The i does its bit to help those observing Dry January with a crossword devoted to toasts. 🙂

Even by Virgilius’ standards, this was a tour de force, always fairly clued, with a themed clue in all the downs.

COD? Lots I liked, but I’m nominating 1ac – ‘Worker not prepared to go out in small vehicle (4)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/02/09/independent-7275virgilius/

A bit of a tricky start to the week, with quite a few unusual words.

COD? 13ac – ‘Behaving like a tentative barber somewhere in north London (8,6)’.

Answers and analysis here:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/02/18/independent-on-sunday-1044-by-quixote-14th-february-2010/

Saturday 10th January 2015
In which fully 22 of the clues were related to birdlife, mostly as answers, sometimes just in the clues and often both. That in itself is a feat, but the real achievement is that this crossword was so much fun to do. I loved it.
My COD, with a strong challenge from the laugh-out-loud 11ac, goes to 5ac:
Notice now and then what wagtails’ tails do? (6)

Oh, one tiny grumble, 16d: Storyteller raised bar (4) could have been either Rail or Liar; no way of telling!

Original blog here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/03/09/independent-7299radian/

Quite a challenge today from Morph, but entertaining, as always, from him.

COD? 21ac – ‘Rob Roy? (8)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/02/25/independent-7289morph/

Slow but steady progress today, probably due to the very few (if any) puzzles by Raich I’ve solved. On the basis of this one, I’d welcome more. Last in, as seems to happen quite often, the hidden word at 18d.

COD? 2d – ‘Change of position in cafe? (5-4)’.

Answers, analysis and further discussion here:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/02/22/independent-7286-by-raich/

A fairly straightforward crossword, the only real difficulty untangling the anagram at 23ac, a word that was new to me, and I was pleased to get correct.

COD? 14d – ‘Mountain custom ignoring one in favour of European characters (8)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/03/04/independent-7291-by-phi/

Lots of fun to be had here, with a few holdups in the NW and SW corners.

COD? 18ac – ’12 for 21 at sea in 26 (3,8)’, which I realise means nothing unless you’ve solved the other two, but is still a very nice clue.

Here’s the 2010 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/02/26/independent-7290-by-tees/

A mixture of very easy and quite hard clues to start us off this week. Last in 17d.

COD? 22ac – ‘Restaurant worker suffering setback is about to swear (7)’.

We’re into March 2010 already on Fifteensquared:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/03/18/independent-on-sunday-1048-by-quixote-14-march-2010/

i Prize Cryptic 1217 by Phi

January 10, 2015

Saturday 3rd January 2015

In which eight of the clues related to 4 across – MEATS – if you recall.

Very enjoyable as ever from Phi, but I was held up twice by unfamiliar abbreviations: ‘money’=  M in meats;  ‘spy group’= MI in ‘mishear’ (17d).  Both now seem to ring a bell, but they did remind me of how off-putting a lack of crosswording language can be for anyone new to it – just like any language I suppose…

COD: 2d What makes stone exist in two forms next to river? (5)

2010 blog here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/03/05/independent-7296-by-phi/ in which some objected to 14d – but not me!

Another old Independent Saturday Prize Crossword that I must admit wasn’t my cup of tea. I don’t much like very long anagrams, and was somewhat dubious about UN for one in 18d, without any foreign indicator.

Nothing really stood out for me as a COD. Sorry, Tyrus!

Here’s the 2010 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/03/19/independent-7303-sat-13-mar-tyrus/