Archive for the 'Guardian Genius' Category

Guardian Genius 82, Lavatch: Regression to the mean

Posted by jetdoc on 2nd May 2010

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

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.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 8 Comments »

Guardian Genius 80 (February 2010) – Puck

Posted by Andrew on 28th February 2010

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.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 6 Comments »

Genius 79: Enigmatist — anagrams within anagrams

Posted by jetdoc on 1st February 2010

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.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 11 Comments »

Guardian Genius 79?

Posted by jetdoc on 1st February 2010

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

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’.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 8 Comments »

Guardian Genius 77 / Pasquale

Posted by Andrew on 7th December 2009

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.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 12 Comments »

Genius 76 by Araucaria

Posted by bridgesong on 1st November 2009

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

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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Guardian Genius 74 / Paul

Posted by Andrew on 6th September 2009

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.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 7 Comments »

Guardian Genius 73: Pasquale — Off with her head

Posted by jetdoc on 2nd August 2009

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.

Posted in Guardian, Guardian Genius | 7 Comments »

Guardian Genius No. 72 / Araucaria

Posted by Gaufrid on 5th July 2009

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.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 8 Comments »

Guardian Genius 71 by Enigmatist

Posted by duncanshiell on 31st May 2009

This was a entertaining, but aggressive crossword that took longer than it should have because I had  the wrong answer at 18d (KEG) for a while.  I thought to begin with that 18d was TUN (a large cask, sounds like [say] a ton weight), so I was wondering about the meaning of the middle letters of ACCRINGTON STANLEY for some time.  Eventually the penny dropped and the words PEN, POCKET, STANLEY and BREAD made some sense, following on from the one unadjusted across answer at 16a GET THE KNIVES OUT.  All types of knives had to be removed from the other across answers to make them fit the grid. I think that all the various knives were well known.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 10 Comments »

Guardian Genius No 70 by Brummie (April 2009)

Posted by tilsit on 8th May 2009

Apologies for being late with this.

A really enjoyable challenge from Brummie formed the April Genius puzzle and one which required wits to be kept about one at all times.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 2 Comments »

Guardian Genius 69 / Lavatch

Posted by mhl on 6th April 2009

I found this to be the toughest Genius in a while, but very satisfying to solve. In each of the clues which must be changed, I have listed the clued answer first and then the version which should be entered into the grid. The changed letters spell out THE METAMOROPHOSIS and the letters across the middle line spell out GREGOR, so the question was whether to change that to BEETLE or INSECT. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations has “insect” in its translation of the first line.

Posted in Guardian Genius | 5 Comments »