Saturday May 24th 2014

Dac at his elegant best last Saturday; definitely on the easier side of things, but loads of ticks and double ticks by the clues.  My COD goes to 25ac:          

One who’s spoken to doctor dreads visit (9).

Click here to see all the answers and parsing in the original blog from 2009. 

And, with kind permission from JonofWales who runs this site, I’d like to point you towards three crossword puzzle of my own devising that I’ve put on the free website  Click here  to have a go at a recent puzzle which is definitely easy by Indy standards. Click here  or click here for something a bit more like a Quixote/ Dac level of difficulty.

Any feedback gratefully received in the comments section.

Sorry for the lateness, it’s been one of those days. A game of two halves I thought – the top half took all of five minutes this morning, the rest I solved in dribs and drabs as time allowed, a few via guesses from the definition.

COD? 22d – ‘Barbie’s regularly embracing love – Ken’s successor (5)’.

The 2009 blog is complete:

A good one today from Merlin – accessible, with one or two to chew over. I needed Fifteensquared to explain the wordplay for a few.

Loads of contenders for COD, but my nomination goes to 14ac – ‘Gunners in action here could be semi-traumatised (8,7)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.

Edited to note the perhaps fortuitous scheduling, as today is indeed 1ac Day.

Well, I failed to finish this, so it was either a lot harder than usual, or I’m having an off day.

COD? 10ac – ‘Ill-used, in a way (7)’.

Here’s a link to the 2009 blog.

A bit of a fiddly one from Virgilius today, with lots of things round numbers to befuddle us (or me, at least). Guessing that the Light Brigade had 100 riders didn’t help matters, I must admit. 🙂

No clues really stood out for me today, so feel free to nominate your own.

Here’s the 2009 blog:

I can’t find a Fifteensquared blog today, so here’s my best shot. 🙂 A few long anagrams to untangle on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday, but nothing too tasking.

COD? 13ac – ‘Possible theme of left-wing demonstrators that gets Paris swarming with militiamen (4-11)’.


1 FAST – Double Def.
3 HACKNEYED – (and cheeky)*
11 BE(RE)T
12 SATANISM – (Mass ain’t)*
13 ANTI-IMPERIALISM (Paris militamen)*
17 DISCOUNTENANCED – (Sad unconnected I)*
25 CON CORDs AgreemenT
26 ETON -<


1 FIRE BRAND – Russell Brand…
2 SENORITAS – (assertion)*
4 CHESTER-LE-STREET – (test selectr here)*
6 Y(E)ATS <-
7 DeAr TrEv
8 NEUTRINO – (nun to ire)*
14 AMARANTH – A MA (a thrn)*
15 INCIPIENT – I (nice pint)*
19 ME(LO)N
20 RETRO – Double Def.

Saturday 17th May 2014

Anyone for opera?  Not my bag alas, but it was good to see Phi getting ten titles plus 11d ‘opera’, into the grid; I can’t remember him squeezing in quite so many themed words before. 

‘Jenufa’ and ‘Xerxes’ were both new to me and  I’d have guessed ‘Don Carlos’ was a character from an opera rather than an actual title, but that is all very much to my shame. Never the less, I did almost manage to finish unaided; ‘almost’ because LOI Jenufa needed a quick dip into the Oxford Dictionary of Music to check there wasn’t an opera called ‘Janufe’! 

To show I’ve no hard feelings about the theme, I’d like to give my COD to the Xerxes clue for 30ac:  

11 backing intercourse with king (6)

Original blog is complete and here.

I found this a little more difficult than usual for a Phi, perhaps because I’m more alert on the weekend? Solved over a few sessions, to give my evidently addled mind time to recover.

COD? Honours to 14ac, but the construction of 24ac was very nicely done – ‘Reviews mostly back it and understand it – a high point for magician (15)’.

Here’s a link to the 2009 blog.

I started off well, getting 1ac and the crossing downs straight off, before only managing a few others for the next 20 minutes. The rest came in dribs and drabs, and a few cheats. Far too hard for a week day.

The 2009 blog is complete.

Dac returns some sanity to what had been a ropy week so far, with an excellent puzzle. There are loads I liked, but I’m nominating 1ac as my COD – ‘Writer introducing self in verse (6)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.