Update 6 February

Wouldn’t you know it – it’s another holiday weekend?  A fortnight ago it was Wellington Anniversary Weekend, and now it’s Waitangi Day, with a Mondayised holiday coming up.  More implausibly still the weather is good again.

But it would be bad form to use that as another excuse for deferral.  There are timely things to mention.  Last Sunday saw a Kcit Enigmatic Variations puzzle called Star Quality, which will be graced by a setter’s blog next week.  Meanwhile today’s update is a Phi Inquisitor puzzle called Star Quality, which is a remarkable coincidence, I’m sure you’ll agree.  More of that in the blog next week…

Two days ago Sir Jeremy Morse passed away at the age of 87.  He was an unmissable figure in the crossword world, not so much as a setter (though there are some Esrom puzzles around and also some Sesrom puzzles set with his son Richard), but as a longstanding solver bridging the eras of Ximenes and Azed.  The rest of the world will have known him as a banker of note, while cruciverbalists and aficionados of detective fiction will know him as the source of the name of a certain Oxford policeman.  It was an honour that he stayed with the APEX list when I took it over, and I always looked for the airmail envelopes in our letterbox.  But when Richard Morse suggested last year that his father was unlikely to submit a clue, it felt like the end of an era.  I’m hoping the next update will contain something appropriate.

Speaking of APEX, I am hoping to get the clues out for judging over the rest of the weekend.  I did extend the closing date a week (Waitangi Day is rather temptingly placed for that), and at least one solver is taking full advantage of that.

 

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Update 24 January

Well, this isn’t so much of an update, really.  There are times when the thought of adding a puzzle to the site does not appeal – e.g. after clueing 75% of a Beelzebub, as well as gridding a BBC Music Magazine puzzle (nice grid, though…May issue…), in the course of a muggy 30C or thereabouts […]

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Update 10 January

And here we are in 2016 – happy new year!  A run of reasonable weather has allowed us to get our garden into some semblance of order, with some new plants and some others transplanted.  And oodles of strawberries of course. The puzzle today is a Beelzebub from 2005, which year I have plundered somewhat […]

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Update 25 December

And a very pleasant summer’s day it has been here north of Wellington.  A Christmassy puzzle has just gone up as this week’s offering, as if there aren’t enough crosswords already at this time of year. Enjoy your festive season – back in the New year.  Meanwhile, there’s my 3,000th puzzle in The Times on […]

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Update 13 December

The seasonal puzzles are beginning to emerge, so here‘s a less seasonal one to be going on with.  Thanks to the EV editor for agreeing to republish it. The next fortnight’s update lands squarely in the middle of Christmas, so I shall probably unearth a seasonal Beelzebub for you.  The fact that Christmas Day falls […]

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Update 29 November

Here we are at the end of a very pleasant spring weekend –  as a result, we’ve spent most of today gardening, and we’re both shattered (but the new raised bed looks smashing – beans, peas, and aubergines all in array).  Somewhere amidst it all I’ve found time to upload a BBC Music Magazine puzzle […]

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Update 15 November

After last time’s no-show, I have made sure there’s a puzzle for you this time – a 2012 Inquisitor. All seasonal puzzles have now been gridded and clued, though not all are quite with their respective editors.  The one remaining festive effort is the earliest to go out, but APEX recipients may rest assured that […]

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Update 1 November

No time to put up a puzzle this fortnight – as spring marches on things keep cropping up to fill the weekends while a sudden rush of completed puzzles has filled the evenings that could otherwise have been used to set things up.  And I’m still on the old machine, steadily transferring material across. I […]

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Update 18 October

I find myself beset by a new computer and the prospect of Windows 10, both of which will take up some time.  Fingers crossed, the next update will be done on the new machine… Anyway, a Beelzebub from 2012 today, plus some brief musings on a wordplay component added to the general crossword solving page. […]

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Update 4 October

The new puzzle up this time is an Independent daily with a Nina.  I’ve also added a setter’s blog for my recent Magpie puzzle Fieldwork.  There’ll be another blog along later in the week when the closing date for the Enigmatic Variations puzzle Misnomer passes – which means I really will have to get round […]

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