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Namechecked in the Independent Cryptic Crossword - Thanks, Anax!

I really struggled with today's Independent cryptic crossword by Anax, and didn't come close to completing it, let alone spotting this.

So it's only just now that I've learned that hidden away in the completed grid were the names of virtually all of the Independent bloggers at Fifteensquared.

And there I am at 21 across:

Independent Cryptic Crossword 7,588

A rather humbling turn of events, I must say. It's not every day that one gets mentioned, however cryptically, in a national broadsheet. So many thanks to Anax, and maybe I'll persist in trying to finish one of your puzzles for a change!

Continue reading Namechecked in the Independent Cryptic Crossword - Thanks, Anax! »

Posted on Thursday, the 10th of February, 2011 | permalink | comments (0)

Some Thoughts on Solving Advanced Cryptic Crosswords

I've recently been enjoying - if that's the right word - advanced cryptic crosswords. These are those extra challenging puzzles that crop up in the weekend supplements of the broadsheet newspapers here in the UK.

Advanced cryptics aren't quite like normal crosswords. They tend to be set out on a "barred" grid, as opposed to the more familiar "black and white" version, they typically employ obscure or obsolete vocabulary, and they often feature "special instructions" in the preamble of the puzzle. For example, the solver may be expected insert or remove letters before writing in the grid entry, or resolve clashes between "across" and "down" answers. It can be a bit like solving a puzzle layered on top of a puzzle on top of a puzzle.

Examples of the genre include Inquisitor and Beelzebub in the Independent, Mephisto and The Listener in the Times, Enigmatic Variations in the Sunday Telegraph and, perhaps the father of them all, Azed in the Observer.

I'm not even close to being an expert on these, but I've picked up a few...er...clues over recent months, and I thought it couldn't hurt to share what I've found out so far, and perhaps see if readers have any further advice. So here are my thoughts on solving advanced cryptics.

Continue reading Some Thoughts on Solving Advanced Cryptic Crosswords »

Posted on Tuesday, the 9th of June, 2009 | permalink | comments (1)

Beelzebub Crossword Solutions on Fifteensquared

Posted on Friday, the 6th of February, 2009 | permalink | comments (0)

My First Contribution to Fifteensquared

Posted on Wednesday, the 10th of December, 2008 | permalink | comments (2)