Relatively straightforward for Nestor, with lots of lovely clues. No Nina / theme today, I think.

I liked 8d, 22d, 15d and 27ac, but my COD must go to 10d. ‘I am Andrew Lloyd’s composition (3,5,4,2)’.

The 2008 blog is complete:

A nice gentle start to the week. COD? 13d. ‘The heavens will get a word of prayer in hard time (9)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.

i Cryptic Crossword 859 Phi

November 16, 2013

November 9th, 2013

For me, this was the hardest Saturday puzzle the i has put out in many a long month.  The original blogger nmsindy here was honest enough to admit he’d seen 1D’s trick of using ‘It’ to define Italian vermouth before. Personally I hadn’t, nor can I remember having ever heard of ‘Gin and It’ so this clue held me up considerably.  I struggled!

Among the many points of interest though were some unusual anagrinds:  playing, dancing and laid out were easy enough; rocks I’d met before, but busy and trickiest of all supply took me a while.  My COD 2D. 

If Jonof Wales doesn’t mind too much, I’d like to put in a quick plug… Klingsor, who compiles for the Independent (and will presumably be appearing in the i in a couple of years time), has been kind enough to put a puzzle of mine on his website here: .  I invite you to give it a go!

i Cryptic Crossword 864 Monk

November 15, 2013

Here’s the original blog:

A few of contenders for clue of the day – I’ll choose Wise friend getting back memory became confused (9)” at 20ac.

I didn’t have a chance to solve this properly today, so difficult to judge how easy or otherwise it was. Apologies for the brief blog, pushed for time today!

COD? 25ac. ‘Risks becoming involved with him in Brief Encounter (8)’.

The 2008 blog is complete:

i Cryptic Crossword 862 Dac

November 13, 2013

Quite a bit harder than usual for a Wednesday, I thought. I struggled especially with 2d, where I did not know the pronunciation of the fish, and 23d. ?A?E and an obscure ice hockey term left me floundering, even if I did know who John Cage was.

COD? 14d. ‘Unusually large girl with fashionable flowery clothing (10)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.

More goodness from Virgilius, with a few clues that took me a while to untangle. COD? I did like the definition in 23ac – ‘Single person having a row’, but have gone for 12ac. ‘Metal briefly found in front of VW (7)’.

All the answers are explained in the blog and comments for the 2008 blog.

I found the top half quite a bit harder than we’re used to on a Monday. The combination of two obscure cryptic defs at 1ac and 6d, together with the fairly difficult 15ac were enough to hold me up for a while.

COD? 7d. ‘A hundred young ladies join ironing sessions for instruction (7,7)’.

The 2008 blog is complete:

i Cryptic Crossword 853 Phi

November 9, 2013

Excellent puzzle again from Phi.  I was going along pretty slowly until I got 4d ‘The Invisible Man’ about half way through.  Then, knowing how fond Phi is of a Nina, the words ‘Science’ and ‘Fiction’ in the unchecked squares to left and right were obvious, and with all that extra help the second half of the puzzle flew in.

The original, complete blog is here: .  Even if you got all the answers, I’d recommend having a look because the exchange of messages between bloggers and setters in the Responses section is, for anyone who’s keen on these things, fascinating.  Testy’s objections were different to mine however – I liked the use of ‘whisky’ as an anagrind but I objected to using the same phrase ‘heading off’ to mean the same thing twice in the same puzzle.

Lots of fun to be had today, though I didn’t really understand 11ac and 19ac before I referred to Fifteensquared.

COD? 12ac. ‘Where those swinging both ways are sold a piece? (6)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.