Comment – Mar-Apr 2010 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Comment – Mar-Apr 2010


Archived Comments – Mar -Apr 2010

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110 comments on “Comment – Mar-Apr 2010

  1. Has Christmas come early? As well as being St Patrick’s Day, I also see the series of Chrismas photos across the top of the page when I look at the site – or maybe BD has had to many pints of the Guiness!

    1. What browser are you using?

      I have spent all day setting up the time-dependent themes, but they should only appear at the designated times.

      If, perchance, you are using IE 6.1 then go and stand in the naughty corner.

      1. In the office we still use IE 6 (I think) so that must be the reason for the errant images. I will ask our IT manager to stand in a corner somewhere!

        1. IE6 is possibly the worst browser ever written.

          I have moved some of the CSS statements around, so it might now work in IE6, but I have no means of testing it!

      2. I’ve just come from a client’s and had to update his Explorer – he was still on IE6 and was pleased to have the upgraded version. Have to go back and update some other software as ran out of time and his patience and understanding were starting to fail but at least I accomplished one thing I wanted to get done!!!

    2. As a matter of interest, special themes should appear at:

      28 Jan – Blog’s birthday
      22 Feb – Rufus’s birthday
      01 Mar – St David’s day
      17 Mar – St Patrick’s day
      23 Apr – St George’s day
      30 Nov – St Andrew’s day
      15 Dec – 05 Jan – Xmas

    1. Mary

      I’ve just tried it and I get

      General Error

      SQL ERROR [ mysql4 ]

      Can’t connect to local MySQL server through socket ‘/var/lib/mysql/mysql.sock’ (2) [2002]

      An sql error occurred while fetching this page. Please contact an administrator if this problem persists.

    2. I have just tried and was able to access the site. It comes up with this error message periodically but it seems to be a temporary blip.

      1. Prolixic – well done for the clue for last week’s COW. Was too busy looking after other people’s computers to put my mind to it so didn’t enter – hope to do something with your word.

      1. I don’t know why this General Error thing happens, but it does, occasionally. The previous version of DIY COW used the same PhP forum software but it was hosted on a dedicated (but unreliable) host server, which is why I ditched it. The current one is on the same Web-Mania server as the UKPuzzle site so I don’t know why it – and not UKPuzzle itself – suffers this occasional downtime, but perhaps there’s some kind of automated backup process in the forum software which renders it inaccessible while that’s happening? I honestly don’t know.

  2. having problem with clued up today can’t open site already having withdrawal symptoms, anyone else??

    1. Mary,
      It seems to be running very very slowly, but if you persevere you do eventually get there. But it takes time.

          1. Thanks Mary – glad to see you were back – didn’t see you on the Saturday Club until this morning – missed your comments and I am sure Dave won’t keep you in that dunces corner.

  3. Morning all, anyone having trouble with clued up today? I can’t get it to open up as yet, maybe they forgot the hour :)

    1. Most probably their server got its knickers in a twist. I decided to do the NTSPP007 first so will wait till it comes back on line.

    1. The springs have really sprung — why not try Anax’s puzzle NTPP007 – it’s a good one – just finished it.

      1. Thanks Lea and Mary – I’m still getting a warning page for COW using Firefox. Will certainly give Anax’s crossword a go.

        1. I wouldn’t worry about warnings when you access DIY COW. I was sent a screenshot of what was being flashed up and it seemed to be restricted to the very small gif images used for some buttons; Edit, Submit, Preview etc. No idea why this would happen, but the forum software will have scripts instructing it to display those images and it would appear some browsers don’t like them – possibly because they don’t recognise what the scripts relate to? Not sure, but it seems likely.

            1. I don’t know what to do Dave. The UKPuzzle website is my own design using FrontPage, so if something goes wrong I can (if needed) completely rebuild and replace the index.htm page. The php forum components have nothing to do with me apart from the splash at the top – the rest of it is elements of a template whose formatting exists only on a host server (in this case the same as UKPuzzle), so I can’t actually access it.

              I THINK (not absolutely sure) I can adjust a setting to allow visitors to change the template they see; this could alleviate the problem. I’ll go and check it out now and let you know.

              1. No, can’t do that. However, I have an unchecked tick box which allows users to override the default template (which is L_Antre) with a different one. So if warnings come up it’s possible that these can be negated by the visitor changing the template being used.

    1. As far as we are aware none of the daily setters are women.

      There are two Toughie setters – Warbler and Excalibur. Warbler is the setter for today’s Enigmatic Variations No. 908.

    2. All the current Cryptic setters are men, but there are two women who regularly set Toughies (Excalibur and Warbler).

      1. .. as BD has pointed out, my reply on the Cryptic setters needs to be qualified by “as far as we know” We don’t currently know who the Thursday settter(s) are.

        1. Thanks! I will monitor with interest……..Just a thought but would love someone to provide us ( the females) with a grid so we could get together and compile our own clues to challenge you men…he he he…no references to sport…that will throw you! any other females want to help? If so I am sure my e mail addy can be passed to you……..Then we can throw the guys into the dunce corner……..Oh and not to many Charades which seem to be the mens favourites.

  4. desperately needing help with 25a today to complete, need to get on with my day :) I have *s*r*, unless its wrong of course, must be so simple, but just can’t see it

  5. Thanks, this was a great help, am quite rusty. I was stumped by 20d ethanol but enjoyed 1a (die) which I got immediately.

  6. Having deliberately clicked “ignore” on the COW site a number of times, I have found that I cannot add to the discussion. This is well beyond my limited experience – is there a way around this Dave?

    1. If you are using Firefox you can, at your own risk, go to Tools / Options / Security and uncheck the box “Block reported attack sites”. I would recommend that you reset the option afterwards. Alternatively you can download and install Safari – but be aware that the reason that this works is because it doesn’t check the same “attack site” info.

      1. Many thanks, Dave. I use Firefox, so that is very helpful. I hope that the source of the problem is found soon.

  7. Is there an entire post removed here?
    I swear blind that I made a comment on Tim Moorey’s book this morning!

      1. Curses! – just ‘clocked’ that!. Looks a bit different on my phone is all!

  8. Ho hum. Another morning where Screwed Up really should be called Screwed Down as I cannot access the site. This is becoming too much of a regular occurence.

      1. Its now 10.05am (9.05am in the UK) in France, and the site is dead! I can’t even access it.

  9. Hi Dave sorry to be a pest again but clued up should be called clued down! any chance of todats cryptic pleeeeese

      1. thanks anyway Dave, how about the toughie then, I’m having withdrawal symptome, will try anything :)

  10. Still unable to access the Clued-up site. This is becoming all too regular for my liking!!

  11. Getting irritated…. just boiled the kettle, and no crossword! CluedUp must have gone home for Easter!

    1. me too Jezza, this is too bad on a day when people are off and can relax and do the crossword too!

      1. .. a gloomy, overcast morning in London, and nothing to do… Looks like I’ll have to keep my 4 year-old occupied with the Lego!
        What about you Mary?

        1. really dull and wet here in Wales too Jezza, got a peaceful morning all to myself, no grandchildren, was looking forward to doing the crossword, have fun with the lego, i’ve grown out of that now :)

            1. Have you tried COW Jezza, there’s a link on the left hand side after comments, it’s a site run by Annax, where a word is set each week by the previous weeks ‘winner’ and you have to write a cryptic clue for it, it’s good fun, everyone is really helpful, might be better than Lego?

                  1. If Gazza has the crossword!! Just tried typing a complaint on the Telegraph website, only to be told when i pressed submit that they couldn’t find the page!!

                    1. Just checked. Gazza has the crossword. He had to go out and buy a paper though. So the blog is likely to be a little late as he had to also transcribe all the clues.

  12. If its not up by 12 think i’ll go try get a paper but they’ll probably be sold out by then all bought by people who can’t get on ‘clue down’ thanks Libelulle

    1. Mary,
      I’m off to do the Guardian. You don’t have to pay for it, and its online and working.

      1. What a good idea Libellule – I did the Express yesterday as the coffee shop that I was in had it to hand. Makes a change getting on others wave lengths.

        1. Mary,
          24974 by Chifonie, perfectly accesible and easier than a normal Giovanni. Very enjoyable.

  13. What a frustrating morning |’m having – mislaid a file on my computer – researched upgrade RAM for a client’s laptop and it took ages – various sites not co-operative this morning – finally ordered it and then thought “wonderful I can do my Giovanni puzzle now” and Clued Up site is well and truly messed up. Oh well – will wait till later – such a shame. Might have to go out in and get a paper – probably need petrol as well so can kill two birds with one stone.

    1. good luck Jezza, Gazza has blog up now, nice to know that some sites never let you down :)

  14. tried speaking to daily telegraph only to be told that dept are off for weekend but that they are aware of problem with ‘clued down’ website’ very helpful, not :)

  15. I’ve now added pdfs of DT 26204 and T 330 to the bottom of the respective posts, kindly provided by Phil McNeill – enjoy!

  16. Clued up now back on . All previous entries and saved puzzles have vanished-what is going on?

  17. Well, its Monday morning, and guess what ScrewedUp is broken again. You can get to the home page, but you cannot log in. Seems that has a read-only file system. Looks like the software supplier to the Daily Telegraph has crashed again.

  18. Just got a new Chambers Dictionary. Until today I had been using a Concise Oxford from about 1999. After reading up about crosswording I realised I needed a new dictionary!

    I have been reading the Tim Moorey book, but when I tried the Times Cryptic on Saturday, I really struggled. I am doing better with the Telegraph.

    My Mum always used to say you get used to the one you do regularly – is this true do you think – or is the Times harder?

    1. Mark

      The answer is yes on both counts.You get used to the one you do regularly and the Times is harder, particularly for the Saturday puzzles.

  19. Out of curiousity, does anyone know which setter was responsible for the Toughie today?

  20. Really enjoyed the Toughie today! Got one left, 14d… will no doubt kick myself when I get it..

      1. Thanks BD… I should have got this earlier, especially as my wife is expecting our second !!!

  21. Regarding Anaxeses bonus puzzle:
    I cannot see the def at 12a.
    I have FAN and CLUB and that is all.

    Is it just me?

    1. I think that the definition is “those following” with driver = CLUB, preceded by work up = FAN.

  22. I see cluedup is down again! Just done Saturday puzzle, but won’t allow me to resume and complete…

  23. Just noticed the change of theme to the website. Happy St George’s Day, and Happy Birthday to the Bard of Avon!

  24. Dear Dave,
    I’m not sure when you set up the page with all the NTSPPs on, but I have just found it. Thank you for that! I’ve been having a go at a couple of the Prolixic and Anax puzzles you put links to.

    I am enjoying “Unexpected Bonus”. It’s quite a bit easier than Anax’s usual work, I think. That’s not to say I have managed to finish it!
    “Thus Spake Araucaria” is good too. I usually find Prolixic really tough, but I have got about half of this done.

    1. It’s been there since the first week of NTSPP!

      I set it up as a home to a load of miscellaneous crossword related pages. The latest puzzle doesn’t always get set up until later on Saturday as the software doesn’t allow page updates to be scheduled.

      1. I am dense at times – I’d found all the NTSPPs by going back Saturday by Saturday!


  25. Hi – just been over to the interactive version of “unexpected bonus” as there were 6 clues I couldn’t solve. This was good going for me as Anax’s puzzles are usually too hard for me.
    Thanks again for this.
    By the way Cinephile’s FT puzzle from 28/4/10 (yesterday) was a good one. It has a theme and although it would probably be too easy for most on here, I thought it was great!

  26. Just been having a look at the solution to “Thus spake Araucaria”. I enjoyed this. I needed to cheat to get the last 3 answers in. Still don’t quite get 14a!
    Thanks Prolixic, I am certainly getting to like themed puzzles.

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