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Archive for the 'Guardian Genius' Category

Guardian Genius 85: a Yarborough

Posted by bridgesong on 2nd August 2010

bridgesong.

I found this easier than some recent Genius puzzles. There was only one obscure word and most of the clues were fairly straightforward.
The requirement here was to identify how the answers to ten clues should be shortened. I fairly soon identified that we were talking about cards, as king ten and queen were to be omitted, but it took far too long for me (a bridge player!) to work out that 10 across was Yarborough, a hand of 13 cards containing no cards higher than the nine. In fact, although the instructions do not say so, there were two of each kind of card omitted (shown in brackets). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian Genius | 9 Comments »

Guardian Genius 84: elastic despair

Posted by bridgesong on 6th July 2010

bridgesong.

This month’s theme involved removing words from a number of across clues and then putting anagrams of them in some of the down clues. Two further unclued entries were to be found by taking the initial letters of the missing or redundant words. I found the easiest way to start was by looking for words that didn’t appear to belong, and seeing if they could form anagrams.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 4 Comments »

Guardian Genius 83 / Araucaria

Posted by mhl on 6th June 2010

mhl.

We found it tough to get going with this puzzle, but once we’d got the theme of 7-letter characters from Shakespeare, and, I’m afraid to say, resorted to using Wikipedia’s lists from A to K and L to Z, progress was pretty quick. The 20 of these themed answers are packed into the grid with impressive density. In some senses it wasn’t too hard to guess the answers for this puzzle, but there are quite a number (particularly in the South East corner) where the clues were very difficult to parse. I’m indebted to Gaufrid and others for suggesting readings for some of these clues.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 32 Comments »

Guardian Genius 82, Lavatch: Regression to the mean

Posted by jetdoc on 2nd May 2010

jetdoc.

An entertaining puzzle from Lavatch — and not too difficult once you spotted what was happening. Where a clash occurred, you needed to 1a,25 — use the letter alphabetically half-way between the two clashing ones; in each case, this gave two new real words. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian Genius | 10 Comments »

Genius 81 by Paul

Posted by duncanshiell on 4th April 2010

duncanshiell.

It’s nearly a year since I blogged a Genius and it clearly hasn’t got any easier.  This one took me an age to get into, but eventually I got a chink of light and began plodding away to completion.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 8 Comments »

Guardian Genius 80 (February 2010) – Puck

Posted by Andrew on 28th February 2010

Andrew.

I struggled with this puzzle when I first tried it, though getting enough down answers to guess that they all had one or more Bs missing. Then I left it for a couple of weeks, lost my original copy, and when I tried again I got through it in a single session. This was just after I’d blogged Puck’s controversial SpongeBob Squarepants puzzle, so perhaps I was more attuned to Puckishness. The theme is rather cryptically explained in the preamble: “Down solutions must be suitably 14 (TAILORED) in order to be 17, not briefly edited, (BLESSED less ED, so “B-LESS”) before being inserted in the grid.” The last sentence (“Three across clues have solutions that are 17 (BLESSED) and are not further defined.”) refers to three items from the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the Peacemakers/Meek/Pure of heart” (but not the Cheesemakers). In the solutions below I’ve shown the the unmodified version of the downs. The entries in the diagram have the letter B removed wherever it occurs.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 6 Comments »

Genius 79: Enigmatist — anagrams within anagrams

Posted by jetdoc on 1st February 2010

jetdoc.

Oops! I should have assigned this for blogging, but have been somewhat preoccupied. So here’s a very quick, last-minute attempt at a blog. The deadline was orginally given as 6 February, but the solution is already available on the Guardian website.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 11 Comments »

Guardian Genius 79?

Posted by jetdoc on 1st February 2010

jetdoc.

I have now published the blog — see above.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 2 Comments »

Genius 78: Brummie — contrariwise

Posted by jetdoc on 4th January 2010

jetdoc.

As Geniuses go, this was on the easy side — the preamble was explicit about what needed to be done, and the clues were pretty straightforward. For those who missed the preamble, which apparently was missing at first, it said: ‘Nine solutions must be converted into a contradictory word with the same number of letters before entry into the grid’.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 8 Comments »

Guardian Genius 77 / Pasquale

Posted by Andrew on 7th December 2009

Andrew.

Four symphonies with nicknames provide the theme for this puzzle: the undefined anagrams lead to the composer (with a missing letter) and the nickname. The “clue of sorts” given by the missing letter is that its position is the number of the symphony: for example, the Eroica is Beethoven’s 3rd, so the 3rd letter of BEETHOVEN is omitted (of course it’s hard to tell in that example!) Perhaps surprisingly, the four symphonies involve only two numbers: two thirds and two fourths. The normal clues were mostly straightforward (in contrast to the ferociously hard Araucaria puzzle last month), with just a couple of obscure answers causing some difficulties, though even they were guessable thanks to Pasquale’s usual sound clueing.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 12 Comments »

Genius 76 by Araucaria

Posted by bridgesong on 1st November 2009

bridgesong.

I found this extremely tough, unlike some of the earlier offerings in the Genius series. I still have a problem explaining a few of the clues. The main difficulty was simply the obscurity of some of the words used, with less help than usual from checking letters because of the nature of the puzzle. Only a few clues were numbered; others had to be inserted where they would fit, like an alphabetical jigsaw. This aspect didn’t prove too difficult, although I didn’t understand why the instructions referred to clues having “their indicated place at the table”. For a while I thought that there might be some food-related theme but if so, I still can’t see it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Guardian Genius | 16 Comments »

Guardian Genius 75, Lavatch

Posted by michod on 4th October 2009

michod.

This felt a little like a puzzle designed to test out a thematic entry technique. The clues were good, and the process of making new words by moving one letter produced some intriguing results and was, in some cases, surprisingly hard to spot. But at the end of it the moved letters spelt out ‘redistribution’, which, while an accurate description of what one had done, was slightly underwhelming as a final step.  Original answers first.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | No Comments »

Guardian Genius 74 / Paul

Posted by Andrew on 6th September 2009

Andrew.

A tough challenge from Paul that took me several sessions to complete, though looking back at it now there’s not much that seems particularly obscure or difficult. The crucial 8dn was actually one of the last clues I solved, but I worked out the gimmick – that alternate rows of across answers are entered from right to left – from finding that the answers were the right length for the spaces, but didn’t match the crossing letters.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 7 Comments »

Guardian Genius 73: Pasquale — Off with her head

Posted by jetdoc on 2nd August 2009

jetdoc.

A Genius of average difficulty from Pasquale. Once I had spotted how it worked, I solved it without problems. Having mislaid my solved copy, I had to do it again, and got through it pretty rapidly second time around.

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Posted in Guardian, Guardian Genius | 7 Comments »

Guardian Genius No. 72 / Araucaria

Posted by Gaufrid on 5th July 2009

Gaufrid.

This was, I think, the hardest Genius puzzle since the Guardian site became freely available. I only managed to solve just over a third of the clues in the first session and then got a few more each day during the next couple of days or so when revisiting the puzzle. Being able to make a start on grid entry would have been greatly helped by solving 5d but I did not get this one until much later.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 8 Comments »