Another fine puzzle from Dac that I made heavy weather of with a few unforced errors, notably a careless FIDDLER at 19d that caused me much difficulty in the SE corner. Little comment over on Fifteensquared, because there doesn’t need to be. More like this please.

COD? Too many to choose from, but I’ll go with 22d – ‘In this, one may be flung out of car hitting tree (5)’.

July 2012 once more:

A clutch of linked clues today. My approach to this sort of puzzle is to ignore them entirely and work through the plain ones, and with a bit of luck the mental engine will be purring by the time I get back to them. Radian was generous enough to provide plenty of eminently solvable material to get proceedings under way, and after the first read through half the grid was full and your humble blogger was in good humour.

It’s probably fair to say that most solvers will want a book in front of them to check on the thematic answers, and in this case it isn’t a dictionary. All will become clear, no doubt, and in my case that just left a few stragglers in the top left area … and boy, did I make heavy weather of them. 3d and 9ac were forehead-slappers, 1d was pretty recondite, and as for 11ac, that’s rather too vague a cryptic definition for my taste. Never mind – all told this was a particularly enjoyable puzzle with plenty of nicely turned out clues to enjoy. Nothing stands out head and shoulders above the rest, but I’m sure we can all appreciate 21ac:

“Crackpot? She’ll ignore punctuation (7)”

For solutions and discussion, please see the July 2012 Fifteensquared blog.

When my first answer in was 26ac, I figured I was probably going to be in trouble today. As it turned out, the down clues proved to be a lot friendlier and I finished in a time that said this was one of the easy ones. Or perhaps it just took me that long to wake up?

Nothing controversial today, and all understood by the end. Just good, solid clues from the Don.

COD? 18ac – ‘Crackers hidden from view? (5,3,4)’.

To the warmer days of July 2012. Brrrr.

Saturday 26th November 2016

One of the tougher Phi puzzles I thought but (and unlike yesterday’s Monk for example) I did manage to finish it without succumbing to the temptations of either Chambers Word Wizard  or my favourite anagram solving site.

A good mental workout as ever; in common with several at the Fifteensquared blog here, my last one in was the tricky to parse ITSELF at 1d.

And our general knowledge was given a bit of a test too, if you recall, with IKAT, MARTINU, PIRANDELLO and OORT CLOUD. Only the last was entirely new for me – although having said that, and now I type it, it does seem oddly familiar. Funny how crosswords can do that to you…

As for what was ‘going on’, I think having four 15-letterers was quite enough to keep our setter busy whilst compiling this particular grid.

COD? 8d  Car problem has cricketer out in flannel  (8)

A real toughie from Monk today, well it beat me anyway, 20a was not in my lexicon, however the wordplay proves very clever. A lot of this puzzle seemed to me to rely on abbreviations, some obvious from the clue but others seemed quite obscure both 1d and 14d getting grimaces from me. As usual a lot were solved without a full understanding of the wordplay among those were 12a where we deduce “make” from “flow” hmm. Of course there is always someone who can offer a justification but I think that its a bit tenuous also 1a did anyone solve this from cryptic part of the clue?  There were of course some more accessible answers the one I liked best was –

COD  3d    Lover ascending before descent for nothing (4,3)

The blog from July 2012 and all the parsing can be found here




A reasonably challenging offering today from Klingsor that took quite a bit of unpicking in places. Thankfully a few of the longer answers were write-ins otherwise this would have taken longer still. Sorry to be so brief, but work beckons…

Lots to like, with COD going to 3d – ‘Who’s a poser? (4-3)’.

Back to June 2012:

i Cryptic Crossword 1813 Dac

November 30, 2016

An enjoyable solve as ever from Dac, perhaps on the easier side for him. What more can you say? The usual excellent puzzle he produces week after week.

COD? 5ac – ‘Potentially lousy sort in school? (6)’.

Back to July 2012, where there’s some discussion about the abbreviation used in 21ac. TBH, the synonym for ‘Expert’ threw me more.

i Cryptic Crossword 1812 Anax

November 29, 2016

Speak of the devilish and he’s sure to appear – this is what I get for mentioning Anax in passing yesterday. Unsurprisingly this old Saturday prize puzzle from June 2012 was on the tough side, although it has to be said that Anax can be a good deal more refractory than this when the mood takes him.

Our theme today relates to 4d: the one clue I couldn’t parse. A glance at the Fifteensquared blog entry explains why, and I’m not even slightly embarrassed by my ignorance of Whigfield. Some features of this crossword encroach upon barred grid territory and that won’t please everybody: 15, 19 and 22 are perhaps a bit thick for a weekday, really. However, none of the solutions are especially obscure, so that’s something, and there are some terrific clues. 1, 13, 20, 21, 23, 25/8 … all top 18ac. I’m going to break my rule and nominate a themed one for COD:

9d: “Woman who does not sell up has left out 4 (10)”

An enjoyable, not too difficult solve to start the week. A few unfamiliar terms, but they were all clearly, fairly clued.

COD? 17ac – ‘He controls investigator at hillside leisure facility? (8)’.

Our first IoS reprint of the week is from July 2012:

Saturday 17th November 2016

In which our setter had LACHRYMAL GLAND across the top and FAIRY GODMOTHER across the bottom, in both instances the pair of words being split across two lights to neatly fill the row.  I like that.

And what an enjoyable solve it was. Plenty of ticks by the clues with just LYSIS and UT INFRA being unfamiliar.  Having said that, the former did ring a distant bell and the latter is similar to Dac’s UT SUPRA from back in September – also clued as a hidden by the way.

For Clue of the Day, and pipping both 13d and 16d to the post, I must concur with duncansheill at Fifteensquared back in 2012:

18a Comedy film duo going up and down (7)

For that original blog – with answers and full parsings (I needed it to parse 26a M(a)OIST, for example), just click here.