JonofWales is away for a week, so I shall be deputising.  Not a particularly useful start by me though, as I shan’t be near a computer till this evening, alas ( I’m running den building in the Lost Gardens of Heligan – definitely off the net!).

Meanwhile my contemporary at the University of Leeds (1978 – 81), Mark Kelmanson, is working partly as a Maths professor and partly as Monk, today’s setter.  Monk has a fairly fearsome reputation, but, half way through, I’ve found this one fairly gentle so far.  No time to finish it now, but here’s a link to the 2009 blog which seems to be complete (although I was looking at it through scrunched-up eyes so that I couldn’t see the answers!):

Will post my COD this evening, feel free to nominate your own meanwhile… 

Presumably making up for the Saturday he missed a few weeks back. :-) Good as ever from Phi, nothing controversial I think. Last in 6d and 18ac.

COD? Quite a few I liked, but I’m nominating 15ac – ‘I’d put stress on press release – one likely to cause upset? (8-5)’.

The 2009 blog is complete:

I found 19/22 and 12d a little tricky, but the rest was as expected on a Wednesday, and as nicely clued as ever.

COD? 21d – ‘Female Egyptian banker’s limited company (6)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:

Not as easy as 13ac, as far as I was concerned, time about twice the average for Virgilius, even with the theme to help.

COD? 3d – ‘Ice cream, as served in California (7)’.

The 2009 blog is complete:

I made harder work of this than was perhaps necessary, in part because 15d convinced me I should be looking for a z somewhere.

COD? I liked 2d – ‘Waste product has this – get involved (4,2)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.

Saturday 12th July 2014

We solvers at the i had our first taste of Anax a month ago, but for the mothership Independent paper this was his very first puzzle; a significant event because Anax is a significant setter, with experience at the Times, Sunday Times, FT and the Telegraph Toughie. 

In his biog here, he confesses to a process wherein he sometimes writes his clues, rewrites the weakest clue then, through a process of continuous reselection, keeps rewriting until his puzzles inevitably end up being somewhat fiendish.  They are that, but I find Anax somehow very likeable so forgive him entirely, even though this one did take me into Sunday to finish!

The original 2009 blog here makes for excellent reading.

I have selected two clues for COD status – one anagram and one ‘bits & bobs’ type.  Take your pick!

3d     By changing centre “tip” becomes “tap” (9)

21d   One railroad only heads to centre of Santa Fe (4)

Incidentally, Anax has contributed several crosswords to Alberich’s website ‘Free Crosswords Online’; his first one here (as well as being quite a bit easier than last Saturday’s) is a beauty!

While this was no doubt a very good crossword, I thought it was a bit much really for a week day. How about moving Phi from Saturday to a Friday (which I was hoping they’d done, after his absence last week)?

Anyway, COD nomination goes to 14d – ‘Rated as compromise (5-3)’.

Here’s the old Fifteensquared blog:

An unusual puzzle – some incredibly easy clues, including a surfeit of hidden words, and some that were nigh on impossible. I failed on 4 at the end – 19ac, 18d, 18ac and 23ac. 18ac and 19ac I don’t think I would ever have solved, the former in particular striking me as being rather unfair.

Loads I did like, but my COD nomination goes to 1ac – ‘Water-carrying bags? (10)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.

Perhaps a little harder than usual for Dac, as noted on the original blog, though not excessively so. I never really felt stuck on any of the clues, just needed a little more thought than usual on a Wednesday.

Loads of ticks by the clues, but my Code Of the Day nomination goes to 25ac – ‘Footballer first to moan on entering a players’ training ground (8)’.

The 2009 blog is complete:

In which I wish I’d paid more attention at school when we studied parts of the orchestra. I found this reasonably difficult throughout, but my time wasn’t particularly high, perhaps because of the theme, which was lots of fun.

COD? 30ac – ‘Wood or copper, for instance? (9)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:


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