Comment – May-Jul 2010

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  1. mark
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    After The Chairman mentioned Araucaria’s puzzles in the Guardian, I have had a look in Crowther’s A-Z and thought I’d find out a bit more about some of the compilers.
    I am starting to get more of an idea about the different DT setters, so I thought I’d post some of this information up. I realise it’s old news to most of you on here, but it might be of interest to some. I’d be interested if anyone has other information to add on the setters.
    Rufus = Dante in the FT
    Araucaria = Cinephile in the FT
    Giovanni = Bradman and Polymath in the FT and Pasquale in Guardian
    Virgilius = Brendan in the Guardian.

    • Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Virgilius also uses the same pseudonym in the Independent, for whom Giovanni appears as Quixote. For barred thematics Giovanni uses another “Don” variant – Duck!

      I’m delighted to note that some kind soul has added me to Wiki’s “Cryptic Crosswords” page. Many thanks, whoever you are!

      • mark
        Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Anax – should have thought to look there!

      • Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know who added you, but I updated your entry to include Loroso! I added a few Toughie names and tidied up the table as well.

  2. mark
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    I’m sticking to links between Telegraph, FT and Guardian as the latter are free online!

    Elgar = Io (FT) and Enigmatist (Guardian)

    • Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      The Indie puzzles are free too – the only downsides are that they aren’t archived (so you can only solve that day’s puzzle) and they’re only offered as interactive puzzles.

  3. mary
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    spent ages looking for a ‘tory’ in todays puzzle but having finished it haven’t got one, have I got something wrong???

    • mary
      Posted May 6, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I have a ‘conservative’ of course, pse forget previous query – duh!

  4. mary
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else totally stuck on NE corner today (Sunday) i.e. 5a, 10a, 6,7,8,d !!

    • gazza
      Posted May 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      I’ll give you a hint for 6d which should help with the rest:
      6d E.g. bloody weapon hidden in clothes? Just the opposite (5-4)
      The definition is e.g. bloody, i.e. “bloody” is an example of this, as might “damn” be. Just the opposite means that’s it not weapon hidden in clothes, but clothes inside a weapon (the sort that a pirate might have used).

      • mary
        Posted May 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Morning Gazza, thanks again, i knew it was the weapon but just couldn’t understand the clue, ok now onto the rest :)

  5. mary
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks once again Gazza, a verty clever crossword today I think, not too easy at least 3* for me, maybe 4, lots of favourite clues today

  6. Jezza
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Just solved today’s puzzle over a cup of coffee, and entering it into cluedup, I received a time of 18 hours and 51 minutes! Interesting, seeing as it is only 9.30 am…

  7. mary
    Posted May 14, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Hi Dave just wondered if you know if there is a problem with the COW site?, keep getting SQL socket error message, whatever that may be??

    • Posted May 14, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Hi Mary

      Don’t worry about it. I think the server does an occasional back-up which temporarily puts the site offline. Sometimes it reappears after a few minutes, occasionally takes about an hour! But it will come back.

      • mary
        Posted May 14, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Thanks Anax, have not come across it before, will try again later

  8. mary
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    26,245 – ooh i think this is tough today :)

    • Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      It’s a pussycat!

      Not long to wait for the hints!

      • mary
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        you kidding me? :) so far i have only done half going to take a shower see if that will help!!

        • mary
          Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          that helped only NW corner now, will look forward to hints for that I think

  9. Posted June 3, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    __________ / + + __________
    ___|____|_W U W__|_____|__

    Everything all right or has work got in the way!

    • Posted June 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Damned Pagination! Looked great before!

      • Posted June 3, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Toughie now published, acrosses from the daily puzzle soon.

  10. Posted June 7, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I’m really enjoying the ‘Rules’ articles. Thanks Anax!

  11. mary
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Re – 26,263 Just like to say thank goodness that ones finished had to take a gardening break in between! Hard work I thought?

  12. mary
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    If there is anyone there 1a is driving me crazy, have finished all but this, thought i had it but it didn’t fit with 5d! have all checking letters but just can not get it, help

    • Jezza
      Posted June 18, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      It is an anagram of “i am poet so am”.. does that help?

      • mary
        Posted June 18, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        Thanks Jezza, the frustrating thing is i know that and have all the checking letters and still can’t get it, something somewhere is wrong!! :(

        • Posted June 18, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          The blog will be up very very soon.

          • mary
            Posted June 18, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink

            thanks Dave, even my little electronic friend won’t help with this one, grrrr

            • mary
              Posted June 18, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink

              got it at last was spelling it wrong!!

        • Jezza
          Posted June 18, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink


          The checking letters should be:
          M S P T M A in that order!

          • mary
            Posted June 18, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            thanks Jezza, that’s what i had, would you believ, yes you would, that i didn’t think it was spelled that way!! thanks for help :)

            • mary
              Posted June 18, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink

              electronic friend did not find it even with the checking letters all correct or with the anagram finder!! some friend!

              • Posted June 18, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

                That’s because it’s the name of a place (or region).

                • mary
                  Posted June 18, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

                  My new Franklin ‘Chambers Crossword Dictionary’ electronic friend, often gives place names, proper nouns etc. Dave

                  • Posted June 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

                    But obviously not all of them!

                    • mary
                      Posted June 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

                      Obviously – Wonder why? :)

  13. Jezza
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Anyone know who set today’s ‘Toughie’? With half of it solved in about 6 minutes, I wonder if I am looking at the correct puzzle!

    • Posted June 23, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Jezza, I understand it was Excalibur – and reading the thing (backwards) I can confirm!

  14. mary
    Posted July 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Going to watch tennis, switching over to my birthday present ‘notebook’ to keep in touch with blog, prefer my desk computer, though it’s quite ‘cute’ a samsung notebook in white :)

  15. Fallingstarr
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I hope my comment will be read here. If I was in England I’d be hounding them all the time:…………

    I have completely lost faith in CluedUp and the scoring system. I often look at the Toughie but can rarely do it but submit it so it doesn’t stay in my “Saved Puzzles”. Up to now, naturally no points were awarded. However now when I do that I get the 800 bonus points, and 400 for the cryptic if not done. I used to enjoy keeping my position on the Leaderboards, but not any longer when I can get 800 points for doing absolutely nothing.

  16. Geoff
    Posted July 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else looked at the live traffic arrivals on Feedjit? I know, a bit anorak, but interesting enough in small doses. Apparently I’m identified as Coventry, even though I’m just on the southern edge of Oxford City, whereas Oxford, Oxfordshire did show up for someone else this morning. Is this also where the site hits are counted up?

    • mary
      Posted July 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      don’t have a ,clue, what you’re talking about Geoff :)

      • Geoff
        Posted July 8, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Have a look at IT shows people arriving at the site, whereabouts on the site and where they are from. Also show their browser and op system.

      • Geoff
        Posted July 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        I’m puzzled that the feed doesn’t show an arrival on the comments page at 16:09 for Mary’s post …

    • Posted July 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      The site hits are accumulated by a totally different system which is based on the number of times a small smiley face icon is accessed. Don’t bother looking for it – it’s been reduced to 1 pixel in size! My hits don’t count towards the total (just as well as it would be a lot higher!).

      • Geoff
        Posted July 8, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        I had thought you wouldn’t be counted.

  17. mary
    Posted July 11, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Oh dear another themed puzzle, on first look, methinks, this is too difficult?

  18. Jezza
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Kicking myself for using a hint on cluedup to solve 12a and finish the toughie. I seem to recall a discussion about the definition of this a while back (if my memory serves me correctly).

    • Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      We had the word a while ago – 3d in Toughie 302:

      3d We used to love this track (2,4)
      {} – Dave and I are both struggling to understand this; we think it may just be a cryptic definition, but not entirely sure why. Anyway, it’s a race circuit (track) famed for its 24-hour events. [We both missed this one, which has been pointed out to us by two other setters – John “Myops” McKie and Giovanni. According to Chambers, ***** is an archaic word for a a lover, sweetheart or paramour so “we used to love” is *****s. BD]

      • Jezza
        Posted July 14, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Thanks gnomethang. I remember the discussion at the time, which makes it even more annoying for failing to solve it this time. I must make a mental note to address the wife tonight, as my dearest ***** !

  19. mary
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Hello, if there’s anyone there, i am stuck on 1a, 1d 11a and could do with some help……….please :)

    • mary
      Posted July 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      ok its just 1a now, amazing how once you blog to ask for help you see the answer :)

      • crypticsue
        Posted July 25, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Its called “Gnomethang’s law” as soon as I compose an email to him and press send, hey presto the answer falls straight into my head.

  20. Posted July 25, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink


    Look at the enumeration of ALL the clues and what do you notice is common to all of them?

    • mary
      Posted July 25, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Of course I see it now, it was the answer I had but didn’t know why, stupid – me not the clue, thanks Dave

  21. Jezza
    Posted July 29, 2010 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Is it just me, or is it too easy to accidentally submit an incomplete puzzle on cluedup? 3 times this week, I have incorrectly keyed an answer into the grid, and at the end, pressed ‘submit anyway’ by mistake. My fault admitedly, but incredibly annoying, as it is too late to go back and correct the entry, and see if the puzzle is correctly solved. It would be better if a message appeared, ‘are you sure you want to submit?’, to prevent those fat fingered people making the same mistake.
    I now have to wait to see if I got 1d correct in today’s toughie! :)

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 29, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Don’t get that problem with a newspaper!! Is your answer to 1d nightwear related??

      • Jezza
        Posted July 29, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Yes. I guess that confirms it! Thanks

        • Posted July 29, 2010 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          The problem is that you are not supposed to press the submit button to check your answers – the intervening screen is the “are you sure” one. Other types of online crossword allow you to check letters or individual answers, which would be much better.

          • Jezza
            Posted July 29, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

            Agreed, however the only reason I bother to enter the solution into cluedup, is to confirm that I have completed the puzzle correctly. In the case of 1d in todays toughie, I was 99 per cent sure I had the correct answer, but a fat finger hitting the wrong key prevented me for confirming it!

  22. mary
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    finished a Giovanni before 10.30! waiting with eagerness for the blog, a few i don’t quite understand :)