Never knowingly undersolved.

Cambridge S & B – now confirmed: 25 April 2015

Posted by Sil van den Hoek on December 14th, 2014

Sil van den Hoek.

We are delighted to announce that there will be a Sloggers & Betters meeting in Cambridge next spring. The date is Saturday 25 April 2015, the venue a nice pub:   The Castle Inn.

So far, 25+ cruciverbalists showed their interest with a clear “yes!”. If you changed your mind or if you want to add your name to the list of potential attendees, please be so kind to tell us here at Fifteensquared, now or at a later point (closer to the date).   Having said that, everyone’s welcome, at any stage, even at the last minute.

Details (how to get there, food, parking etc) will be given later.

Meanwhile, we want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The world is a turbulent place, also one to be treasured.

Sil, Phil (aka Flashling), Jon (aka Rorschach) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Announcements | 24 Comments »

Beelzebub 1,292

Posted by Simon Harris on December 14th, 2014

Simon Harris.

I’d hesitate to suggest that Beelzebub was getting easier, but it does seem like the last handful of weeks have been relatively painless. This one went in smoothly in one session, with a modest amount of dictionary checking needed to finish things off.

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Posted in Beelzebub | 2 Comments »

AZED 2,218

Posted by bridgesong on December 14th, 2014


A plain puzzle for the December competition, although no doubt the Christmas special will be rather more complex.

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Posted in Azed | 5 Comments »

Everyman 3,557 (7 December 2014)

Posted by PeterO on December 14th, 2014


Posted in Everyman | 9 Comments »

Independent on Sunday 1294/Commoner

Posted by Pierre on December 14th, 2014


A sound Sunday puzzle from Commoner in the usual IoS style.

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Posted in Independent | 5 Comments »

Independent 8,782 by Nimrod (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 06/12/14)

Posted by Simon Harris on December 13th, 2014

Simon Harris.

One doesn’t necessarily expect a stroll in the park with Nimrod, so I was very pleased to finish this one, albeit without fully understanding quite how everything worked.

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Posted in Independent | 11 Comments »

Enigmatic Variations 1150 The Fairy Godmother by Samuel

Posted by twencelas on December 12th, 2014


Ten clues are film titles which can be transformed with the addition of a single word. The across clues have an additional letter in the wordplay which spells out another film title with its additional word to be found in the final grid. Sounds a little different from the norm – Sounds like fun!

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Posted in Enigmatic Variations | 3 Comments »

Guardian Prize 26,436 / Paul

Posted by Eileen on December 12th, 2014


An enjoyable puzzle from Paul, with some typical Pauline clues – and this time I’m not talking risqué. I found it pretty straightforward, apart from the parsing of 16dn, which took about as long as solving the whole puzzle: there was a big clang – and groan – when the penny dropped.

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Posted in Guardian | 24 Comments »

Independent 8,787 by Phi

Posted by John on December 12th, 2014


As usual with Phi I was a little slow to get started as few answers seemed to be obvious, but once going it all seemed clear enough. And then I came to a long halt with the last three, 21ac, 19dn and 22dn, which wouldn’t budge. The somewhat unusual sense of ‘clipped’ is my excuse; although it isn’t perhaps all that unusual, being the first item in the second Chambers definition.

In the end it was the usual very pleasant Phi experience. Lots of single-letter abbreviations here: is this a theme? (l = league, d = depth, f = farthing, n = note, E = European, r = runs, h = hard, n = name, m = millions, o = old, s = son, again n = note, and perhaps others I’ve missed.)

The unches at the top and the bottom spell out two words which no doubt send us to some series of books that escape my experience.

Definitions underlined.

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Posted in Independent | 10 Comments »

Guardian 26,441 – Qaos

Posted by Andrew on December 12th, 2014


Despite a few very obvious clues (e.g. 11a, 19d) I found this a bit of a struggle, though I got there in the end, with 12d (unknown to me) being the last in and needing some searching. Thanks to the setter.

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Posted in Guardian | 64 Comments »

Financial Times 14,803 by BRADMAN

Posted by Turbolegs on December 12th, 2014


It is Friday, and it is Bradman at the FT so no surprises there. The Don serves up another delectable offering with an excellent mix of smooth surfaces and ingenious constructions. Quite an enjoyable solve with the SE quadrant nearly being a showstopper for me. There are a couple of clues though which I have a minor quibble about but nothing significant.

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Posted in FT | 8 Comments »

Financial Times no.14,802 by Sleuth

Posted by Ringo on December 11th, 2014


A masterclass from Sleuth in setting a fairly easy puzzle that is nevertheless a pleasure to solve.

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Posted in FT | 2 Comments »

Independent 8786/Hob

Posted by Pierre on December 11th, 2014


I find myself blogging – for reasons too embarrassing to elucidate in public – in the Thursday slot.  Which is usually hard, and is indeed hard today.  Since I am out of my depth, any help with the ones I couldn’t quite parse would be welcome.

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Posted in Independent | 17 Comments »

Guardian Cryptic 26440 Paul

Posted by scchua on December 11th, 2014


(Please click here for this same blog but with a picture quiz added. Please do NOT post hereinbelow any comment relating to the picture quiz. Thank you.)  An enjoyable puzzle that wasn’t much of a problem, thanks to Paul.   Definitions are underlined in the clues.

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Posted in Guardian | 36 Comments »

Financial Times 14,801 by AARDVARK

Posted by PeeDee on December 10th, 2014


A fine crossword from Aardvark.  Not a hard puzzle, but one that I would have finished much more quickly if there had not been so many obvious paths to the solution that turned into dead ends.  I’m sure he does it on purpose!  Thanks Aardvark.

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Posted in FT | 7 Comments »