November 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26099

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26099

Hints and tips by Rishi

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A satisfying puzzle from our Monday Maestro. Just one clue, 29ac, may perhaps hold you up if you haven’t come across the ploy before.

To see the answers hidden within the curly brackets, select the white space.

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ScrewedUp News – Nov 29

ScrewedUp News – Nov 29

Edition 23

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Does anybody else who uses ScrewedUp have a feeling of deja vu? I printed out the Sunday Quick Crossword No. 79 and realised that it was exactly the same as last Sunday’s No. 78. I hope the one in the newspaper is different.… Continue reading

ST 2512 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2512 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Being used to the style of our Sunday setter I found this to be quite easy – those less familiar may take longer, hence the dual difficulty rating. Either way, it is well worth the effort.

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.

Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 4th December.

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DT 26098 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26098 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This week we have a much better puzzle to solve. OK, there’s a couple of places and a boy’s name, but they don’t detract from the overall enjoyment. The clues are all fair, with a few smiles along the way. Like several other Saturday puzzles, this one is pangrammatic – which means it contains all 26 letters of the alphabet – and this can help you solve those last few clues.

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 on Thursday, 12th November.

Continue reading “DT 26098 – Hints”

ST 2511

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2511

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

Quite tricky for me, this one – possibly the hardest Sunday puzzle for me since I started blogging them, though partly from one of those unfortunate groupings of answers that were hard for me – 16D, 17D, 20A, 27A. If one of these had been in each 20A, they would have caused far less trouble! Another source of difficulty might be the simple fact that every answer except 14D is a single word – this seems to make cheap guessed answers harder to come by. (As usual, I’m writing this before seeing what anyone said on the day, so look forward to finding “This was a doddle” comments when I do …)

Note after reading the Sunday hints messages – the newspaper material in 27A’s wordplay is repeated elsewhere, for a “Nina” that completely passed me by – you can find the Sun in 6D, Independent in 3D, Mail in 14D, and Guardian in 12D. If you want to really push it, the Melbourne Age (9A) and and New London [Connecticut] Day (21A) are also there, along with stories (23A) and just the one lie (15A). I found these while failing to notice the Mail.

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Toughie 259

Toughie No 259 by Elgar

All the fun of the pair

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

There’s usually a sense of dread on seeing a clue-set littered with “See x” and numerical references, and a pre-solve reading of these made me fear the worst; I think there were just two answers spotted. As it turned out, this was a fairly relaxing solve, not too difficult and – very strangely – quite muted in terms of Elgar’s usual LOL clues.

As I start the write-up there are a number of clues whose wordplay I only tried to work out after solving, not always with success. Part of Elgar’s unique brilliance is his libertarian playfulness, and he gets away with stuff that other setters probably wouldn’t.

My favourite clues are shown in blue text.

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DT 26097

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26097

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

The Friday Cryptic is often the highlight of the week and, once again, Giovanni does not disappoint. It’s full of entertaining clues, but I did find it quite tricky – let us know whether you agree or not!

As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets so that you cannot see them accidentally – just highlight the white space inside the brackets and say “abracadabra” to reveal one.

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Toughie 258

Toughie No 258 by MynoT

A Night at the Opera

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

I bet you were all wondering where Mynot would go next, having completed a series of vowel-inspired puzzles, well now we know he has invited us all to a Night at the Opera, but without the Marx Brothers.

I must admit that when I saw the convoluted clueing on this puzzle I felt like tossing it in the cyber-bin. I persevered with it, and ended up quite enjoying the result. It is very important to latch on to the theme quickly, and an inspired guess at the 1a / 28a coupling, based on just three checking letters was the key for me, even though my first guess of “clue” for 19a proved to be incorrect.

I have just had an email from Tilsit. The last I heard was that he had lost his dongle – sounds like the title of a Charlie Drake song – so he must have now found it!!

Leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

Continue reading “Toughie 258”

DT 26096

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26096

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Another “exactly what it says on the tin” crossword from J. Unlike last week, I can’t find anything in this to grumble about.

The answers are hidden between the curly brackets, and if you wish to leave a comment, please feel free to do so.

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