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Archive for the 'Guardian Genius' Category

Guardian Genius / 89

Posted by mhl on 5th December 2010

mhl.

A very nicely constructed crossword, with a “word chain” (missing alternate links) running through the 6 letter answers. The complete chain (with the missing links emphasized) is: 1d BOTHER / HERBAL / 3d BALTIC / TICKER / 19d KERNEL / NELLIE / 2d LIELOW / LOWOOD / 5a OODLES / LESSER / 22a SERVAL / VALENT / 26a ENTREE / REEFER / 20d FERRET / RETIRE / 24a IRENIC / NICKEL / 21d KELPIE / PIEMAN / 12a MANNER / NERVES / 10a VESTAL / TALBOT / 1d BOTHER … I think this was fairly easy for a Genius but great fun to solve.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 18 Comments »

Guardian Genius No. 88 / Pasquale

Posted by Gaufrid on 1st November 2010

Gaufrid.

Apologies for the late appearance of a post for this puzzle. The scheduled blogger forgot that it was her turn and did not solve it so I am standing in at the last moment. Since I cannot remember what I did whilst solving the puzzle a month ago this will just be an analysis of the clues.

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 4 Comments »

Guardian Genius 87 by Lavatch

Posted by duncanshiell on 3rd October 2010

duncanshiell.

Six months have passed, so it must be my turn to blog a Guardian Genius again.  

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Guardian Genius 86 – Enigmatist: Me, me, me

Posted by Andrew on 6th September 2010

Andrew.

The special instructions were quite clear, but it took a few readings, and a few answers, beofre I fully got the sense of them. Apart from that, this puzzle turned out less daunting than it seemed at first, but still a challenge, and satisfying to finish. The sixteen answers involved in the eight phrases are shown in blue below; the extra letters from the other clues are shown in red, spelling out EGOCENTRIC and SELF-CENTRED. “I AM” is the answer that appears in all eight phrases (in fact it occurs twice in one of them), and “THE” occurs four times, though I can’t find a phrase involving PLAYING and GREAT. I also can’t explain the clue for 11dn, so suggestion welcome (I can’t even cheat by looking at the website, as there is no annotated solution (yet)). The phrases (as far as I can work out) and their sources are:

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Posted in Guardian Genius | 21 Comments »

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 »