I usually enjoy Virgilius, but must admit to finding this one totally beyond me. I never did get the theme, which meant I couldn’t complete the grid. Either I’m being particularly dim today, or this was too clever for its own good. Clues like 21ac certainly were.

COD? 2d – ‘Monarch as purchaser of chirpy jumper (11)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog, with answers and analysis:


I find this more difficult than we’re used to on a Monday, with quite a few unfamiliar words and definitions.

COD? 26ac – ‘Ability to detect things a few inches away? When you can’t see auditory organs come in! (4,5)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:


September 6th 2014

One of these days I’ll give a breakdown of Phi’s different kinds of ‘something going on’ in his crosswords. In this one it was a pangram. Had I realised, it might have helped me with my LOI 22d SIZE which had a stretched synonym and an abstruse definition in the same clue!

COD 19a Chamber group with piano ousting one without skill (7)

The original blog, unsurprisingly complete, is here:


Slow but steady progress, until I finally worked out 11ac, and quickly jotted in the characters round the outside. One or two I didn’t fully understand, thankfully they’re all explained here:


COD? The answer was obvious to anyone who’s done a cryptic or two, but for the original treatment, 25d – ‘Murder victim like Jack K (4)’.

i Cryptic Crossword 1120 Phi

September 11, 2014

So, the ‘C’ printed in the NW corner was just a misprint, and not something clever I missed? Despite this added bit of misdirection, about par for Phi, biggest hold-up being 12ac, which could have been many random combination of letters as far as I was concerned. :-)

COD? Loads I liked, but I’m nominating 16d – ‘Old instrument, one dropped by its player (clumsy)(8)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog, with all the answers and full analysis of the clues:


i Cryptic Crossword 1119 Dac

September 10, 2014

I found the SW corner a little more difficult than the rest, but otherwise, as noted on the original blog, “A nice and quick solve”.

COD? Amongst many good ones, 2d – ‘Word of disapproval about money wasted on heroin in northern town (9)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:


Fairly tough, but enjoyable, with a theme I thought might help when I struggled at the end with 6ac/4d/8d, but didn’t. Entering CRUMBY for 17ac might not have helped.

COD? 9ac – ‘With change at the top, soft-coloured letterhead has kitsch quality (13)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:


A time to rival nmsindy’s back in 2009. That is, until I came to 25ac, where I came to an abrupt halt, and had to cheat.

COD? 15d – ‘A little light comes in through talking to God? (6)’.

Here’s the Fifteensquared blog, with answers and analysis:


Saturday 30th August 2014

Dac usually does the Wednesday slot in the i, of course, so it was interesting to see how this Saturday offering might differ… Well it was every bit as smooth as we’ve come to expect but, if anything, a bit harder and even a bit better still.  Just right for a prize crossword, in fact.  The surface readings in particular were just wonderful – I don’t think anyone does this aspect of setting better in any of the dailies.

I really couldn’t decide between two outstanding clues to be COD, so take your pick between:

3 down: Einstein’s decade? (7, 8)

4 across: Promoted a recording about an English church (8)

All the answers are in the original blog here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/09/30/independent-7163dac/

As noted by nmsindy, harder than usual for Quixote, but not excessively so I thought, a nicely judged end to the week in the i. As ever, lots of new words learnt.

COD? 1d – ‘Quartet not meeting the needs of all in the auditorium? (8)’.

All the answers, and full analysis, here:



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.