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Archive for the 'Guardian Genius' Category

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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Guardian Genius 96 / Araucaria – A Masochist’s Delight

Posted by Gaufrid on 3rd July 2011

Gaufrid.

To say that I struggled with this one would be an understatement. I can usually finish a Genius in under an hour but this time it was nearly that long per clue. Perseverance paid off however and on the fourth day I had a completed grid.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 12 Comments »

Guardian Genius 95 / Lavatch

Posted by mhl on 6th June 2011

mhl.

A very clever puzzle from Lavatch. Below I’ve set out the clues with the answers they directly lead to, and below that I’ll explain what has to be done to them to get the grid entries. In each, I’ve put in bold the definition part, and crossed out the word that should be ignored.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 6 Comments »

Guardian Genius 94, by Puck: In vino veritas

Posted by jetdoc on 2nd May 2011

jetdoc.

Well, I thought I was getting on just fine with this puzzle, but I was completely stuck on two answers, 17a and 21a. None of my resources — dictionaries, word lists, TEA, Google, Wikipedia, friends, husband etc — could shed any light. However, since I didn’t manage to finish the blog until this morning, I have access to the answers on the website; those two seem pretty obscure to me.

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Guardian Genius 93 by Paul

Posted by duncanshiell on 3rd April 2011

duncanshiell.

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Guardian Genius 92 – Brummie

Posted by Andrew on 7th March 2011

Andrew.

(Sorry for the late posting – last minute delays writing this up due to work commitments etc) Maybe it’s just me, but I think the Genius puzzles are getting generally harder. Number 91 was very tricky, and I found this tough going too, needing several sessions to finish; even then it was difficult to identify all the intended missing and added letters in the clues to confirm the unclued phrase at 16dn. I guessed the phrase quite early on, but it wasn’t much help! I’ve shown the clues below: these are show the eleven modified versions (clue numbers asterisked), with added letters like this and letters to be removed like this. The added letters (in clue order) are ND OON ASS F MEA FA ID (the last misprinted as just D in the annotated solution), and those removed MA ADI E SS, leaving NDOONFAF for an anagram of OFF AND ON. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian Genius | 7 Comments »

Genius 91 by Tramp

Posted by bridgesong on 6th February 2011

bridgesong.

Solving time : about a day and a half. I found this hard, partly because of a grammatical error in the instructions which made them more obscure than was necessary. There were two elements to this puzzle; first the cryptic parts of the clues were swapped round within the four groups. Second, the cryptic parts of the clues did not relate to the initial letters of the solutions. In the event, I found the only way to get started was to guess some of the definitions and try and find confirmation from the cryptic elements of other clues. Once I had successfully done this and noticed that the initial letters were not included in the cryptic elements, the penny finally dropped. I didn’t help myself by wrongly guessing that “motorway junction” in 6 down was a definition of “cloverleaf”.

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