sawyl: (A self portrait)
Feeling rather pleased with myself for finishing this morning's quick crossword despite almost all the across clues being out of sequence...

Completed crossword spoilers... )

After I took the snapshot, I revealed the final missing letter — the difficult one alluded to by WightOut — and discovered that it was "+" which clearly isn't right, but since the original clue is missing, it's impossible to know which of the possible options is correct.

To be honest, I rather enjoyed the additional challenge of working out what was going on before solving the clues...

ETA: now fixed by the efficient Guardian crossword team. The missing across clue was Shoot-out (at the OK Corral?)...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Embarrassed to say that it wasn't until the very end of today's crossword, just as I was finally filling in 19a, that I noticed the theme. I'm kicking myself that I didn't realise when I solved Ruined couple's mutual fund - that shows effect of world revolution (9,8)...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
A touching surprise from the Guardian today: a last crossword set by Araucaria to mark the first anniversary of his death. Alan Connor has the backstory in G2...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Gentle day pottering around at home and reading and listening to Bach. I've finally found time to read Ann Leckie's Ancillary Sword, which may just be even better than Ancillary Justice and which has left me with a powerful urge to go back and re-read — and possibly even write up — the first book in series. But first I think I'm going to allow myself a couple of cosy crime novels, then, possibly, Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair.

Today's Paul wasn't too demanding: I liked the wordplay in "Recording away from the studio — tedious? (7,9) while "Iffy novel about debasement ultimately, fiend from hell shackling female in vacuous story? (5,6,2,4)" made me laugh when I eventually worked it out...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Adhering to the tradition of marking crossword milestones: my first successful completion of a Boatman puzzle. I'm not really sure it's legitimate to count it, because it was definitely at the easier end of the spectrum...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
An unfortunate coincidence in today's Guardian crosswords. Here's 19a from the quick:

Edible mollusc — on a bale (anag) (7)

And here's 7d from Logodaedalus' cryptic:

Single sailor gets seafood (7)

I'm not very knowledgeable about seafood for obvious reasons, so I can't swear I'd have got the second without the first...

sawyl: (A self portrait)
Mopped up the last couple of days cryptic, both of which required some heavy thinking. I was particularly impressed with Imogen's You struggle to gut two hens to feed the Queen's horse (9) which, after much contemplation, I worked back to houyhnhnm. Like the best clues, it's baffling until you crack it, at which point it seems completely obvious!
sawyl: (A self portrait)
The Guardian announced the sad, if not unexpected, news of John Graham's death earlier this week while I was away. So it's fitting that today they're carrying a puzzle in which the three remaining members of Biggles — Johns Halpern, Henderson, and Young — pay tribute to their old friend.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Via the Guardian, I've discovered that John Halpern — better known as master setter Paul — gave a talk on crosswords at TEDxAlbertopolis:

I'm definitely adding his book, The Centenary of the Crossword, to my to-read list!
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Another crossword milestone: my first successfully completed Pasquale. There was an awful lot of scrabbling and guesswork, but I got there in the end. Thanks, to 11a, I learnt something new in the process: from Some holy stranger encountered in place on missionary journey (6), I discovered St Paul's visit to Lystra.
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Thanks to a enjoyable music themed crossword from Crucible, I've learnt a new word: orra, as in a Scottish word for odd, as in She's nervous in court among odd Scottish players (9)

The solution... )

It's a good example of being able to get to the answer without knowing quite why, only to get confirmation during the backsolve...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Via Paul in today's Guardian, a combination of crosswords and computers: Measure in computer language left smoke, in the words of Keats, to rise (8) which, after an embarrassingly long time, I worked out as megaflop.

(I think the clue is a charade that parses as: left is l, smoke is fag, the words of Keats is poem; in is an envelope indicator and to rise indicates a reversal. Works for me...)
sawyl: (A self portrait)
Perhaps it's consequence of the bank holiday, but I found both yesterday's and today's cryptic crosswords enjoyably straightforward. Which is in total contrast to this week's quiptic, set by Nutmeg, which I found considerably and enjoyably tough...

ETA: I'd expected Paul's puzzle on Wednesday to break my run, but it was actually well within my reach. There were a couple of nasties, including "Spiced drink, say, drunk by setter, not going down (5)" which I managed to solve despite having no idea what a negus was until afterwards, and some fantastic puns: "Reproduce artist, say, for the royal issue (8,4)" for Princess Anne!
sawyl: (A self portrait)
A new crossword record: rather uncharacteristically, I've been able to complete this week's Guardian quiptic and all five of the cryptics. I suspect this may be due to the double presence of Arachne — a setter I seem to get — and Boatman, normally far to difficult for me, happening to fall on valentines day. Still, a win's a win...
sawyl: (A self portrait)
It's not often that crosswords make the main bulletin of the Today Programme. But this morning's summary carried the sad news, made public via yesterday's Guardian cryptic, that nonagenarian national treasure Araucaria is terminally ill. A fitting tribute to John Graham's status as the doyen of crossword setters.
sawyl: (Default)
From today's Pasquale, a nice charade for a famous philosopher: I am university fellow brought in, big beast seen by social worker maybe as a philosopher (8,4). I guess that it parses something like, "I am" = Im, "fellow" = man, "unversity" = u, big beast = "elk", and "social worker" = ant.
sawyl: (Default)
Despite yet another horribly busy day I still managed to find the resources to finish today's cryptic from Brendan, who is normally too difficult for me. Fortunately, today's puzzle featured enough crackable references to the Trojan War to allow me to make pretty short work of it.
sawyl: (Default)
Another crossword milestone today: my first completed Paul. To my surprise, I didn't have too much trouble once I'd cracked a few of the more obvious clues — Dizzy Harlot is in public, primarily a socialite (5,6) indeed! — even if it did take me rather longer than it should have done to see through Band with the time to focus on beat (10)...
sawyl: (Default)
Amusingly risqué clue in today's cryptic: Silver rocket's tip breaking through with means of facilitating entry (6) Answer? Viagra!
sawyl: (Default)
Entertaining quiptic today with some fun Titanic themed clues, especially Plenty had abandoned wreck, yet entertainment continued (3,3,4,6,2) and Director of romance at sea? (7)...


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