578 Phi

December 22, 2012

Nothing too complicated this week. My Googling has failed to unearth a Fifteensquared blog, so…

Across

1 MOP IS H
4 STOP PAR D
10 AT LEISURE – (late i) + SURE
11 ON AIR – Double Def.
12 SUMMONS – SONS around (Mum)*
13 RE D(H)EAD
14 FUN maGIc
15 IN DUST(R)Y
18 O RIG IN A L
20 NORMAl
23 RI(CO T)TA
25 UNLEASH – (sun ale)* + H
26 W HELP
27 TIGHTWADS – (with stag d)*
28 EASY CARE – (yes a race)*
29 ONE-TWO

Down

1 M(EATS)A FE
2 PULL MAN
3 SKIJORING – (jinks I go)* round R
5 TIERRA DEL FUEGO – (reguge tailored)*
6 PRO(U)D
7 A MATE(U)R
8 DI(RN)D L
9 QUESTION-MASTER – (Anti most queries)* without the i – Excellent &Lit
16 SING LET ON
17 MACHI S MO
19 RICKETS – RICK + (set)*
21 READ A CT – Not sure where the CT comes from?
22 D(ROWS)En
24 TOP ICe

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583 Mordred

December 21, 2012

A reasonably testing puzzle to end the week, with a few odd words. Was I the only person to lob in Octopus for 13ac without really thinking about it? COD, ironically, 13ac. ‘Backtracking first of all, director of Pirates of the Caribbean opted for sea creature (7)’.

Here’s the Fifteensquared blog, plus the ones missed.

Across

1 TELESCOPIC – (ET close)* PIC
11 OKAY
16 NE GATE
18 LIN(G)ER
21 DES CANT (Cant. abbreviation for Canticles) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descant
25 FOOLS ERRAND – (for loser)* + AND

Down

3 EX AM
5 PHILOSOPHICALLY – (Ohh! Chilly Lapp is)*
8 POLYHEDRON – (Phoney Lord)*
13 O(MITT)ED
14 DE FAULT
19 Hidden in cREW OR Deckhands

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2007/11/19/independent-no-6581-by-mordred/

Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2012

Just to wish all readers of the blog a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Blog entries will be sporadic over the festive season, amidst the general festivities, merrymaking, and efforts to keep the children amused. Normal service will be resumed in 2013.

582 Quixote

December 20, 2012

One of Quixote’s sporadic appearances on something other than a Monday eases us towards the end of the week. Nothing too difficult here, only the exact wordplay in 16ac giving me pause for thought. COD 20ac – ‘Performed around six with final bit getting cut (8)’.

Across

1 ICHNEUMON – (i munch one)*
6 ASP I C
9 ARTIFICIAL HEART – (I rate a chairlift)*
10 OVER L(O)AD
11 RED + last letters from thE winE firM
13 TOOL – Reverse of LOOT.
14 TIMEKEEPER – Time as the enemy…
16 BETTED A VIS – ‘Vis’ apparently can mean ‘Force, Power’. The answer was obvious, but not the wordplay.
17 A NON
18 Hidden in wERE NO Women – Another new one on me. ‘Before now; heretofore.’
20 DI(VI)D END
23 ALEC DOUGLAS-HOME (De Gaulle oh so + Mac)* – Prime Minister after Harold Macmillan.
24 TUTu OR – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
25 GUNPOWDER – (Don grew up)*

Down

1 ID A HO
2 HIT BELOW THE BELT – (Belittle Beth How)*
3 ENFOLD – (fondle)*
4 MECHANICAL – (Michael can)*
5 NEAT – Double Def. ‘An old term used mainly in England for a member of the bovine family such as the ox or cow.’
6 A CH IE VER
7 PLACE UPON RECORD, I think, though I’ve never heard it phrased quite like that.
9 CAT A M(A R)AN
12 PEN(I)CILLINg
13 TABLE SALT – (All taste + b)*
15 SECOND ER – Groans…
18 F I(A)S CO
21 DR EAR
22 JU(N)G

 http://www.fifteensquared.net/2007/11/08/independent-on-sunday-925-by-quixote/

581 Dac

December 19, 2012

Another slighter harder than usual offering today I thought, with some very well hidden definitions. COD 20d – ‘Cut some material for clothes (7)’.

Here’s the Fifteensquared blog, plus the ones missed.

Across

6 wAr PoEmS
10 SLA(N)G
12 T ISSUE
19 BACK HAND
21 T ERROR
26 LEMNOS – (melons)*
29 Hidden in LanD ROVEr
30 S LED

Down

1 FAST – Double Def.
4 CAG(N)EY
5 EXERTION – (tire oxen)*
9 Hidden in FrANTIcally
20 COSTUME – (Cut some)*
22 ROOT OUT – Sounds like ROUTE OUT
25 GOBS – Reverse of S BOG

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2007/10/31/independent-6565dac-a-river-runs-through-it/

580 Virgilius

December 18, 2012

Not only did I miss the theme today, but also struggled badly after a fast start in the NW corner. Need a rest obviously, roll on the holidays! COD 18d – ‘In river, drag as far down as possible (7)’.

Here’s the Fifteensquared blog, plus the ones missed.

Across

18 NO BALL – NOB ALL
25 NAIROBI – (an oribi)*
26 SITE – Sounds like CITE

Down

1 BILL – Double Def. It’s also a ‘polearm weapon used by infantry in medieval Europe.’
5 ENCIRCLE – (R + licence)*
18 DEE PEST

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2007/10/30/independent-6564virgilius/

579 Quixote

December 17, 2012

I’d be interested to know what others thought of this, as I found it a lot harder than the usual Quixote, with quite a few unknown words. I struggled especially with 16ac, 1d and 18d. In the end it was as fair as ever. COD 20d – ‘Untidy doctor, not male bothered about attire (6)’.

Across

6 A PLACE IN THE SUN – Cryptic Def.
10 MADNESS – (and)* in MESS
11 GIR(A S O)L
12 ST OUT
13 HE AD LINER
14 C(L)OVER
16 TUCKER – Little Tommy Tucker, who ‘Sings for his supper’ presumably. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Tommy_Tucker
17 ORIFLAMME – (email form)*
19 CUPID – Cryptic Def.
21 BOULDER – Double Def.
22 HOTLINE – (in hotel)*
23 BEETLE-CRUSHERS – (Cheerless brute)* ‘British slang for heavy work boots’.

Down

1 LA(M)MAS – Though is it really a Christian festival? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lammas
2 AC CENT
3 PIN(S)CHER One of these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinscher
4 STInG MAn
5 PETROLIC – (Copter I + L)
7 LADY OF LEISURE – (Ideally for Sue)*
8 USS ENTERPRISE – (pressure set in)*
9 SLUR – Double Def. Apart from the obvious, it is also apparently ‘a symbol in Western musical notation indicating that the notes it embraces are to be played without separation’.
15 VALIDATE – V A + (detail)*
16 TEE SHIRT – (their set)*
17 OR BuS – ‘In heraldry, Or (from the French word for gold) is the tincture of gold’.
18 MOREEN – Sounds like MAUREEN. ‘A sturdy ribbed fabric of wool, cotton, or wool and cotton, often with an embossed finish, used for clothing and upholstery.’
20 DR mESSY – Groans…

572 Phi

December 15, 2012

I failed miserably to spot the numerous F’s in the grid when solving, which is a pity, as it would have helped me when I got stuck at the end on the combination of of 25ac and 22d. Definitely harder than the usual Phi.

Here’s the old Fifteensquared blog, plus the ones missed.

Across

17 OFF(END)ER

Down

7   FRANCE – RAN for the A in FACE
22 FUGUE – Double Def.
24 FETE – Upsetting half of FEET

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2007/10/26/independent-6561-phi-an-fing-puzzle/

577 Nestor

December 14, 2012

Well, my heart sank when I saw the name Nestor this morning, thinking I’d be in for a hard time. But as it turned out we got a very accessible and entertaining crossword, with some very inventive clueing, and a few unfamiliar names that were gettable through the always clear and fair wordplay. More like this please!

COD 25ac the quite brilliant – ‘Ferry crew spreading myxovirus after centre sees twentyfold increase (4,5)’.

Here’s the old Fifteensquared blog, plus the few missed.

Across

20 SC(R)UFF

Down

2 TA(S)TERS
7 UNI FOR M

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2007/11/16/independent-6574nestor/

576 Monk

December 13, 2012

One that definitely needed more thought and patience than I had following a school Christmas concert and large meal to follow. 🙂 Got there in the end, with some pause for thought on 27ac. Bit of a thing about DRAWs in this one too, with a nice reuse of a clue in 13ac and 20d. COD 10ac for its clever play on what is a bit of a crossword cliché  ‘Called once more to see how one is after facelift? (9)’.

Here’s the Fifteensquared blog, plus the ones missed.

Across

1 COCK – Double Def.
10 REDIALLED – Cryptic Def.
29 ADZE – A soundalike, that luckily I’ve come across before.

Down

2 CA(D)RE
24 R(AC)ED

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2007/11/23/independent-6580monk/