November 4, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 245

Toughie No 245 by Messinae

My Kingdom for a Norse

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Those who are having a struggle with today’s Cryptic may like to have a go at this one, which is in my opinion (which is of course totally subjective) easier than the Cryptic. I’ve only given it three stars for difficulty, rather than two, because it contains a couple of words new to me, but it’s full of well-constructed and very fair clues.
So, especially if you’ve never tried a Toughie before, give this one a go, and let us know how you get on via a comment.

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DT 26077

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26077

Enjoyable or 5 Down?

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley. I think I nearly had a relapse with today’s puzzle. Another grid that I am not too keen on, as you are only offered one way into each corner. With almost 50% of the answers you have neither the first nor last letter, and, with the exception of the two long answers, in the remainder you have only either the first or last letter. This to me adds additional difficulties in solving. The other problem is using the Clued Up software, you don’t automatically see the enumeration if the solution runs across two answer spaces, e.g. 1a and 9a.

As the setter is a very dear friend, I am used to solving some of his puzzles and he does produce some of the toughest around in the variety of dailies he sets for. I suspect here he is an acquired taste for some, and I hope you won’t be put off, particularly as one of the answers gives me a chance to play you one of the funniest pieces of comedy from TV history. If you feel you are quite blank with this, have a look at how one or two of the clues work below (especially the two log ones), and go back to it. I know sometimes when you look at a puzzle and don’t get much in reward, the temptation is to leave it, but persevere, it is worth the effort. If only for solving 20 across which made me smile. The puzzle itself is terrific and contains some wonderful clues.

As usual, you can have your say after the puzzle, and rate the puzzle using the star system. I know all the bloggers love reading what you have to say and it helps us pitch our blogs to you as well. For new visitors, your first comments always have to be moderated to prevent spammers gumming up the works. And if you wish to see the answer, it is hidden between the squiggly brackets at the start of each clue. Simply highlifght that part of the page to view the answer.

And if you do get really stuck, as the man on telly used to say, don’t have nightmares, and another will be along tomorrow, as will I with the Toughie!

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