June 20, 2013 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 1000

Toughie No 1000 by Symphony


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

In this special puzzle the clues were contributed by a Symphony of Telegraph setters (one clue each except that 4 setters clued two answers). I struggled with some of it and the effort needed to sort out the last few answers carried me into 5-star difficulty territory. I noted that this is one of those diagrams in which all the perimeter letters are unchecked and so I was looking for some kind of message in them from the start. It certainly helped though it took me a long time to spot the M-shape made up of Ms. I’d wondered why the top row of the perimeter made no sense. I enjoyed the challenge and was going to give it 4 stars for enjoyment but upped it to 5 stars when I wrote the report. I am declining the invitation to play ‘Spot the Setter’ though I do have one or two ideas.

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ST 2695

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2695

A full review by gnomethang

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

Just a super puzzle this Sunday. Some splendid clues with the surface readings so smooth as to make solving both difficult and extremely enjoyable. Everything a puzzle should be on a Sunday (or any day)


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DT 27209

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27209

Hints and tips by Falcon

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

Greetings from Ottawa where I am making a brief stopover between travels. Earlier this month, my wife and I had the immense pleasure of spending a bit more than a week touring parts of England. We started in Liverpool, spent a day in Manchester, then several days exploring the moors and dales of Yorkshire, followed by a couple of days in Oxford and surrounding areas of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and finished with a night in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. In all the time that we were there, we encountered only about an hour of rain – and that occurred during the bus ride from Oxford to London. By the time we reached our hotel, the rain had let up enough that we were able to take a stroll in Kensington Gardens.

As for today’s puzzle, while I was easily able to solve a half-dozen or so clues on the first read through, I would say that these were by no means indicative of the level of difficulty of the rest of the puzzle – which I found to be very challenging. For myself, the puzzle edged into 4* territory for difficulty. However, I may just be out of practice, recently having had little time to spend on puzzles on a regular basis. Some unfamiliar British personalities also gave me some trouble. Consequently, those of you in the UK may find the puzzle less challenging than did I.

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