i Cryptic Crossword 902 Dac

December 31, 2013

A little harder than usual for a Dac, I thought. I also completely missed the theme. I blame the extended seasonal hangover.

COD? 9ac. ‘King’s words of threat about flood could be a promise (5,3)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.


Happy New Year, everybody!

The crossword editor again judges quite rightly that we’re not yet up to anything too testing, as the run of straightforward puzzles continues. Solid and entertaining as always from Quixote, with some nice inventive clues.

With honours to 14d, my COD nomination goes to 22ac. ‘Number in taxi varies (8)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


Many thanks, again, to Cornick for holding the fort last week, much appreciated!

I cryptic crossword 895 Phi

December 28, 2013

Phi on top form in last Saturday’s puzzle with one or two clueing devices that were new to me, as in 24a or 11a which invited us to spot ‘avenue’ hidden in the given word ‘adventure’. It’s good to see our setters still finding ways to be innovative!  My nomination for clue of the day, though, is 12a: Who’d be intent on burying ten? =SEXTON.   The original blog from  the Independent of four years ago is complete: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/01/23/independent -6949-by-phi 

Quite a bit of difficulty here – not so much the long line taken from ‘Hark the Herald’ but rather some of the answers that fitted in around it to make that monster answer possible.  I really liked 5d, 17d and 19d.  The original blog is complete here:  http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/12/25/independent-on-sunday-984-by-quixote-21-dec-2008/

i Cryptic Crossword 898 Phi

December 26, 2013

Phi proves himself the King of the Nina once again here, with all but ‘partridge’ being included from the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song.  Five objects are in the grid (once I’d spotted the theme, it did help me get ‘Gold Rings’) and the other six were in the initial letters of the clues; ingenious!

The original blog is here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/01/02/independent-6926phi-prize-puzzle-27-12-08/   Rather than the usual convention on this site of nominating a clue of the day, I’m going to nominate the Nina itself.  Oh, and may I offer my apologies for over-using the term ‘good stuff’ on previous blogs.  Promise not to do it again 🙂 

A theme here,  with 5d – ‘Stocking Fillers’ not meaning those things I’ve been buying this morning, but rather just ‘legs’ which word then crops up 10 times around the grid (hence ‘cryptically distributed here’) and then there are three pegs and a tibia thrown in for good measure.  All good stuff, if a little opaque until the theme became clear. Fave clue nominations: 9a, 1a,  8d.  The original blog is complete here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/12/26/independent-6925radian/

Good stuff from the Don again this Monday with a mixture of the very easy and a few to make you think.  The ‘I’ in 21d was given by ‘line up’ and 7d saw bark being clued with ‘Bay’s covering’ – both held me up a bit.  Never the less, with my wife on hand to tell me about Alice Fitzwarren from Dick Wittington in 16a, this was a pretty gentle start to the week. My favourite clues were 12a, 13a, 21a, 6d and 22d.

The original blog here http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/01/01/independent-on-sunday-985-by-quixote-28-dec-2008/ is complete.

i Cryptic Crossword 889 Phi

December 21, 2013

December 14th, 2013

Excellent stuff again from the Saturday maestro – all relatively straightforward until the NE corner which had tricky clues like 7d, where we had to think of a mathematician (Gauss), reverse him and add the logarithmic quantity e –  great idea and surface reading but it did take me quite a while – ‘Dirac, Pauli, Euclid, Euler, who does he mean?’ I was thinking, before running out of mathematicians!

My favourite clue was 22d: ‘Not exactly a motorway in Germany, say’ = ABROAD

If you didn’t know it already, Phi loves a good Nina – in this case ‘Hugger’ and ‘Mugger’ in the unches (unchecked squares) of columns 6 and 9 – which eluded me completely until they were pointed out in the original (complete) Independent blog here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/01/09/independent-6937-by-phi/

Well, it obviously wasn’t Glow-Worm… Twice this week? Is this an added challenge for the idothei bloggers, to make finding the old blogs more difficult?

This was lots of fun, and less challenging than yesterday. I did think, though, that a few bits were overly obscure. take = recipe = r in 24ac? Disco biscuits = ecstasy = e in 17d? Surely there could have been a better way? 🙂

I’ve got loads of ticks by the clues, anyway, but my COD goes to 26ac. ‘Philosopher down under taking healthy dip? (7)’.

Here’s a link to the 2009 blog, and the one clue missed.


5 NOMADIC – Cryptic Def.


I never really got on the setter’s wavelength today, struggling throughout. Perhaps it was just me?

Nobody on the original blog seems to have questioned why PSYCHICS in 16d is defined by ‘science’. Any ideas?

I’m also still less than fond of clueing ‘e’ by ‘endgame’, but there you go.

COD? 3d. ‘Instruction to produce rider’s gear from laundry? (4,5)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.