A nice round number to start the working week. All pretty straightforward as you expect from Quixote, though I did have to double check 8/25 and 24ac, because I didn’t quite believe my answer for either! It appears that there’s some controversy about whether the definition at 9d is accurate, but to be honest I didn’t pay it a second thought when solving. Perhaps Quixote was referring to the cat. 🙂

COD? 13ac – ‘It could be on and on and on and on for folk past their best (4,7)’.

Back to January 2011:


Saturday 21st November  2015

Pairs of brothers last week.  My general knowledge  does not, alas, run to Chang & Eng (the original ‘Siamese twins’), to Alberich having a brother called Mime or to Mario having one called Luigi.  And remembering the names of all 12 apostles is hard enough, without having to know who’s related to whom – I expect Sprouthater hated it!

The definitions were, in effect, absent for all those clues, which meant they had to be deduced from wordplay alone.   ‘Brother to someone else is little more helpful than saying ‘male person’ after all.  But the wordplay wasn’t always easy – Ar for Arabian was new to me, for example.  I struggled, finding it much harder than the usual Phi.

Heigh-ho, the good folk at Fifteensquared liked it (mostly) and even found it easier than usual for Phi (!?).  Anyhow they have kindly provided all the answers and parsing for us, just click here.

COD I suppose should go to the gateway clue at 18a: Concern to secure right element in order? (7)





A generally satisfying puzzle today with some clever wordplay. I needed some help as I am not familiar with all the works of G Orwell  nor had I come across Colossians before but the word play made the answers clear after checking on Wikipedia.

I always seem to have at least one quibble with Nestors puzzles though and this week its 2d I can’t find any reference to Off Colour meaning Naughty and the word play makes no sense to me at all. There are though plenty of good clues and my COD is

5d   Not romantic or as animated in film (7)

The 2011 blog and solutions are here




Just a quick blog as I’m struggling to get this typed out on my phone. Fairly straightforward today, I thought, in what’s fast turning into Crosophile’s regular spot. 

COD? 11ac – ‘It’d be usual if there were mass for little French one in such an event (11)’.

Here’s the Fifteensquared blog:


i Cryptic Crossword 1496 Dac

November 25, 2015

“Hello, Mister Battered’s place”.
“Batarde, Charmaine. You make me sound like a fish supper”.
“Sorry Mr. B. Where are you anyway? I thought you were supposed to be back by now”.
“Delayed train, dash it. Wrong sort of mildly inclement weather or something. Would you be an angel and take care of the blog again for me”?
“Well …”
“… Same rate as last time. Please”?
“My pleasure, sir”.
“Oh, that’s a relief, thank you. See you soon”.

Either I’m getting better at these crossword things (ought to be – I’ve been doing them for over a week now) or else this was an easy one. Lots of nice clues which read like real sentences as usual, including a couple of funny ones. Honourable mentions to 1ac, 7d, 15d and 17d, but the award for Awesome Clue of the Day goes to 2d:

“Reprimand male servant when one’s not suited for work (5-4,6)”

The Fifteensquared blog from March 2011 is here:


Geography, eh? And places on the Thames too. This was never going to play to my strong points. As it turned out, this proved to be ultimately reasonably solvable, with a few blips along the way (MARDEN, anyone else?), and recourse to Google. Scorpion seems to have got a little easier since I first encountered him in the Independent many moons ago, when I first started solving.

COD? 16d – ‘Instructions to house hunters perhaps: trade latterly quite depressed (4,4)’.

March 2011 today. We’re going to catch up at some point.


So it appears that the Don is here to stay on Mondays in the i, at least for the the moment, and very welcome he is too. 🙂 That said, I found this one much tougher than usual, with quite a few long answers that weren’t immediately apparent, and one or two unfamiliar terms. Time just over par for the i.

COD? 16ac – ‘What nearer Xmas may be dressed? A bird (4,10)’.

We’re into May 2011 already!


Saturday 14th November  2015

Well this was one of my favourite Phi puzzles for a long time – and also the first for a while with no theme, either hidden or otherwise.  Coincidence?  I couldn’t possibly comment.

We all like a bit of sauce, so the reversal of ‘in 1 C-cup’ for Puccini brought a chuckle, but for once I’ll go high-brow for my COD:

27a         Fateful forest, in which mad woman in pen died (6,4)

The 2011 blog from Fifteensquared with all the answers can be accessed by clicking here.

The second puzzle from this setter and I didn’t find it particularly difficult at all, no idea how long it took me as the wife kept talking at me, I wonder what she was saying?

A lot of abbreviations and shortening of words used in the construction of this puzzle most were obvious to me but L = angular momentum was new to me and “heartless children in care” in 23a had me scratching my head. Last one to go in was 15d, didn’t really like that one at all. However there was a lot to like and I think my nomination for COD must go to

10a Creep after taking little time to flatter (5-4)

It was something about washing and raining. Too late now its pouring and I’m not going out in that.

Back to March 2011 here





A fairly gentle outing from Klingsor, that I solved in half the time of yesterday’s, just to show how subjective solving times can be! Lots of lovely clues, starting with the very clever 1ac onwards, but my COD goes to 4d – ‘Following game both sides surround English referee? (8)’.

A good pick for a prize puzzle, this one. Here’s the original blog: