Mr K – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 29158 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29158

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome.  This week I have no idea about the identity of our setter, so if they're reading I do hope they'll comment below.  I got a worryingly long way through the acrosses before the answers started to flow.  Fortunately, the bottom half of the grid and most of the downs were more friendly, and the setter also included a few Usual Suspects to provide footholds.  I enjoyed the solve and thought this puzzle was just right for a Tuesday.  I look forward to reading your thoughts on it.  Continue reading "DT 29158"

DT 29152 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29152

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

Hello, everyone.  They say that good things come in threes.  Illustrating that adage to perfection, for the third week in a row we’ve been given a wonderful crossword composed by Telegraph Puzzles Editor Chris Lancaster.  It also features, in 2d, Gary Jones' winning entry in the clue-writing competition from March's Telegraph Puzzles Newsletter (sign up here to get the Newsletter for free).  Congratulations, Gary.  I enjoyed this crossword immensely.  I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone else thought of it.  Continue reading "DT 29152"

DT 29146 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29146

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

Hello, everyone.  Today we've been treated to another excellent puzzle from Telegraph Puzzles Editor Chris Lancaster.  I just loved it.  As is often the case with his puzzles, I rated it a definite 4* for difficulty.  But since there is also 4* enjoyment to be had here I recommend persevering with it, possibly using whatever aids you find necessary to fill the grid and parse the clues.  Continue reading "DT 29146"

DT 29140 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29140

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

Hello everyone.  I found today's puzzle tricky, in part because it required some general knowledge that I didn't have stored away.  If you're looking for another crosswording challenge, there's always this week's Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle.  The setter (me) would appreciate feedback on it.  Comments so far suggest it's probably a 4* puzzle, but there's a nice review by Prolixic to provide hints if you get stuck.

Thanks to everyone who filled out my survey on last week's puzzle.  The results and a selection of the comments are available after the hints.

Continue reading "DT 29140"

DT 29134 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29134

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

 

Hello, everyone.  I found this less of a challenge than last Tuesday's puzzle.  I have no idea who the setter might be, so if our setter should happen to visit the site to read our comments, perhaps they could also leave a comment of their own?

Last week I had to abandon an attempt to collect data on your solving experiences because of problems with the survey.  The goal is to measure how long most of us took to solve a specific puzzle and whether we used any aids, because I believe that the data will be reassuring to solvers who feel that they take longer than everyone else.  The brief survey should now work properly.  Click here to open it in a new window.  Thanks in advance for your responses.  I'll present the results next Tuesday. 

Continue reading "DT 29134"

DT 29128 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29128

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

 

Hello, everyone.  I felt that the difficulty level and enjoyment in today's excellent puzzle were both above the Tuesday average.  I look forward to hearing what everyone else thought of it.

Continue reading "DT 29128"

DT 29122 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29122

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday.  One of the great things about blogging on Tuesday is that with at least four setters compiling puzzles for that slot you're never quite sure what midnight will bring.  Today's puzzle certainly hit the heights for me.  I noted very smooth surfaces, no obscure vocabulary or general knowledge requirements, some nice misdirection, and several smiles during the solve in this exquisitely crafted puzzle.  Setter, if you're reading, please comment below to take a bow.

There was some discussion in last week's blogs about solving times and difficulty ratings.  It got me thinking about doing another survey on readers' experiences with a particular puzzle – solving time, aids used, difficulty rating, etc.. Is there interest out there in participating in a survey like that?  What else should be asked? (For example, I'm curious about what readers consider to be their 1* solving time). 

Continue reading "DT 29122"

DT 29116 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29116

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

 

Hello, everyone, and welcome.  I found this a solid puzzle where the parsing of a couple of the clues required some concentration.  It was good fun.  If our setter is reading the blog today, please consider commenting below.  And if you’re a reader who has never posted, how about making today the day when you delurk and tell us how you found the puzzle?  We all love to meet new commenters, hear their history, and read their thoughts about the puzzle and the blog.

Continue reading "DT 29116"

DT 29110 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29110

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

 

Hello, everyone, and welcome to another Tuesday.  Today's puzzle features several clues with cunning misdirection, which I came to appreciate even more while writing the hints.  I'm partial to clues like that, so I've bumped up the enjoyment rating.  I look forward to reading what everybody thought of it.  I'm wondering if our setter might be a (1-4) sports car?

Many thanks from me and BD to the hundreds of readers who replied to last week's survey.  We learned that the most popular devices used to read the blog are iPads (38%), Windows computers (24%), and Android phones and tablets (24%).  Only 8% of respondents don't like the new theme and everybody thinks the site is fast enough.  Several responses mentioned difficulties following the threaded comments, which we have now tried to address by reducing white space inside comments and by adding a number and a border to top-level comments.  We also learned that iPad users like the big font and wide spacing, while readers using computers would like pages to appear more compressed on their big screens.  In the hints and tips section of my blog today I'm trialling a smaller font.  I'd appreciate hearing whether it looks better on computer screens and if it's still legible on iPads.  Any other comments that will help us fine tune the theme are most welcome.

Continue reading "DT 29110"

DT 29104 ~ Posted on

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29104

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome.  This week I felt that we’re back to near average difficulty and enjoyment.  I particularly liked the smooth surfaces on several of the clues.

The new blog theme necessitated by the site upgrade has now been in use for just over a week.  BD has been tweaking it to work well on computers, tablets, and phones.  It’s challenging to optimise the site’s appearance in the absence of feedback, so BD would like to get your thoughts on the new theme via a brief survey.  Thanks in advance for helping to improve the site.

Click here to open the survey in a new window.  Press the Finish Survey button at the bottom to submit your answers.

Continue reading "DT 29104"