A nice quick solve from Virgilius, with a fairly well flagged theme.

COD? I’m can’t remember if Afghanistan’s still war-torn these days, I’ve lost track of all the wars we’re caught up in. But because it’s so well done, anyway, I’m nominating 18/10/29 – ‘Incomplete peace now celebrated wildly outside war-torn city threatened from both sides (7,1,4,3,1,4,5)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/10/06/independent-7168virgilius/

My first answer in was 22ac, which wasn’t the most auspicious of starts. Filled in the rest pretty swiftly, with brief stops at 3d and 12ac, before having to cheat on 14d, having heard of neither the ensign or the river.

COD? 8d – ‘Food that’s bland Veronica cooked (5,3,5)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/12/17/independent-on-sunday-1035-by-quixote-13-dec-2009/

Saturday 20th September 2014
The original blog is here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/11/27/independent-7213phi/
COD: 3d. Adroitly suggesting one goes elsewhere about line (6)

With nothing remarkable last weekend, I think I’ll take the opportunity to give a breakdown of Phi puzzles over the last year:
Ninas: 10 (of which 6 on the perimeter)
Themed: 8 (of which 3 to do with classical music)
Pangrams: 2
Long phrases/ quotations: 5
Other ‘things going on’ : 5 (including 2 where double-barrelled words formed crosses in each corner)
So 30 in all with ‘something going on’ and then 20-something which were just classic straightforward well clued puzzles.
I know, get a life…

i Cryptic Crossword 1133 Phi

September 26, 2014

Phi occupies his traditional Indie slot to ease us to the end of the week. The books at 4/8 held me up for a bit, as did 3d, but the rest fell into place fairly rapidly.

COD? I’m nominating 17ac – ‘Grant it’s what fellow and cow do (5)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog, with all the answers and analysis:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/10/23/independent-7183-by-phi/

i Cryptic Crossword 1132 Anax

September 25, 2014

Challenging, as you expect from Anax, but with a nice spattering of easier clues (including 1ac) around the grid to get us started. One or two I thought were a bit obtuse, but on the whole much more entertaining and accessible than I expected.

One complaint – to my ear, 21d simply doesn’t work, but maybe that’s a regional thing.

There’s a bit of a theme going on, apparently, which will forever remain a mystery to me, as I couldn’t give you the name of one song by the band in question.

COD? Quite a few I liked, but my nomination goes to 7d – ‘They contain fancy steering, too (8,7)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/10/29/independent-7188-by-anax/

i Cryptic Crossword 1131 Dac

September 24, 2014

I found this a little tricky in places, and very slow to get started. nmsindy thought it easier than par, so take your pick. I will claim a slight handicap, as I had somebody staring over my shoulder the whole solve, which is always off-putting. 🙂

COD? 1d – ‘Reserve team’s first appearance in coastal location (3,5)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/10/28/independepent-7187-by-dac/

Despite it being a Tuesday, and therefore the likelihood of there being a theme, and despite looking at the answer to 16ac and thinking, that could be it, it was only when I’d finished that I actually saw what was going on. Doh!

Anyway, finished in good time, in spite of that, about average difficulty for the i.

COD? Amongst many good ones, I’m nominating 17d – ‘A loving parent primarily involved in it (8)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/10/27/independent-7186merlin/

One or two words that were new to me made this feel harder than it must have been, given a very quick finish. Always fair and clear clues, as ever, to guide us through.

COD? 1d – ‘Activity in which arts graduate will appear to be immoral (7)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/11/05/independent-on-sunday-1028-by-quixote-25-oct-2009/

Saturday 13th September 2014

Here’s the link to the original, complete blog from 2009:
http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/11/11/independent-7199dac/

Whilst I can’t agree with the original bloggers about everything, I can agree that this was masterful Dac at his Mr Smooth best.  My points of difference were that I thought this was harder than average, not easier and that whereas there was criticism for the way Roman numerals were used in 6 down, I loved the clue and it gets my COD nomination:

Ice-cream? Initially this in Rome (6-4)

The half hour I had to solve today is not going to be sufficient, it seems. 🙂

Here’s the 2009 blog for anybody with more time than me:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2009/09/24/independent-7158nestor/