December 24, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26116

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26116

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

One of the best Saturday Prize puzzles for quite a while has no answer of less than six letters. Most of the recent puzzles from Cephas have been pangrams – that is all 26 letters of the alphabet are used – and this one is no exception.

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Toughie 274

Toughie No 274 by Elgar

Christmas cracker!

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

Seasonal Greetings from the snowy Calder Valley!

An absolutely stunning festive puzzle from Elgar today, which not only features a special Christmas favourite as the theme but a rattling good set of clues to boot. Only one clue I have a bit of a grumble about but I can see what our setter is aiming at with it. A couple of new words to me as well, but that’s all part of the fun of solving a Toughie. If you are really, really stuck, there’s a big hint at the very end of the puzzle.

As a chum of Elgar’s I am probably a bit biased, but this shows a compiler at the top of his game and why he is often regarded as a “setter’s setter”. I am already looking forward to his next one which may well be lurking around Clued Up tomorrow. Don’t forget that you can have a free trial this week, so do make sure you get the two special puzzles on the site tomorrow. If for any reason you miss them, I am sure one of the nice bods around these parts may oblige!

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

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DT 26120

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26120

Hints and tips by Libellule

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

A bit of a cornery grid, too many cryptic definitions, how does 9a work, is 16d cryptic? Bah humbug! In general an enjoyable Christmas themed crossword, what more can you ask for. According to a comment made by J, this is one of Rufus’ crosswords, but many thanks to J. for all of the crosswords he has set this year.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all of the Telegraph setters, the readers of this blog, and the bloggers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
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