Sometimes it isn’t specific news that gets posted here. Right now, for example, I’m just taking 5 minutes out to post a ‘general update’.
So yesterday, after an unexpected 3-day struggle to get it finished, the latest Indy puzzle was sent off. That it took so long is slightly annoying. There was no special theme going on, beyond three lights connected to give one answer, and two further connected lights giving an answer similar in meaning – the rest of it was just a plain puzzle. Yet, for some reason, the last half dozen or so clues saw me floundering helplessly in the search for ideas, which is frustrating because in recent months I’ve managed to get into the habit of (occasionally) filling the grid and clueing in one day or (more often) filling the grid in the evening and writing all clues the following day. It feels a tad disappointing to have an apparently straightforward puzzle take so long.
I really enjoyed Klingsor’s puzzle 7499 in the Indie today. Although this is only his third Indie appearance since joining the team last year, his style will be familiar to those of you who tackle him as Alberich in the FT. He places great emphasis on placing imaginative answer definitions alongside seamless wordplay components – he doesn’t do anything outrageously tricky, but he has an excellent knack for making you kick yourself when you see how easily you’ve been misled. The puzzle is online today here: http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/puzzles/crosswords/cryptic/ (BTW, I’m in tomorrow, so save the link!).
Tony Sebastian is perhaps not the most Indian-sounding name you’ll come across, but this new and very talented setter is beginning to make a real name for himself in that part of the world. He recently joined the Hindu Times and I had the pleasure of solving his debut puzzle earlier this week. It strays somewhat from the strictures of Ximenean style, but it’s not weakened by that. The puzzle is here: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-miscellaneous/article851393.ece and there’s also a fascinating interview with Tony on Shuchi’s brilliant Crossword Unclued blog here: http://www.crosswordunclued.com/2010/10/interview-with-cryptonyte-tony.html
As for me – well, I need to crack on with a new FT puzzle now as I’m not sure what the ed still has in stock.