The most difficult thing here was trying to spot the Nina(s), which I failed miserably to do until I consulted the old 2008 blog. As that is complete, again, it is just left to nominate a COD. For me, amongst many good ones, 19ac – ‘Author Martin gets his conclusion doubly wrong (5)’.

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/03/04/independent-6671virgilius/

I don’t know about you, but I found this a little tricky, with 2 I can’t fully explain. COD, among many excellent clues, for me 19ac – ‘Take no notice of trendy goings-on in Edinburgh? (8)’.

Across

1 BA(I)Ll
3 T(RACE)S
8 HE(R O)N
9 CHEST NUT
10 AL L(I)ANCE
11 EAR THY
12 ENTHUSIAST – (hesitant)* around US.
13 RARE – Cryptic Def.
14 SHADe
15 B(ASK)ET BALL
17 Hidden in mythologieS OR RELigions.
19 IN FRINGE
20 SIXPENCE, though the cryptic def eludes me.
21 EP ACT – ‘The period of time necessary to bring the solar calendar into harmony with the lunar calendar.’
22 TI(LL)ER
23 ED G E

Down

1 BURN I SHED
2 wINNINGS – I liked the definition here.
4 REEL ECT
5 CATER – (carte)*
6 SOUTHERN LIGHTS – (Lustre’s not high)*
7 PHILANTHROPIST – The definition’s clear enough, but I can’t see the cryptic.
9 CAESARS WIFE – (a few cares is)*
13 RAB BIN ATE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rab_Butler
15 B(ALAN)CE
16 ENDFIELD – END around (life)*
18 RE(P)EL

The run of fairly straightforward prize cryptics continues – which, considering my fragile state of mind most Saturdays, is probably a good thing. Quite a few here went in on definition and enumeration only, 11ac being a good example. No clues really stood out for me, but good, solid clueing as always from Phi.

Here’s the old blog, plus clues missed.

Across

11 ISAAC NEWTON – (I wasn’t once)* about A
13 LIfE
21 POLAR BEAR – PO + (arable)* + R
24 LITTLE ENGLANDER – (telltale rendering)* without ER for queen.

Down

2 EROTIC – CIT(OR)E all reversed.
4 SPIR <- IT
5 CRET(ON N)E
6 INOCULATED – (duel action)*
8 ROLLER COASTER
16 ST(EER)AGE
20 YES MAN – Y + (names)*

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/08/independent-6650-by-phi/

Crikey, an excellent but very stiff workout from Eimi today, at least I found it so. Not exactly a theme but some related clues – two different gemstones appear in different places, and one needed to know nicknames for football clubs (thank goodness for Google) with CANARIES and POMPEY, while BARBARIAN appears elsewhere – I do realise that’s a different type of football. These pairings led me astray after I rightly guessed CAPE FEAR, a Martin Scorsese film it turns out, for 7/19ac. Attacking 13d (‘Creation of Hugo Boss finally in green, note’), and having satisfied myself that the answer wasn’t QUASIMODO, I googled for other types of ‘Hugo’ and found the film Hugo, also by Scorsese – based, no less, on a book called The invention of Hugo Cabret. I wasted some time trying to find out what this precocious child had invented before discovering I had been closer with my first idea.

Clue of the day is 3d: ‘Lesbian love turns to anger after 45 years with the same partner? (8)’. 22ac comes a close second, even though it defeated me till I found the original blog.

17d was rendered harder by what I take to be a misprint – ‘Pope’ should be capitalised.

Lights not included in the original blog back in 2008 are below.

Across

10. INTREPID: {I PRINTED}.
12. SPECIFIES: IF in SPECIES.
16. CLIENT: LIEN in CT.
25. RELAXATION: (A + X) in RELATION.

Down

5. THEBES: THE BES(t).
6. IMPLICIT: I + MP + LICIT.
15. PREMISES: d.d.
21. NAEVUS: {USE VAN}.

Apologies for the lateness of this, Writinghawk appears to be MIA, so I’ll fill in. Nothing here that should have caused too many difficulties, with some very clearly flagged definitions to help where the cryptics were trickier. COD for me 23ac, with honourable mentions for 15ac, 13d and 21d.

As ever, the old blog plus clues missed.

Across

10 INTREPID – I + (printed)*
12 SPEC(IF)IES
16 C(LIEN)T
25 REL(A X)ATION

Down

5 THE BESt
6 I MP LICIT
15 PREMISES – Double Def.
21 NAEVUS – (Use van)*

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/21/independent-6661-by-eimi/

Nowhere near as hard as I thought it was going to be when I saw the setter’s name, though one or two did go in without fully understanding the wordplay (6ac, 13ac, for example). While some bits were harder, the clues were always very fair, and gettable with a little thought. COD for me 5d – ‘Weapon old Asian boss keeps close to chest (7)’.

Here’s the old Fifteensquared blog, and clues missed.

Across

12 TOIL rEsT
19 G(A W)AIN
22 ROTATOR – A fairly clearly indicated palindrome.
24 BLUR – Cryptic Def.

Down

5 SHO(T)GUN
6 IN A(PICK)LE
7 FATHER – RAF reversed about THE.

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/29/independent-6663scorpion/

As ever, a nice solve from Dac – nothing too difficult, and always fair.

There’s nothing missing from the old 2008 blog, so it’s just left for me to nominate a COD – 26ac. ‘The writer with the golden gun (6)’.

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/20/independent-180208-by-dac/

A very subtle theme this week that, while I spotted in very early on, did nothing to help when I got stuck in the NE corner. I got there in the end, but 7d especially took more than a bit of thought.

I had ticks beside a few of these, but COD for me 14d – ‘American male with dog knocked over Girl Guides in the dark (10)’.

As ever, the old blog from 2008 and clues missed.

Across

13 DO TIME, I think, but I’m not sure where the notes bit comes in. Is it a reference to the musical time signature?
21 OXTAIL – Cryptic Def.
25 HOLE – Double Def.
27 Hidden in TestamenT EXTracted

Down

2 FOX TROTS – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Fox
5 CITE – Sounds like SITE.
6 C ALL OFF NATURE
17 AS I SEE IT – (easiest)* with I inside.
19 HOOPLA – Double Def.
20 Hidden in lobSTER NEwburg – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Sterne

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/19/independent-6659virgilius/

I found this a little harder than usual, though maybe that’s just the icy cold freezing my brain? No standout clues for me today, but good solid clueing as ever.

Here’s the old Fifteensquared blog and clues missed.

Across

6 gLASS
10 T ON(TIN)E – ‘An investment plan in which participants buy shares in a common fund and receive an annuity that increases every time a participant dies, with the entire fund going to the final survivor or to those who survive after a specified time.’
12 SAL AiRY
13 DISLOYAL – (Ally is od)*
15 GREAT YARMOUTH – (Tom, a guy rather)*
17 PATERNALISTIC – (Patricians let)*
21 IN GEAR – Double Def.
23 SLIP SON
24 CHEERIO – (I re-echo)*
25 LAYS – Sounds like LAZE.
26 NEWSVENDOR – (SEVEN DROWN)*

Down

1 MODE ST
2 S(POT)LIGHT
3 OUTER HEBRIDES – (Tribe rehoused)*
4 DI(E)D
7 AM(IT)Y – Amy March from Little Women.
8 ST hEALTH
14 ST LAWRENCE – (R + Newcastle)* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lawrence_River
16 UNCLE A RED
18 hARBOUR
20 UNITY – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_Mitford
22 ACTS – Double Def.

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/28/independent-on-sunday-941-by-quixote-24-feb-2008/

And the prize for the easiest puzzle of the week goes to… the Prize Cryptic Crossword. 🙂 My fastest time of the year I believe, though plenty to entertain us here. COD? 21d – ‘Small battle between Germany and France (5)’. As ever, the old blog and the (very few) clues missed.

All of the acrosses were covered…

Down

5 R ANGER
13 LIE IN W(A)IT
16 FABULOUS – (A foul sub)*

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/15/independent-6656-phi-fairly-straightforward/