Author Archives: Dutch

Toughie 1743

Toughie No 1743 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Another excellent puzzle from Notabilis with his trademark precision cluing – I enjoyed the down-specific indicators, exact instructions, clever definitions and clean anagrams. I was surprised it was all over for me in 2* time with 8d and 21d being the last to parse.… Read More

Toughie 1739

Toughie No 1739 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

 

It was fun to sort out some tricky wordplay and cryptic definitions in this solid offering from Osmosis. For once, I spotted the pangram during the solve and was even able to use it.… Read More

Toughie 1735

Toughie No 1735 by Micawber

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

 

Many thanks Micawber for a magnificent end-of-year toughie, in which all the surface readings are references to 2016 headlines – a remarkable achievement that makes for a highly enjoyable solve.… Read More

Toughie 1731

Toughie No 1731 by Elkamere

Hints and tips by Dutch

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

 

We have a lovely Christmas present from Elkamere – a highly entertaining puzzle which is not too difficult, and still carries the punch of his trademark clueing. I am hoping many people will try this.… Read More

Toughie 1727

Toughie No 1727 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

At the time of solving I did not know who the compiler was. The Nina hinted Sparks to me, but turns out I was wrong. CS e-mailed me to let me know it was Notabilis (many thanks Sue), and indeed, there is plenty of his trademark precision – though I didn’t find this one of his easier puzzles.… Read More

Toughie 1723

Toughie No 1723 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Since we had an Elkamere on Wednesday, I suspected we might see an Elgar today. And what a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle it is. A few easy ones to get started meant there was no initial staring at a blank grid (the staring came a bit later).… Read More

Toughie 1719

Toughie 1719 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Since Osmosis appeared Wednesday, I was expecting my nemesis to appear today and was prepared for a long battle – but I managed to get a foothold rapidly, working steadily down the right hand side first and finished in what was 3* time for me.… Read More

Toughie 1715

Toughie No 1715 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A challenging offer from Sparks with some fun clueing. Sparks invariably has a Nina and I’m struggling to find one. The best I’ve got so far is a crossover in rows 3 and 5, perhaps there is more.… Read More

Toughie 1711

Toughie No 1711 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Another beautifully precise puzzle from Notabilis. I managed to finish this in what for me is 3* time, but in the top half I was helped by the Nina which I boldly entered before the answers – I can imagine it might take a little longer if you don’t do that.… Read More

Toughie 1707

Toughie No 1707 by Elkamere

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

 

What a nice way to end the toughie week. A lovely puzzle from Elkamere with some relatively easy clues to get you started as well as some fun and tricky clueing to keep you hooked.… Read More