If it is 20 September and/or you have access to a Sunday Telegraph with that date then do riffle through to the puzzles section to find an Enigmatic Variations crossword called Misnomer by Kcit. And don’t forget to return here just after the closing date of October 8 to discover a little of how it came to be.
This fortnight’s puzzle – from the Church Times (and my thanks to them for permission to reprint it) – should be somewhat easier: feel free to treat it as an amuse-gueule or a post-prandial petit four as you wish.
If next Saturday sees you near a Times, then do try the 15×15. And keep up with the usual Friday Phiday and Beelzebubs, varying only when Phiday is, for example, Tuesday (as happens on 22 September).
There was a rallying call from my Church Times editor in this month’s CROSSWORD lamenting a drift away from Ximenean standards due to a plurality of crosswords in various sources. I wasn’t entirely sure I agreed with it. I don’t see much of such a drift in most of my editors. I’m choosing to write this today partly because I’ve just had a detailed discussion about the fairness of an approach with the EV editor, so the attention to detail exhibited is fresh in my mind. Similarly the Listener’s team of editors exhibits an attention to detail and a precision that is if anything a little too nuanced.
I’d suggest that this is because the libertarian stance more often produces unsolvable clues (the ‘no I’d never have solved it but isn’t it wonderful?’ sort of unsolvable clue), and these tend to get weeded out in the editorial process. Rather more provocatively, I might suggest that libertarians are quite as prone to shackles as anyone else: “Ooh, look, redhead = R” and “Indeed might mean de(xxxx)ed” and here’s a nounal anagrind and…well, watch transgression become regulation. Once you expect the unexpected it rapidly stops being unexpected any more.