i Cryptic Crossword 1813 Dac

November 30, 2016

An enjoyable solve as ever from Dac, perhaps on the easier side for him. What more can you say? The usual excellent puzzle he produces week after week.

COD? 5ac – ‘Potentially lousy sort in school? (6)’.

Back to July 2012, where there’s some discussion about the abbreviation used in 21ac. TBH, the synonym for ‘Expert’ threw me more.


i Cryptic Crossword 1812 Anax

November 29, 2016

Speak of the devilish and he’s sure to appear – this is what I get for mentioning Anax in passing yesterday. Unsurprisingly this old Saturday prize puzzle from June 2012 was on the tough side, although it has to be said that Anax can be a good deal more refractory than this when the mood takes him.

Our theme today relates to 4d: the one clue I couldn’t parse. A glance at the Fifteensquared blog entry explains why, and I’m not even slightly embarrassed by my ignorance of Whigfield. Some features of this crossword encroach upon barred grid territory and that won’t please everybody: 15, 19 and 22 are perhaps a bit thick for a weekday, really. However, none of the solutions are especially obscure, so that’s something, and there are some terrific clues. 1, 13, 20, 21, 23, 25/8 … all top 18ac. I’m going to break my rule and nominate a themed one for COD:

9d: “Woman who does not sell up has left out 4 (10)”

An enjoyable, not too difficult solve to start the week. A few unfamiliar terms, but they were all clearly, fairly clued.

COD? 17ac – ‘He controls investigator at hillside leisure facility? (8)’.

Our first IoS reprint of the week is from July 2012:


Saturday 17th November 2016

In which our setter had LACHRYMAL GLAND across the top and FAIRY GODMOTHER across the bottom, in both instances the pair of words being split across two lights to neatly fill the row.  I like that.

And what an enjoyable solve it was. Plenty of ticks by the clues with just LYSIS and UT INFRA being unfamiliar.  Having said that, the former did ring a distant bell and the latter is similar to Dac’s UT SUPRA from back in September – also clued as a hidden by the way.

For Clue of the Day, and pipping both 13d and 16d to the post, I must concur with duncansheill at Fifteensquared back in 2012:

18a Comedy film duo going up and down (7)

For that original blog – with answers and full parsings (I needed it to parse 26a M(a)OIST, for example), just click here.



Tyrus – not a warm cuddly name, more pugnacious, definitely tough, well that’s how I found this puzzle. I did though find it enjoyable. Plenty of unusual answers which were solved from the cryptic part of the clue but then had to be checked with the dictionary. Struggled at first to get into this but 16d was the breakthrough, once I’d got that I was off and well not running but making progress. There was a Nina which I did spot, couldn’t really miss it with Aria a cross the top. The only real oddity for me was the use of Ham as an anagrind.

COD  1d  Josh under attack initially unworried  (2,4)

This was originally a Prize Puzzle in the IOS in July 2012 and the original blog and explanation is here – http://www.fifteensquared.net/2012/07/01/independent-on-sunday-1166tyrus/

i Cryptic Crossword 1808 Eimi

November 24, 2016

Originally produced to mark the death of this man, a host of clues reference what is probably his most famous work. Not that I noticed, despite having read it several times. Anyway, without knowing that, this puzzle was an enjoyable, reasonably straightforward offering. I had no idea who 32ac was referring to, but the first part of the DD was clear enough. Some controversy over the definition at 2d over in the comments on Fifteensquared, but my scientific knowledge isn’t up to arguing either way…

COD? 26d – ‘Stones tune covered by Crosby and Nash? (5)’.

June 2012 once more:


Crosophile steps into Dac’s shoes with a puzzle that was perhaps a little more difficult than we’re used to on a Wednesday, but not by far. Solving time a fair way below par for the i. There’s a Nina I miserably failed to spot, but I was in a bit of a rush. That’s my excuse anyway. 🙂 Quite a few I didn’t bother fully parsing when I solved, which sometimes gets me in trouble, but I got away with it today.

COD? 8d – ‘Looking back, a glimpse of deer? (9)’.

To the warmer days of June 2012:


A welcome reappearance by one of my favourite Indy compilers after a long absence. As far as I can remember, Scorpion simply doesn’t do “plain” crosswords, and here we have a pervasive theme relating to 22 across – which is a rather natty little clue in itself. Once that goes in the pace should pick up considerably, but Scorpion has been kind enough to scatter a few gentle ones around to get proceedings under way.

Plenty of variety today, some sneaky definitions, a couple of chuckles and a spot of controversy concerning 10ac and 19d (both of which I was happy with). For some discussion of that, along with the solutions and analysis please see the Fifteensquared blog entry, posted by the estimable Bertandjoyce back in June 2012. Oh, and it’s a pangram to boot. Lots of ticks, but I’ll single out a few: 12, 13, 15 and 28ac, and 1, 3, 6, 17 and 18d. My (non-thematic) clue of the day is 5d:

“George eats up small Indian (8)”.

A pretty straightforward, enjoyable offering from the Don to start the week, with a couple of new words learnt as ever. 1d was that well hidden I failed to spot the hidden word despite getting the answer. 11ac I vaguely knew, but found I was uncertain how to spell. 17ac was my last one in, geography being my weak(est) point as ever.

COD? 9ac – ‘Winding road to front of mansion brings one to this? (7)’.

Back to June 2012:


Saturday 12th November 2016


I am constantly surprised when experienced bloggers like nmsindy and RatkojaRiku, who I know are much better at solving crosswords than me, fail to spot a Nina in a Phi puzzle.  Here are the clues that there might be one:  1. It’s Phi. 2. There are peripheral unches. 3. There are several obscure entries. 4. There is no apparent theme. 5. It’s Phi – which is worth saying twice.

To explain, Phi gave us a play on Rene Magritte’s infamous ‘This is not a pipe’ painting by having ‘CECI N’EST PAS UNE PERIPHERIE’ as a peripheral Nina – arf!

Anyhow, the Nina helped me finish the tricky ones on the right hand side and gave me a laugh too.

COD? Given that the excellent 5d has lost its topicality, I’ll go for 9a, a tricky word, elegantly clued:

Permit cut in most of moist cheese (8)

Full blog and discussion from 2012 here.


And a first ever puzzle for the Indy by some poacher-cum-gamekeeper called Maize can be found here – complete with a slightly disappointing typo in 4a where three words have been run together.