I found this quite difficult, getting seriously stuck at the end with the intersection of 18d and 26ac. Many clues, such as 9ac, were also wilfully obscure, which didn’t help matters. Toc H for Talbot House? You must be joking… Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve always found Hypnos to be a mixture of easy and sometimes very unfair clues… As ever, here’s the old blog plus clues missed.

Across

5 SEESAW – Sounds like SEA SORE.
10 KIM ON O
13 WO W
20 BO A
21 GET TOGETHER – GhETTO G ETHER I think.
24 DE(RE)LI CT
25 CEREAL – Sounds like SERIAL.

Down

2 Hidden in caracaL A PELt
6 EPISODE – (See iPod)*
7 S TOP WATCH
11 FAWLTY TOWERS – (Worst flaw yet)*
17 REGALIA – AI LAGER all reversed.
18 ROEDEAN – Sounds like ROW and DEAN. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roedean_School

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/11/independent-6652-by-hypnos/

i Cryptic Crossword 640 Dac

February 27, 2013

Nothing too difficult from Dac today, though a few that needed checking, notably 10ac and 20d. COD 27ac, with 16d a close runner up – ‘Such as Temperance Seven, it would seem: a bit groovy at first (6)’. As ever, the old Fifteensquared blog and clues missed.

Across

4 SPINNING – Double Def.
25 RE(US)ED – The film director is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Reed

Down

12 HARRIS TWEED – (Wear this red)*
23 ONSET – (Notes)*

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/13/independent-6654dac/

Harder than the usual Virgilius, I thought, but with a nice theme based around PC. COD for me 23d – ‘What Senor needs on top i.e. hat covering Don’s head (5)’. As ever, the old Fifteensquared blog and clues missed.

Across

9 POL(IC)E CONSTABLE
10 HEY DAY
15/1a POLITICALLY CORRECT – Cryptic Def.
16 OUTPATIENTS – Cryptic Def.
21/11 PERSONAL COMPUTER – Another Cryptic Def.
22 HECTIC – (Che)* TIC

Down

3 ENCLASP – (lens cap)*
7 EMBATTLES – M inside (seat belt)*
16 ON PAPER
20 EXCE(R)PT

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/12/independent-6653-by-virgilius/

The usual Monday goodness from Quixote, which did cause me a moment of concern on 1d, where for a while I thought I wouldn’t finish. Blame my ignorance of all things football. I always seem to learn something new with each Monday puzzle, which is no bad thing! COD 7d – ‘Desperate fellow, one saying ‘Achtung!’, who is seen as a threat? (6,3)’.

Across

6 FLOG A DEAD HORSE – Cryptic Def.
9 GATEMAN – NAME TAG reversed.
10 NUPTIAL – (put in a)* + L
11 T RAIN
12 SPEARHEAD – (A hare sped)*
13 CHEATER – (the race)*
15 M(ILK) BAR – mbar as unit of pressure.
17 PORCELAIN – (Nice pal or)*
19 P EARL
21 AC(CURS)T
22 MO(NIKE)R – Nike (mythology), Greek goddess who personifies victory.
23 AS THE CASE MAY BE – AS (Teaches)* MAY BE

Down

1 PORT (V)ALE – This one took me as much time as the rest put together…
2 GAMMON – Double Def.
3 MEAN – Double Def.
4 CORPORAL – Double Def.
5 A SPIRE
6 FlIGHT
7 Desperate DAN GERMAN
8 GLIDER – REG reversed around LID.
12 SARCASTIC – (As racist)* C
13 CEPHAS – C + (shape)* or Saint Peter…
14 THE AR CH Y
16 B(LACKEY)E
18 RECAST – ACtors reversed in REST.
19 PA NAM<- A
20 LA(R)NE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larne
22 MUSH – Double Def.

i Cryptic Crossword 631 Phi

February 23, 2013

I found this a lot easier than the usual weekend puzzle, and lots of fun, though I must admit to having spotted the words forming in the left and right columns about three quarters of the way through, which helped no end. COD 2d – ‘Feet giving indication of someone’s sexual preference? (5)’.

As ever, the old Fifteensquared blog and clues missed.

Across

1 LIGHTS – Cryptic Def.
5 ISOMORPH – (Phi’s room)*
9 AMANUENSIS – (man + an issue)*
13 Y ALE
21 IT SELF
23 LYNCH MOB – (only)* around CH M and then B.
25 Hidden in jewelleR IN General.
26 I N(EP TIT)UDE

Down

3 HUNGRIEST – (Rue nights)*
4 SLEUTH – H TUE(L)S all reversed
5 INSECT REPELLENT – (Preens intellect)*
7 mO(A)SES
16 AESTHETIC – (The sea)* + TIC
24 bORDER

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/01/18/independent-6632-by-phi/

i Cryptic Crossword 636 Tees

February 22, 2013

A  few good clues from Tees but more duff ones. I don’t mind the odd duff clue in an easy crossword, but they’re annoying when one’s spent time on a hard one.

Original blog here. More answers and gripes below. One might also add that in 23a, ‘Beautiful daughter’ is a nonsensical definition for Ariadne. She wasn’t particularly noted for beauty, and while she was certainly someone’s daughter, so are most women.

On the upside, ‘Made price changes to capitalise on current opportunities (5,4)’ is a neat clue at 16d, and 18/10, while I’m still not a fan of long anagrams, introduces an unusual idea in using a number which must be read as both anagram fodder (in the wordplay) and a clue reference (in the definition).

Across

11. ENTICER: {IN CRETE}
13. BEVERAGE: B + EVER + AGE
20. CASH CARD: mediocre e.d., based on a pun on ‘necessary’

Down

3. ARTICLE: {RECITAL}
6. DRESS UP: d.d.
7. NEIGH: “nay”
8. SIDELINE: SIDE + LINE
9. STAGGER: Edit: G in STAGERS (thanks LP, below). I withdraw my previous accusations of unsoundness against this clue!
14. ANCIENTS: A + N + C(l)IENTS. The use of ‘money’ to clue L (libra, £) is simply rubbish. L does not stand for ‘money’, and if we’re going to allow indirect indications like this, ‘money’ could be practically any letter, the world having far more currencies than the alphabet has letters.

i Cryptic Crossword 635 Mass

February 21, 2013

Yikes. Similar thoughts to the original blogger – very easy to start, but a couple at the end to trip us up, notably 25ac and 15d. COD 8ac, with a very well hidden definition – ‘A sack stuffed with well-turned pastries (5-4)’. Here’s the original blog, and clues missed.

Across

1 IMPATIENCE – (epic I meant)*
8 The original blogger missed that the definition is ‘A’. FIRST-RATE (TARTS) reversed inside FIRE.
9 NE(A)T
10 EX PERT
17 SE CRETE D
21 EMPHASIS – H inside (impasse)*
23 DAMSEL – LE’S MAD reversed.
25 FILE – Double Definition.
26 DUNGAREES – DUN and (grease)*

Down

1 INTERFERE – (n ie ferret)*
5 CHA RIOT
12 NUMBERLESS – (mess Brunel)*
18 CA PRICE
20 BASS ET
22 ALE RT
24 ANNEx

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/01/28/independent-6640-math/

i Cryptic Crossword 634 Dac

February 20, 2013

Fairly straightforward I thought, with only the NW corner causing any real difficulties. I’m afraid I had to lookup 9ac, not a big sherry fan. COD 19/22 – ‘Vehicle enters sprawling French city laden with classy wine (8,9)’.

As ever, the old Fifteensquared blog and clues missed.

Across

6 Hidden in rooM IS Scintillating.
12 Hidden in grOUSELike

Down

3 NO OIL PAINTING – Cryptic Def.
18 ROSE BAY

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/01/30/independent-6642dac/

Not the easiest Virgilius we’ve had, with a long quote I didn’t know and had to look up. I’m as bemused as the original blogger was about 25ac. COD the quite wonderful ‘Not as strict as King Albert? Just the opposite (5)’.

As ever, the old Fifteensquared blog plus clues missed.

Across

6 RASTA – A TSAR reversed.
21 A SCOT
24 PRESENT ER

Down

3 ALL HAIL – (hall)* + AIL
4 FOOL – Double Def.
8 BYE-BYE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bye_(cricket)
9 SIREn
13 SET A RECORD
17 LEA(D E)R
22 T REX

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/01/29/independent-6641virgilius/

A nice gentle one to ease us into the working week. COD? For me, 14ac – ‘Unsystematic formula for making a binder (14)’.

Across

1 LA TEST
4 SCR AMBLE – SCR = Staff Common Room
9 OFF ICE R
11 LI(MOG)ES – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limoges
12 ELEMI – IE reversed about Lunar Excursion Module. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Lunar_Module
13 B(L)IND SIDE
14 SCATTERBRAINED – (a binder) scattered.
16 CORNISH PASTIES – (Assertion chips)*
21 O PEN HO(U)SE
23 RE(P)LY
24 PHARAOH – Sounds like FAIR OH.
25 SUBJECT – Double Def.
26 TUESDAYS – Presumably supposed to sound like CHOOSE DAZE? Just about, I suppose.
27 T EASE R

Down

1 LIONESS – Cryptic Def.
2 TAFF ET A
3 SACRISTAN – (a crass nit)*
5 CALLIGRAPHERS – (Large rich pals)*
6 hARMED
7 BEGUINE – I in (bungee)* ‘A member of any of several lay sisterhoods founded in the Netherlands in the 13th century.’
8 EN(SUE)D
10 ROBERT SOUTHEY – (he tortures boy)* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Southey
15 INSURABLE – I and R in (bus lane)*
17 OVER AT E
18 I eMPRESS
19 Hidden in thiS HYSTERia
20 MOP PET
22 HOARD – Sounds like HORDE.