Well, I had a day off, and, in any case, the reason I need to get things up early provides a topic to discuss.
The new puzzle is a BBC Music Magazine puzzle from May 2011. My thanks to them for their continuing agreement for me to republish puzzles here. And get out and buy the July issue which is emerging on to British shop shelves even as I type. Rachmaninov’s Second this month, plus all you need to know about the Proms. All that and a crossword as well.
I do try to give advance warning of my puzzles as they appear. This is easy enough for the regular Friday Independent slot – I tend to be told in good time when it isn’t regular for some reason, and I can pass that on. But there are times when you have to live with the short notice – even the note you get with Listener proofs has a disclaimer about unlikely circumstances in which a puzzle has to be swapped for some reason. (I wonder if it has ever happened, and, if so, what the unlikely circumstances were.)
In this case I got word only a week ago about another puzzle this coming weekend, and it makes for a crowded weekend for me. Friday 15 June sees the usual Independent puzzle, but nip out and buy the Church Times, and you’ll find me there as well. Relax overnight for you have a Phi Inquisitor (Northern Lights) in the i on Saturday, and relax again before tackling Kcit’s Treasure Hunt (there’s an underused concept…) in the Sunday Telegraph Enigmatic Variations series. (And will it be a hard Listener, when I will have all this extra time for solving…? Might it be Hex in the WSJ? At least the new edition of GAMES magazine – for August, no less – arrived electronically this week.)
Training the binoculars further ahead I can give you, in compensation, slightly longer notice of this month’s Kcit Toughie – 27 June – which still predates my next planned update.
Well, it’s nice to be published, of course, but I do sometimes wonder about the poor solver. I was always reluctant to have both the IQ and the Saturday prize (as it was) puzzle in The Independent, for I thought of someone saying: “Well, at least I can try the IQ” only to find it was me again. (Come to think of it, I believe it is often one of my daily puzzles reused in the Saturday edition of the i, so it may still happen this weekend.)
This weekend sees two pseudonyms plus my real name, so it is less obvious. But I don’t hide the fact that Phi=Kcit – it’s published on various websites, and in the A-Z of Crosswords, and so on. Presumably there will be some who will groan on Sunday morning, and my apologies to them (though they probably aren’t reading this). There are lots of setters out there which means it should be easy enough to stagger rather than to hog.
It goes without saying that they’re both nice puzzles, of course. Blogs for them both will follow – probably more or less simultaneously – later in the month, giving me a chance to remind you about the Toughie. I’d better start drafting them.