November 23rd, 2013
Phi (Paul Henderson) was moved to Friday a week ago and Nimrod (John Henderson) moved from his occasional late-in-the-week slot to the Saturday. Given that I do the Saturday blog for idothei, I’m hoping he moves back again, cos this was too rich for my blood!
He’s clearly a very clever chap; – tutored by the greatly missed Araucaria, he had his first puzzle printed in the Guardian at the age of 15 and has also been the speed solving champion for the Times, but for the mortals among us these clues were just too tenuous and, well, hard: oblique definitions, stretched metaphors, obscure vocabulary and a theme on ‘Hidden agenda’ which escaped me completely, I’m sorry to say.
Around half way through my progress was glacially slow. I wasn’t enjoying it and I took the view that there were better things to do with my life. Maybe I could have struggled on a bit, but went instead to find the answers from 2008, which you too can see here if you like: Sorry!

It feels like an age since we had a Hypnos, a welcome return! I found this reasonably challenging, after a fast start, with four or five clues requiring some thought. 26ac threw me too, having never heard of TIG. Apparently, it does exist though, another name for TAG.

COD? 2d. ‘Revolutionary taking refuge among America’s Trotskyites (6)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.

I’m not sure whether I just got lucky today, but I didn’t find this half as difficult as I expected, after seeing the setter’s name. Loads went in on a bit of a wing and a prayer, based on the definition, and no clue about the wordplay, I’ll grant you. So perhaps, yes.

Lots of ticks by the clues but, with honours to 25ac and 18ac, my COD goes to 7d. ‘Night club under German retail store (10)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.

i Cryptic Crossword 874 Dac

November 27, 2013

Well, that was good, even by Dac’s high standards! Was I the only person to solve 18ac and 16d the wrong way round, getting the former clue first and using it to solve the latter?

Loads of lovely clues, with big ticks by 11d and 20d, but my COD goes to 1d. ‘These creatures would need to eat heaps for a start to become monsters (3,5)’.

Here’s a link to the 2008 blog, and clues missed.


22 UNIMPOSING – U + (mini no GPS)*

Great stuff! A theme, as we’d expect, flagged by 9d, which did in the end save me on 8ac.

Lots of lovely clues, 20d and 23d amongst them, but my COD is 8ac. ‘Like certain organs heard in Wimbledon? (7)’.

The 2008 blog is missing just 3d – EDEN, a double def.

A fairly straightforward, uncontroversial start to the week from Quixote. Am I alone in wishing we could have lots more like this and less like Saturday’s? 🙂

COD? With honours to 21d and 5d, I’m nominating 15ac. ‘Possibility of Etonian, then, for PM? (2,3,9)’.

Cryptic Crossword 865 Phi

November 23, 2013

November 16th, 2013
A really consistent level of high quality clueing from Phi again this week. 4 novels round the perimeter – by Dickens, Collins, Greene and Steinbeck, as indicated by 4 down ‘novel’. Many lovely clues with interesting devices (who could not like 9 across with Bertie Wooster described as ‘aunted’?), but I’ll go for my fave as the perfectly conventional 1down because I’m a sucker for a smooth surface reading: Soldier picked up rumour about love = Trooper.
Complete 2008 blog here:

i Cryptic Crossword 870 Phi

November 22, 2013

Sorry for the lateness, our regular Friday blogger seems to be AWOL. 🙂

A puzzle today that was a lot easier than we’ve got used to of a Friday. Always fair, and lots of fun, as we’ve grown to expect from Phi. Wonder what’s in store tomorrow?

COD? 19ac. ‘Exclusive: COMPANY ENGAGED IN BRIBE (5)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.

i Cryptic Crossword 869 Morph

November 21, 2013

I always enjoy a Morph puzzle, and this one was no exception! I must admit, though, to having to google Prufrock to solve 19ac, having never heard of the poem, or the food for that matter.

COD? With honours to 17ac, 27ac, 16d, and 21d, I’m nominating 24d which, while straightforward, is very nicely done. ‘Housemistress’s residence? (4)’.

The 2008 blog is complete, though I’m still not sure why there’s a DROME in 12d…

i Cryptic Crossword 868 Dac

November 20, 2013

It took me an age to get going today, not getting any answers until 25ac! Thankfully, things fell swiftly into place after that. Lots of fantastic clues, with ticks for 2d, 6d and 13d, but my COD goes to 21ac. ‘Figures behave amorously shortly after retiring (8)’.

Here’s a link to the 2008 blog, and clues missed.


12 A SLEEP<-
18 TANGLE – Double Def.
25 SU <- RE


8 Hidden in nausEATINg