The Numpties – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

EV 1505 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1505 (Hints)

Two Straight Lines by Piccadilly

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Piccadilly’s last EV crossword was ‘Boricahf’, where we had to solve a Playfair square to find three types of spaniel, so you know that you can expect something unusual.

Preamble:  Each set of clues is presented in alphabetic order of its answers, to be entered where they will fit in one of the four identical quadrants.Continue reading

EV 1504 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1504 (Hints)

Pick up by Vismut

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Solvers enjoyed Vismut’s last EV during the ladies’ month – she needs no introduction.

Preamble:  Two across clues have an extra word that will give two colours when jumbled together. One colour must be used to shade the cells of two unclued crossing entries which should be filled with the rank (entered cyclically), title, name and regnal number of the theme; the second colour must be used to shade a further 78 cells to complete a display of his allegiance.Continue reading

EV 1503 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1503 (Hints)

The Proverbial Way by X-Type

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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This is X-Type’s fourth EV crossword. His generous cluing style, large number of anagrams and use of familiar language will give a speedy solve to old hands and be a pleasure to solve for newcomers to the advanced thematic cryptics.… Continue reading

EV 1502 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1502 (Hints)

The Name of the Game by Ranunculus

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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We find from Dave Hennings’ Crossword Database that Ranunculus has been setting crosswords for the Enigmatic Variations series since 2014, and that this one is his tenth..

Preamble:  The eight unclued entries are thematically linked and each must be entered in an appropriate style.Continue reading

EV 1501 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1501 (Hints)

Alternative Names by Kcit

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Kcit, who also sets as Phi and Pedro in a range of newspapers and magazines, is no stranger to EV solvers. We can be sure of fair clues and an entertaining end game.… Continue reading

EV 1500 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1500 (Hints)

The Obvious One by proXimal

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Solvers have already met proXimal, the EV editor, a couple of times in these hints, and he sets some of the Toughies. You can be sure of a challenge but fair and carefully constructed clues too.… Continue reading

EV 1499 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1499 (Hints)

The South American One by Gaston

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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For EV solvers, Gaston needs no introduction. His recent puzzle gave us a map of the Grand National course. We  always enjoy his generous and very fair clues.

Preamble:  Each of 18 across clues and 18 down clues leads to a single superfluous letter in its wordplay.Continue reading

EV 1498 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1498 (Hints)

The Australasian One by Eclogue

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Eclogue sets regularly for the Magpie, Crossword magazine, Inquisitor and the EV series. Their crosswords have been appearing in all those advanced thematic cryptic outlets for over ten years so you have probably already solved several of them and know you can expect fair cluing and a theme that might possibly teach you something.… Continue reading

EV 1497 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1497 (Hints)

The Asian One by Chalicea

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Chalicea is one of the most prolific of crossword compilers appearing regularly in the Magpie, the Listener, the Inquisitor series, and the EV as well as in Crossword magazine and the 3D Calendar series where she sets as Curmudgeon. She also sets ordinary cryptics for the Telegraph Toughie series and back-page crosswords and has been setting the weekly cryptic crosswords for the Farmers Guardian for years. Her puzzles are popular because they usually contain lots of thematic material and are not too difficult. Continue reading “EV 1497 (Hints)”

EV 1496 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1496 (Hints)

The European One by Vismut

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Vismut bexame one of the rare lady setters of advanced cryptic crosswords three years ago and her compilations have appeared in the Listener, the Magpie, the Inquisitor series and the EV.… Continue reading