September 2, 2014
The two long book titles, and linked clues, meant that it took me a long time to get into this. Very satisfying to see things fall into place.
COD? 12/8/17 – ‘Work of 5A/27 KO’d in 25 (4,3,3,2,5,3,6)’, despite usually disliking heavily linked clues like that.
Lots more discussion on the old Fifteensquared blog:
September 1, 2014
Many thanks to Cornick for covering last week while I enjoyed a week away from everything, including crosswords. This left me badly rusty this morning, and therefore grateful for one which was described as being easy in the original blog.
Loads here to like, but my COD goes to 20ac – ‘Excel, being OTT outwardly (7)’.
Here’s the 2009 blog, with full analysis of the clues:
August 30, 2014
Saturday 23rd August 2014
Beautifully crafted Phi last Saturday. No themes or Ninas, but a grid pattern with lots of overlapping long clues (hard to compose, by the way) all achieved with a really good balance of vocabulary in the answers. Arguably the hardest of these – ‘Simon Boccanegra’ across the top – did ring a distant bell, so was gettable from its anagram – even for a non-opera goer like me!
COD 26ac Sweet spirit leading to merriment with cap dislodged (10,5)
Original blog here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/08/28/independent-7135phi/
August 29, 2014
Phi on a Friday? I wonder what’s in store for tomorrow then…
The 2009 blog is here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/10/30/independent-7189-by-phi/
After seeing ‘palindromist’ along the top, did anyone else expect we’d get some palindromes?
Well there was only one, 3 down, so (and even if there are better clues) I’d like to make it my COD:
Concept I ignored as unfeasible (3, 2)
Steady progress until the last two, ‘glory’ and ‘sigh’ intersecting in the SW corner. Each had a tenuous component: My = glory and sight = a great many. Oka-ay, got ‘em, but even after parsing them correctly I still didn’t feel sure…
August 28, 2014
Nestor is only an occasional setter for the Independent, but a regular setter for the Times and co-editor of the Listener, Britain’s hardest series of crosswords featured in the Times on Saturdays. I get the impression that our visiting setters adjust their styles somewhat when they set for the Indy, allowing themselves a bit more freedom to innovate and be, well, witty.
Something for everyone here, with several lovely ‘cryptic’ clues and definitions (26ac, 5d) and some clever innovation (14ac, 22ac, 4d) but my COD nomination, just pipping the saucy 10ac was the following:
8ac: Whiter than white mutant obvious in space (5, 9)
The complete 2009 blog with all the answers is here.
August 27, 2014
Dac always provides lovely smooth surface readings, and this week they featured some particularly fine misdirections. The original blog, which you may find here, has comments drooling over one such in 11d, but for me the best example was 5 across:
High-flier, one at college wanting a career shortly (6)
Btw, surely ‘be’ for ‘are’ in 20ac requires a Westcountry dialect “You be right, my luvver” kind of thing? I seem to remember this being railed against in the past, but here the much-loved and respected Dac got away with it!
August 26, 2014
Seeing that Eimi had unches along the top and bottom I was expecting to spot a Nina at some point, only to be disappointed when SPLEODARATNENAGH emerged. Random letters, surely… Not a bit of it! This was Eimi having a joke with his Nina spotters – the Spleodar at Nenagh (pronounced ‘Nina’) is, according to the original blog here, a festival in Ireland. Ha!
Some very enjoyable clues in here – just right for a Tuesday. My favourite was one of the five excellent fifteen-letterers, 11 across:
Of great consequence – could be heart-breaking (15)
August 25, 2014
A speedy and enjoyable solve today until I hit the last two in the SW corner – must brush up on my Hindu castes and East European currencies… So whilst several were pretty easy and there were several brilliant ‘& Lit’ anagrams, there were also some that required a very broad general knowledge.
COD? Has to be 7d: Brain-dead men to play machine in pub? (3-5, 6)
Original blog here.
August 22, 2014
Saturday 16th August 2014
Phi loves including musical references, so it was no surprise to see last Saturday’s grid peppered with different musical notes. To fit them in the grid, he had to use some obscure words like ‘manumits’ and ‘eirenicon’ for example. Unfortunately, these were all clued with anagrams, which made them pretty unfathomable – for me at least.
COD 1d One office worker heading off around noon (4)
Original blog here.
August 22, 2014
I only had a little while to solve today, and only got some of this done. Hope you fared better, or had more time. :-)
Here’s the 2009 blog: