Merry Christmas – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our readers

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Big Dave and the team of bloggers would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A special thankyou to all the crossword setters, especially to those who have taken the time to leave comments on the blog, and to Phil McNeill and his team at Telegraph Puzzles.

If you are one of over a thousand lurkers that visit the site every day – why not break cover and say hello!

63 comments on “Merry Christmas

  1. Hear, hear.

    And, of course, a special thanks to Our Host without whose enthusiasm and passion, none of this would have been possible.

  2. And the saintly Mrs BD for allowing BD to spend so much time running the site and pursuing his passion for crosswords.

  3. How can you tell that there are over 1,000 “lurkers”? Come on “lurkers” – it’s really good fun!!

    1. Kath

      If you click on SiteMeter in the sidebar and then select Visits / Previous 30 Days you can see the number of visits each day. Obviously some of them are return visits.

  4. To BD, all the bloggers and setters, a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year from me & Pommers in a not so sunny Amoradi, Spain. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication throughout the year to help us all on the “tough” days!

    Bev & Mike

  5. A very Merry Christmas to BD, all the bloggers and setters, most of whom drive us mad most days, and of course to Mary and the other contributors who add so much to the sense of fun on this site.

    In my opinion it is way ahead of the bunch in so many ways.

  6. My second Christmas here and look how far I have come (I know – I have just looked back at my earliest comments!).
    Many thanks to Dave for hosting this site- it really is the best crossword site in the Internet in my opinion – thank you all for making it so.
    I wish everyone here a peaceful and fulfilling Christmas and New Year.


  7. Merry christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year Dave to you and yours and to all the team, you are very much appreciated.

  8. From Jerry, Aicha, Joseph, and Sophia, Merry Christmas to Dave and his family, and to all the bloggers who have made this site such a huge success. Many thanks to you all for your tireless dedication, and devotion.

  9. Thanks for this site Dave it has been such a help to me in eighteen months or so of doing the cryptic, it is also good fun and I have many ‘cyber’ friends through this blog, hoping you all have a calm and happy Christmas :)

  10. A huge thank you to the setters, bloggers, and contributors, all of whom have made my transition from staring at a blank page in a fog of gloom, to where I am today (only half a blank page!!) such an enjoyable and often humorous journey. May everyone have a safe and happy Christmas

  11. Happy Christmas to all from this first time commenter, especially to the hard core of setters and solvers who help to explain the reasoning behind some of the clues.

    My wife and I are late-doers, as we only do the crossword in the pub (saves us talking to each other), and considering we don’t arrive until 21.30 we tend to be latecomers to the blogs.

    But it is a wonderful site, with not only the hints for the crossword of the day, but also much background information and trivia relating to this most intriguing of hobbies.


  12. Merry Christmas to all. Thanks to everyone involved in this blog, setters, bloggers and contributors and the biggest thanks to Big Dave for his enthusiasm, encouragement and editing skills- I promise to try harder next year! The last 8 months have been the best time of my cryptic solving life.

  13. Merry Christmas and a happy 2011 to Big Dave and his team.
    I have learned so much from this site during the time I have been reading the blogs and comments. It is without a doubt the best of all the crossword websites. Thanks to Big Dave and all the blogging team who give freely of their time to provide we crossword lovers with such a well-managed and informative website. Long may it continue.

  14. A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all, and special thanks to Dave and the blogging team for putting so much effort into their highly informative reviews. The ‘click to highlight answers’ approach appears to be unique and its usefulness unmatched by anything I’ve seen elsewhere.

    Can I ask contributors to make one small resolution for the New Year? Please give more feedback for the NTSPP series! For my puzzles it doesn’t really matter (although comments good and bad are always very welcome) but in most cases the puzzles you see are from amateur setters for whom such feedback is absolutely vital.

    It doesn’t matter if you can’t fully solve a puzzle – just say so; it’s as important for a setter to know that as it is for him/her to know what you liked or disliked about individual clues. Please contribute and let setters know that the hours/days of work are worthwhile.

    1. Hello Anax
      The bit about the NTSPP is a fair point. I often have a look at these puzzles and am sometimes completey floored! In which case I don’t bother to comment as I just think I’m not good enough. Especially when others comment on what a good puzzle it is.
      Maybe it’s not always me but the setter who has got too clever – never thought of it that way so maybe next year I’ll tell them!
      Merry Christmas to you and yours.


    2. Hello Anax, I don’t know exactly what the definition of a “contributor” is….so maybe my comments are out of place (I’m just an average solver, normally needing lots of help) ! However, I have tried a few of the NTSPP. I have enjoyed a few, but normally,I find that they are far too difficult for me.

      After reading Mary’s comments in the blog, I have looked at COW, and have discovered how difficult it is to just to provide one single clue. So to fill a whole 15 X 15 grid ………impressive!

    3. Just found the clue that put me off the NTSPP for ever! (NTSPP – 030 – September 4, 2010 )

      Theatre warehouse wants to spoil mafioso (3)

      Donmar? Never heard of it!

  15. Big Dave,
    Can I add my best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to yourself and Mrs. BD, to all setters, bloggers, contributors and lurkers.

    My puzzle solving skills, sense of achievement, and daily crossword pleasure, have come a long way since discovering your blog and I would like to say a big thank you to all. Long may you all continue.

    Keith McNeill
    (no relation to Phil)

  16. Echoed thanks to all concerned – especially BD and his blogging team. And isn’t it great when the setters – Rufus, Ray T etc – drop in. I think they really appreciate getting instant, constructive feedback to thier considerable efforts. An early NY resolution, Dave – I WILL DO A DEBRIEF IN 2011 – always assuming that the invitation is still open?

  17. Merry Christmas to All.

    Many thanks to BD and his team of Bloggers – your help is always much appreciated! I doubt if we know how much hard work goes into producing this Website.

    Thanks, also, to all the Setters – what would we do without them? I would also like to thank………..

  18. A very Merry Christmas to all of you and your loved-ones.

    A big thank you to all contributors.
    I particularly appreciate all the unpaid work that goes into blogging the puzzles to a schedule and illustrating the blogs in such a humourous and enlightening way. I also commend Big Dave and other contributors to The Mine and the Crosswords section which are well worth perusing if you haven’t looked (particularly Anax’s ‘Actually Setting’ and ‘From the Top’ posts, that are a fascinating insight into his setting approach, and Peter Biddlecombe’s own site)

    The NTSPP is a very welcome feature, and although my weekends are very busy, I’ll leave my comments when I get the chance to have a crack at them to show my appreciation and reveal where I got bogged down or found particular enjoyment..

  19. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all and thanks for such a great site that I only stumbled upon recently.

  20. Many thanks BD & Gazza for adding so much to my Daily Telegraph Cryptic Crossword experience on your magnificent Blog this year. I’ve not commented recently, and have seldom had time to have a go at any of the the Toughies. Tried to stick with the basic DT Cryptics, sometimes with a backlog of several days. Anyway, I still lurk and wish you all, and especially Mary and all the regulars kindest regards of the season…..
    They probably won ‘t spot this , but by mid-January I’ll be in Pommers/Pomette-land (about 25 kms away). I’ve been told there will be the Internet, in which case DT Crosswords – if not I’ll see you all again sometime in the spring…..

    1. Hello The_chairman

      Certainly internet is available on the Costa Blanca, that’s where I get my daily fix of DT cryptics from! Cheaper than 3 Euros a day for the paper!
      Where are you staying? Apartment, hotel or what.?
      Most hotels will have wifi if you have a laptop but, if not there are internet cafes where you will be able to access Telegraph puzzles, BD’s blog etc. Most will allow prints at a small charge.
      Enjoy your stay here.

      1. Thanks for that, Mike – I’m escaping to my cousin’s holiday house for the winter in San Pedro del Pinatar. They’ve told me I can ‘borrow’ next door’s wireless network, which was what I was referring to. I hope I’m sufficiently resourceful to sort something out computer-wise…you’ll know after mid-Jan if you still see the_chairman on the daily list of completed Cryptics on Clued-Up.

        Mary, very best wishes to you and your family in West Wales for Xmas and the New Year. You and your fellow-CCers are the best bit about this part of BD’s blog – I’ve even stopped caring now whether I enter a quickish completion time. I’ve now started to open up the puzzle on Clued-Up, go and put the kettle on, do a few, see if there’s any email, carry on a bit and sometimes the 45mins time runs out. That’s what I used to be like a few years ago when I bought the newspaper, and because I always worked away and stayed in hotels the treat with dinner was the DT Cryptic, and then maybe the Quick (which I never bother with at all, now on Clued-Up) and early Sudoku puzzles (equally abandoned). No Toughie either in my hotel days……

  21. A very Happy Christmas to BD, Mrs BD, the other Blessed Bloggers, the Setters and the Contributors, who make visiting this site such an enjoyable experience, and may you all be safe and warm this Christmastime.

  22. As unelected and unofficial spokesperson for The Lurkers I must say thank you and Merry Christmas to Dave, the contributors and commentors for the entertainment, support and advice over the past year.

    I remember a dim and distant past when this website was a mere twinkle in Big Dave’s eye as he provided first class cryptic support on Answerbank. I have monitored, observed and Lurked from the sidelines since then and seen this site grow into a real gem.

    I Lurk out of necessity: by the time I complete the DT cryptic it is usually late in the evening (or even a couple of days later) when all of the sensible comments have been made and the hurly-burly’s done.

    Anyway, Merry Christmas all. Thank you. You keep me sane.

  23. I think that the above comments have covered all of the good points but I would just like to add my thanks and appreciation for Big Dave and his “team”. Not only has it helped me improve my solving skills it has added to my daily enjoyment reading the comments.

    I wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

  24. Guys and Gals, thanks for all your hard work this year.

    Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to one and all

  25. Happy Christmas from Telegraph Puzzles to Big Dave and to everyone who takes the trouble to write here.

    Congratulations on a brilliant year for the Crossword Blog — often helpful, occasionally infuriating, but always extremely entertaining.

    Best wishes for 2011,
    Phil and Daniella

    1. Phil,

      Many thanks for all you and Daniella achieve and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year

    2. Thanks to you, Phil and Daniella, for your continued support. It’s always good to know that this excellent site has the ear of the Telegraph. Merry Christmas!

    3. Phil and Daniella,
      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from me…
      Its cold in France – but no snow!

  26. As a Saturday only lurker, and one who more often than not needs the fantastic help and hints from Big Dave and all the others who post, I have great pleasure in breaking cover to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and look forward to many more Saturdays next year. Thank you all for making things a little less cryptic. :)

    ps. I hate the word ‘lurker’ – it sounds very seedy!

    1. Welcome from me as well RachQ

      You may be interested in this definition from Chambers

      intransitive verb
      * To lie in wait
      * To be concealed
      * To skulk
      * To linger around furtively
      * To use the Internet only to read, and not to send, messages (computer slang)

    2. … and this from the Oxford Dictionary of English

      ► verb
      • (informal) subscribe to an online forum and read the postings of other members without oneself contributing any messages.

  27. Hi all, my best seasonal wishes to everyone, and thanks for all the hints and or explanations when I’ve needed them.

    One quick question while I’m here… I usually access this site on my phone, and previously couldn’t highlight the blank bits to reveal the answers, not a problem, the hints were usually sufficient. But, I think I must have done something wrong because now when I access the site, the answers are already revealed, and I cannot hide them. I only want a clue, not the answer. Any ideas?

    Thanks again, and have a wonderful Christmas.

    1. It wasnt a Saturday/Sunday full review was it Kevin? I’m only saying since most of my viewing is via an iPhone using WordPress mobile formatted page (default on a mobile) and I still have no problems.

      1. Thanks for the welcome :o)

        The phone is an LG Cookie, using the Opera Mini browser… Hmmm… [insert “thinking” sound here, followed by “penny-dropping” sound] – Problem solved. Don’t use Opera (it used to work okay though).

        Thanks again.

  28. A belated Merry Christmas Dave (Big) due to the an 8 pound arrival on the 18th December who hasn’t been much help with 17d yet. We’ll give him a couple of years.. Great tips and even better pictorial enhancements. Thanks.

  29. Happy new year too. I only lurk occasionally as I live in Belgium and only get a copy of the DT infrequently. That’s my excuse anyway……

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