A first look through yielded only 4 clues, at which point I thought I was in real trouble. Put it to one side for a while, and then promptly filled in the grid, with only a few hold-ups. One or two I didn’t understand, and I failed to register the typo.

Lots I liked, but my COD nomination goes to 17ac – ‘Stuffy female’s twin topless chums keep date (5-5)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:


i Cryptic Crossword 1125 Dac

September 17, 2014

Well, that was good, even by Dac’s high standards!

COD? Amongst many good ones, I’m nominating 7d – ‘What would make Coop work? Impossible (2,3,2)’.

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


I usually enjoy Virgilius, but must admit to finding this one totally beyond me. I never did get the theme, which meant I couldn’t complete the grid. Either I’m being particularly dim today, or this was too clever for its own good. Clues like 21ac certainly were.

COD? 2d – ‘Monarch as purchaser of chirpy jumper (11)’.

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


I find this more difficult than we’re used to on a Monday, with quite a few unfamiliar words and definitions.

COD? 26ac – ‘Ability to detect things a few inches away? When you can’t see auditory organs come in! (4,5)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:


September 6th 2014

One of these days I’ll give a breakdown of Phi’s different kinds of ‘something going on’ in his crosswords. In this one it was a pangram. Had I realised, it might have helped me with my LOI 22d SIZE which had a stretched synonym and an abstruse definition in the same clue!

COD 19a Chamber group with piano ousting one without skill (7)

The original blog, unsurprisingly complete, is here:

Slow but steady progress, until I finally worked out 11ac, and quickly jotted in the characters round the outside. One or two I didn’t fully understand, thankfully they’re all explained here:


COD? The answer was obvious to anyone who’s done a cryptic or two, but for the original treatment, 25d – ‘Murder victim like Jack K (4)’.

i Cryptic Crossword 1120 Phi

September 11, 2014

So, the ‘C’ printed in the NW corner was just a misprint, and not something clever I missed? Despite this added bit of misdirection, about par for Phi, biggest hold-up being 12ac, which could have been many random combination of letters as far as I was concerned. 🙂

COD? Loads I liked, but I’m nominating 16d – ‘Old instrument, one dropped by its player (clumsy)(8)’.

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


i Cryptic Crossword 1119 Dac

September 10, 2014

I found the SW corner a little more difficult than the rest, but otherwise, as noted on the original blog, “A nice and quick solve”.

COD? Amongst many good ones, 2d – ‘Word of disapproval about money wasted on heroin in northern town (9)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:


Fairly tough, but enjoyable, with a theme I thought might help when I struggled at the end with 6ac/4d/8d, but didn’t. Entering CRUMBY for 17ac might not have helped.

COD? 9ac – ‘With change at the top, soft-coloured letterhead has kitsch quality (13)’.

Here’s the 2009 blog:


A time to rival nmsindy’s back in 2009. That is, until I came to 25ac, where I came to an abrupt halt, and had to cheat.

COD? 15d – ‘A little light comes in through talking to God? (6)’.

Here’s the Fifteensquared blog, with answers and analysis: