August 19, 2011 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 618

Toughie No 618 by Firefly

Crossword TV by Tilsit and Big Dave

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley! I’m demob-happy and off on my jollies to the Lakes tomorrow, and as I have to run around getting things sorted out for me to thrive up there, today’s blog will be a two-hander with BD helping out with the Downs. Thanks to our host for helping out when I realised there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Today we have a puzzle from Firefly which is similar to one I set in the NTSPP puzzle slot a while back in that it is based on a type of puzzle called Theme and Variations, where there is a theme, often not to be found in the puzzle and then a number of answers that relate to the theme in different ways, which means there’s usually no definition in those clues. These require a little solving readjustment as the clue as a whole is actually either made up of indications. And so it is here today with Firefly’s enjoyable puzzle which has eight answers where as you solve it you will find there are four that are one interpretation of the theme and the remainder another. I did spend a bit of time trying to put the answers into pairs as I solved them, but realised I wasn’t barking up quite the right tree.

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ST 2601

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2601

A full review by Crypticsue

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

After two weeks of puzzles  with messages and themes, Virgilius returns to a straightforward yet beautifully crafted example of a Sunday prize puzzle.   Didn’t take me long but I did enjoy myself, my top favourite being 19d although my ‘also-rans’ are highlighted in blue too.

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DT 26635

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26635

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Today we have the usual entertaining puzzle from Giovanni (I presume, although it’s a bit low on the trademark religious references and the answer to 1a could conceivably be a hint to a different setter). Let us know how you liked it in a comment.
If my hints leave you frustrated and you still need to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

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