December 30, 2010 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

My new job

Those of you who look at the Times for the Times blog will know that I’ve just started a new job. I can now tell you that I’ve been appointed on a trial basis to edit the crosswords in the Sunday Times. I’m obviously very pleased and know that many of you will be very pleased for me. At this stage there are only a few things to say:

  • A big thank you to Barbara Hall for the help she’s given me during a brief handover period, and to those at the Sunday Times who decided to see whether I can fill this role well.
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DT 26427

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26427

A full review by Crypticsue

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

I was really glad that it was my turn to do the review this week as this very enjoyable crossword was the perfect example of what a prize puzzle should be. My average difficulty rating of 2.5* reflects the fact that it wasn’t a difficult solve for the very experienced solver but with very entertaining clues throughout to keep us amused, so 2*. Slightly more difficult for the less experienced but achievable through cogitation and Mary’s hints, hence the 3*. Thanks to the Saturday Mysteron for a great crossword.

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Toughie 485

Toughie No 485 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Bufo

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I had no real problem with filling in the grid but I had to think hard to work out some of the wordplay. I worked it all out except for 21 down. Big Dave couldn’t help but Gazza and Tilsit came up with the explanation.

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ST 2567

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2567

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

Christmas is always special in crossword land, but your Sunday setter has excelled himself here. The central 15-letter answer is “A Christmas Carol”, and there’s other material about 3 different Christmas Carols – Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Good King Wenceslas, and the Dickens book of the same name. And there’s heaps of other Christmas material too – 12 answers by my reckoning. Two things to wonder about: If a puzzle referring to a carol with the words “on the feast of Stephen” was printed on the 19th of December, what’s on the 26th? And if next week’s puzzle is Christmas-related, will he have anything left for next year?

A very Merry Christmas to all readers, bloggers and setters from me – as well as from everyone else here.

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DT 26436

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26436

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

A workmanlike puzzle from today’s mystery setter which is spoilt by the dreadful grid. Not only does it divide into four corners but four of the answers either start or end with two unchecked letters.  The only saving grace is that those four answers are relatively easy to get.

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