November 11, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 249

Toughie No 249 by Excalibur

A Game of Two Halves

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

I got the impression with this one that some care had been taken in the construction of the across clues, but that many of the down ones appeared forced with poor surface readings. Overall there was not a lot to get excited about. Let us know what you thought via a comment.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets. Just select the white space inside the brackets if you want to reveal one.

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DT 26083

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26083

Weak after the event ……..

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

After the ferocity of last Wednesday, we are back to a more reasonable puzzle that I am sure most of you will enjoy. The clues are nicely written and should not prove too much trouble for the majority of solvers. However, we are here to point you in the right direction, if a nudge is needed. Apart from a couple of dodgy anagram indicators, I found it very reasonable fare.

However, this is where I get to be controversial. As I have said, this is quite an elegant puzzle with the anagram clues invariably written with a little thought and style. However, this puzzle is almost entirely filled with these and word-sum clues, of which there are over a dozen. It provides an ideal challenge for those learning to solve cryptics, but I prefer a variety of clue types, with an occasional mind-stretcher. This sits firmly at the opposite ends of the universe inhabited by last Wednesday’s and I am happy for these puzzles, as long as we are treated to an occasional difficult one.

The answers, if you are really stuck, are hidden between the squiggly brackets and highlighting the space between them will reveal the answer.

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