Welcome to Peter Biddlecombe as the lastest in a long line of professional setters. With his recent debut in the Church Times, he joins the ranks of Anax, Tim Moorey and Bufo as those who have had their crosswords appear in print and who have appeared in the Not The Saturday Prize Puzzle series. I hope that this will be the first of many from Biddle on the site.
This was a themed crossword based on the recent epic 11 hour match at Wimbledon. For someone who is not a follower of tennis, I needed to research some of the older players! Because of the theme and the need to work some complex names into the wordplay, some of the clues were not as smooth as I might have liked but this did not detract from a fine puzzle. There are a few minor comments that I have made in the notes below.
Big Dave met Tim at the Sloggers and Betters meeting in London a few weeks ago. Out of the blue, Tim submitted a puzzle for the Blog. To have a setter of Tim’s calibre volunteering a puzzle is something of a coup. They flock to Big Dave’s door these days!
This crossword was joy to solve. It should be well within the abilities of most solvers. The only clue where the wordplay detained me was 9a where the answer was obvious but how you got to it was not. Many thanks to Big Dave for putting me on the straight and narrow. Thanks too to Tim for the crossword.
Radler has produced a fine crossword in memory of his mother Anne. There are lots of violin and violin music related clues throughout the puzzle. It holds together very nicely and is not too stretching. Personally, I think it is his best crossword to date. A few minor quibbles do not detract from an enjoyable crossword. Many thanks to Radler for entertaining us this week.
Those of us who attended the last Cruciverbalist’s Convention at the White Horse could not help but notice that Anax was more than a little preoccupied with a certain young lady known to denizens of Big Dave’s Blog as Moonstruck Minx.
The crossword contains lots of playful clues in the spirit of Elgar but there is nothing outrageous in the cluing – think of it as being a little like one of those saucy seaside postcards.
Anax promised us a gentle stroll through a cryptic crossword. This was the case. In style, it was firmly within the Daily Telegraph crossword tradition and should be approachable for all levels of ability.
Unusually for an Anax crossword, there were a few clues that I thought were a little on the weak side. I have highlighted these below.
The answers to the clues are contained within the squiggly brackets and if you highlight the space with your mouse, all will be revealed. Feel free to have your say after the blog, and you can rate the puzzle by clicking the stars as well.
This is the third puzzle by Radler in the NTSPP series. His previous two have been tough solves with cleverly constructed themes but have been less approachable as result.
In this puzzle, Radler has had mercy on his solvers and split the puzzle into more complex across clues and some more straightforward down clues. In general, the down clues are simpler though there are some complex constructions towards the end. Overall, the puzzle was far more approachable than the previous two puzzles.
On top of all this, Radler shows his flair by still including a mini theme and a NINA across the top row of the puzzle.
There are a few quibbles indicated in the review below but these are minor and do not detract from an enjoyable crossword.
Anax says that he wanted to create a puzzle magazine crossword that they would consider a “mega-tough” cryptic puzzle. He wisely added, “we all know that what passes for mega-tough in a puzzle mag is probably on the easy side for solvers of quality daily newspaper cryptics. So here was the challenge; how advanced could I make the clues while sticking to the notion that they were to be not quite as hard as it might say on the tin?”
Personally, I found this a lot easier than Anax’s previous puzzle, NTSPP – 004. It was nonetheless enjoyable and well clued. There are a few minor comments below but this is an excellent introduction to an Anax puzzle – a lot of his playfulness, some of his hidden indicators and enjoyment all around.