i Cryptic Crossword 735 Morph

Good stuff as ever from Morph, even if I did fail miserably to spot the theme. I struggled at the end with 11ac and 23ac, but fairly plain sailing apart from that, with some very inventive clues.

The 2008 blog is complete, so I’ll just nominate a COD – 8d. ‘Former NUJ members, say? (7)’.

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/06/17/independent-6761-by-morph/

I found this a little harder than nmsindy, making fairly slow progress after a flying start in the NW corner. No unusual words, or anything that obscure in there, so perhaps it’s just Mondayitis.

Only 23ac is missing from the 2008 blog (GEN IE), so I’ll just nominate a COD – 20ac. ‘Breather is what one may go into pub for (4)’.

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/06/26/independent-on-sunday-958-by-quixote-22-june-2008/

A little more difficult than usual for Dac, as befits the prize puzzle, but nothing too taxing. Nice to see a bit of variation in setter on a Saturday as well. COD? 21d. ‘Glue that’s useless, stuck onto end of frame (5)’.

Here’s the 2008 blog, and clues missed.

Across

9 SCULL – Sounds like SKULL.
12 EXI(GEN)T
13 DOUGLAS-HOME
14 TILl
15 POT – Double Def.
20 R(EVEN)UE
22 CLASSLESS
24 mINI GO
26 SHELLEY – YES reversed around HELL.

Down

1 aMUSED
3 H(OLD)ALL
4 WOODEN SPOON – Cyptic Def.
16 PRESS ON – (persons)*
17 IN VOICE

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/06/04/independent-6750dac/

A perfect crossword from Merlin, first seen in 2008. Since the original blog here covered all the clues, there only rests to me the difficult task of nominating a clue of the day. There are many fine clues to choose from, and “Chinese rulers close rank (3,7)” at 10a is almost my favourite, but there is a small imperfection in the surface, because the real expression is “close ranks”. The homage in 6d to the Guardian’s Araucaria, probably the most inventive and popular setter ever, is also tempting. But (despite the reservations of the original blogger) I will select 21a: “Where paying guest goes in probing much-copied document (5,5)”.

About as difficult as Nimrod gets, I think, so very difficult indeed. I had as many question marks as nmsindy did by the end of this, but was just pleased to be able to finish. COD? 9ac. ‘Lisa Browning, lying in state (7)’.

The 2008 blog is, thankfully, complete, otherwise I would have struggled to explain several of these:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/06/13/independent-6758-by-nimrod/

Another lovely crossword from Dac, with the NW corner perhaps a little more difficult than the rest. COD? With honours to 22ac and 24ac, my vote is for 11d. ‘Groom star player (3,2,3,5)’.

Below a link to the 2008 blog, and the two clues missed.

Across

9 LYING – Double Def.

Down

6 P RANG

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/06/11/independent-6756-dac/

Knowing next to nothing about golf, I struggled quite badly with this, with no chance at all on 11ac, which struck me as being rather unfair. 

I might be biased, but COD goes to 18d. ‘English see Welsh girl as heavenly (7).’

Across

17 AMERICAN EAGLES – Presumably because an Eagle is a good shot in Golf???
21 ROYAL AND ANCIENT, which is apparently a golf course. Cryptic Def.
24 DRIVE – Double Def.
26 SAND TRAP – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Sand ?

Down

10 LETITIA – (A title I)*
14 CHILLIEST – CHILLI + (set)*
18 ELY SIAN
19 ERELONG – (green)* with LO after the middle letter.
20 ST ASIS

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/06/12/independent-6757virgilius/

Another nice gentle start to the week from Quixote, with the RHS in particular going in in no time at all. Lots of lovely clues, as ever, but my COD is 13ac. ‘Philosopher seen wandering about (6)’.

The 2008 blog, linked to below, is complete.

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/06/19/independent-on-sunday-957-by-quixote-15-june-2008/

I don’t remember having too much difficulty with this, though 4d did require a Google search to check there wasn’t an island called ISPHIA. 🙂

COD? 8/10. ‘Zebra, say – a dull hybrid? (10,8)’.

Here’s the 2008 blog, and clues missed.

Across

12 STRATI – STRAIT, with the IT at the end reversed.

Down

2 Hidden in staGE IS HAppy
4 IS CHI A
6 J APE

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/05/30/independent-6746phi/

Well, that was excellent, the best we’ve had in a while! I was a bit concerned when I saw the name of the setter, and didn’t feel any more confident when 20ac was my first in, but things steadily fell into place from there, ending with a fairly quick solve.

Lots of candidates for COD, with 2d, 23d, 25d, 1d and 4d all worthy of praise, but 12ac gets my vote. ‘Boss gets adolescent out of detention (11)’.

Here’s the 2008 blog, and clues missed.

Across

26 CRUx
27 BUS(T)IER

Down

3 CRUSH BAR
5 S(P)IN
18 R(ESON <-)ANT
19 PRESUMED – (perm used)*

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/06/13/independent-6753nestor-07-06-08/