Mr K – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 29289

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29289

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  We got 500 responses to last week's survey on whether you'd like to see The Telegraph add an easier puzzle aimed at beginners – thank you to everyone who responded or contributed to the discussion on the survey blog.  The result was a very clear 73% in favour and 27% opposed.  I haven't had time yet to collate the hundreds of comments entered in the survey comment box, but rest assured that they will all be passed on to the puzzles editor.  Continue reading "DT 29289"

Survey

Would you like to see the Telegraph add a cryptic aimed at beginners?

Mr K here. We're running a survey this week that allows you to have a say about the crosswords offered by the Daily Telegraph.  In the latest Puzzles Site Newsletter, puzzles editor Chris Lancaster writes:  Recent correspondence indicates that some solvers might appreciate another type of cryptic crossword: one which is easier than the normal Telegraph Crossword, and is aimed squarely at beginners.  Would an additional, simpler, cryptic crossword be something you would like to see?  Chris tells us that if such a puzzle is added it would initially appear on weekends, so he can gauge interest. Note that it would be a new puzzle, not a replacement for any of the current cryptic crosswords. Continue reading "Survey"

DT 29283

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29283

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Nice solid Tuesday puzzle today.  Since this intro is going to be long, I'll move straight to the important bits.  Continue reading "DT 29283"

DT 29271

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29271

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and Happy 11th Birthday to Big Dave’s Crossword Blog.  Nice, solid puzzle today, with 11 anagrams in just 27 clues providing multiple entry points into the puzzle.  I suspect that a puzzle that’s 41% anagram is probably a record (although that’s not something that’s easy to check by computer).  I might have had a wee grumble about that if the inclusion of two clues featuring cats hadn’t left me feeling warm and fuzzy about the setter.  Hmmm – I wonder if that was deliberate?  Continue reading "DT 29271"

DT 29265

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29265

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  I found today's crossword to be a fairly straightforward and enjoyable solve.  I have no idea who the setter might be, but they are most welcome to add a comment below so we know who to thank.  It feels like a while since I've welcomed any new commenters to the blog, so if we have any lurkers out there thinking about posting their first comment, today would be a good day to delurk and share your experience with the puzzle.  Continue reading "DT 29265"

DT 29259

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29259

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Today's fun puzzle brought to mind that "puzzle of two halves" cliché.  The top opened up nicely, suggesting that perfection might be attainable, but then the bottom put up some resistance and it took sustained effort to get that filled.  That thought made me wonder where the original "game of two halves" cliché originated.  The best that the internet can offer is that it originates in 1980s football commentary, but that its creator remains a mystery.  Anybody know who was responsible for it? The Google Ngram viewer agrees with the internet, with its data showing appearances in print of the phrase taking off from the early 1980s.  There is also a flurry of appearances around 1940.  I wonder what that was about?  Continue reading "DT 29259"

DT 29253

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29253

Hints and tips by the nomadic Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone.  My first blog of 2020 is being written in a location not far from Sal Tlay Ka Siti.  Today’s delightful crossword reminded me of how I felt when I first started solving cryptics a few years ago and the penny drops came thick and fast.  I found within this puzzle a lot of original twists and turns that made for a very enjoyable solve.  I do hope that our setter will drop in later to take credit for it.  Continue reading "DT 29253"

DT 29247

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29247

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Can't think of much to say about this solid puzzle, except to note that its filled grid contains only 18 of the 26 letters in the alphabet.  That's almost as far from a pangram as setters have managed to get (in the last twenty years there have been only four back-pagers using 17 letters, and none that use only 16).  Continue reading "DT 29247"