May 20, 2011 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 566

Toughie No 566 by Firefly

A Day of Sadness

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley.

The blog is tinged with sadness today as I learned yesterday of the death of Mike Laws. Mike was a former Times Crossword Editor, and was currently Independent Magazine (Inquisitor) Crossword Editor. Mike set puzzles under many pseudonyms including Fawley in the Guardian, Jude, Yorick and Ikela and others. I think he also had a couple of EV puzzles published in the Sunday Telegraph over the years. He also provided one in three of the Mephisto Crosswords in the Sunday Times. Many of you probably won’t have heard of him but his influence on the crossword world is immense. He was a larger-than-life character who was one of the experts both as a setter, editor and aficionado. His unusual appearance belied one of the most amazing minds and I know that many setters have benefited from his warm words of encouragement and advice.

A look at the Message Board on the Crossword Centre ( will tell you the high regard in which Mike was held.

RIP Mike, we are all the better for having met and known you and your influence on the crossword world will live long with all of us.

Back to today’s Firefly and this was a ferocious challenge, one of the toughest we have had for a while. It’s a pangrammatic puzzle (one with all the letters of the alphabet inside). It is also noticeable that there aren’t too many correct solvers on the Telegraph leader-boards, which is a sure-fire indication of where this sits on the difficulty scale. Some clever clues, although a couple seemed a bit too clever for their own good. I found it quite difficult to get a foot-hold in the puzzle and although my first few answers were in the top right corner, so was the last one I entered!

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ST 2588

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2588

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Afternoon All!. We had another very enjoyable puzzle from Virgilius this week. As Digby pointed out there are 6 clues (including the four long perimeter clues) that contain the same letter 3 times in a row. Virgilius pointed out later on Sunday that he merely included this contrivance for a bit of fun and to see if anyone noticed!. Continue reading “ST 2588”

DT 26557

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26557

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have a great puzzle from Giovanni today which I really enjoyed solving and blogging. Let us know how you fared in a comment.
If you need to see an answer just drag your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the relevant clue.

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DT 26552

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26552

A full review by Crypticsue

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

After my first read through, my initial reaction was ‘oh heck’ but luckily this didn’t last too long and this very entertaining crossword was completed in a fairly quick time.   Thanks to our mystery setter for a great Saturday puzzle; for me the star of the show was the apt anagram indicator in 2d.

Continue reading “DT 26552”