June 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 25968 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25968

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Today we have a very pleasant, but not too exacting, exercise with some well-constructed clues – perfect for doing in the garden with a long, cold drink close at hand.
As usual, the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal them.

Continue reading “DT 25968”

DT 25967 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25967

Hints and tips by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

I made it home from the hospital, but haven’t felt much like solving over the weekend, so I have a large pile of puzzles to wade through.  Whether it’s because I am out of sorts I can’t decide, but today’s puzzle irritated me more than pleased me.  I hate grids that have only one way in and out of each corner and today’s was no exception.  There does seem to be a large number of Telegraph grids that are not helpful to solvers, and it may be about time that a review was carried out of the grids. Similarly I hate ambiguous clues with a passion, and there’s one today at 25 across.

Overall, the clues are of the standard we expect from our Monday Maestro, but one or two are of the tooth-sucking variety, and I’ll mention those as we go along.  Right, off we go….

Continue reading “DT 25967”

ST 2490 – Hints ~ Posted on

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2490 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

After last week’s fiasco, today we have one of the best Sunday puzzles in a long time.  Please Sir, can we have some more like this?

A full analysis of this puzzle will be available at 12.00 next Friday, 3rd July.

Continue reading “ST 2490 – Hints”

DT 25966 – Hints ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25966 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

A disappointing Prize Puzzle from our Saturday Supremo.  As long as you know the London Underground system you should have no problems today.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them. Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Thursday, 2nd July.

Continue reading “DT 25966 – Hints”

ST 2489 – Review ~ Posted on

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2489 – Review

A full analysis by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment *

This turned out to be an unintentional rehash of Toughie 110.  See the Hints post for more details, but that accounts for the low rating allocated.

Continue reading “ST 2489 – Review”

Toughie 171 ~ Posted on

Toughie No 171 by Elgar

One of Elgar’s easier Toughies!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

While still tougher than most, I found this Toughie from Elgar to be a bit easier than usual.  I managed, or hope I did, to unravel all but one of the clues unaided.

Continue reading “Toughie 171”

DT 25965 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25965

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A smorgasbord of a crossword today, with historical, poetic, botanic and film references all in the mix. That, however does not detract from the crossword’s enjoyment. If you are new to the blog, to see the answer, just highlight the blank space between the curly brackets.

Continue reading “DT 25965”

DT 25960 – Review ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25960 – Review

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Much harder than most recent Saturday puzzles – something like double my average time for them.  Mostly good grid, though it does have eight 7-letter words with only three checked letters. Some of my potential quibbles disappeared after looking up words in Chambers, so there are only a couple of clues I’d count as unfair.   That said, there are some very easy cryptic definition clues to go with the difficult ones.  Generally a better puzzle than most Saturdays as others said in the hints posting.  My main reservation is the number of cryptic definitions which seem weak to me, like 28A.  It seems very hard to make these difficult unless they’re unfairly vague.  Did any readers get the same satisfaction from this as from working out the wordplay and def in a clue like 17, or even just half-remembering Polly Flinders at 2? Continue reading “DT 25960 – Review”

Toughie 170 ~ Posted on

Toughie No 170 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from the top floor of Calderdale Hospital where I am currently holidaying as a guest of the NHS.  It’s 1am and it’s rather warm in here, since they seem to have forgotten to install air-conditioning.  However one of the lovely nurses has brought me a nice cold glass of orange Juice.  Thank you for all the kind wishes and I hope to be home sometime over the next few days.

After two fairly gentle puzzles so far this week, this really made me ramp up the thought processes, and we were treated to superlative stuff from Notabilis today.  One or two of the clues (e.g. 1 across and down)  were utterly fiendish and took me a while to decipher.

As usual, I welcome your thoughts and observations. New posters please note that there may be a  slight delay  before you see it; this is because we check new posts to protect you (and the site) from spammers.

Off we go….. Continue reading “Toughie 170”