A game of two halves. The top half being a bit of a breeze, nicely judged for a Monday. Though there’s no way that STAKE = ‘martyrdom’… The bottom half an entirely different crossword, often wilfully obscure. I’ve still no idea what to make of 16ac.

COD? 10ac – ‘When the Charleston was newest, it rocked! (8)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


i crossword 972 Phi

March 29, 2014

March 22nd, 2014
Phi gave us another of his ingenious Ninas last weekend, with EX MARKS… THE SPOT at top and bottom of the grid in the ‘unches’. The X itself consisted of four kinds of treasure radiating from the centre and then there were a couple of decoy black crosses thrown in for good measure NW and SE.
About a fortnight ago I think I complained that Phi’s clueing was getting a bit lacklastre, but here it was positively zingy – I think a Nina must bring out the best in him!
With a tip of the hat to 7d and 23d, my COD goas to 6d:
Criminals rising and tucking into fish (10)
And here’s the original blog which is complete:

I found this fairly accessible, for a Nimrod, with only a few I didn’t understand. It helped to solve in a couple of sittings, I found.

COD? I’m going to nominate 18ac, amongst many other good clues – ‘Rotter among Intelligence Men shows what’s not really cricket? (6)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


Some beautifully smooth surface readings made this appear harder than it in fact was. A bit of a triangle thing going on, though not quite a theme.

COD? 20ac – ‘Misuse relating to a double meaning? (6)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


A bit of a sting in the tail today. Nice and straightforward, with a number of new terms learnt, until I got stuck on 4d and 20ac. The latter I should have got, the former I never would have. Anna as in the coin, presumably? A difficult answer, and impenetrable wordplay.

COD? 18ac – ‘Tony’s chap, disgraced today (9)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


Nothing too complicated today, but as good, well clued as you’d expect.

COD? 10ac – ‘Second half of season and short attire ends (7)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


If I tell you that I had no idea until today who won the 24ac this year, then you get some idea how not up my street this was. That I could solve this in double quick time tells you just how good Virgilius’ clues are. Excellent stuff. It wasn’t until I’d finished that I actually noticed that all the nations involved were named in the grid. Doh!

COD? 23ac – ‘Some of the Lions, say, prepare for tour (4)’.

The 2009 blog (when I gather the same team won, in a spot of luck for the crossword editor) is complete.


March 15th 2014

I’ve come to think of Dac as Crosswordland’s Mr Smooth, and here he was pure velvet, as well as effortlessly slipping in a classic Nina – a personal message to his son, Nicholas and prospective daughter-in-law Kay on the day of their marriage back in 2009.    For the bit of the Nina that went ‘TO KAY’ we had a very unusual thing indeed; a clue which has the definition neither at one end nor the other:  ‘Time to  have fine wine drinking woman’s health thus?’

However my COD goes to 19ac:

First day of month – about right time for a wedding (8)

And here’s the original blog which is complete: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/05/01/independent-7033-by-dac/

A nice gentle end to the week from Quixote. That said, I needed Google to find the name of the Quaker in 10ac, though in retrospect I should have been able to guess perhaps.

I’m torn as to a COD nomination, as there were quite a few I liked, but I think I’ll go for 15d – ‘Hail got out of hand – just one stone was enough for me! (7)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


A fairly challenging offering from Mordred today, though never impenetrable. 28ac, sadly – as it’s very nicely done – shows how quickly topical clues age.

COD? A toss up between 26ac and 19d, with the former getting my vote – ‘Hospital casualty in U.S. is more healthy (5)’.

The (excellent) 2009 blog is complete.