Another one that was a little harder than par for Dac. 2d and 18d in particular held me up at the end.

COD? 19ac – ‘Tense, love? You need a smoke (8)’.

Here’s a link to the 2009 blog:

A fairly taxing offering today, made more so by dated references. 21ac for example is meaningless today. Not fond either of ‘up’ in 14d to indicate the anagram.

COD? 16d – ‘Persuade wino apparently (3,5)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.

Well, nmsindy found this harder than usual for Quixote, whereas I thought it was the easiest we’ve had in ages, so take your pick. Whichever way you jump, this was very good, with loads of ticks by the clues. My COD goes, though, to 4d – ‘Athletic achievement of mum juggling with routine life (4-6,4)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.


Saturday 7th June 2014


Straightforward good clueing last Saturday.  A pretty quick solve for me – nothing to hold things up apart from my inability to spell ‘guerre’ and a mistaken thought that Fledermaus took the masculine ‘der’.  Durr, more like! 


As with the 2009 bloggers here, I really liked 12 across which gets my COD nomination:


Response leads to dance evening every Friday, it seems (8)       




I must have been very much on the setter’s wavelength today, because I sailed through this, though in common with a lot of solvers back in 2009 I had 18d wrong.

Loads of ticks by the clues, but my COD nomination goes to the straightforward, but elegant 14d – ‘Train mole? He could better that! (4-5)’.

For more discussion, and all the answers, go to:

Well, I’m thoroughly enjoying this so far, but am short of time today so not sure when I’ll have a chance to finish. Here’s the 2009 blog for you to be getting on with.

As noted on Fifteensquared, this was tougher than par for Dac. I did manage the SW corner, unlike some of the solvers back in the day, but failed on 2d.

COD? 7d – ‘I believe coloured liquid should be put in alcohol (8)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.

I took a long time to get going today, made swift headway, and then struggled at the end with a few of the short answers in the NE and SE corners. I also miserably failed to spot the theme, despite my COD being 13d – ‘Basic education, with a couple of spelling mistakes (3,5,2)’.

Lots more in the 2009 blog:

I came a little unstuck in the NE corner, and took a long time to get going – 18ac was my first in – so perhaps a little trickier than usual for a Monday. Sound as ever, though, from Quixote.

COD? 8d – ‘Girls plants? They’re terrible failures (9)’.

The 2009 blog is complete.

Saturday 31st May 2014

A’s across the top, Z’s along the bottom, if you recall… Having a nina can really help with solving those last few tricky clues, I find, and it also adds an extra layer of fun in trying to spot them – particularly in the Indy, where we’ve come to half expect them at a rate of one or sometimes even two a week.  That doesn’t stop some people disliking them though.  Commentators on Fifteensquared have previously said that they’re more for the setter’s amusement than the solver’s and the late, great Mike Laws derides what he calls ‘ninamania’ in the comments section of this puzzle’s original blog which you can read here.  What do you think?

     COD:   9ac Good sex making you bad-tempered (6)