Just a quick blog as I’m struggling to get this typed out on my phone. Fairly straightforward today, I thought, in what’s fast turning into Crosophile’s regular spot. 

COD? 11ac – ‘It’d be usual if there were mass for little French one in such an event (11)’.

Here’s the Fifteensquared blog:


i Cryptic Crossword 1496 Dac

November 25, 2015

“Hello, Mister Battered’s place”.
“Batarde, Charmaine. You make me sound like a fish supper”.
“Sorry Mr. B. Where are you anyway? I thought you were supposed to be back by now”.
“Delayed train, dash it. Wrong sort of mildly inclement weather or something. Would you be an angel and take care of the blog again for me”?
“Well …”
“… Same rate as last time. Please”?
“My pleasure, sir”.
“Oh, that’s a relief, thank you. See you soon”.

Either I’m getting better at these crossword things (ought to be – I’ve been doing them for over a week now) or else this was an easy one. Lots of nice clues which read like real sentences as usual, including a couple of funny ones. Honourable mentions to 1ac, 7d, 15d and 17d, but the award for Awesome Clue of the Day goes to 2d:

“Reprimand male servant when one’s not suited for work (5-4,6)”

The Fifteensquared blog from March 2011 is here:


Geography, eh? And places on the Thames too. This was never going to play to my strong points. As it turned out, this proved to be ultimately reasonably solvable, with a few blips along the way (MARDEN, anyone else?), and recourse to Google. Scorpion seems to have got a little easier since I first encountered him in the Independent many moons ago, when I first started solving.

COD? 16d – ‘Instructions to house hunters perhaps: trade latterly quite depressed (4,4)’.

March 2011 today. We’re going to catch up at some point.


So it appears that the Don is here to stay on Mondays in the i, at least for the the moment, and very welcome he is too. :-) That said, I found this one much tougher than usual, with quite a few long answers that weren’t immediately apparent, and one or two unfamiliar terms. Time just over par for the i.

COD? 16ac – ‘What nearer Xmas may be dressed? A bird (4,10)’.

We’re into May 2011 already!


Saturday 14th November  2015

Well this was one of my favourite Phi puzzles for a long time – and also the first for a while with no theme, either hidden or otherwise.  Coincidence?  I couldn’t possibly comment.

We all like a bit of sauce, so the reversal of ‘in 1 C-cup’ for Puccini brought a chuckle, but for once I’ll go high-brow for my COD:

27a         Fateful forest, in which mad woman in pen died (6,4)

The 2011 blog from Fifteensquared with all the answers can be accessed by clicking here.

The second puzzle from this setter and I didn’t find it particularly difficult at all, no idea how long it took me as the wife kept talking at me, I wonder what she was saying?

A lot of abbreviations and shortening of words used in the construction of this puzzle most were obvious to me but L = angular momentum was new to me and “heartless children in care” in 23a had me scratching my head. Last one to go in was 15d, didn’t really like that one at all. However there was a lot to like and I think my nomination for COD must go to

10a Creep after taking little time to flatter (5-4)

It was something about washing and raining. Too late now its pouring and I’m not going out in that.

Back to March 2011 here





A fairly gentle outing from Klingsor, that I solved in half the time of yesterday’s, just to show how subjective solving times can be! Lots of lovely clues, starting with the very clever 1ac onwards, but my COD goes to 4d – ‘Following game both sides surround English referee? (8)’.

A good pick for a prize puzzle, this one. Here’s the original blog:


i Cryptic Crossword 1490 Dac

November 18, 2015

Surprise! Mr Battered has gone off on his yearly visit to his Aunt Azalea, and he’s taken Mr Onions with him.  (I hope his aunt is a better hostess than mine).  Mr B. was all bothered about missing the blog, so I told him not to worry, I’ll do it.  How hard can it be, anyway?  Mr O. seemed a bit dubious and muttered something about someone called Eliza Doolittle, but Mr B. just looked relieved and handed me a £50 note.  He’s a real gentleman!

It turned out to be harder than I expected – not the puzzle but the clue of the day thing.  Not 5d: too colloquial, innit? 15ac,22ac, 8d and 16d were all good, and 7ac is quite funny, but my Awesome Clue of the Day is 2d:

“Robber oddly snaffles telephone (4-6)”

Mr B. usually swears a lot when he’s trying to find the Fifteensquared blog, but I don’t know what all the fuss is about.  Silly sausage!  Here it is:


Normal service will be resumed next week.  Byeeee!


i Cryptic Crossword 1489 Tees

November 17, 2015

Wasn’t that good? I’m usually not that keen on long anagrams, but the ones here yielded easily enough, and led quickly to our theme of the day. And a pangram, too, apparently, though I haven’t checked. 14ac and 16d went in without understanding the wordplay, but the checking and definitions were generous enough to leave little doubt.

COD? 11/9 – ‘First to antagonise unionist with it, Treasury seems bent on making 21 (9,8)’.

January 2011 today:


A very easy offering from Quixote this week that was his last in the IoS, so it will be interesting to see what happens next week in the i. Close to a personal best for me, with only 2 minutes spent on 25ac at the end preventing it from being so. As good as ever, though, from the Don, so hoping he won’t disappear from our pages altogether.

COD? 4d – ‘Pet insect gets into musical instrument – pet lost! (7)’.

Here’s the 2011 blog:



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