January 24, 2014 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 1125

Toughie No 1125 by Elgar


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

Greetings from the Calder Valley.  Sorry I have been missing for the past few weeks, I’ve been getting ready for forthcoming surgery which happens next week.  And I return to the sound of the hobnailed boots from the crossword equivalent of Mark Labbett, the Cruciverbal Beast, Elgar.

After the past couple of his puzzles have been benign, I found this a really tough challenge, back to his ferocious best and after some relatively gentle Toughies this week, this was right up there at the top end of the scale. I managed most of the bottom half of the grid, and then really struggled with the remainder.  Some of the phrases used in the puzzle were new to me as well, which didn’t help. But this is where the Toughie lives up to its name, and long may it continue to do so.  Thanks to Jon Delfin in New York and Madame Crypticsue for putting me right about a couple, including 11 – I had that one wrong! There were a couple of answers today which were abbreviations and were shown as (3) which was a little confusing.

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DT 27395

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27395

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a grey January day.

I struggled a bit with the left-hand side of this Giovanni puzzle, until 7d finally emerged. Well into *** difficulty.

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DT 27390

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27390

A full review by crypticsue

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

A fairly typical Saturday prize puzzle from the Mysteron, but with a few too many ‘old friends’ for my liking.  Perhaps I have been doing these crosswords too long!!

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