April 3, 2014 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 1164

Toughie No 1164 by Elkamere

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

My two weeks off certainly hasn’t sharpened me up because I made very hard work of this. Eventually I managed to fill in the grid in 4* difficulty time but then I had the task of working out all the wordplay. The time spent doing that certainly pushed me into 5* difficulty territory. But it was all pretty fair in the end and I enjoyed the challenge

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DT 27454

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27454

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Mindful of recent comments about difficulty ratings, I still think this is easier than a normal back-pager and is definitely one of Ray T’s easier puzzles. All of the usual features are here – the Queen, initial letters, hidden words, a homophone, touches of innuendo and a total lack of two-word answers.

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ST 2736

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2736

A full review by crypticsue

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

This puzzle was published on  Sunday, 23rd March 2014

There are many reasons why  I like to draft the review of a weekend puzzle on the same day that I solve it,  firstly so that my impressions of the solving experience remain fresh in my mind, and also so there are no last minute hiccups.  It also means that when reviewing a Virgilius puzzle as good as this one, I can have double the fun on the day, marvelling at the fine wordplay and surface readings –  I was so reluctant to put this particular crossword down, that this review was drafted before even a potato was peeled for Sunday lunch!

One expects clever cluing and sneakiness from Virgilius,  but parts of this were extra sneaky – the wordplay for 10a being a fine example.

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