DT 26471

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26471

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Another fine puzzle from our Wednesday Wizard. Keep them coming, Jay.

For new readers, most of the terms used in these reviews are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry in “See also”.

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.


7a    Got angry after enemy docked and searched out food (7)
{FORAGED} – put a word meaning got angry after two of the three letters (docked) of an enemy to get a word meaning searched out food

8a    Look hurt, rejected by a dispenser under pressure (7)
{AEROSOL} – reverse (rejected) synonyms for look and hurt and precede them by A to get a container that dispenses under pressure as a fine spray

10a    Development of pain deters walker (10)
{PEDESTRIAN} – an anagram (development) of PAIN DETERS gives a walker

11a    Eat out, and the rest have to start (4)
{ETCH} – a word meaning to eat out a design with acid is a charade of an abbreviation that means “and the rest” followed by H (Have to start)

12a    Cereal offender often does it! (8)
{PORRIDGE} – this breakfast cereal is another word for the prison time served by an offender

14a    Profit on short publication is an attraction (6)
{MAGNET} – put a word meaning the difference between income and expenditure (3) after a short name for a publication or periodical

15a    What is hewed out and covered up? (11)
{WHITEWASHED} – an anagram (out) of WHAT IS HEWED gives a word meaning covered up or concealed

19a    Suffer fool leading attack (6)
{ASSAIL} – put a word meaning to suffer (3) after a fool (3) to get an attack

20a    Undertaking on energy discharge (8)
{EMISSION} – put an undertaking or assignment after E(nergy) to get a discharge

22a    Sort of big drum for fish (4)
{BASS} – a straightforward double definition

The drum gets a mention in this video!

23a    Is its place reserved for a doctor? (10)
{SPECIALIST} – an anagram (reserved – think of this as re-served) of IS ITS PLACE gives, for example, a doctor – it is customary to follow a “definition by example” with a question mark: here this is concealed because the clue is posed as a question

25a    Listed ordnance survey shelters (4-3)
{LEAN-TOS} – follow a word meaning listed or slanted with the abbreviation for Ordnance Survey to get these shelters propped up against other buildings

26a    Scuttle second home on wheels (7)
{SCAMPER} – a word meaning to scuttle is a charade of S(econd) and a mobile home


1d    The tedium of bedroom frolics! (7)
{BOREDOM} – a synonym for tedium is an anagram (frolics) of BEDROOM

2d    Fruit is said to make you trim (4)
{PARE} – a word that sounds like a fruit means to trim or peel

3d    Angry boss found outside empty theatre (6)
{HEATED} – a word meaning angry or impassioned is created by putting a boss or chief around TE (empty TheatrE)

4d    Animal compound supported by celebrities having false identities (3,5)
{PEN NAMES} – an animal compound followed (supported, in a down clue) by a word used to describe celebrities gives these false names used by authors like Mary Anne Evans and Jean Baptiste Poquelin

5d    People from abroad get undeclared jobs (10)
{FOREIGNERS} – a not-so-straightforward double definition – the first one is easy but the second I had to look up: jobs done privately by employees without the employers’ knowledge

6d    Greeting commonly heard from spectator (7)
{WOTCHER} – this slang greeting sounds like (heard) a spectator – once again the positioning of the homophone indicator means that you need the important checking letter from 8a to be sure of the answer

9d    Distressed enemies’ power reduced by old vessel (11)
{MINESWEEPER} – an anagram (distressed) of ENEMIES P(O)WER without the O (reduced by Old) gives this warship equipped for detecting and removing or destroying tethered explosives

13d    Practising engineers’ point accepted during trial (10)
{REHEARSING} – a word meaning practising for a play is built up from the Royal Engineers followed by a point of the compass inside (accepted) a trial before a judge without a jury

16d    Skip following lectures to discuss business (4,4)
{TALK SHOP} – put a skip, usually on one leg, after some lectures to get a phrase meaning to discuss business at a social occasion, when this is inappropriate.

17d    Embarrassed by pretence adopted by a newspaperman (7)
{ASHAMED} – a word meaning embarrassed is constructed from a pretence inside (adopted by) A and a newspaperman

18d    Red is so suitable for such a file (7)
{DOSSIER} – an anagram (suitable) of RED IS SO gives this file

21d    The stupidity of one in party trapped in freezing environment (6)
{IDIOCY} – to get a word meaning stupidity put I (one) inside a party and all of this inside (trapped in) a freezing environment

24d    Member of the Muslim brotherhood (4)
{LIMB} – this member is hidden inside the last two words of the clue

Although I wasn’t too keen on the anagram indicator, the surface reading of 18 down more than made up for it.

The Quick crossword pun {squirm} + (aisle} = {square mile}


  1. mary
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Good morning Dave, now this is an unusual day, for me to actually say I thought it was a 2* today because if I can do it anyone can :) I thought the puzzle was smooth and most of the clues read nicely with the definitions nearly all being quite clear and the anagrams easy to work out, the only place I got slightly stuck was top R/H corner and that was because I spelt 6d with an a instead of an o, for myself it was a lovely crossword from Jay, he’s my second favourite setter, please don’t think I’m bragging but I am really happy with my effort today, a good one for all friends in the CC hopefully :)

    • mary
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      fav clues 25a, 16d and 6d

    • Boxy
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Mary today. This was 1 1/2 stars for me. No biblical nonsense or the irritating incorrect usage of power/energy etc. Move a star over from difficulty to enjoyment!

    • Nora
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      I did the same, Mary, on 6d. I think it´s a cockney term and as I´m from the far north-east, it´s not a word I use.

    • Franny
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it just goes to show — I never thought I’d be able to do a three-star puzzle! But I went happily through this until I got stuck in exactly the same spot as you, Mary. The only word where I needed one of BD’s hints. :-)

  2. Pete
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyed sitting down with todays offering but must say I am very surprised at the BD 3* rating for difficulty.
    I must have been on the right wavelength because it just flowed for me with some superbly worded clues. Last area to complete NE corner.
    Thanks to setter and Big Dave for the hints.

    • Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      I tossed a coin between 2* and 3* – whatever I did would have been wrong for somebody!

      • Digby
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Just enough challenging clues to make this a 3*, so for once I agree with your ratings. A nice balance of clues, both in type, style and difficulty. Thanks J & BD

  3. Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Not too difficult today, everything fell smoothly into place. Enjoyed 12a and 13d :-)

  4. Jezza
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable and fairly straighforward. I had never heard of the second definition of 5d, but with the checking letters, it had to be right.
    Thanks to Jay, and to BD.

  5. Nubian
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Jay and B Dave

  6. AnnB
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Agree with all above .Good CW with some interesting Clues .Thanks BD & Setter

  7. Rednaxela
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I agree that this was an enjoyable puzzle from the “Wednesday wizard”. I spent more time on the top right hand corner clues than the rest of the crossword put together. Only needed one hint for 6d as it is not a greeting I would use! Thanks to setter and BD for review

  8. Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Fine puzzle – the usual quality cluing from Jay. Thanks to him and to BD.

  9. Roland
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Watcher rather than Wotcher at 6d messed up my chances of getting aerosol (8a). Other than that, pretty straightforward I thought. I’d never heard of the second definition of foreigners though but as Jezza said, going by the letters it couldn’t be anything else.
    Thanks to setter and BD.

  10. Wayne
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I must really try and master recognition of ‘double definitions’ as 5d was pretty obvious to me but couldn’t understand the ‘undeclared jobs’ bit . Liked 8a and 13d most.
    Thanx to all as usual.

  11. Don Pedro
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Like Mary, got my a’s and o’s confused for 6 down (I bet its not in Chambers). Totally threw me for 8a and 5d, even though I once worked in a factory where the second definition was used but “homers” was more common. Excellent puzzle and one to activate the brain cells over breakfast.

    • Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      From Chambers:

      wotcher also wotcha (slang)


      A greeting, developed from archaic what cheer? how are you?

    • mary
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Hi Don Pedro, it is actually in Chambers, also spelt Wothcha, derived from archaic ‘what cheer’ apparently :)

      • mary
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        oops sorry Dave can delete mine if you like

        • mary
          Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

          especially as I spelt ‘wotcha’ wrong :)

  12. Geoff
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    A 3* and a Jay? Are you sure?! I could do most of it. Needed a half dozen explaining. I don’t really understand homophones and had an ‘o’ in my answer.

    Thanks to Jay and BD.

    • mary
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Are you out of the CC today Geoff? will we see you in the JOCC later on??

      • Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink


        When are we going to see you in the BDBC (Big Dave’s Bloggers Club)?

        • mary
          Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          that’s a new one, I really don’t have the relevant qualifications Dave :)

          • mary
            Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

            too much of a Newbie!

      • Geoff
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        No and doubt it. There were 6 I really didn’t understand. Even if I’d spelled 6d right I still wouldn’t have got 8a. Needed the dictionary a lot, but trying to avoid using the ‘cheats’.

        • mary
          Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          soon Geoff, very soon, then once out no going back :)

          • Geoff
            Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

            Maybe I’ll be lucky after Giovanni’s workshop.

          • mary
            Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

            Yes, are you looking forward to that, lucky thing :)

  13. TrickyDicky
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Not bad, needed more nudges to get on the right track than usual but thought 5D was way too obscure! Favourite clue was 16D just because :)

    Thanks for the hints.

  14. crypticsue
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    A very nice typical Jay puzzle I thought. No special favourites, just a good all round nice quick solve, which is a good thing because the Toughie is by Elgar, themed and has taken me all morning, including a certain amount of brainstorming with a friendly Gnome. Thanks to Jay and BD.,

  15. Lea
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed that – did it on line so can’t remember which clues I liked as there were quite a few. The anagrinds were good – all in all an excellent puzzle and done in good time.

    Thanks to BD and to Jay

    • Franny
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and that’s so encouraging, isn’t it? :-)

      • Lea
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Ageeed Franny. I do enioy Jay’s puzzles (and Giovanni’s on Fridays) – best of the week for me.

        • mary
          Posted February 9, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          strange how we all have our favourites, Rufus for me, followed by Jay then Giovanni :)

          • Kath
            Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

            My favourites are, first Ray T followed by Rufus, Shamus, Jay (not necessarily in that order) – I’m never sure about Giovanni – I DO enjoy them but sometimes (or even usually) find them very difficult while I’m doing them and then look back and wonder why I found them difficult.

  16. Nestor
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Lovely xword from Jay! I found NE the most challenging. The various anagrams virtually stare you in the face but the dd of 5d really puzzled me. Like BD I never heard of the second meaning. 11a was a stinker but I could kick myself for having forgotten the etch=eat out play which I am sure I’ve seen before. The colloquial 6d unknown here and I filled it in basically because it fitted and I could imagine that it could be a slang word. VOUCHER, BOTCHER etc really did not work.

    Two crossed hard clues and you’re stuck…

    Thanks to Jay & BD! Was great fun!

    Had a quick look at the Toughie and could not see anything obvious at all. I guess that you have to crack one of the themed clues to have things fall into place. I am not hopeful.

  17. BigBoab
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable and straightforward jaunt from Jay, I liked 5d. Thanks to Jay and BD.

  18. Patsyann
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Agree with everyone who loved this xword – really enjoyable. Like so many others I had an A instead of O in 6d, making 8a impossible. Lovely surface reading for some of the anagrams – 10a and 1d especially. Many thanks to compiler and reviewer. Off to try out the little grey cells on the toughie.

    • Ashley Wilkes
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Spoiled by the O/A thing in 8a/6d


  19. Kath
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this one.
    I came unstuck with 6d – having not got 8a I spelt it with an ‘a’ thereby making 8a a bit difficult from then on so needed the hint to sort me out!!
    Along with lots of other people I’d never heard of the second definition of 5d.
    Favourites today include 10, 12, 15 and 16a and 1, 4 and 16d.
    Going by previous comments I think I might give the toughie a miss today!
    Thanks to Jay and Big Dave for the hints.

  20. Franny
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m so sorry that I’m not going to be able to profit from the workshop, being in the wrong country, as I really need to practise solving clues like 8a. That and 6d were the only ones where I needed BD’s hints. For the rest, it was a thoroughly enjoyable coffee break: I loved the anagrams and could work out most of the other clues with no trouble. The only one that puzzled me was 5d as it seemed so obvious, and as with so many others I’d never come across its second meaning.
    Many thanks to Jay and to BD, of course. :-)

  21. IanHeavy
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I’d never seen wotcha spelt wotcher until this puzzle.

    Foriegner I first heard when I worked in Lancashire, never heard it used in the south where I now live.


    • pommers
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      I think it may be a term originating in Manchester. That’s where I’m from and it’s very familiar to me – even done a few myself!

      • pommers
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        It also used to describe jobs done for ‘cash-in-hand’ and not declared to the tax man!

      • IanHeavy
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Lancastrians may not like you attributing their term to a Greater Mancunian, or whatever you call someone from GMC! They’re very jealous of their heritage, my wife has declared our house to be sovereign Lancashire territory, a northern embassy in the Northern Home counties! Mind you when the term “foreigner” originated Manchester probably was in Lancashire.


        • pommers
          Posted February 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Certainly was when I was born there (in Old Trafford – that’s why I’m an MU fan). It ceased being in Lancashire when Greater Manchester was created in the early 70’s if memory serves.

  22. pommers
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Not much to say apart from this is what I’ve come to expect from Jay. An entertaining puzzle with well crafted clues but not too taxing on the grey matter. Very enjoyable.
    Favourite and last in was 11a.
    Just what I needed after wrestling (and failing miserably) with Elgar’s Toughie over breakfast. I must find a better way to start the day!
    Thanks to Jay and BD.

    • crypticsue
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Start with the Jay and then move on to the Toughie. I find if I do the Toughie first, I can’t get on so well with the Cryptic.

      • pommers
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Problem is that pommette likes us to do the cryptic together over lunch so I can act as a bit of a ‘blogger’ and give the odd hint when needed.
        First thing in the morning I have a choice between Grauniad and Toughie. I usually avoid Elgar as being too hard but didn’t expect one on a Weds so didn’t check who the setter was!

  23. Addicted
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Golf this morning must have cleared my head because I came home and sailed through the puzzle over lunch – except for 11a for which I needed the hints (also forgot the other meaning of “eat”!) but once that was in 6d dawned like a ray of shining light!! Got 8a, but had to write it down and stare at for a time to see the justification!! Fav clue 12a – it made me smile. Thoroughly enjoyed to-day’s – thanks to setter and BD.

  24. TimCypher
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I usually have mixed feelings about the Jay crosswords, but this one was great and perfectly pitched for me!
    Aside from 6d (which I couldn’t get even with the clue), these all slotted in nicely! :)
    More please!

  25. brencar
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I managed to complete this without looking at the hints so very pleased with myself today though I am grateful to Big Dave for some of the explanations on wordplay – I could see why 6ac was ‘eat out’ but I could make no sense of the rest of the clue till I read the hint. I made the same mistake lots of others did with the wrong letter in 6d which slowed me up somewhat! Thanks to all.

  26. Little Dave
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    I found this enjoyable and fairly straight-forward – nothing too inspiring but 25a was, in my view, a poor clue and was the last to go in. Favourite was 11a.

  27. mary
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Nothing on the telly so just popped into the ‘after eight club’ and realised it was only ‘after seven’ !!!

    • Wayne
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      What, not watching the football??????

      • mary
        Posted February 10, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        It’s England!!

  28. Hangman1009
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Like a lot of people …. I stared and stared at 8a but couldn’t get it. Only thanks to BD that I saw the error of my ways with 6d … Still, thanks to Jay for an enjoyable puzzle.

  29. paolors
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Despite this being as easy as I can ever remember a DT crossword, I really enjoyed.

  30. Ainsley
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    It’s that time again. Just started. Will catch up on all the comments soon.

    • Wayne
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      Yep, it’s after 8 time. Tried to watch the football, usual rubbish from England. Have enjoyed the comments so far today. Will wait to see which theme you wish to continue with in the after8 club, then hopefully I can contribute.

      • Ainsley
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        Hi Wayne. I have been sidetracked a little by the football – good to see the Villa boys scoring now back to the cw. About halfway through.

  31. Shrike1313
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Did my usual third, got the five hint letters from “screwed up”, worked through the rest with the excellent hints – gave just enough away for me to get the clues. Enjoyed the puzzle (thank you) but am a long way from appreciating the toughie!

    Off to have a jaffa cake and a cuppa to help me recuperate…

  32. Ainsley
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Just finished and like last 2 days struggeld to get the last few. Like many I spelt 6d wrong and thus only got 8a with the hint but that was the only hint needed. Thanks to Jay and BD. Did like 26a. May try the Toughie – see how I feel.

  33. pommers
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Hello After Eighters
    Been out to a quiz night tonight otherwise I might have been here earlier. Pommette and I did rubbish but had some fun – bit like me with the Toughie today!
    Anyone still awake?

    • Ainsley
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      Hi pommers.I spent 15 mins on this and failed to get one so gave up!

      • pommers
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Well I won’t be here long as it’s 11.35 here and fast approaching bedtime. I really only popped in for a lokk-see what’s been going on.
        My view about the Toughie is don’t bother unless you are very good at xwords or have a death wish! It’s an Elgar, apparantly not at his trickiest but too much for me!

    • Zofbak
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      Yep – just finished reading through and fell into the same two traps as many with 6d and 8a. But I do now realise what is meant by a checking letter for the first time so that has value.

      Liverpool was also once in Lancashire and I have to say I never heard the second meaning of foreigner there, despite the fact that there must have been countless examples!!!

      • pommers
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Try Spain! Here’ foreigners’ (not ex-pats) probably account for a large % of the economy so it’s never as bad as official figures would lead you to believe. Not good at the moment but people aren’t actually starving in the streets and the cranes have started moving again!

  34. Prolixic
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Evening all

    Just realised I have been remiss in not thanking Jay for another excellent crossword. I suspect his middle names are consistently good. I think my brain has just about crawled back out of hiding after tackling Elgar in the Toughie so that’s my excuse for joining the late-shift tonight.

    Thanks to to ND for the review.

    • pommers
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      I feel better now I find I’m not the only one to suffer from ‘Elgar-itis’!

      • Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        Nope! – Me too – I completely failed in the Times today – about 60%.
        Am currently sitting strumming my Uke and looking at the Times for the Times site to see why I was so dim.
        If I find out that today’s Times was by Elgar too……..

        • pommers
          Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

          I definately have Elgar-itis and usually miss out on his puzzles. From my posts on the T508 thread you’ll know that today I got about 2/3 on my own, and that has to be a record! Don’t know about the Times but ‘Paul’ in the Grauniad is an Elgar lookalike IMHO!
          Enjoy the Uke, not an instrument that I’m really familiar with.

          • Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

            Ooh! Ta for that I will have a look at Paul. He is one of the Four Johns (including Elgar!) and I am rather partial to his puzzles. He did a rather splendid Indy puzzle as PUNK on my birthday last week.

            • Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

              Knickers! – I thought that he was in todays!

              • Prolixic
                Posted February 10, 2011 at 7:30 am | Permalink

                You’re in luck. Fine Paul today (Thursday)

            • pommers
              Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

              The last few weeks Paul has been on Tuesdays but I don’t know if this will continue. There’s a load of his in the archive though.

  35. Kath
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Good evening all – or about to be good night all!!
    Fell into the same two traps as lots of others (6d spelt wrong so 8a totally screwed up – do we have yet another club coming up here – SCREWED UP!)
    Had a very quick look at the toughie and decided to admit defeat before even starting – ie couldn’t get a single clue!
    Sleep well everyone.

    • Ainsley
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      Count me in!

    • pommers
      Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      Can’t have a ‘Screwed Up’ club as that’s how most of us still refer to the Telegraph Crosswords site. Confusing to us of little brain!

    • Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

      I still think that, difficult as Elgar and others are, it is worth running over the blog with the puzzle to try to pick up the tricks that they use. 2 years ago I wouldn’t have got anywhere near completing one of those.

      • pommers
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

        Agree in principle but I need to get to grips with the other Toughie setters before tackling Elgar. However, having said that, I did have a go at an Elgar today by accident and didn’t do too bad so maybe you’re right.
        Whatever, without this blog I’d still be as I was a year ago – mostly able to do the cryptic but a bit lost on Toughies!

      • Qix
        Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

        I agree.

        There’s lots of clever clueing in Toughie 508, and it’s well worth studying. It’s one that I’ll look at again, for sure.

        • pommers
          Posted February 9, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

          I’m beginning to dread your next NTSPP!

  36. NewDawn
    Posted February 10, 2011 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    With a little help from you on 8d I have just finished my third crossword in a row for the first time. Too good to last? Thank you for your excellent website

    • Posted February 10, 2011 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog NewDawn

      … and well done!

    • mary
      Posted February 10, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Really well done NewDawn