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Archive for the 'Guardian Genius' Category

Guardian Genius 110 – Picaroon

Posted by Andrew on 2nd September 2012

Andrew.

As the instructions say: “All clues are normal [phew!]. Half of the 28 solutions must be turned round and entered in the grid backwards.” This meant filling in answers in pencil until their direction could be confirmed by crossing letters. In addition “ambiguities about the orientation of on quarter of the solutions are resolved by ensuring that the final grid contains an appropriate thematic wish (made by one of the clued solutions).” The ambiguities (which in fact were all the 5 and 7 letter answers apart from the poet at 19dn) were answers such as 15ac, GENESES, where the checked letters are _E_E_E_ and so don’t determine which way the word is to be entered. With help from the unambiguous answers it became clear that the “wish” was in the squares around the perimeter, which spell out the vaguely-appropriate “Because I do not hope to turn again”, the opening line (previously unfamiliar to me) of the poem Ash Wednesday by T. S. Eliot (who appears, reversed, at 19dn).

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Guardian Genius 109 by Araucaria

Posted by bridgesong on 5th August 2012

bridgesong.

Unlike most recent puzzles in this series, there were no special instructions.  It was just a tough cryptic (and here’s a link to the pdf of the puzzle), but made more difficult by what appears to have been an unusual error (which was subsequently corrected by the Guardian crossword editor, after I had pointed it out).  Some of the clues which comprised a phrase had the word “words” following the enumeration.  There appeared to be no reason for this, nor was there any connection that I could see between the answers.  There was a mini-theme and the usual wide range of literary references. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guardian Genius 109 – placeholder

Posted by bridgesong on 9th July 2012

bridgesong.

 I shall be blogging this puzzle once the deadline for submissions has passed.  Solvers who are struggling with it may care to note the slight amendment to the enumeration of certain of  the clues which has now appeared on the Guardian website.

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Guardian Genius 108 / Brummie

Posted by Gaufrid on 1st July 2012

Gaufrid.

So, six clues have the correct wordplay for the grid entry but the definition is that of a word or phrase formed by combining the grid entry with one of the unclued entries. Should be straightforward enough.

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Guardian Genius 107 / Puck

Posted by mhl on 4th June 2012

mhl.

As is typical of Puck’s puzzles, this challenging Genius has lots of satisfying and intricate wordplay. The across clues are all of the DLM (Definition and Letter Mixture) type, which neither of us are particularly used to, but are fun to solve.

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Guardian Genius 106 / Paul

Posted by Gaufrid on 8th May 2012

Gaufrid.

I have been unable to contact the scheduled blogger to find out why a blog for this puzzle hasn’t been posted so here is an analysis of the clues (I can’t remember the solving process, it was over a month ago!).

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Guardian Genius 105 / Crucible

Posted by duncanshiell on 1st April 2012

duncanshiell.

The Genius puzzle could be described as one of the blocked crossword world’s entry into the more challenging type of crossword arena championed by the likes of The Inquisitor, Enigmatic Variations and The Listener.  The March offering by Crucible was ceratinly a challenge for me.

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Guardian Genius 104 – Tramp

Posted by Andrew on 4th March 2012

Andrew.

I made rather heavy weather of this one, needing several sessions over the month to finish it. Even with some lucky guessing it took me a while to get the full “ennobling instruction” spelt out by the first letters of the superfluous words. So, hard work but rewarding to finish.

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Guardian Genius 103

Posted by bridgesong on 5th February 2012

bridgesong.

Lavatch  is a setter whose puzzles (in this series anyway) always seem to involve having to change the word before entry in the grid.  This time the down clues all included a name which had to be “dropped”, i.e. extracted and put at the end of the rest of the letters in the clue.  Across clues were normal.  For the down clues I have therefore shown first the actual grid entry, then the word before modification.  It should be obvious in each case what the name was.

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Guardian Genius No. 102 / Qaos

Posted by Gaufrid on 1st January 2012

Gaufrid.

The preamble told us that “Each solution contains a two-letter symbol for a chemical element, which needs to be transmuted into another before it is entered in the grid. Each transmutation changes both letters, producing a new valid word.” so my A-level in chemistry might come in useful. For those who did not study this subject at school there was always the list of chemical elements at the back of Chambers (or elsewhere).

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Guardian Genius 101 / Brummie

Posted by mhl on 4th December 2011

mhl.

This was a fun Genius puzzle, we thought, and quite doable once you untangled the rubric. There were plenty of smiles for me, particularly in how the missing letters changed the meaning of the clues.

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Guardian Genius 100 / Paul

Posted by Gaufrid on 6th November 2011

Gaufrid.

Had I known that I was going to end up covering this puzzle I would have written the blog immediately after solving it. As it is, a month has gone by and my memory of it has become clouded due to solving a lot of other puzzles (and drinking a lot of whisky) in the meantime.

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Genius 99

Posted by duncanshiell on 2nd October 2011

duncanshiell.

Enigmatist is one of the most prolific crossword setters and has a knack of introducing new ideas and twists into his puzzles.  I think this was probably one of the more offbeat of his creations.

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Guardian Genius 98 – Crucible

Posted by Andrew on 4th September 2011

Andrew.

Well, I must say these Genius puzzles vary a lot in difficulty. After two hard ones from Araucaria and Tramp, I found this one from Crucible hardly more difficult than a standard daily puzzle. It was pretty obvious that the “classed catalogue of words” mentioned in the preamble would be Roget’s Thesaurus, but the reference to “the Dutch version” was a little more puzzling. It turns out that Robert Dutch produced the first “Americanised” version of the Thesaurus. The undefined answers are the six main “classes” of words used in Dutch’s version: Abstract Relations, Affections, Intellect, Matter, Space and Volition, which I remember being intrigued by in the Penguin edition that I owned in the early 1970s. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guardian Genius No 97 by Tramp

Posted by bridgesong on 1st August 2011

bridgesong.

It was my privilege to blog Tramp’s first published puzzle (I think) which appeared in this series six months ago (Genius 91).  Since then he has published non-prize cryptics in the Guardian (and possibly elsewhere).  That first puzzle was of a high standard, one which has been more than maintained with this offering.  I say that despite some criticisms of individual clues because I have to admire and applaud the skill with which Tramp has constructed this grid.  The theme is Cluedo (which appears as a nina at the very bottom of the grid) and the victim, Dr Black, appears in the third line.  If that was not enough, the letters removed from each answer (shown in red below) spell out the message: “Colonel Mustard lead piping in the stud…”  The missing letter y “remains unsolved” according to the preamble.  I can only wonder how long it took Tramp to compose the puzzle.

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