I never did really get into this today, struggling throughout. Interested to know how others found it…

COD? 2d – ‘All fingers and thumbs, Spielberg’s work principle (5)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


Yikes, really struggled today…

COD? 11ac – ‘One originally at back of band (5)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


Saturday 10th May 2014

In which Phi gave a long anagram for a long phrase – something of which he is fond – across the middle of the grid. 

The trouble with these is that when we’re presented with a choice between either putting in a lot of effort to work out said long anagram or else simply guessing the phrase from the breakdown of words the temptation is to go for the latter.  For me ‘optimistic outlook’ (5,5,3,1,6,6) pointed pretty clearly to ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’.  Is that cheating?  Well, it doesn’t really feel like cricket somehow, but it’s what I do!

COD? Nothing really outstanding, but I’ll plump for 23d: Scottish links run into urban area there (5)

For the original blog, click here 

A much more user friendly crossword this Friday, that gave much needed light relief during a one hour phone call with a mortgage advisor. That said, I did struggle with the combination of 20d and 22ac.

COD? I’m nominating 1d – ‘Saudi, Abu Dhabi … it’s around there somewhere (5)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


I’ve struggled badly with Tees puzzles in the past, so was pleased to find not only that this was well within my comfort zone, but also that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I completely missed the error in 16d, so I’ll forgive both setter and editor, though you could argue that he should have rectified it the second time around. 🙂

Loads of ticks by the clues, but my COD goes to 6d – ‘Lear vs Goethe? It’s a bare-knuckle fight! (3,6,3,3)’.

The 2009 blog is not only complete, but very thoroughly discussed in the comments.


As good as ever from Dac. Loads of ticks by the clue, but my COD nomination goes to 11ac – ‘Check room inside top part of house is protected against gales (10)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


An unusual puzzle from Virgilius. Reasonably straightforward, though with one or two (I’m looking at you, 27ac) that weren’t that immediately obvious as regards a full explanation.

Not really possible to pick a COD today, as they were all of a type, but here’s the 2009 blog, which is complete.


I found this a little harder than usual, whereas nmsindy back in 2009 thought it one of Quixote’s easier offerings, so take your pick. 🙂

I still have a question mark by 11ac – isn’t MA(CHE)TE a revolutionary carried by a companion, rather than the other way round?

Anyway, my COD nomination goes to 9ac – ‘How hunger can make one craggy in appearance? (5-4)’.

The Fifteensquared blog is complete:


Saturday 3rd May 2014
Phi loves to have something ‘going on’ in his puzzles; often it’s a Nina, but this time it was a pangram – and very nearly a double pangram at that. A quick solve for me until the last 3 or 4; ‘Paul Revere’ at 26ac providing the missing V to complete the alphabet.
LOI was 16ac which had to be ‘Rakehell’, ‘Rekehall’ or ‘Rekahell’. A Viking warrior king perhaps? No, it turns out that ‘rake’ is short for rakehell – a bit like my attitude to gardening, really…
COD? 14d: A fine combination of fun and zeal produces guilt in the rich (9)
The 2009 blog is complete here : http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/05/22/independent-7051-by-phi/

NB … my apologies that the embedded link wasn’t working earlier

I feel slightly better now I’ve found that Peter Biddlecombe, ex Times Crossword champion, also struggled with this one. I’ve barely scratched the surface in the time I had available today. Can we have less old prize crosswords on a Friday, please?

Here’s the 2009 blog.