June 25, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 25960 – Review

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

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”