Archive for the ‘Crosswords to solve’ Category

Anax in the Independent   3 comments

Today’s (Tuesday) Independent puzzle is an Anax effort. A number of clues suggest a theme, but you don’t really need any knowledge of it. Just gone midnight as I type this and the puzzle isn’t showing yet, but it should be there shortly:


Posted April 24, 2012 by Anax in Crosswords to solve

Elkamere tomorrow   2 comments

Just a quick call-in to say tomorrow’s Telegraph Toughie is an Elkamere effort. Sorry to be so brief – getting late and still got work to do.

Posted April 18, 2012 by Anax in Crosswords to solve

Anax in the Independent tomorrow   4 comments

Could be interesting, this. As a setter, when you look over a completed puzzle there are usually a modest number of clues where you say to yourself “That worked well” and, equally, some which elicit a degree of regret because – try as you might – you couldn’t phrase it exactly as you wanted and ended up with something of a compromise. And yet, when it comes to the blogs, you can find that your favourite clues go pretty much unnoticed and the meh ones get raved about. We’re always ready to be surprised.

It’s quite unusual for a crossword editor to pass an overall comment on the puzzle (the editor’s job is primarily to look for errors or looseness) but I was delighted when Eimi used the phrase ‘insanely good’ about the anagrams and realisation of theme for tomorrow’s effort. Two things: obviously, it will be fascinating to see if Eimi’s assessment is backed up by reaction tomorrow but, secondly, it also goes to show that an editor can have a different opinion to the setter. I’m not saying I’m anything less than satisfied with the puzzle (had that been the case I wouldn’t have submitted it) but, on completion, it was for me just a case of being relieved to have got a decent number of thematic references in, and a reasonable number of clues that made me smile. I was happy with it, but not jumping up and down with glee.

Is it the case, I wonder, that when you’re targeting completion of at least three puzzles a week you’re just happy to be sticking to the timetable? You know deep down that a puzzle is ‘good’ but you don’t have time to let that sink in because you’re already making a start on the next?

Posted April 9, 2012 by Anax in Crosswords to solve, Newsification

April Foolery in today’s Sunday Times   1 comment

But nothing thematic – just a bit of April Fool mentionage in some clues. Sorry I’m a bit late posting this; slow PC this morning and some sites (LiveJournal ones, typically) won’t load at all.

Posted April 1, 2012 by Anax in Crosswords to solve, Newsification

Thursday already? Must be time for Loroso   1 comment

Yes indeed. Avail yourself of Thursday’s FT for a dose of Loroso fun. If you don’t buy the newspaper (shame) you can download the PDF via the FT website at this here URL:

Posted March 28, 2012 by Anax in Crosswords to solve, Newsification

Anax in the Independent tomorrow   1 comment

About time we had another themed one, and this could be interesting. In theory the theme is international, but I still expect a few brickbats from non-UK solvers. No further clues, except to say that it’s made me think of another puzzle ‘off the production line’, following a comment by John Henderson (Enigmatist/Elgar/Nimrod/Io) during his fascinating Guardian live webchat last week ( about crosswords being ‘churned out’. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted March 26, 2012 by Anax in Crosswords to solve, Newsification

Elkamere today… and the building process   1 comment

Telegraph Toughie fans are provided with an Elkamere puzzle today. Plug done.

So I’ve gone a little quiet again; just ploughing on with puzzles. At the moment it’s my next Independent crossword that demands my attention. Grid fill done, clues about 50% done, and just reaching the ‘interesting dilemma’ stage. You see, there’s a bit of a theme going on, and much of it is incidental in that a few answers tie in with each other – in the clues this is marked by numerical references to the locations of other answers. At the moment that accounts for eight clues, and as a setter you begin to wonder ‘Is that enough?’

At this point a few nerves kick in, because the temptation is to force bits of thematic wordplay into clues whose answers have nothing to do with the theme. For obvious reasons I can’t give the theme away here, but I’ll try an example. Let’s say the theme revolves around a particular event. I’ve got a completely unrelated answer somewhere in the grid and the initials of someone associated with the theme happen to be the first two letters – the remainder doesn’t look promising, and the answer is too far removed from the theme for me to attempt giving it a definition that can somehow tie in.

The sensible bit of the brain says ‘Leave it – the resulting clue is likely to be forced and clumsy’. On the other hand, many solvers like it if you’re prepared to wrestle with wordplay until it bends to your thematic idea. It’s just that doing that takes time – a lot of it, usually. I do wonder how other setters deal with this predicament.

Posted March 21, 2012 by Anax in Crosswords to solve, Newsification

Weekend puzzles   Leave a comment

As mentioned below, this weekend sees a run of probably three prize puzzles. Anax provides the puzzle in today’s Independent, and it’s my turn in the Sunday Times tomorrow… and I think I have the very unusual honour of a Loroso slot for Monday’s FT prize puzzle (the crossword ed told me the puzzle is ‘probably’ in on that day – evidently a bit of late juggling is always possible).

Wherever you focus your puzzle solving enjoyment this weekend, have fun!

UPDATE: The FT puzzle isn’t on Monday, I’ve been informed. It now appears towards the end of the month.

Posted March 10, 2012 by Anax in Crosswords to solve, Newsification

It’s Friday – it’s Loroso   1 comment

Friday 24th Feb is Loroso in the FT, downloadable via the FT website here:

Posted February 23, 2012 by Anax in Crosswords to solve

Is tomorrow…   3 comments

…is a slightly (well,hardly) cryptic reference to tomorrow’s Anax puzzle in the Independent, which I’m plugging now while I have a window of access to WordPress. Alas, problems continue with this and some other logon-dependent sites. Just out of interest, a casual glance at XP’s date/time properties this morning revealed it had somehow decided today was 1st February. Impossible to guess what the implications are but, after correcting it, re-logging into problem sites didn’t seem quite as long-winded and repetitive.

Does anyone know if one’s OS date/time is some sort of reference point on websites where logon is needed? And, if one’s date/time are incorrect,  this would cause a problem?

Posted January 30, 2012 by Anax in Crosswords to solve