The best prize cryptic we’ve had in a while, with lots of entertaining clues. I found quite a few challenging, but that could just be me on a Saturday morning, so I’ll suspend judgement. COD amongst many good ones (1ac and 15 ac notably) 16ac – ‘One suffers effect of sun, having rolled over in a snooze (6)’.

Here’s the old 2008 blog, and clues missed.

Across

4 CAR(PET)ED
12 L(I)ED
21 PEN R(IT)H
23 INELIGIBLE – (ie being ill)*
27 BU(R)M A
28 F AC S(I)MILE
30 C(A NY)ON

Down

3 Limits of OtheR CetaceA
6 PAT ROLLING
7 TO(K Y <-)O
8 D(AN)ISH
9 SAVOUR – Anagram of VARIOUS without the I.
18 THIRTEEN – (there it)* + N
20 STIFFEN – FITS reversed and core of deFENce
24 tERROR

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/02/29/independent-6668phi/

When I saw the name Bannsider I knew I was in for a very hard but probably brilliant puzzle. Sure enough I had gone through all but the last two clues before I managed to solve any at all, but once I started making headway things gradually came together.

Besides his ingenious clues I like Bannsider for the incongruous mix of high and pop culture he brings to his clues, though (like me) he inclines more towards the high – certainly in this puzzle, which also has a bit of a theme of initials cropping up in slightly non-obvious ways. Anyway, clue of the day is the laugh-out-loud 2dn: ‘Head demanding stripper, look, in uniform (6)’.

The original blog from 2008 is here. Previously unblogged lights below.

Across

9. OUT OF SORTS: OUT OF + SORTS.
20. OFF WITH HIS HEAD: Since Charles I was decapitated, his grave robbers might indeed make off with his head, and I’m sure I needn’t remind anyone of the repeated order of the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
23. OPUS: <(SUP O), which is to say drink nothing, like a teetotaller.

Down

4. QUORATE: (Status) QUO is the pop-pest the culture gets today.
13. RAH: <(tHe sAd aRe).
18. HIS: d.d. (think ‘Hi!’ and his’n’hers towel sets).
22. HOSING: O.S. + IN in H.G. – (Wells, of course).

Easier than we’re used to from Tees I thought. Lots of nice clues, lots of ticks, but COD for me 13ac – ‘8’s complaint! (4)’.

The Fifteensquared blog, linked below, is again complete:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/03/17/independent-6682-tees/

I raced through most of this, then got a bit stuck on 5d / 10ac, and 6d before finally staggering across the finish line. All the clues are covered in the old blog, so it’s just left to nominate a COD – 10d. ‘As one helping with shop refurbishment, say, I’ll make money (13)’.

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/03/20/independent-6684-dac/

One where the theme didn’t help me at all. I quickly spotted Luke, John and Mark, which set me off looking in vain for Matthew. Then found George, and Andrew, and failed to find Patrick. But I got there in the end, albeit slower than usual for Virgilius. COD for me 1d – ‘Legal document by which one’s recalled (4,4)’.

As ever, the old Fifteensquared blog and clues missed.

Across

1 D(O)RY
3 STEM – Double Def.
12 P RE SERVE
15 L(UK)E
21 JOHN – Double Def.
24 ELDERS – Cryptic Def.
28 RAVEN N A
29 R(EEL)ING
31 LIED – I think, though don’t understand the ‘Doesn’t sound like it’ bit. Edited: See comments for the explanation. Thanks Kathryn’s Dad and Paul!

Down

5 MARK – Double Def.
7 BA(SI)L <-
9 PALEY – (play + E)* – Presumably http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Paley┬áNo it’s not, it’s JAM(E)S. See comments.
22 G(E)ORGE
25 D AVID

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/03/28/independent-6687virgilius-22-03-08/

A few clues held me up today, so slightly harder than usual. 7d required help from Google… The old Fifteensquared blog is again complete, so it’s just left to select a COD – 17d. ‘This stage makes saint eternal (7)’.

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/03/27/independent-on-sunday-945-by-quixote-easter-23-mar-2008/