archy and mehitabel – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 27711

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27711

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone, it’s the cockroach and the alley cat again – I told you we’d be back!  Mehitabel has failed to land an Aristocat as her 18d and I’m still bashing my head on the keyboard so no change there. Our first blog was in birthday week last year so we thought it would be cool to get back together and do another.

It’s a pretty good puzzle with some clever stuff, a few “penny drops” and a few grins.  We’ve agreed on **/*** but 5d is nearly worth a fourth enjoyment on its own. I’m sure many of you will disagree so it will be interesting to see your comments.

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DT 27580

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27580

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

Hola from the Vega Baja and Oxford.  The weather in Spain is still blistering hot (38C yesterday) but poor Oxford grey and drizzle with a bit of an Auntmnal feel this morning.

Yesterday it was scchua’s swansong and today it’s ours.  The alleycat has decided that, as she’s really a reincarnation of the Great Queen Cleopatra, it is beneath her dignity to be seen consorting with a mere cockroach, even one with the soul of a free-verse poet. She’s now going off to search out a suitable aristocat and has graciously appointed Kath to pick up the pieces on a Thursday. For my part, I think I must have been watching too many old episodes of Star Trek as it’s inspired me to go on a search for a speech operated computer so I don’t have to keep bashing my head on the keyboard. In future you’ll just have to put up with pommers sharing the Thursday slot with Kath and Falcon. We’ve both enjoyed doing the blog together but now it’s time to move on, but . . . We’ll be back!

Anyway, on to the crossword.  We both thought this was a tricky little rascal for us to finish on and with some rather dodgy definitions and wordplay so we’ve gone for **** difficulty and only ** enjoyment. It will be interesting to see your comments as when I say it’s hard everyone else usually says it’s easy-peasy and vice versa.  Must be a wavelength thing.

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DT 27544

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27544

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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

Good morning everyone.  It’s a bit steamy on the Vega Baja this morning and it’s hot in Oxford too, but not in a nice way – a bit cloudy/sunny – very grumpy weather.

Maybe it’s the weather causing us to be a bit grumpy but we both thought this was a tricky little rascal and a bit of a grind.  A bit of a strange mixture of some very dodgy surfaces interspersed with a few chestnuts, some fairly easy clues and some very clever stuff.  Not many anagrams either.  Archy spent some time looking for a Nina round the outside but can’t spot one.  We’ll be interested to hear what you made of it.

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DT 27538

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27538

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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

Good morning everyone.  Bright and sunny but also breezy and slightly chilly in Oxford – no basking alley cats today – but normal service continues on the Vega Baja.  Although Her Majesty appears to have done a runner we’re pretty sure this is a RayT production as his other trademarks are there – no clue more than eight words and a bit of innuendo.  We thought it a bit tricky in places but very enjoyable so we’ll be interested to hear your opinions.

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DT 27532

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27532

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone.  It’s another beautiful morning on the Vega Baja and apparently it’s the same in Oxford. Cockroach and alley cat both basking in the sunshine!
This puzzle didn’t really float archy’s boat and was going to get ** enjoyment but mehitabel has prevailed so *** it is.  At least we agree it wasn’t too taxing.

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DT 27514

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27514

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning everyone. It’s another lovely sunny morning on the Vega Baja and apparently it’s the same in Oxford.

This isn’t one of RayT’s more difficult puzzles but it’s an enjoyable one all the same. It’s fortunate that mehitabel was on the downs today because she’s always said she has trouble spotting hidden word clues and there are no less than four of them in the acrosses!
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DT 27478

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27478

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Good morning everyone, and a lovely morning it is on the Vega Baja. In Spain, today is the Mayday public holiday so archy is on double time, hooray!
With my track record of spotting setters I hesitate to make a guess but I’m pretty sure that this is a RayT production, and a lot of fun it is. Worth the fourth enjoyment star just for 14a.

This time mehitabel has done the across clues and archy the downs and, as usual, the ones we like most are in blue. Definitions are underlined in the clue.

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DT 27442

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27442

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning everyone.  Today we have a more equitable division of labour than we had last week.  Archy has done the across clues and mehitabel the downs.

Star ratings are from mehitabel, archy would have gone for **/*** but then he’s not such a big RayT fan.

24d is particularly apt in view of the England cricket team’s recent performances!

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DT 27436

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27436

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone, it’s the sun-drenched cockroach and the fog-bound alley cat back again.

A very pleasant puzzle with two excellent fifteen letter anagrams to give you a lot of checkers!
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DT 27412

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27412

Hints and tips by archy and mehitabel

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone, it’s the cockroach and the alley cat again.  Well, mehitabel  enjoyed it so much last week she couldn’t turn down archy’s invitation to have another go!

A pleasant enough puzzle I thought with a couple of clues that are a bit complicated to parse although easy enough to guess the answers.  Perhaps a bit heavy on charades and certainly light on anagrams!

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