Author Archives: Toro

Toughie 1606

Toughie No 1606 by Beam

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***

Afternoon, all. Toro here standing in for Bufo. I’m not sure I’ve done a Beam before (wot, no anagrams?!), so I’ll leave it to you regulars to compare it with his usual work, but I found it a fairly steady and certainly satisfying solve.… Read More

Toughie 1564

Toughie No 1564 by Giovanni

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***/****Enjoyment ***

A fairly challenging puzzle for a Tuesday with not too many easy “ins” apart from the fairly obvious clue down the spine of the grid. Strongly clued, as one would expect of a Giovanni, with a smattering of clues requiring general knowledge – also as expected.… Read More

Toughie 1560

Toughie No 1560 by Dada

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***/****Enjoyment ****/*****

I rarely look at grids, but this one is like a sandwich cut diagonally with stubborn joins of crust in the corners. There is a lot of headscratching and fun to be had in the long words round the edges (four of 11 letters and four of 14), and overall this was a really enjoyable and amusing puzzle from Dada.… Read More

Toughie 1556

Toughie No 1556 by Excalibur

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

I did this late last night in a tired and distracted state, which may explain both ratings. As always, a quirky puzzle from Excalibur with a mix of fun and bamboozlement.… Read More

Toughie 1551

Toughie No 1551 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

I’m filling in for Dutch today, who is preparing to go on the piste. This was a more straightforward solve than I was expecting on a rare visit to the Friday Toughie chair, and the style will probably have appealed more to those who enjoy tussling with clue components than to someone like me who has more of a liking for surfaces and inventive definitions.… Read More

Toughie 1544

Toughie No 1544 by Dada

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment **

An oddly Giovanni-like offering from Dada today, but with a rather rushed feel about it. This week’s Rookie Corner puzzle by Maize is much more polished and satisfying and I urge you to do it if you haven’t already.… Read More

Toughie 1540

Toughie No 1540 by Excalibur

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***/****

A surreal treat from Excalibur: no fewer than 16 definition clues (cryptic, straight-plus-cryptic, or double-straight), a playful parallelism, and a shapely trio. Plus the obligatory Yoda-isms (but only two, despite the Space Invaders motif  in the grid). … Read More

Toughie 1536

Toughie No 1536 by Warbler

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ***

Some great stuff in this amusing puzzle from Warbler that would be a good place to start for back-page solvers looking to venture into the world of the Toughie.… Read More

Toughie 1532

Toughie No 1532 by Busman

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating – Difficulty */** – Enjoyment ***

My first encounter with Busman. I found it fresh and fun, if very much at the easy end of the Toughie spectrum — the second star for difficulty being due as much as anything to the fact that I was busy eating a fried breakfast while solving.… Read More

Toughie 1524

Toughie No 1524 by Samuel

Hints and tips by Toro

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

This was a quite a gentle and certainly an enjoyable start to the short post-Xmas week. Excuse the belated review.

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