Comment – Mar-Apr 2010

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110 Comments

  1. Prolixic
    Posted March 17, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    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!

    • mary
      Posted March 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      think it must be you Prolixic, I can’t see them!

    • Posted March 17, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      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.

      • Prolixic
        Posted March 17, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        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!

        • Posted March 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          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!

      • Lea
        Posted March 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        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!!!

    • Posted March 17, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      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

      • Lea
        Posted March 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        And why isn’t your birthday on there Dave?

        • Posted March 20, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          That would be telling!

          • Lea
            Posted March 20, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink

            Only if you told us your age!!!

  2. mary
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    just wondering if anyone else is having problems getting onto the COW site??

    • Posted March 20, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      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.

      • mary
        Posted March 20, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        thanks Dave, same as me

      • Libellule
        Posted March 21, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        Serves ’em right for running MySQL :-)

    • Prolixic
      Posted March 20, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      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.

      • mary
        Posted March 20, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        thanks Prolixic and well done once again :)

      • Lea
        Posted March 20, 2010 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        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.

  3. mary
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Its back now Dave

    • Posted March 20, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Anax forgot to wind it up this morning!

      • Anax
        Posted March 20, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        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.

  4. mary
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 9:50 am | Permalink

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

    • Libellule
      Posted March 21, 2010 at 9:56 am | Permalink

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

      • mary
        Posted March 21, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        thanks Libelulle, will try again

        • mary
          Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          got it, thanks once again

          • Lea
            Posted March 28, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

            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.

  5. mary
    Posted March 28, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

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

    • Posted March 28, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Today’s is on its way to you!

      • mary
        Posted March 28, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        thanks Dave, can I come out of dunces corner? :)

    • Lea
      Posted March 28, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      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.

  6. Prolixic
    Posted March 28, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Not just you. Someone must have poured treacle into the server.

  7. Shrike1313
    Posted March 28, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    No clued up and DIY COW being reported as an attack site. It must be spring!

    • Lea
      Posted March 28, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

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

      • mary
        Posted March 28, 2010 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        well done Lea

    • mary
      Posted March 28, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      managed to get onto COW

      • Shrike1313
        Posted March 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

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

        • Posted March 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          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.

          • Posted March 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            Anax

            It’s not the browsers themselves that are objecting, they are reacting to a Google warning:

            http://www.stopbadware.org/home/reviewinfo?hl=en-GB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ukpuzzle.com%2FphpBB3%2Findex.php

            • Posted March 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

              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.

              • Posted March 28, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

                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.

  8. Posted March 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Are all compilers of cryptics men? Does anyone know of women compilers? would love to know which of the Telegrapph ( if any) are women.

    • Posted March 28, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      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.

    • gazza
      Posted March 28, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

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

      • gazza
        Posted March 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        .. 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.

        • Posted March 28, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          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.

  9. mary
    Posted March 29, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    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

    • Posted March 29, 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      25a Too much interest is shown in it (5)
      This is USURY – the taking of iniquitous or illegal interest on a loan

      • mary
        Posted March 29, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        thank you so much Dave I don’t think i would have got it ! on with the cleaning now :)

  10. Wendy
    Posted April 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

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

  11. Shrike1313
    Posted April 1, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    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?

    • Posted April 1, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      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.

      • Shrike1313
        Posted April 1, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

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

  12. gnomethang
    Posted April 1, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

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

  13. Prolixic
    Posted April 2, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    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.

    • PETER WILD
      Posted April 2, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Had problems with clued up all last night.Annoying or what!!
      PETE.W

      • Libellule
        Posted April 2, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

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

  14. mary
    Posted April 2, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink

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

    • Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      I saved the Toughie last night, but left the cryptic, rather foolishly, to this morning.

      • mary
        Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:36 am | Permalink

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

  15. Will
    Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

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

  16. Jezza
    Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink

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

    • mary
      Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

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

      • Jezza
        Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        .. 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?

        • mary
          Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

          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 :)

          • Jezza
            Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

            I’d rather being doing battle with Giovanni !

            • mary
              Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

              legos just not on the same level is it :)

          • mary
            Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink

            just tried it again grrrrrrrrr!!!!

            • mary
              Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

              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?

              • mary
                Posted April 2, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

                sorry right hand side

                • Jezza
                  Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

                  We’ll soon be able to take the clues from Gazza’s review!

                  • mary
                    Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

                    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!!

                    • Libellule
                      Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink

                      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.

  17. mary
    Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    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

    • Libellule
      Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

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

      • Lea
        Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        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.

      • mary
        Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        thanks Libelulle don’t know if it’s my level though

        • Libellule
          Posted April 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

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

  18. Lea
    Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    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.

  19. Jezza
    Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Just been out to buy the paper… that’s a pound CluedUp owes me!!

    • mary
      Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

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

  20. mary
    Posted April 2, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    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 :)

  21. Posted April 2, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

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

  22. PETE.W
    Posted April 2, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

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

    • Posted April 2, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      It’s quite likely that the database had to be reset as part of the recovery process.

  23. Libellule
    Posted April 5, 2010 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    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 puzzle.worldarcstudio.com has a read-only file system. Looks like the software supplier to the Daily Telegraph has crashed again.

  24. Mark
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    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?
    mark

    • Posted April 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      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.

      • Mark
        Posted April 8, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Dave. Better stick to the Telegraph!
        mark

  25. Jezza
    Posted April 15, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

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

    • Posted April 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Messinae – Tilsit is doing a review (I hope!)

    • Prolixic
      Posted April 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      It was Messinae

      • Jezza
        Posted April 15, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Thank you both.

  26. Jezza
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink

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

    • Posted April 16, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      14 Medical section suddenly escorts one with TB (10)
      anagram (suddenly!) of ESCORTS I TB

      • Jezza
        Posted April 16, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink

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

  27. gnomethang
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

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

    Is it just me?

    • gazza
      Posted April 16, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

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

      • gnomethang
        Posted April 17, 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Thanks gazza! – Had that the wrong way round in my head!

  28. Jezza
    Posted April 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

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

  29. Jezza
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

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

  30. mark
    Posted April 25, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    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.
    mark

    • Posted April 25, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

      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.

      • mark
        Posted April 26, 2010 at 7:16 am | Permalink

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

        mark

  31. mark
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    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!
    http://www.ft.com/arts/crossword

  32. mark
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    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.
    mark

    • Prolixic
      Posted April 30, 2010 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Glad you enjoyed the puzzle. 14a is ARAM (ancient Syria) inside PETER (Cephas).

      • mark
        Posted April 30, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Prolixic!