EV 1565 Setter’s Blog – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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EV 1565 Setter’s Blog


Solstice by Chalicea

Setter’s Blog

Unclued entries are anagrams of TIMES, suggesting the song title (THE) TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’ by BOB DYLAN.

One small task I perform each week is to ask setters of Listener puzzles to provide a ‘setter’s blog’ for Listen With Others. These blogs prove to be very popular with solvers but almost invariably the setter says to me, “It’s so long since I set this puzzle that I have completely forgotten where I got the idea or how I proceeded”.

Indeed, that is invariably the case for me too. I even fail to recognize that a puzzle is mine and have managed to mostly solve a Telegraph back-pager before seeing a rather familiar wordplay. “Did I really set that?”

I know that it was the fact that there were such tempting anagrams for TIMES that led me to play with this idea, fitting the six anagrams as unclued lights symmetrically into the grid and managing to fit BOB DYLAN in there too and, slightly less obviously, the title of that well-loved song, THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN’.

The title? The idea was to suggest the solstice when the days begin to draw in or lengthen. There is probably a far better title out there somewhere.

Indeed, it was a simple little thing and probably too easy for the experts, but it might have been welcomed by newer solvers. I hope so.


A full review of this puzzle can be seen over on fifteensquared.

3 comments on “EV 1565 Setter’s Blog
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  1. Since Chambers gives one meaning of ‘time’ as ‘season’, I thought that Solstice was very appropriate (Equinox would have worked equally well, but might have suggested a spurious connection with clocks going forward/back).

    The puzzle seemed to me straightforward but not simple – I certainly found it enjoyable to solve.

  2. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a straightforward, or even “easy” puzzle, especially when one’s pushed for time and they’re as elegantly constructed as this one. Thanks again Chalicea.

    1. I completely agree, and I certainly don’t agree with those solvers of themed puzzles who seem to believe that quality is directly proportional to complexity. The EVs that I have blogged so far have, I reckon, offered an excellent range of challenges, both in clueing and endgame, and the ones I’ve enjoyed most have come from various parts of the difficulty spectrum.

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