Welcome to Big Dave’s Crossword Blog

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You have reached the world’s biggest and best crossword blog.  If you are looking for help with the Daily and Sunday Telegraph cryptic crosswords, a total of 11 puzzles a week, then you have come to the right place.

If this is your first time, or for more information about this site, please click on Continue reading “Welcome”

DT 29102

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29102

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 13th July 2019

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

A Saturday melange of anagrams, insertions and reversals

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Writer’s employed reworking fictional detective (4,5,6)
LORD PETER WIMSEY – An anagram (reworking) of WRITERS EMPLOYED

9a    It’s futile to economise, apparently (7)
USELESS – If you USE LESS you apparently economise

10a    Sprinters used to run this and roll up on finishing at last (7)
FURLONG – FURL (roll up – a word I associate with umbrellas for some unknown reason), ON (from the clue) G (the last letter of finishing)

11a    Adviser on board initiated changes (9)
DIETITIAN – An anagram (changes) of INITIATED

12a    Match official since turning round taking fewer chances (5)
SAFER – REF (match official) AS (since) reversed (turning round in an Across clue)

13a    It’s a crime — ecstasy smuggled by Welsh comedian, not mafia boss (7)
ROBBERY – Remove the DON (not mafia boss) from ROB BRYDON (the Welsh comedian) and insert E (Ecstasy ‘smuggled’)

15a    Pounds secured by cheat with Scandinavian money (7)
DOLLARS – L (pounds sterling) secured by (or inserted between) DO (cheat) and LARS (Scandinavian)

17a    Laurel given to international player — it might result in a wind-up (7)
CAPSTAN – STAN (Laurel) given to or put after CAP (international player)

19a    Begin to pick different second-class ingredient (7)
POTHERB – P (the beginning letter of pick) OTHER (different) B (second class)

21a    It’s rather cold with central heating not right (5)
CHILL – CH (Central Heating) ILL (not right)

23a & 25a    Played minor part in what fraudulent statistician did?… Continue reading >

DT 29106

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29106

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from an extremely hot Vega Baja where summer is in full spate. At least it’s not quite as hot now as it was during the recent much-publicised European heatwave.  It got to 39°C here last Sunday but today it’s back to a more manageable 31°C with less humidity.  Anyway, to the puzzle – this one just has to be a RayT production as all his hallmarks are there including some rather overstretched synonyms, lurkers, first letter clue and, of course, an appearance by HRH. I thought it was a bit tricky but I liked it quite a lot but I bet a lot of you will disagree as is usual on a Thursday. Over to you for comments . . . Continue reading “DT 29106”

ST 3011

Sunday Telegraph No 3011

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 7th July 2019

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Back to ‘tricky Dada’ – well I thought so anyway – the RH side was easier than the left

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.… Continue reading >

Toughie 2264

Toughie No 2264 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment ***

I made hard work of this one but I did enjoy the exercise (and only the sheaves of wheat were a totally new word for me). Thanks to Giovanni.… Continue reading >

DT 29105

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29105

Hints and tips Jacinda Ardern

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

My day so far. Wake up just before 7.00am. Download The Daily Telegraph. Read the paper from end to end. Make a pot of tea. Discuss September’s holiday with Saint Sharon. Where should we stay for two nights on our way home from Scotland (suggestions welcome). Pour two cups of tea. Solve the Codeword puzzle. Solve the Quickie Crossword. Start on the Cryptic Crossword. Chatter away with the sainted one whilst lazily solving away. Then the lightbulb moment. I have to blog this today as the 2Ks are otherwise engaged. So stop dawdling and do so. Here is the result. Continue reading “DT 29105”

DT 29104

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29104

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome.  This week I felt that we’re back to near average difficulty and enjoyment.  I particularly liked the smooth surfaces on several of the clues.

The new blog theme necessitated by the site upgrade has now been in use for just over a week.  BD has been tweaking it to work well on computers, tablets, and phones.  It’s challenging to optimise the site’s appearance in the absence of feedback, so BD would like to get your thoughts on the new theme via a brief survey.  Thanks in advance for helping to improve the site.

Click here to open the survey in a new window.  Press the Finish Survey button at the bottom to submit your answers.

Continue reading "DT 29104"

DT 29103

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29103

Hints and tips by Tarzan of the Apes

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

What a weekend for music. Neil Young and Bob Dylan at Hyde Park on Friday. Billy Bragg and Van Morrison with others on Saturday at the Cadogan Hall. Continue reading “DT 29103”