The Numpties – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

EV 1474 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1474

The Mover and the Lover by Ifor

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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There is no need to introduce Ifor to EV solvers who know that his crosswords can be challenging in the Listener, Inquisitor, Magpie and EV series, with intricate wordplay but also with very rewarding endgames. This one will certainly raise a St Valentine’s Day smile.
Continue reading “EV 1474 (Hints)”

EV 1473 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1473 (Hints)

Sea Shell by The Ace of Hearts

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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On the crossword database we see that The Ace of Hearts has been compiling crosswords since 2015 for The Listener, Inquisitor, Magpie, Crossword and the Enigmatic Variations series. This one is his twentieth compilation. Continue reading “EV 1473 (Hints)”

EV 1472 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1472

Test Match by Ploy

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Ploy’s crosswords have been appearing in all the well-known thematic cryptic outlets for almost twenty years. They are invariably enjoyable with very fair clues and intriguing end games. This one was no exception. Continue reading “EV 1472 (Hints)”

EV 1471 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1471

What’s Earned by Jaques

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Jaques has been setting thematic cryptic crosswords for almost twenty years in the Listener, EV and Magpie series. He has one in the current edition of the Magpie crossword magazine. (It is still live, so no comment but there is still time for you to subscribe if you haven’t done so yet. Six crosswords each month with a range of difficulty – the easiest usually easier than an EV, and the most difficult D and E crosswords something like the one we are hinting on today.) https://www.piemag.com Continue reading “EV 1471 (Hints)”

EV 1470 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1470 (Hints)

Level Crossing by Hedge-sparrow

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Hedge-sparrow’s crosswords have been appearing regularly in the Listener series over the past 13 years and we have seen him in the Magpie, Inquisitor and Enigmatic Variations series too. Naturally, considering his pseudonym, birds have often featured in his grids – but not so this time. The Numpties found this crossword very tough indeed, but we hope our hints will help you reach an amusing conclusion. Continue reading “EV 1470 (Hints)”

EV 1469 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1469

It’s a Funny Old Game by Gaston

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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EV 1456, Cover Story, that had us recreating the Abbey Road zebra crossing with the four Beatles was by Gaston so he needs no introduction.

Preamble: The unclued left hand column is in charge of the game.Continue reading

EV 1468 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1468

Communication by proXimal

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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That capital X (something to do with crosswords? I am sure proXimal will explain) in the pseudonym of the setter, proXimal, prompts us that we have a familiar setter here who also sets as eXternal in the IQ and Listener series (and combines with another setter as eXtent). They might know him as Artexlen in the FT and Boz in The Herald. Big Dave’s regulars will know him from Thursday/Friday Toughies and back-pagers, where he’s also normally put in Fridays (used to be Thursdays). With such a range of setting experience, you can be sure you are in safe hands. Continue reading “EV 1468 (Hints)”

EV 1467 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1467 (Hints)

The Flavour of the Month by Gos

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Gos is a familiar name to Listener solvers where he has compiled ten over the last 24 years. This is his fourth puzzle in the Enigmatic Variations series.

Preamble: The puzzle’s theme is a literary work, considered the first of its kind and which might cryptically be called THE FLAVOUR OF THE MONTH.Continue reading

EV 1466 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1466 (Hints)

All That by Poat

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Poat has been setting thematic cryptic crosswords since 1989 and is a distinguished setter of Listener crosswords. His work has appeared in the IQ and Magpie series and this is his fourth EV crossword.… Continue reading