September 16, 2011 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 634

Toughie No 634 by Firefly

The Curse of the 1 Across

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Greetings from the Calder Valley.

Our Friday Fiend today is Firefly and I found this a curate’s egg of a puzzle. Some nice clues, but a number that made me suck my teeth. For most setters, the clue at 1 across is usually one of the most important clues in the puzzle as it draws you into the puzzle and I can see how today’s looks to be a really clever one that possesses the necessary pulling power. However, for me, it doesn’t quite hit the mark. I actually wondered whether this was Firefly as some of the clues seemed to be in the style of one of the other setters.

I am still unsure as to how the last across clue went together. I suppose I ended up feeling that some of these clues were a bit too clever for their own good. It’s something that causes me considerable personal pain when I feel this way about puzzles, but I also feel my role here is to explain honestly how I feel. As I write the blog for this I am becoming more unhappy with the puzzle. It’s a shame as I really like Firefly’s puzzles in other publications such as the Listener Crossword.

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ST 2605

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2605

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Virgilius once again for a super start to Sunday – it didn’t take me long to solve and, apart from a  groan at 19a, I did enjoy the experience.  If there was a “themette” this time, I certainly didn’t spot it!

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DT 26659

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26659

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

There is no need to check your calendars, it is Friday. Gazza needs to do something else this morning, so I am standing in for him. I struggled with this crossword from Giovanni in places and thought it was harder than normal. But that might be down to the blogging pressure and continued fun and games with the Telegraphs crossword site.

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DT 26654

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26654

A full review by Prolixic

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

On the basis that the Saturday setter rotates between Cephas and another setter (whose name is a closely guarded secret), this week’s prize puzzle was by Cephas.  Sadly Gnomethang is not as regular as Cephas.  He has been burning the midnight oil at both ends and is unable to review the crossword.  I have volunteered for the happy task preparing this review.  Gnomethang promises that the light at the end of the tunnel is just around the corner and he should be back on duty next week to review this coming Saturday’s crossword.

I found this to be an enjoyable crossword with a good range of clues.  There was nothing to difficult to unravel in understaning the clues.  The only unknown (to me) word was the plant in 5d but the word was easily found from the wordplay.

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