502 Virgilius

September 18, 2012

Slightly harder than usual for Virgilius, I thought, with 12ac, 20ac and 23ac giving me some pause for thought. As always, though, excellent entertainment value.

http://fifteensquared.net/2007/08/07/independent-6492-virgilius-delightful-stuff/

501 Quixote

September 17, 2012

In which my usual Monday struggle with Quixote takes a bad turn as I make a mess of the NW corner, getting 1ac, 3d and 10ac all wrong. The usual excellent Fifteensquared blog showed me the error of my ways:

http://fifteensquared.net/2007/08/09/independent-on-sunday-by-quixote-912/

499 Punk

September 14, 2012

What a day! Apologies for the lateness of this link to the original blog here. A great puzzle with lots of clues to raise a smile, but the winner for me was easily ‘One without love that was close relation (6)’ at 20dn. I learnt some geography too, at 11 and 27ac.

I hope Punk was slightly unsatisfied with ‘Incredible feat of a wino? (10)’ at 4dn. ‘Feat’ is the wrong word; ‘behaviour’ would have done.

498 Mass

September 13, 2012

Definitely easier than the usual Mass, though still tricky enough to give me some pause. COD 11ac (Stir likely to happen soon, we hear).

http://fifteensquared.net/2007/07/30/independent-6485mass/

497 Dac

September 12, 2012

I didn’t find this as difficult as the original blogger, but did have a few question marks dotted round at the end, and needed help with 1d / 9ac. Some excellent clues here though, favourites being 17ac (Eco-warrior introduces plan to recycle? That’s the spirit) and 24ac (Place in grip of sickness bug.) A good week in the i so far!

http://fifteensquared.net/2007/08/01/independent-6487dac/

496 Virgilius

September 11, 2012

Absolutely fabulous! 🙂 Virgilius at his best! 

http://fifteensquared.net/2007/07/31/independent-6486-by-virgilius-how-does-he-do-it/

495 Quixote

September 10, 2012

Well, this was rather good! Lots to like, even if I did fail at the end in the NE corner with 5ac / 6d and 13ac combining to make we reach for the Chambers Word Wizard. COD for me, amongst many good ones, was 1d, I’m a sucker for a surface reading as smooth as that.

http://fifteensquared.net/2007/07/26/independent-on-sunday-910-by-quixote-straightforward/

i488 by Phi

September 8, 2012

For once 15 squared fully documented this at the time, here’s Tilsits blog http://fifteensquared.net/2007/07/06/independent-6465-phi-mr-dependable/

Not much to add barring 8d should be RE(n)T in PENCE.

493 Quixote

September 7, 2012

A good workout from Quixote this morning, first seen here. The original blogger didn’t give all the answers but I was glad to find 7d there; nmsindy’s last in and mine too, though the obscure word is no excuse considering the construction, a read-through, is simplicity itself. But the clue does so very much tempt you to try to put a V in something. Quixote shows a particular talent for read-throughs in this puzzle, as it’s hard not to make them too obvious, but 6d took me quite a while, too.

Generally, nice surfaces, and a couple of obscure words more than made up for by such simple clues as 3ac or 5dn. Lights previously unblogged below.

<h2Across

3. FORTRESS: FOR + TRESS.
11. HAYMAKER: d.d. The slang meaning was new to me.
12. SENTIENT: SENT + I.E. + N(o)T.
17. CELLULAR: {CRUEL ALL}.
19. BARGED IN: BARGE + DIN.
23. TENEMENT: MEN in TENET.

Down

4. ONE-SHOT: ONE’S + HOT.
5. TO SAY THE LEAST: d.d.

492 Phi

September 6, 2012

Phi on a Thursday? Raises the proverbial eyebrow. A much more pleasant diversion, though, I thought than the beast that is traditional in the Thursday i and Independent. Only 22ac caused me any grief, but no complaints – clear, fun wordplay throughout. COD 1ac (Power and endless desire and…?)

http://fifteensquared.net/2007/07/20/independent-6477-phi-pleasant-stroll/