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

Toughie 899

Toughie No 899 by Notabilis

Theme for Today

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

We have an excellent themed puzzle from Notabilis based on what we in the UK call today (I’m not sure which other parts of the world use the same name). The difficulty level which you experience with this may depend on how familiar you are with the names of pugilists. When I was growing up I was quite interested in following the noble art (listening under the bedclothes to commentaries from the USA at 3 a.m., for example) but I lost interest when four or five different organisations all started having their own world champions, so I’m pleased that many of our names today are from several years ago.
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DT 27058

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27058

Hints and tips by scchua

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Firstly thanks to Dave for covering for me while I was away. Also, a (belated) Season’s Greetings for a Happy New Year to one and all on this blog. Today, the day after, a puzzle with various references to the festivities. All quite straightforward, except for the last one in. Still, a 2.5-3* for enjoyment and difficulty. Thanks to setter.

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Double Toughie 100004

Christmas Day Double Toughie No 100,004 by Elgar

“It’s the way I tell ’em!”

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

Elgar has served up another excellent Double Toughie, just like he did last Christmas.  This one is not trivially easy, but neither is it up to the difficulty level he achieved last year.  As ever, reading the instructions carefully is essential.  Like the other Christmas Day puzzles, it is only available online.

I have identified the key answers, namely a, b, c, d, e, x and y, inside the curly brackets, along with the answers.

Discovering the theme, which I did early on, is vital when solving those across clues which lack definition.

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Toughie 100004

Toughie No 100,004 by Kcit

 Christmas Party Game

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This crossword appeared on Christmas Day 2012.  As the Daily Telegraph is not published on this day, the crossword was only available to on-line subscribers to the Telegraph Puzzles site.

Kcit has set us a gentle Christmas Day Toughie but with a little game to play when you have solved the crossword.  When solved, the first and last columns of the completed grid reveal the name of a party game.  The words in brackets in the clue to 6a give a strong hint that something is going on.

The words in brackets in the clue to 27a invite to play the game and find the final word of the game in the grid.  If you have not yet found the hidden word, look at the marvellous reveal that Big Dave produced at the end of this blog.  I think it took me longer to find the hidden word in the grid that it took to solve the crossword.

Happy Christmas to Kcit and all our Toughie tormenters over the past year.

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DT 100004

Daily Telegraph Christmas Day Cryptic No 100,004

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A Happy Christmas to you all from South Staffordshire, where the family have gathered, the turkey is browning nicely, and the sprouts have not been boiling since November!

We have a suitably festive theme in today’s puzzle, which is probably set by Rufus. I found the left hand side of the grid easier than the right, with the SE corner the last to be finished.

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our readers

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Big Dave and the team of bloggers would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A special thank you to all the crossword setters, especially to those who have taken the time to leave comments on the blog, and to Phil McNeill and his team at Telegraph Puzzles.

If you are one of several thousand lurkers that visit the site every day – why not break cover and say hello!

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DT 27057

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27057

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everybody. As expected we have an appropriately themed and fun puzzle from the Maestro this morning.

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ST 2671 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2671 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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Merry Christmas. 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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DT 27056 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27056 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Crossword Club

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

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