This time there’s a puzzle from the BBC Music Magazine of April 2005. It’s the 150th in the series, and I thought it might be interesting to put it up as no. 300 is on the horizon. Though as I’m only working on No. 295 at the moment, a direct 150-to-300 could have waited till later in the year. Which is just when I wouldn’t have chanced upon 150…serendipity is all. Anyway, if you solve 150, you will have one answer that also appears in 295 (fortunately with a different clue).
The Independent countdown continues. The process of closing a print newspaper and re-imagining it as an online entity is a complex one, with few precedents (though there will be many similar – what should we call them? post-cedents? – to come, I bet). The Independent’s case is made more interesting by its close connection to the i, and the crossword situation appears to be in the thick of that relationship. So there is nothing absolutely clear to relate, although negotiations are continuing.
From my point of view, the latest current news is that the last print Beelzebub puzzle will be on 6 March. This seems to be a decision driven simply by a sense of winding down. By chance it’s that rare thing, a Beelzebub with a Nina, so do dive in. The exact content of the 20 March issue remains unclear, however, so there may be a puzzle then as well. But we’ll have to wait and see – I’m rather at the end of the information process. But there are lots of crunchy things to debate like whether you include the answers somewhere else in the last print edition in these circumstances. So it’s back to the end of the preceding paragraph: negotiations are continuing.
I’m putting this up a day earlier than usual because, similarly, the Inquisitor on 5 March will be my last in the paper whatever happens – a setter’s blog will follow in due course, naturally. And before the next update you can turn to a Toughie on 10 March and a Times puzzle on 15 March.