Now We Are Six!

Big Dave’s Crossword Blog celebrates its sixth birthday today!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Is it really six years since, in a moment of weakness, I set up this blog, with the first post published on the following day?  The average number of pageviews each day now exceeds 16,000 – can any other crossword-related blog come close to matching that?

During the last twelve months all the puzzles which have been set specifically for this site have been transferred to a new home at Crypticcrosswords.net, but the biggest success has been the introduction, in April, of Rookie Corner.  I knew there were a number of budding setters out there – what I hadn’t realised was quite how many.  In the past year there have been no less than sixteen setters, with at least two more waiting in the wings, who have been prepared to run the gauntlet of being torn apart by solvers from all over the world only to be tortured by Grand Inquisitor Prolixic.

Meanwhile the Not The Saturday Prize Puzzle (NTSPP) slot approaches the end of its fifth year and continues to offer puzzles which at least match, and often exceed, the quality of the regular back-page puzzles.  A special mention is due for eXternal, an NTSPP graduate, who made his debut, as proXimal, on the Telegraph Toughie team.

I would like to thank once again the team of bloggers – I couldn’t do it on my own.  In the last twelve months Scchua rode off into the sunset and we have welcomed to the team the 2 Kiwis, all the way from New Zealand, Toro and Kath, initially with Pommers as archy and mehitabel and subsequently solo.

A blog is no use at all if no-one looks at it, so many thanks to the thousands of you that drop in every day and make this such a fun place.

My biggest thank you, as always, goes to those who set the crosswords found in the Daily and Sunday Telegraph – without you we would have nothing to write about!

And my final thanks go to Phil McNeill and Daniella Gomés, whose dedication and hard work bring the Telegraph puzzles to all of us in both the newspaper and the online website.

Advertisements

53 Comments

  1. Hoskins
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    A very happy sixth birthday to Big Dave’s Crossword Blog!

    And, of course, best birthday wishes to all the site’s visitors, setters, bloggers, Big Dave himself, and, perhaps most importantly, the folks who take the time to post comments and make BDCB such a brilliant place. It really is an excellent site for help with the Telegraph, a great venue for setters both new and old, and – because of the regular posters – a fun place to be (even for a lurker such as I).

    All the best for the future and many happy returns.

  2. Hanni
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Since I am awake and here may I wish the blog/you a very happy birthday Dave.

    You have created a unique place that allows new setters a way to learn their trade. A place that allows old hands a chance to guide and for us commentators, the chance to share our crossword highs and lows.

    So to all the bloggers, commentators, setters and crossword editors, thank you.

    And for setting up the site and managing our questions, gripes, idiosyncrasies and occasional failure to read the FAQ’s, I salute you. You may not be the rose type but you’re getting one anyway. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    The statistics for page views really are incredible BD.

  3. tilsit
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday from oop here too!

  4. Hilary
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Many Happy Returns from deepest Suffolk. My crossword life changed the day I found BD’s blog, up to then I had/had not completed quite offten with no clear idea of why, looking at the answers the next day had not improved the situation. My confidence has grown by leaps and bounds. The camaraderie from everyone on the blog has been fantastic and although I am almost housebound I feel part of the slightly zany world that is BD. Thank you http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif.

  5. crypticsue
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday from yet another person whose crosswording life was transformed the day she typed a whole Toughie clue into Google. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Deep Threat
      Posted January 28, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Ditto (reading ‘he’ for ‘she’)!

    • andy
      Posted January 29, 2015 at 12:03 am | Permalink

      and me, Elgar I think. It was Gazza on a Petitjean I recall who told me, in no uncertain terms I was so off track.. I came back for more… and have learned so much , met so many great people… and the cake has been fab

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 29, 2015 at 1:53 am | Permalink

      I too did that after I had kept a puzzle for months and looked at it every day. I still have uncompleted toughies from months back that I look at from time to time. Funny old me.

  6. Rick
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you Dave and all the team and congratulations on building an amazing site.
    To make the day extra special I hope Sheffield United do the decent thing and roll over tonight!

  7. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Joyeux anniversaire and congratulations again for creating such a Wonderful World Wide community of crossword lovers.

  8. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday to a wonderful blog, which has become such an essential part of my daily life.

    With heartfelt thanks to BD and the rest of the blogging team.

  9. Brian
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I’d like to add my congrats on the occasion and my thanks for the excellent Blog and all the hard work put it by all the helpers. I really feel in touch with so many wonderful guys through the Blog, even those that probably hate me! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

    • Jane
      Posted January 28, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Nobody hates you, Brian – you add immeasurably to the fun! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I think you’re great Brian! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Kath
      Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Don’t be daft – you just add to the fun and often manage to give a completely different view point. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

    • spindrift
      Posted January 28, 2015 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      I think you’ve mellowed over the last few months & your views are not as polemic as they once were. Before long you’ll be joining the band of bloggers & start providing reviews. Now that’s something worth looking forward to!

    • Merusa
      Posted January 28, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      I enjoy your comments, Brian, I don’t think anyone could hate you!

    • Hilary
      Posted January 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Guys?

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 28, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      We love’s ya baby

  10. spindrift
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    The best blog on the interweb. Many thanks to BD & his cohort of bloggers!

  11. Jane
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I’ve only been a member of the group for a few months but it’s increasingly difficult to remember life without BD and the team. Happy birthday and many, many thanks for all your time and effort.

    Enjoy the party on Saturday!

  12. pommers
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    And a Happy Birthday from me too http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  13. GeoffP
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Many congratulations on reaching your sixth birthday from a couple of lurkers. So often this site has explained in simple terms how the answer is arrived at; we (my latest wife and I) frequently get a right answer but are not sure how we got there. It has enabled us to submit puzzles in the vain hope of winning (premium bonds and lottery seem better odds…), we live in hope. Here’s to the next six(ty) years!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog GeoffP

  14. Prolixic
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Many happy returns from me too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    PS – More simple assessor rather than Grand Inquisitor!!

  15. Angel
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    As I have said elsewhere – many Felicitations and heartfelt Thanks for so much fun plus learning along the way.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  16. Jezza
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Congratulations on another milestone, and many thanks for all the hard work and dedication put in by BD, and all the other contributors, who give their time to make this site such a success.

  17. Kath
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Happy Birthday to the blog and congratulations and thanks to BD. Another little rose – if it goes on like this you’ll have a whole bouquet before long! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  18. Catnap
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Happy 6th Birthday and warmest congratulations! My gratitude and appreciation to Maestro Big Dave and to all who contribute towards making this Blog so splendid. The only problem with Big Dave’s Crossword Blog is it is so totally addictive. I’m hooked for life — fabulous!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif Here’s another rose from me to add to the bouquet.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  19. Beet
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday and thanks to Big Dave and all the bloggers.

  20. Khinjan
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Congrats. Now We Are Six! With acknowledgement to A A Milne

    When I was one I had just begun
    When I was two I was nearly new

    When I was three I was hardly me
    When I was four I was not much more

    When I was five I was just alive
    But now I am six, I’m as clever as clever;

    So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.

    • Posted January 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Khinjan

      Very enjoyable – thanks

  21. Ginny
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave, happy birthday to you and the wonderful blog which has helped immeasurably and taken my skills, such as they are, and enjoyment to a new level.
    Best wishes http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  22. Veronica
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Greetings on this milestone. I finished 27710 with help. Only 28a stumped me.
    Am 25% through toughie so far. Keep ’em coming please

    • Posted January 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Veronica

  23. Silvanus
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Many happy returns indeed :-)

    I’m sure that everyone who has had the pleasure of discovering the blog immediately realises how invaluable it is in so many different ways and long may it continue to educate, entertain and indulge us !

  24. F1lbertfox
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations from me also :-)

  25. elcid
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Happy 6th Birthday from another who has a birthday today (albeit 62 years older!) – And – A Big Thank You to everyone for making my crossword solving so much more enjoyable these past few years.

  26. Merusa
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    A very Happy Birthday! You have brought so much enjoyment to us, along with the educational benefits. Well done.
    http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  27. denis
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Many happy returns B. D.

    I continue to enjoy your blog.

    Is anybody else experiencing troubles with the puzzle site?
    I can print the frame but not the text.

    Regards, D. D.

  28. JonP
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday and thank you so much for the help over the last year or so.

  29. Annidrum
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday from me too . BD you have no idea the new dimension this blog has given my life so I too send you a rose and my thanks.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  30. Jane
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Think someone is going to have to present BD with a large vase on Saturday! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  31. Miffypops
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday from me too. well done Dave. Well done to all who comment and well done to the blogging team

  32. Framboise
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    At the risk of repeating myself – I left a message on the Cruciverbalists’ convention link – happy birthday from me again. My heartfelt thanks to BD and the blog team as the blog has not only enhanced my enjoyment of solving puzzles but made me better at it.

  33. gnomethang
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Yay! Congratulations to all of us who make this blog and especially to Big Dave who actually made it!

  34. Kitty
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Many happy returns!

    Congratulations on such an achievement: not only in terms of the invaluable service you provide but also in building such a lovely community. Solving has transformed from a solitary occupation to an absolute joy.

    Thank you to everyone who makes this place special http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif.

  35. banksie
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    BD

    Belated Happy birthday from me too.

    I’ve been using the site for three or four years now and it has helped me enormously to complete and enjoy crosswords on a regular basis.

    I enjoy all the contributions from bloggers and solvers alike.

    Have a good day Saturday. If weather stops me golfing I may even join you.

    Many thanks

  36. andy
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Cheers to BD, not forgetting Mrs BD. Thank you

  37. banksie
    Posted January 28, 2015 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Oh btw

    I also enjoy the way you deal with unwanted comments or,indeed, contributors.

    The double unchers incident will be with me for a while.

    Haven’t seen Stan xyz for a while…

    b

  38. RobF
    Posted January 29, 2015 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday BD44. Apologies for missing the day by 25mins – only just got to check in today (or should that be yesterday?!).
    Awesome site, fabulous setters & crosswords, fantastic bloggers and a truly wonderful community.
    I don’t make it here every and sadly make a contribution even less regularly but every time I come here I thoroughly enjoy myself and feel part of an extended family whether I know them or they know me or neither.
    Keep it up BD and everyone else.

  39. AlisonS
    Posted January 29, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday and many thanks from me, too. I don’t have the time to comment these days, but I still drop in regularly to find out ‘why?’. Don’t know what I’d do without you all!

  40. Roger
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    And all the best from me as well and many thanks to all who contribute so willingly and with such aplomb!

    It really is a friendly site.