i Cryptic Crossword 835 Phi

October 19, 2013

Last Saturday’s puzzle was a harder than usual offering from Phi – definitely worthy of a prize for someone!   What made it hard was twofold:   i) there were lots of synonyms of the misdirection variety – ‘floors’ to indicate ‘bewilders’, that kind of thing,  and  ii) there was a heavy dose of the subtraction type of wordplay  like RU(i)N, for example, which can often be harder to solve, given that there are components to think of which don’t actually end up in the final answer.

‘Harry’ used as an anagrind for ‘Potter’ was genius, but my favourite clue was the economical1d:  Revolutionary dressed by M Cardin? = Robespierre.

Also, is it just me or are grids with 4-fold rotational symmetry, as here, less common than they used to be? 

The 2008 blog is complete: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/10/10/independent-6860-by-phi/

Full of unsound and vague clues, such as 6d, where even when you could know the answer, and the parts of the answer, you can’t see how you’re supposed to put them together because it doesn’t make any sense. The original blog is complete apart from one clue:


7dn. WINNIE: WIN + EIN<.

I’ve struggled with Glow-Worm in the past, but found today relatively straightforward. In common with the original blogger, I didn’t understand 17d.

Lots of lovely clues, but COD goes to 1ac, with 13d a close runner up. ‘Provide support for young emperor, say? (11)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.


i Cryptic Crossword 838 Dac

October 16, 2013

I got a bit stuck with 5ac and 21ac, but fairly plain sailing through the rest. Excellent, as always.

COD? 3d. ‘Cheapskate saves a large amount (5)’.

The 2008 blog is complete:


A relatively gentle offering, with only 3d causing me any real grief. I thought more was going to come of the theme, especially when I spotted the three W’s on the LHS, but it wasn’t to be.

Yet again the i is convinced that 25ac is still at Number 10. 🙂

Was I the only person convinced that the author’s name is actually Irving Washington?

COD? 4d. ‘Flooded area was the last thing Noah needed (5)’.

Here’s the 2008 blog, and clues missed.


19 GIS T


14 PIT – Double Def. Apparently also a slang word for ‘bed’.


I struggled to get into this, though that might just have been me, as the original blogger found it quite easy.

COD? 15d, with honours to 27ac and 22d. ‘Drunk seaman on a high, as it were (2,2,5)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.


Happy 900th to the i, BTW! Keep up the good work!

i Cryptic Crossword 829 Dac

October 12, 2013

October 5th, 2013

Great surface readings on loads of these clues from Dac.  My favourite of which was 24ac:

 ‘Bury within the confines of tumbledown abbey’ giving us inter inside t­_n  =  Tintern.  Perfection!

Something to think about this week:  Some in Northern Ireland might criticise the use of Britain as a synonym for UK in 2d.  It isn’t a synonym, but it is a Synecdoche.   Synecdoches are perfectly acceptable on the crossword page of a newspaper, but headline writers such as Paul Dacre take note: ‘He Hated Britain’ is not an acceptable synecdoche for ‘He Hated Certain Elements of the British Establishment’.

2008 blog and clues missed:


12ac RAISIN    gRAIN around IS  – ‘bar first’ means apart from the first

3d     SAINTLIER    I in (sin alert)*

6d    FLEUR     reversed in cRUEL Felon

Here we are, with apologies for lateness. A mostly excellent puzzle from the always challenging Scorpion. The original blog is complete:


Like the blogger then I can’t really explain 25ac or 21d; in the latter, a commenter’s suggestion that S is an ‘animated character’ because it waves about a bit seems the best, but feeble, line.

Yikes! Pretty tough, with more than a few I didn’t fully understand, and some I didn’t like. ‘this shows like’ seemed to do double duty for both part of the definition and the wordplay in 11ac, and I’m not sure 7d really works as an &lit, as I just thought eh? even when the answer was clear.

COD? 12d. ‘A doctor detained by cleaners in march (3,7)’.

Here’s the 2008 blog, and clues missed.


18 WHITE – But shouldn’t that be ‘cue ball’, not ‘cued ball’?
23 EMERIrT I <-


21 HALOgen


Our friendly midweek offering from Dac. Some problems with 6d and 14d (my geography letting me down badly!), but the rest went in reasonably quickly.

13d reminds me how quickly some groups go out of fashion. A pity, really, as it’s a great surface reading.

Lots of ticks by the clues, as ever, but COD goes to 18ac. ‘Hormone causing slight loss of temperature at home (7)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.