Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25925
Hints and tips by Tilsit
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BD Rating – Difficulty * – Enjoyment **
Very much at the easier end of the scale, the only thing that I suspect will hold solvers up today is the grid itself. What an abomination! Just under half of the clues contained a double unchecked square (known as a “double unch”). Indeed my record solving time for the Telegraph would have been beaten only for being held up with 5 down. I really don’t like grids with double unches and although I’ll tolerate a couple in a normal puzzle, surely this was too much.
When a previous Times Crossword Editor took over a few years back, he devoted a bit of time to revising all the Times stock grids. I think it’s time for the DT to follow suit.
Back to the puzzle. It being Monday we have the usual collection of cryptic definitions, which are fine, but I would rather have two or three a puzzle instead of the number we get. I always recommend the Telegraph and Guardian Monday puzzles as good places to start when solving cryptics but I sometimes fear that newer solvers are tempted to stick at this level when other puzzles adopted, shall we say, a more balanced approach. In addition, as my esteemed colleague Big Dave points out, sometimes the puzzle is weakened by these, 26 across is a good example.
That said, there are some lovely surface readings and constructions. Thanks as usual to our Monday Maestro.