December 16, 2011 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 686

Toughie No 686 by Elkamere

The Bigger Picture!

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley. After expecting Firefly or Myops today, I was pleasantly surprised to see that today’s Tormentor was Elkamere. I think this is the first outing on a Friday for him and the puzzle is more than worthy of its place in the spot reserved for the hardest puzzle of the week.

This is a slightly unusual puzzle and one that I appreciate may cause a few solvers to give up. There are some lovely elegant clues, but the “gimmick” of the puzzle is clever and perhaps some may say a bit too clever. In this puzzle, there are four clues that have the indications of four and six letters each with grid slots for the four letters. The clues are all “justified” by 14 across. An explanation is shown after the Downs, although you will need to highlight it to see it. I twigged 5 across fairly quickly but couldn’t see how it fitted in to the scheme of things. Only when I completed the grid did it dawn on me how it worked. There was a Guardian setter called Apex who used to use a similar sort of device in some of his puzzles and it is nice to see this sort of working again here.

Continue reading “Toughie 686”

ST 2618

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2618

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Of all the people who commented on this puzzle on Sunday, I appear to have been the only one who found it straightforward to solve; everyone else struggled with the left-hand side, although we all seemed to agree that Virgilius provided us with the usual great Sunday entertainment.  My favourites are marked in blue.  Continue reading “ST 2618”

DT 26737

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26737

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I thought this was a really enjoyable Giovanni puzzle. Let us know how you got on with it.
If you need to reveal an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the troubling clue.

Continue reading “DT 26737”

DT 26732

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26732

A full review by Crypticsue

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


I do hope Gnomethang negotiated a good rate of overtime pay as he certainly seems to be putting in some very long hours lately.   Luckily this week I was prepared for a last minute call for help and had kept my solved grid and made notes just in case, little thinking that I would need them.   Looking at his comments on the day, I think he might have given this a higher difficulty rating were he writing this blog, but I have based my assessment on my solving time.    I did enjoy this typical Cephas Saturday puzzle, with lots of his favourite anagram indicators and it has been nice to revisit it. Continue reading “DT 26732”