Well, I could tell it wasn’t Punk as soon as I started, and it isn’t the first time that the i have claimed that Dac is Punk. However, I did begin to doubt myself as this proved somewhat tougher than the usual Wednesday fare. I needed Fifteensquared to explain a few clues, but in the end there proved to be nothing that was overly obtuse, or intractable. A nice solve, all in all.

Loads of lovely clues, 21ac and 23ac amongst them, but my COD goes to 3d. ‘Males do misbehave repetively: that’s nothing new (4,3,4,3)’.

The 2009 blog is complete:


i Cryptic Crossword 891 Punk

December 17, 2013

Another great puzzle from Punk. I thought I was in for a very fast time at first, with the NW corner falling into place remarkably quickly, but slowed down as I made my way south.

A couple of crossword cliches here today. Ton for fashion and (Herbert) Tree for actor. Forgotten in all but the puzzle pages. 🙂

Lots of ticks by the clues, including 14d, 25ac, 24ac and 20ac, but my COD is 22d. ‘Druggie queen of republic? (4)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.


Easing us, as ever, into the working week, with a smattering of new words learnt. Only 5d caused me real issues, mostly because I didn’t believe it could possibly be a real language.

COD? 6d. ‘Old chair could be taken back from skip maybe (9)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


i Cryptic Crossword 883 Phi

December 14, 2013

December 7th, 2013

Enjoyable stuff from Phi again.  The first half flew in for me, with lots of easy clues, I thought, but then there were a few bits of testing vocabulary and a tricksy clue or two which brought it closer to the level of difficulty we might expect for a weekend prize puzzle.

My favourite clue was 15ac: ‘Agricultural approach indicated in most of porch’ = CROP ROTATION

The original 2009 blog is complete here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/01/02/independent-6931phi/ although I still don’t understand why Cockney=E in 12d…  Is it cockney for hE?   I half suspect it’s one of those where ‘everyone knows that!’ rather like hell=DIS and ‘allure of women’=SA (sex appeal), both of which were in Monday’s puzzle – a real leg-up when you know them, but an obstacle when you don’t.

It pays us all to learn these tricks of the trade – preferably at our grandmother’s knee 🙂


i Cryptic Crossword 888 Morph

December 13, 2013

An excellent puzzle on the last working day of what has been a very good week in the i. Reasonably straightforward, with loads going in from the definition alone, but fun as always from Morph.

Yet again the i is convinced that Labour are still in power. See 18d. 🙂

Loads of ticks by the clues, among them 11ac, 7d, 8d, 19d and 23d. But my COD goes to 5d. ‘I don’t want nuclear institute and motorway next door! (5)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


Another good crossword from Hypnos. There were one or two I didn’t fully understand, but the Fifteensquared blog has covered those ably. Lots of ticks by the clues, but my COD goes to 13ac. ‘A trim jacket is brightly illuminated (6)’.

The 2008 blog is complete.


i Cryptic Crossword 886 Dac

December 11, 2013

A nice gentle entertaining midweek offering, the ideal thing for a long wait in outpatients.

COD? 24ac. ‘Old country route less problematic, some might say (8)’.

The 2009 blog is complete:


Virgilius yet again shows that a crossword doesn’t have to be difficult to be good. Lots of fun, with a nice theme running throughout. The only one I struggled with was 20ac, where I needed Google to choose between HOPI and BOPI.

Lots of ticks by the clues, but my COD goes to 13ac. ‘Turned to church as authority (6)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


A little harder than usual, I thought, with one I couldn’t get – 15ac, where I didn’t know either of the definitions. I thought 9ac was a little weak…

On the plus side, I did like 17d, and my COD, 10ac. ‘European resort with foul drain (8)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


i Cryptic Crossword 878 Phi

December 7, 2013

November 30th, 2013

Phi back this week – phew!  Good stuff, towards the tough end of his range of difficulty, but just about right for what is, after all, a prize crossword. 

It’s a curious thing but the clues we like best often seem to be precisely those ones we struggle with and eventually (possibly with an accompanying  ‘ha!’) manage to crack.  Hence my clue of the day nomination is my last one in:  4d. Hideout erected beside bridge = Rialto.

But I did like learning the word ‘Logorrhea’ which, according to my wife, I suffer from.  So I’ll stop now!

Original, complete blog is here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2008/12/12/independent-6914phi/