February 5, 2019 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 2171

Toughie No 2171 by Silvanus

Hints and tips by Kitty

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


Happy Chinese New Year!  Seven days since last Tuesday, it’s reassuring to find that today is a Tuesday, and all is as usual.  It’s less usual to see Silvanus in this slot – a first in fact, as his previous two Toughies were published later in the week – but I expect that could change.  I found it not overly tricky, but by no means an escaped back-pager.  Meanwhile, if I’d had any doubts about what enjoyment rating to give, the plaudits over on the back page blog have decided it!  Indeed, I noted an unusually high number of clues as favourites.

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DT 28966

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28966

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty **/*** Enjoyment ****


Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  Today the Telegraph has given us what I thought was a superb puzzle.  Every clue has a great surface formed from no more than seven words.  The puzzle is a nice mix of charade-type clues where the answer reveals itself as you follow the wordplay instructions, and clues made more challenging by incorporating some unexpected synonyms.  I filled most of the grid at a decent clip until I dropped to a head-scratching crawl down in the SW corner.  There's some clever clueing going on down there.  Setter, if you are reading, please comment to take credit for this brilliant puzzle.

Last week I posted a link to the huge number of thoughts and well-wishes contributed by blog readers for the 10th Birthday Bash.  If you missed it and you want to take a look, you can download a PDF by clicking here.

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