ST 2489 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2489 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment *

I know that recycling is considered highly desirable these days, but this seems to be a step too far!

See statement by Phil McNeill, Puzzles Editor for the Telegraph Media Group, below.

A full analysis of this puzzle will be available at 12.00 next Friday, 27th June.

While solving today’s puzzle I was struck by a strong sense of déjà vu, so when I finished I checked Toughie 110.  There I found 22 out of the 28 answers, mostly with the same, or similar, clues .  I had strong suspicions that Jed was the new Sunday setter – now I know for sure!

Phil McNeill, Puzzles Editor for the Telegraph Media Group, has been in touch to say it was, quite evidently, a mistake.  At his request I have temporarily withdrawn the review of Toughie 110 [now reinstated].  He says:

“I apologise wholeheartedly to anyone who found Sunday’s Cryptic Crossword familiar.

“The Toughie setter Jed has indeed been setting our recent Sunday puzzles.  He is a brilliant crossword setter but, unfortunately, his administrative skills don’t quite match up. This was a completely innocent confusion on his part, and certainly not an attempt to recycle a puzzle.  He did tweak some of his unpublished Toughies to realign them for Sunday, but this was never intended to be one of them!

“As it happens, Toughie 110 was virtually the first one that I edited when I took on this job and, looking back at my notes, I see that I thought it was on the easy side (as you did too when it was published).  If it came my way now as a Toughie, I would definitely ask the setter to toughen it up.  I remember that it made me think Jed’s puzzles would be ideal for Sundays — I just wish I had remembered the puzzle itself…”

3 Comments

  1. Kram
    Posted June 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Ruined my Sunday’s crossword enjoyment, even Cluedup seems to be on strike or maybe its my broadband access. Jed if it’s him should be ashamed, thought it was only MP’s that weren’t giving us short shrift!.It would be wrong to give the best clue because it would be second hand!

  2. nanaglugglug
    Posted June 21, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Good spot, Clueso!! Didn’t recognise it, personally, but hey, good practice!!

  3. Posted June 22, 2009 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Of the 22 repeated answers, by my reckoning 7 have identical clues, 11 have slightly different ones, and 4 have new clues. “Slightly different” means that only a word or two are different, or that there are bigger changes but the wordplay structure is still the same.

    I have never noticed repetition like this in all my years of solving UK newspaper puzzles. That doesn’t prove that it’s never happened, but if I was the DT xwd ed I’d be asking some fairly pointed questions, unless it was down to a mistake – I can imagine this kind of thing just possibly happening if the editor sent back a puzzle with requests for changes, or the setter sent a revised version of a puzzle, and somehow both versions got used.