How not to add content (update 18 September)

The weekend seems to have flown by, or at least flooded given the relentless rain we’ve had since Friday.  Plenty of time to select a puzzle for uploading, and yet I carefully selected one already here.  So a last-minute recourse to the scanner for the actual new puzzle that I have finally managed to put up.  The solution grid is still in its usual form.

The grid used is not one that appears in The Independent these days (I wonder if I should resurrect it…) though its lack of connectivity doesn’t stand out particularly when you consider some of the grid patterns that have been adopted to host Ninas (and I’m as guilty as anyone).  The issue of connectivity is a curious one.  There are those who point out that your first steps in any puzzle involve cold solving, and you don’t have any connectivity then.  At the same time, it is surely a kindness to give feedback to the solver as they go along.  The grid used does indeed do that in each corner, but every so often the solver has to dive into the next quadrant.  So perhaps the infamous grid 6 strikes some sort of balance after all?

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The APEX series (update 4 September)

Somewhere in the burgeoning to-do heap near my left arm lies this year’s APEX puzzle, complete in first draft and awaiting typing up, and editing and the like.  No rush, as I will keep saying all the way up to December, by which time I won’t be able to find it.  If it weren’t for […]

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A post in the time of requests (21 March)

I have found myself gearing up to take on a couple of puzzle suggestions, which has occupied – and is occupying – my time (and is an instance of the fact that Listener numerical puzzles can be a welcome sight…).  There has also been the need to produce setter’s blogs of a number of puzzles […]

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Additions to last week’s post (13 August)

Just a few things to augment what I was saying about New Zealand crosswords last time. David Tossman helpfully pointed out that the non-Kropotkin blocked cryptic on the Herald’s puzzle page was the Observer Everyman of about a fortnight earlier.  Strange that there is no attribution, though it’s nice to see the Herald using something […]

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New Zealand Crosswords (August 6)

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This weekend is a busy one for my puzzles, with an Inquisitor today and an Enigmatic Variations puzzle tomorrow (and a Toughie coming up next Wednesday).  So I’m not going to put another example up, but instead look at the range of crossword puzzles available in New Zealand.  There is a small local pool of […]

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A brief update (July 27)

Just to augment Sunday’s post: there will be an IQ on 6 August swiftly followed by an EV the next day. Non-devotees of the blog may wish to take cover, while also avoiding the August issue of The Magpie.  At least all three of my pseudonyms will get an airing in short order. Also a […]

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Thoughts on American crosswords part 1 (July 24)

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The puzzle this time round is from Enigmatic Variations in 2002, and is one I was always rather fond of.  I should note immediately that if you like this you should rush off and try the Enigmatic Variations puzzle on 7 August.  If you don’t like it, you should also try the puzzle to see […]

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A crossword in the headlines (16 July)

There was a rare instance of a crossword news story this week – a German gallery exhibited a work by one Arthur Koepcke from 1965 which included a crossword and the phrase “Insert words”.  So an elderly visitor took them at their – ahem – word. The BBC helpfully illustrated the article with an unfilled […]

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The jetlag weekend (update 10 July)

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As I rather anticipated, there is rather a lot of jetlag rattling round the system, and thus a distinct lack of enthusiasm for putting a puzzle up.  Sorry – the one I have in mind for a fortnight’s time is a nice one, though! I do have, however, quite a few ideas for future weeks. […]

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American crosswords (June 30)

Arizona Republic

So far I’ve found it very difficult to find newsagents and bookstores – the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall had precisely zero, despite a regularly cycling screen advert for books.  But the hotels had free papers, so I picked up the local Arizona paper, and the Wild Horse Pass resort offered the Wall Street Journal on […]

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