Saturday 23rd May 2015

Sometimes it’s incredibly hard to identify that Phi has a theme going on; last week’s grid was a case in point  – indeed no-one on the 2010 Fifteensquared blog here realised that it included six Booker Prize winning titles until Eimi, the editor, alerted them half way through the comments section!

For me, given that I’d only ever heard of Possession and Amsterdam, I was never likely to realise, but you may have done if you’re familiar with the others: Disgrace, Holiday, Offshore and Saville.

COD?  11ac: Opening for serious forecasters: no opening for hunky pin-ups (7,5)

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Is this Phi reclaiming his accustomed Friday spot? If so, it’s very welcome. A nice crossword to finish the working week, nothing too difficult from him today, a pleasure to solve as always.

Hands up who jotted in ACCURATE for 16d before it became clear the anagram in 26ac wouldn’t work?

The definition in 13ac confused me, but I’m guessing it refers to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inns_of_Court

COD? 26ac – ‘Typical! Google all over the place regarding pyramids etc (13)’.

Back to August 2010 again on Fifteensquared:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/08/06/independent-7428phi/

I must have been on Radian’s wavelength today, as I completed this fairly quickly, though the consensus in 2010 seems to have been that this was on the tricky side. I noticed Five, Six and Seven in the grid, but as is my wont with Ninas, didn’t notice the other numbers.

COD? 19d – ‘It’s rather mean to stifle resistance (6)’.

Fast forward to August today on Fifteensquared:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/08/03/independent-7425-by-radian/

Lovely as always from Dac, slow but steady progress throughout.

Lots of clues to choose from, including 2d, but my COD is 1d – ‘Sicilian mountain girl turning up in costume jewellery (8)’.

We’re still in April 2010 on Fifteensquared:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/04/28/independent-7342dac/

Variations on 1ac and 29ac today, which took for me at least a fair bit of unpicking. A technical failure at the end, as I had no idea whether to go for NOMBI or NIMBI at 6d.

COD? 17ac – ‘Cowboy given special role, securing animal (7)’.

Back to April 2010:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/04/27/independent-7341virgilius/

Well, I’ve got one over on the Fifteensquared blogger, as I failed not only on 1d, but 17ac too, which was a new one to me. 🙂 The rest was our usual solid Monday Quixote.

COD? 25ac – ‘Play that could generate interest – and wealth (3,7,4).

Back to the summer of 2010:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/08/15/independent-on-sunday-1069-by-quixote-%E2%80%93-8th-august-2010/

Saturday 16th May 2015

In which, having started with ‘Madame Tussaud’ down the middle, the rest became like 4 mini puzzles.  All fairly clued and enjoyable, even if not quite up to the levels of inventiveness of the last few days.  But then Phi does these week in, week out, so gets full respect for that…

COD: 21ac Substantial expression of love from Latin American with multiple partners (8)

Original blog here.

After our last Anax, I was more than a little trepidatious today. Thankfully, this was a lot more accessible, though still challenging in places, as you’d expect. Lots of lovely clues, some of which I needed the 2010 blog to explain. 2, 3, 4 and 6d was a quite inspired run of clues.

My only grumble? I’d prefer these old prize puzzles on a Saturday, when I’d have more time to enjoy them. Give Phi his traditional Friday slot. 🙂

COD? The consensus on Fifteensquared seemed to be 3d, but I thought 2d had the edge – ‘Swamp or … (7)’.

All the answers, and explanations of the clues, here:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/09/18/independent-7459-by-anax/

This had a lot of praise on Fifteensquared, but I’m not so sure. In places it felt clumsy, and we had two intersecting clues (13d and 26ac) that were pretty difficult, if not unsolvable to a large proportion of solvers. I’m uneasy too about good for g in the middle of the anagram fodder at 5d.

COD? 19d – ‘He left son out of admiral’s speech (7)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/09/06/independent-7454-by-klingsor/

Even by Dac’s high standards, this was very good, with loads of candidates for COD. I took an age to get going, and solved in fits and starts, but at the end my time was about par for a Wednesday, without any questions / unresolved issues.

COD? I’ll go with 1ac, though I could have picked many others – ‘Crosby performing solo was so pathetic (8)’.

September again on Fifteensquared:

http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/09/08/independent-7456dac/