i Prize Cryptic 1259 by Phi

February 28, 2015

Saturday 21st February 2015

In which the wide vocabulary needed included Giacometti, ocarina, inamorata, ambrosial, prebendary, the Eroica, the Ebro, martini (in the sense of a rifle), Sussex spaniel (a new breed to me) and some Latin.  So if you took longer than nmsindy’s  13 minutes – as he tells us in the original blog – then you’re not alone; well done for finishing it at all!

COD:   24.  Place to eat in Times Square (4)                     – only because I liked its simplicity.

All the answers are here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/04/30/independent-7344-by-phi/

And I’d like to put in a plug for a puzzle of mine that Klingsor (compiler of yesterday’s puzzle) has just put on his website here: http://www.alberichcrosswords.com/pages/maize3.html

With two operas and an obscure musical term at 1d, this played to none of my strengths. It’s a credit to the excellent clueing that I managed to finish in just above par time, and enjoyed the solve too. Was I the only person to put in BIG FIGHT for 9ac and then spend too long staring at 2d before correcting?

COD? 13 and 21ac – ‘He’s captivated by girl on high note in opera (9)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


i Cryptic Crossword 1263 Tees

February 26, 2015

An enjoyable challenge from Tees, with lots of inventive clues. My time was a little above par for the i, so on the harder side of average, though not overly so.

COD? 11ac – ‘Unsuspected weakness, but what enabled floating like butterfly? (4,2,4)’.

For answers and analysis, follow the link below:


i Cryptic Crossword 1262 Dac

February 25, 2015

The usual excellent puzzle from Dac, with some nice misdirection. The only one I really struggled with was 23ac.

COD? 2d – ‘Get to top of plateau – fine to wander around (7)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


i Cryptic Crossword 1261 Eimi

February 24, 2015

A fun puzzle from the crossword editor that fortunately still remains relevant today. Quite a few went in without any understanding of the cryptic part (12ac for example), but there wasn’t much here to hold us up for too long. 6d was my last in, though it probably would have been on the tip of my tongue 5 years ago.

Nice to see 18d amended to bring it up to date.

COD? 7ac – ‘7 Down’s partner in unlikely romance (7)’.

For all the answers, and more, look here:


I found this a bit of a struggle, never really managing to get any momentum going. 12d was my last in, perfectly gettable with checking letters. As was 24ac, for those of us used to guessing what month the crossword was originally published.

COD? 13ac – ‘Like hope, a certainty for helping avoid conflict (5-7)’.

So, back to May 2010 for further commentary:


Saturday 14th February 2015

Dazzling stuff from Radian with a lovely theme based around the day, 16across, which filled over half the grid.  A few to stretch the old grey matter but at least one write in for me because the clue for ‘Some Like it Hot’ concluded: ‘film featuring 16 6’.  Which meant, with ‘St Valentine’s Day’ already in for 16, I could write in the answer for 6 down – Massacre – without reading the clue!

COD:  15ac.  Those who, by inspiring love, aim to stay in between Friday and Sunday? (10)

Original blog with all answers here:http://www.fifteensquared.net/2011/02/14/independent-7591-by-radian/

For the most part a fairly straightforward and breezy solve, though I found the SE corner, and 24d/29ac in particular, anything but.

COD? 27ac – ‘Service – and a complaint about it? (7)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


i Cryptic Crossword 1257 Eimi

February 19, 2015

I’m a big fan of AA Milne’s books, for both adults and children, and have spent many hours reading 10ac and the other books clued to my family over the years, so much of this was a write-in for me. If it hadn’t been for the distractions of a cheese sandwich, oranges and apple, this would have been in single figure time. As always with Eimi though it was a pleasant solve. Last in 5d.

COD? 19ac – ‘Match not likely to produce much heat (8)’.

In case you are stuck, answers and clue explanations here:


i Cryptic Crossword 1256 Dac

February 18, 2015

Another lovely puzzle from Dac, which I finished in record time. That is, apart from 1ac, which stumped me for about the same time again.

COD? I quite liked the smooth surface in 23ac – ‘Language used by Kashmiri shepherds (5)’.

All the answers and analysis here: