Dac on a Tuesday, so I guess we have more themed puzzles coming later in the week? 😉 Slow but steady progress as is often the case with this setter, but I don’t think I was ever really stuck until 10d, which I had to look up.

COD? Not a bad clue to be found, as always, but my nomination goes to 16d, with 14ac a close runner up – ‘Some food seen under the table? (3-4)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:



I guess there must be a game of 21ac going on somewhere? 😉 I haven’t watched any Wimbledon in over 20 years now, so approached this with some trepidation, but needn’t have, as this was definitely on the light side, with references that even I got. Only problems came with 13d and 22ac, which I needed Google to check. All in all a nice start to the week.

COD? 14ac – ‘Bottom line for one who predicted the dot-com boom, it might be said (3,6)’.

Wimbledon must have started a week earlier in 2010?


Saturday 20th June 2015

Phi on a rich vein of creative form recently and, if the mighty Anax says he found this a struggle, those of us who finished without help can probably feel quite pleased with ourselves! I didn’t think of the operatic heroine Mimi, so had to turn to the Fifteensquared blog here for help with parsing 10ac, but otherwise found myself on the setter’s wavelength. 🙂

The use of ‘from’ in 17ac caused some discussion – strictly speaking it should of course be definition ‘from’ wordplay, not the other way round, but although this was my LOI, I really didn’t mind this small liberty.

As did 18ac –  I’m surprised we don’t see ‘university’ meaning OU more often; it strikes me as very useful for the setter – but whether it’s Oxford University or the Open university is, as one comments said back in 2010, a moot point.

COD? 13d. Appear to criticise church, earning deserved rebuke (11)

Now, this was more my cup of tea. Accessible, inventive, and with lots of smiles along the way. The wordplay for 1ac was a mystery to me until I checked the dictionary, but with the checking letters, it couldn’t be anything else.

With that grid I half expected to see a NINA of some sort, but it doesn’t appear that there was.

Too many choices for COD, but I’ll go for 15ac – ‘Steer with these? That’s not right for a start! (6)’.

Into August today once more on Fifteensquared:


More than a little tricky today, I’d say, and to be honest a bit of a grind. I’m not sure I would have persevered if it wasn’t for the blog. I suppose this is the i catering for all solving abilities, but I suspect many most solvers wouldn’t have had the time to get very far with this.

COD? 8d – ‘Crows over beheading of minor criminal (9)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


Well, I was going great guns on this, and then I reached the NW corner, which took about the same time again. The reasoning behind 4d remained a mystery until I checked Fifteensquared.

COD? 11ac – ‘Revamped soap for ladies, disappointing version of Eldorado? (5,8)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog: http://www.fifteensquared.net/2010/07/14/independent-7408dac/

It’s…. a theme that even I spotted, Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Though where’s Mr Gilliam? SPAM and PARROT set alarm bells ringing, and when IDLE popped up in the bottom row, the name of the snake in 21d was pretty apparent. No Spanish Inquisition, but as good as ever. Last in 18d/30ac.

COD? 9ac – ‘In football, starting with no weak players (3-4)’.

July 2010 today on Fifteensquared…


I wonder how many solvers were left feeling like 8d’s after this offering? The four isolated corners, and quite a few tough clues, meant this took some unpicking. The SW was first to fall for me, the NE last.

COD? The very nice 18d – ”Week’ thus becomes ‘wk’ for one dealing with letter (6)’.

The original blog can be found here:


Sayurday 13th June 2015

Do you ever start in the top left corner and work your way down?  Last Saturday I did so and, with that first corner containing all the trickiest clues, once it was done the rest fell quickly. Lots to enjoy as ever with Phi; I really liked 21a, 23a and 14d, but my COD nomination goes to 11a:

How to make hunter go on wild-goose chase? (3,3,9)

2010 blog is complete here.

A nice puzzle to end the week from Raich, with a theme I spotted quickly for once, what with the Fab Four dotted amongst the clues, and 8ac. When LET IT appeared at the top of the grid, and a few checking letters elsewhere, in went BE, HELP, and SHE LOVES YOU without too much thought.

My only real difficulty came on 5d where, as far as I was concerned, even with all the checking letters, the rest really could have gone in any order, so I had to use Google to check.

COD? 22ac – ‘What lady of the night charges salt? (8)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog: