July 16, 2010 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 390

Toughie No 390 by Micawber

The Friday Fair

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

There are times when, on seeing a setter’s name, you think to yourself “OK, I could be in for a few nasty surprises here”. When you see the Micawber tag you know you’re going to get fair, accurate clueing, and that was the case here. It was a pretty easy puzzle for me precisely because of that; solidly faithful clues and no head-scratching trying to work out wordplay after solving, although I was left with one minor quibble.

It’s by no means a spectacular puzzle, but it’s accurate and very well constructed – with the added bonus of several beautifully smooth (and indeed deceptive) surface readings, and at least one or two crafty little definitions thrown in for good measure. Not spectacular – but very high quality.

Continue reading “Toughie 390”

ST 2544 – Wot, no vuvuzelas?

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2544

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This took me about twice as long as an average Sunday puzzle, despite having thematic material nearly identical to a puzzle I blogged at the beginning of the 2010 World Cup. I can’t see now why it took so long – there are plenty of anagrams that now seem rather obvious. And I have to tip my neophyte setter’s cap to the clue-writing skill here – as well as the thematic aspects discussed below, he somehow gets away with four uses of SA or South Africa, and deftly marshals the crossword clichés like SAY and ED in 28 and meanings like those of “players”, and “supporter”.

Continue reading “ST 2544 – Wot, no vuvuzelas?”

DT 26294

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26294

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Today’s Giovanni is a bit of a pussycat (of course you may disagree, and if you do please feel free to say so in a comment). But as we’ve said so often in the past puzzles do not have to be difficult to be entertaining, and this one has some very enjoyable clues.
The answers are hidden between the curly brackets under each clue. Just highlight the space between the brackets to reveal one.

Continue reading “DT 26294”