I’m glad, looking over on Fifteensquared, to find that I wasn’t the only person not to understand the theme. I guessed 17ac correctly, but couldn’t for the life of me work out why the down answers were symmetrical. Clever once you see how.

Not too difficult overall, though the last 6 clues in took as long as the rest of the grid.

COD? 26d – ‘Become less hostile – so what’s changed? (4)’.

If you’re still stuck, all the answers and discussion here:


Nothing here that should have caused many issues. A nice start to the week.

COD? The distinctly untopical 11ac – ‘Time when some rejoice, transforming sad nature, yes? (6,6)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


Saturday 7th February, 2015

Somewhat harder than we’re used to from Dac, who typically does the Wednesday crossword, regulars will know. Plenty were straightforward enough – like my COD 3d: Chunk of cheese obtained in West End (9, 6) but there were some that got me scratching my head for ages towards the end; Given that Dac uses such standard constructions I think this must just be when a synonym is hard to call to mind – like table for dummy (23d) or ‘intrinsically clever’ for ‘per se cute’ in the wordplay of 14ac.

The original blog with all the answers is here :

i Cryptic Crossword 1252 Phi

February 13, 2015

Well, I thought that we’d get Phi today instead of Saturday. What I wasn’t expecting though was for it to be quite as fearsome as this. That said, this was a lot more accessible than yesterday’s, though I did need access to Google to complete several, in particular 24ac and 18ac.

COD? 17ac – ‘Japanese gowns recycled as this winter sports item (7)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


Very difficult and, it must be said, not really my cup of tea. Didn’t like DEE for ‘start of detox’, or the many, obscure, one letter abbreviations required to complete this. Your mileage may differ…

Here’s the 2010 blog:


i Cryptic Crossword 1250 Dac

February 11, 2015

Good stuff as ever from Dac. Everything fell into place pretty quickly, apart from the SE corner which held out for a while.

COD? 19/12 – ‘Team of employees in Balmoral grounds (6,4,7)’.

Answers and analysis here:


An enjoyable challenge today from Raich. I did notice the plays dotted round the grid, but failed to register the message in the top and bottom rows altogether.

COD? 26d – ‘Composer’s sorrow when female has gone for good (5)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


I was going great guns on this until I hit 13ac and the SE corner, which took twice as long as the rest put together! Last in 26ac, after I spent too long trying to look for a word with B at the beginning. I’ve come across the ‘French art’ device so many times now that 25ac was no problem, but this may have held up others.

COD? 2d – ‘Female becomes male if you do this? Matter of recycling! (5,4)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


i Prize Cryptic 1241 by Phi

February 7, 2015

Saturday 31st January 2015

In which the eight rows contained respectively: Bone, Knuckle, Trapezium, Thumb, Ankle, Hyoid, Cranium and Knee.  It looks to me like Phi composed his splendid grid and only then did he realise that there isn’t actually a bone called a thumb bone, which is why that was the only one that didn’t refer back to ‘bone’ at 6 across!

Some in 2010 found hyoid and trapezium to be ‘new’ words;  not I (thank you A level biology) but ‘limb’ for an impish child was new, which made 4 down my LOI.

My COD goes to 11ac:  6 hope initially to avoid deer portion, on reflection (7)

Original blog here: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/04/02/independent-7320-by-phi/

This was a strange mix of the extremely easy, the fairly difficult, and the impossible. ie. 4d, where we were required to know the name for a Maori village to get the answer which was an obscure Italian place name.

That said, I enjoyed this thoroughly, and had lots of ticks by the clues. My favourite though was 13ac – ‘Girl hidden in artwork? There she is (4)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog, where you can find all the answers and analysis: