January 2012 – Page 2 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26773

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26773

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Giovanni periodically provides a puzzle which is easier than normal and this one will probably come as a relief to those who have struggled this week. I breezed through most of it and then slowed down a bit in the SW corner. Let us know how you fared.
If you want to reveal an answer highlight the space between the brackets under the troublesome clue.

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DT 26768

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26768

A full review by Crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A sneaky one from our Mysteron this week. There I was solving clues in a satisfactorily straightforward manner only to come to a grinding halt on my last one which took me several minutes before the penny dropped. A very enjoyable mix of clues and a nice one to revisit for this review too.

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Toughie 709

Toughie No 709 by Petitjean

Please wear your “slightly mad” hat today!

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

This was quite a tough Toughie where a fair amount of thought was needed to unravel some of the wordplay.

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DT 26772

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26772

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Love him or hate him, Ray T makes a speedy return to the back page. I have based the difficulty on my personal solving time, but feel free to disagree.

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Toughie 708

Toughie No 708 by Elkamere

Romps with old sports stars

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

This is a really enjoyable puzzle from Elkamere. He’s superb at disguising definitions and there are some excellent examples here, but he’s also included several “easy” clues to give you some toeholds for the harder ones. It also seems to have two mini-themes involving a) old sports stars and b) naughty sexual activities. Let us know if you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Please take the time to record your “enjoyment factor” by clicking on one of the stars below.

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DT 26771

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26771

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Hola from the Vega Baja.   This is a great puzzle today but it’s Jay at his trickiest for quite some time I reckon. There’s a bit of a theme in here based on today but I didn’t notice it for ages – stupid or what?  I struggled for a bit but I got there when I twigged what day it is (those north of Hadrian’s Wall will probably think it’s obvious and give it only 2*).  I’ve had to go for 3* because of my time but maybe it’s doing it in the middle of the night and not being Scottish that’s caused me the trouble.

I found it very enjoyable and with a good mixture of clues ranging from a couple of simple ‘gimmes’ to a couple of Toughie standard D’oh’s when the pennies finally drop. My opinion is that this is Jay at his very best – what do you think of it?

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Toughie 707

Toughie No 707 by Messinae

The Devil is in the details

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Although this Toughie was easier than it’s back-page partner, I found it to be considerably more enjoyable.

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DT 26770

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26770

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

This is a puzzle with all the hallmarks of Petitjean (my suspicions were first aroused by the Quickie pun). It has some pretty modern references (one so modern that it’s not in my 2008 edition of Chambers) so those who complain about crosswords being designed for oldies should be pleased. It has some excellent penny-drop moments and I really enjoyed it. Let us know what you think.
If you want to see an answer just highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

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DT 26769

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26769

Hints and tips by Digby

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Libellule is taking several weeks off from blogging as his wife is in hospital having a a major operation.  We all wish her well and hope she has a speedy recovery.
Meanwhile, Digby has stepped up to the plate and will be here for at least the next few Mondays.  BD

Thanks for all your messages of support on Friday. Having had the weekend to recover here we go again, this time with a Rufus.

The observant ones amongst you might have noticed that my Gravatar (the picture over there >>>) has changed recently to a Buccaneer coming towards you at about 600mph. It’s the jet that Rufus (almost) and I used to fly from aircraft carriers, so it’s a real treat to be able to review one of his puzzles. His crosswords always provide a mixture of challenge and amusement, and this one is no exception – how does he manage to keep up the standard time after time?

Maybe getting up early meant that my brain wasn’t quite in gear, but I found one or two clues a little tenuous – but what do you think?

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