October 8, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26050

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26050

After the Lord Mayor’s Show…….

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment **

Last week we were treated to a hugely enjoyable puzzle which contained references to that well-known character Big Dave. This week we came back down to earth with a bump and while we don’t talk about solving times as part of the blog, let’s just say that cooking two hard-boiled eggs might have taken me longer.

Most of the Saturday papers tend to reserve their toughest or most elegant puzzles for a Saturday, but the Telegraph I think tends the other way, with a friendly none-too-taxing challenge, which generates lots of entries for the prize. In that respect, it ticks all the boxes. However, I prefer a puzzle that does offer a bit of a challenge. The grid was pretty awful as well, with lots of “double unches” (double unchecked letters) and a lot of four letter words which are clued rather uninspiringly. Compare with the Wednesday puzzle where the four-letter answers were clued with a bit of imagination and care.

The other slight issue was that the clue at 10 across was clued differently on line than in the paper. Luckily the answers were the same, otherwise there might have been a bigger problem.

Here are the clue explanations:-

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Toughie 230

Toughie No 230 by Giovanni

This Crossword is Brought to You by…..

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

An interesting challenge today which I found quite tough in parts and blindingly easy in others.  I particularly struggled with the bottom left corner.  As I solve the puzzle on line, I usually play guess the setter until I can contact a chum who takes the paper.  I have to say I wouldn’t have guessed today’s was Giovanni, it didn’t feel like one of his puzzles.  However, it was the usual enjoyable mix of witty but scrupulously fair clues.  Aspiring setters should always take time to study Giovanni’s clues as they are an absolutel model of perfection.

Recently it was announced that ITV are to be allowed to infest their already dreary programmes with product placement, and I thought this had arrived early in Crossword-land today as 6 across required you to know the name of a leading motor-oil brand (other leading brands of motor oil are available) to help you solve the clue.  Some curious answers today including the name of a Cultural Colossus (see yesterday’s Crossword blog).

Off we go, and remember your home is at risk if you put a tin containing petrol in your microwave and turn it on….

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DT 26054

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26054

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Libellule was due to review this puzzle, but he is unable to get on-line at the moment, so I’ve taken it on at short notice – hence the late posting, for which I apologise.

This one is certainly easier than yesterday’s, but it still has one new word and one new meaning for me. The answers as usual are hidden inside the curly brackets – just highlight the white space inside to reveal all.

All comments are welcome.

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