It feels like an age since we’ve seen Punk, so today’s was most welcome. A little easier than usual for him, but 17d/27ac and the NE corner did hold me up for a while.

COD? Because it took me so long to spot, 4d – ‘Fat, of spectacular dimensions! (4)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:

Yet again Dac shows how it should be done. Lovely puzzle, just the right side of challenging, with the more difficult answers very clearly clued.

COD? 12ac – ‘Famous Frenchman’s former resistance to European Union (7)’.

Here’s the blog from 2010, with all the answers and analysis:

I’m afraid I’m in agreement with many of the solvers back in the day – too obscure by far for a weekday puzzle, and worse I gave up with several unsolved just because the process was getting so tedious. I did spot the theme for once while solving, but it was never going to help with some of the clues. 12ac and 15ac should never have got through the editing phase.

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

I made a right meal of this, finishing in about twice my usual time for a Monday. Quite a few unknowns, and the nonsense homophone at 19ac muddying the waters.

COD? 1d – ‘Doctor turning up with others at university home in the morning (10)’.

Here’s our first 2010 blog of the year:

Saturday 11th October 2014

Good stuff as ever last Saturday with Phi giving us a pair of very clearly indicated 15-letter anagrams side by side down the middle of the grid: ‘Edinburgh Castle’ and ‘Central America’. With those two readily in place forming the backbone of the puzzle, several ‘ribs’ quickly followed.  A few answers, like 21d’s ‘Harold’, offered a bit more resistance towards the end but, by the standard of the last two days, this was a doddle!

COD 23ac: Literary style is included in field of study (7)

Original blog is complete and here:

Two reprints of very difficult Indie Saturday Prize Crosswords in a row, the editor’s got it in for us. I needed help to finish this one in any sort of reasonable time.

COD? 3d – ‘Ship’s captain giving dog and bear examination (7)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:

A medically themed puzzle from Mass that had me struggling after 6 clues entered, but very rewarding to finish. Bit of a thumbs down for 18d, where we needed to know not only the abbreviation and include it as part of the anagram fodder, but also pick up on an unusual anagram indicator.

COD? 8d – ‘Almost ready in operating scene for 19 (7)’.

All the answers and analysis here:

As good as ever from Dac, though he did defeat me today on 5ac, 11ac and 10ac. This isn’t my week! :-)

The definition for 26ac always rankles with me, as I always holiday in the UK, and still consider that I have had a vacation, but I’ll forgive Dac as the media seem to have wilfully mangled the original usage.

COD? So simple, but took me an age to spot, 7d – ‘Muscle men in gym have tight-fitting tops (5)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:

I struggled quite badly with this, never spotting the theme, and gave up with 4 blank in the interests of getting the blog out.

COD? 19d – ‘Learner who is unusually wise (6)’.

The 2009 blog is missing one or two clues, and got some of the down numbers wrong, which you should be able to untangle:

13ac – REEL ED
20d – ANNUAL

Quixote eases us gently into the working week. A decidedly festive feel to today’s puzzle. :-)

COD? 21ac – ‘Moan as row becomes tricky? Presumably she might (9)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog with answers and analysis:


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