April 5, 2013 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 957

Toughie No 957 by Elgar

If I had a hammer!

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

As we all know by now, having reached no 957 in the series, while some days the Toughies can be on the fluffy side, when you see Elgar’s name at the top of the page there is no doubt  that it will definitely be one of the ‘most devious cryptic puzzles ever’.

 Chambers defines ‘hammer’ (amongst other things) as a verb meaning ‘to contrive or think out by intellectual labour’ which certainly fits the solving process today.  It is a proper hob-nailed, impaler of an Elgar, one of those cryptics where the more complicated clues blind you to the really straightforward stuff (with at least five d’oh moments), but the solving process is helped once you realise that it is a  pangram.

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DT 27144

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27144

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

For the last few weeks Giovanni has shown his gentler side but today he’s given us a more substantial problem to tackle. Even so there are some pretty easy clues interspersed with the trickier ones to get us started. I found it very enjoyable but I anticipate, after yesterday’s avalanche of complaints, that not everyone will agree. Do let us know how you got on.
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