June 18, 2010 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

ST 2540

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2540

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

More Sunday class. As Brian Greer called me an “arch-roaster of chestnuts” or similar a few weeks ago, I suspect he may well have done this before without me noticing properly, but there is very little stale old cryptic xwd material in this puzzle – apart from some one-letter abbreviations like fifty=>L, which are almost impossible to avoid completely, there are just two bits of what I’d think of as “chestnut content”: four=>IV (25A), leg=>ON (4D).

Next Friday’s report will be a bit different. Gnomethang and I will both record our thought processes as accurately as we can while solving next Sunday’s puzzle (2541), and the blog will be a report showing our progress in parallel. The idea is to show you a bit of how we get from the clue to the answer – the analysis you usually get explaining the answer is useful (and all you can be sure of being able to write after the event) but not quite the same. It will also show you that there are many ways to skin the solving rabbit – there will be clues that one of us sees easily and the other misses completely on first look – both ways, I hope.
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Toughie 374

Toughie No 374 by Notabilis

Anax can fall

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

I really enjoyed this, but I also found it very difficult – not that I had to look anything up beyond confirming a couple of answers I’d written in. But, after solving, it turns out a couple of my partners in solving crime had far less trouble than me.

Notabilis has been one of my favourite setters for a long time and, as ever, what shines through in this puzzle (beyond his usual inventiveness) is conciseness, clarity and fairness. The enjoyment rating is only at 4 stars, though; for me the clues were pretty much faultless – just one very tiny grumble – but it just needed a genuine WOW moment to tip it into 5-star territory.

My favourites clues are shown in blue text, but these are the pick of a very high quality bunch.

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.

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DT 26270

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26270

Hints and tips by Gnomethang

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

Morning All!. I really enjoyed solving this puzzle. It was one of those that looked quite daunting on the first read through but with time and a bit of Crypticsue’s ‘cogitation’ each clue unlocked itself. As one comes to expect from Giovanni there are some lovely surface readings and images therein and a few diverting clues that require the crossword equivalent of a gentle a tap with a taffy hammer before they can be broken down.

Please 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 and as ever, if you still feel the need, you can get the answers by dragging your cursor between the curly brackets.
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