August 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26021

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26021

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This puzzle would make an excellent introduction for someone new to cryptic crosswords.  All of the main elements of a good puzzle are here, and with the exception of the rather unusual definition used in 18 across, many of you will have completed and understood it without recourse to a dictionary.  Thanks once again to Rufus, our Monday Maestro, for putting a smile on our faces on this Bank Holiday Monday.

If you were expecting Tilsit today, he will be here on Wednesdays in future.

Feel free to add your comments while the review is in preparation.

You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

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ST 2499 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2499 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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

This is the latest in a long run of excellent Sunday puzzles.  Excellent surface reading and an underlying humour are two of this setter’s trademarks.  Make sure that you don’t miss the allusion to Virgil’s Latin epic poem The Aeneid in 13 down that led to the popular saying “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts” among others.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.

Starting this week, Peter Biddlecombe is going to be reviewing the Sunday puzzles instead of the Saturday ones.  His full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 4th September.

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DT 26020 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26020 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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

Saturday’s puzzles have improved since the number of names has been reduced – just the one boy today!  Let’s hope that future puzzles are as good or better than this one.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them. A full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Thursday, 3rd September.

After reviewing the Saturday puzzles for over six months, this week Peter Biddlecombe is taking over the review of the Sunday puzzle.  You have already seen that Gazza and Libellule have swapped the Thursday and Friday reviews.  Next week Tilsit and I are swapping the Monday and Wednesday reviews.  In addition Libellule will be doing his first Toughie review on Tuesday.

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Toughie 207

Toughie No 207 by Elgar

The Toughest Toughie yet?

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

I always look forward to a puzzle when I see that Elgar is the setter.  This one was extremely tough and maybe, for some of you, too tough.  I did manage to complete all but the 20a/23d clues in the printed version but needed trial and error on CluedUp to complete the job.  The review will take a little while to prepare (and a gallon of coffee as well!) so I have provided all of the answers in the interim.

Feel free to discuss, via the comments, your views on this puzzle.  Unlike a certain other website, (did I say what when multiplied by itself gives 225?) we are happy to take all of your comments, on or off topic, as we regard this as a forum not an academy for the elite.  You don’t need a degree in gobbledygook here!

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DT 26019

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26019

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

This is my first Friday review and what a pleasure it is to do. Each clue is well crafted with some excellent surface readings. Some may quibble at the presence of five place names but each is very well known.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – just select the white space to reveal them. Also, please take the time to express how much you were entertained by the puzzle by clicking on one of the five stars at the bottom of the review. As always we’d be delighted to get a comment from you.

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DT 26014 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26014 – Review

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

On the tough side, this one – possibly because of 7 CDs, some a bit vague – but there were quite a few anagrams too, which should have been easy. 11A, 8D, 6D were the last answers to go in. Apologies for the late report – I’ve been busy looking after a young nephew this week.

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Toughie 206

Toughie No 206 by Osmosis

Overegging the Pudding

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

When I saw that today’s puzzle was by Osmosis, I knew I was in for a tough battle and so it proved to be.  In his other guise at the Independent, he tends to produce the most difficult puzzles there.  Here there are some really clever clues, but one or two that cause some tooth-sucking.  Apologies too for the lateness, a difficult Thursday for me.

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DT 26018

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26018

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

We thought we would ring a few changes, so today I have started to do the Thursday blog instead of the Friday one. Seems blogging Giovanni is a popular pastime. So instead of Gazza today you now have me. Expect some more changes shortly. Today’s crossword is an enjoyable effort that is not too taxing. However there are a couple of quibbles. Please feel free to leave comments.

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Toughie 205

Toughie No 205 by Giovanni
Sounds Unusual

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

I thought that this one was quite tricky and Giovanni, as always, is good at using unusual meanings of common words (like ‘sound’ in 5a). There are a few queries that I have, and these are highlighted in the review. I’d be delighted to get your comments on these or any other matters.
Please take the time to click on one of the stars at the bottom to indicate how entertaining you found the puzzle.

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