The final post of the year. As is usual around Christmas, I’m putting up a puzzle that hasn’t been much seen. This year it’s a puzzle that never quite convinced editors but I remain rather attached to it. The grid is intricate in itself (and I am very pleased with it), but it seems to be the even more intricate endgame that gets people. It isn’t easy, but I’d be fascinated to know how people get on.
No more Phi puzzles this year, though one of the last of 2014 will get a setter’s blog on Monday evening. However the lull is short-lived as 2015 sets off with a bit of a bang – five days, five puzzles, five pseudonyms: a Kcit Telegraph Toughie on New Year’s Day, an Independent daily on 2nd January (solvable as is, but which honours some fine comic wordplay – see if you can spot it), an anonymous Jumbo (you-know-where) on 3rd January, Beelzebub on 4th January, and a Pedro Times 2 Cryptic on 5th January. And a nervous breakdown on 6th January when I realise they all have to be replaced in their various queues.
I said in a previous post I would put up a shot of the New Zealand ‘Christmas tree’, the pohutukawa, which starts revealing its red flowers from early in December. The warm spring has led to a brilliant display this year – easily the best since we moved here. This is a particularly good large example, snapped on Christmas Eve.
And they make a good avenue too:
Happy New Year