January 2012 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 711

Toughie No 711 by Busman

The wheels on the bus go round and round

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

Busman returns to the Toughie fold after a nine-month absence with an excellent puzzle. I have complained in the past about some of his puzzles being too easy, but this one hits the right level for a Tuesday puzzle.

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DT 26776

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26776

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Last Tuesday’s puzzle inspired a volley of complaints about its difficulty but I’m pretty sure that we won’t have the same reaction today. This one is a bit of a pussycat but it’s ideal for those trying to get to grips with what cryptic crosswords are all about. Let us know how you got on.
To reveal an answer slide your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the clue.

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DT 26775

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26775

Hints and tips by Digby

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I get to review another Monday Rufus today, while Mme. Libellule’s recuperation continues. This one was typical of what we have come to expect – light and breezy, with nothing to get heated about. Enjoy it, and let us know what you think.

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ST 2624 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2624 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Many thanks for all the marvellous comments yesterday – I was able to read several of them during the festivities.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the more difficult clues and provide hints for them.

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NTSPP – 103 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 103

A Puzzle by Alchemi

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 Bigging It Up

Welcome back to Alchemi with a fun filled feast of anagrams (15) and other clues.  The review is a little brief as I am heading off for the Cruciverbalists’ Convention (aka drinking) at the Bridge House.

There is one major theme of compartives in the crossword and an large number of games too.

My favourite clue was 13a.  Drop by and let us have your comments.

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DT 26774 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26774 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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Three years ago today I set up this blog, and the first post was published the following day – some hints for Toughie 86.  Since then we have seen over 5,000,000 page views, with a record daily total of 10,504 a week ago today.   There have been 2,375 posts published and a further 175 static pages.  To say that this has far exceeded my wildest dreams is an understatement.   I could not have done it without the the help of the fabulous team of bloggers, some of whom have been with me since early 2009.

I will be at the Bridge House in Westbourne Terrace Road, London W2 all day, where I expect to be joined by Elgar, Jetdoc, Crypticsue, Prolixic and Gnomethang, so if you live nearby why not come along and join us.  I am hoping that some hints might be added throughout the day, but you can always ask for help by leaving a comment.

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Toughie 710

Toughie No 710 by Osmosis

Gnisrever hcum ooT!

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley. Today’s Friday Fiend is Osmosis who produces some of the most challenging Toughies, and today’s is no exception. This is quite a beast of a puzzle and I struggled for a while to get a foothold after entering a couple of answers wrongly (IN TUNE at 20 down and KINDLE at 21 ac). However perseverance paid off and things fell into place. Osmosis (and his other guise of Scorpion in the Indy) puzzles are notable for their detailed constructs which can be rather convoluted. This for me sometimes spoils things for me as it means the clue looks slightly forced and the pudding somewhat over-egged. There were a lot of reversals today as well. Having to rely on the unchecked letters to solve a clue, as happened with a couple of clues today because the definition and indications are very very obscure or vague, is not to me a fair way of puzzle-solving. I feel a heated debate coming on tomorrow!

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ST 2623

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2623

A full review by Gnomethang

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

Afternoon All! I have recently flown through these reviews due to work commitments and today was no exception. Having attempted to slow down and smell the roses I must urge anyone reading this to look at these clues in isolation and marvel at the superb surface readings that make perfect sense and mostly either perfectly define the answer or else completely mislead. Wonderful stuff!

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