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.

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Toughie 1356

Toughie No 1356 by proXimal

Elgar has some competition!

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

ProXimal is fitting very neatly into the Friday slot. A very enjoyable puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Tick puncturing tasty journalist consumed voraciously (10)
DEMOLISHED: put a tick or brief period of time inside the informal shortening of an adjective meaning tasty or appetizing and add the usual journalist

6a    Advance warning left by extremists relating to area incorporating canal (4)
OTIC: drop the outer letters (extremists) from an advance warning to get an adjective meaning relating to an area of the body that incorporates a canal

9a    Quickly moved after parking by rear of building causes accident (5)
PRANG: a three-letter verb meaning moved quickly preceded by P(arking) and followed by the final letter (rear) of [building]G

10a    Not to be shifted, one in Paris rejected English pound, unfortunately (9)
UNSALABLE: the alternative spelling of an adjective meaning not to be shifted or exchanged in return for money comes from the French for one followed by the reversal of E(nglish), the two-letter abbreviation for a pound in weight and a word meaning unfortunately – does this spelling of the word grate on you, or is it just me?Read More

DT 27742

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27742

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a dry but slightly overcast day.

It took me a little while to get a foothold in today’s Giovanni, and there are one or two answers which are fairly obscure, so *** difficulty for me.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined.… Read More

DT 27737

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27737

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was published on Saturday, 28th February 2015

Morning All!. There were a few good misdirections in the surface readings of these clues. Overall an enjoyable solve.

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Toughie 1355

Toughie No 1355 by Petitjean

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

This took me longer than average and when I’d finished the completed grid contained several tentative answers (or bung-ins) that I then had to justify. It was one of those puzzles where I couldn’t decide whether I’d enjoyed it or not. There were only 26 clues to solve but it’s not a very helpful grid in that most first letters are unchecked

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.… Read More

DT 27741

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27741

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone. It’s a bit on the nippy side in Oxford but if we can believe the forecast it’s going to be a lovely day later on. I have no doubt that this is a Ray T crossword – it has most of his trademarks and anyway it’s his week.… Read More

ST 2784

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2784

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 22nd February 2015

A Sunday morning treat full of double delights.


Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.… Read More

Toughie 1354

Toughie No 1354 by Osmosis

Would You Wish Your Servants to Read This?

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

Thanks to Osmosis for what I thought was a proper midweek Toughie with some clever wordplay – I enjoyed battling with it. I did know all the references (except the drug in 22a) but I imagine that some of them (e.g.… Read More

DT 27740

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27740

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

Yesterday, on our regular walk, we saw two black swans swimming in the estuary. They are really Australian birds but are well established in NZ. We often have them visiting our estuary as a safe refuge during the shooting season which starts in May. Speaking of travelling birds and May neatly leads into our latest news. We have used the excuse of research for the next writing project by one of us, to make a short visit to UK during May. We will be based at Kingston upon Thames.
Enough about us. Let’s concentrate on today’s puzzle from Jay. Generally we found it straightforward apart from a real stumbling block in the NE.

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Toughie 1353

Toughie No 1353 by Shamus

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BD Rating - Difficulty *** - Enjoyment ***

Shamus, in his occasional capacity as Mr Ron, gave us an excellent back-pager this time last week, and this week sees him back in the Toughie seat. This puzzle was perhaps not quite as polished, but it was nonetheless enjoyable, and like his last Toughie contained clues on a wide spectrum of difficulty.

Do let us know how you got on and what you thought. First-time commenters welcome!

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DT 27739

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27739

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

The top half of this one went in very quickly but then I slowed up considerably at the bottom, primarily because both 19a and 17d were new terms for me and had to be prised out. There did seem to be a lot of proper nouns here with quite a bit of General Knowledge required.… Read More