hands up. A seemingly simple preamble, a reasonably quick grid fill, and then two-plus weeks staring at it trying to wheedle out the thematic denouément…with no moment of inspiration…yet. I am sure someone will put me out of my misery in the comments…please!

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Enigmatic Variations No.1063 – Reform by MynoT

Posted by Mister Sting on 13th April 2013

Mister Sting.

‘Reform’? Surely not a puzzle about everyone’s favourite right-wing purveyors of guff? (Actually, hold that thought…) In any case, I sometimes get rather stuck with trickier missing letter clues, so I wonder if this one is going to behave. (Actually, I don’t. Obviously, I’ve already solved the puzzle at this point. But let’s not damage the fourth wall any more.)

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Enigmatic Variations 1062 Two Groups by Samuel

Posted by twencelas on 5th April 2013

twencelas.

So two groups to identify – Four unclued and 6 clued without definition and a link between teh two groups to be highlighted. Sounds musical to me. The corrected misprints to 23 clues providing useful information.

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Enigmatic Variations 1061: Not Quite All There by Warbler

Posted by Dave Hennings on 30th March 2013

Dave Hennings.

For the second month running, I have a crossword that hasn’t got any extra/missing letters/words or misprints. Instead, just eleven words in the perimeter and central row to identify, and something to write under the grid.

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