Monday – Page 61 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 25937

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25937

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

The usual amiable start from the Monday Maestro with the usual smattering of cryptic definitions and clever wordplay.  Lots of double definition clues today.  I have to say that I feel that a couple of the cryptic definitions are not as strong as usual and seem a bit forced.

As usual, the “blank bits” between the curly brackets will give you the solution if you highlight it.

I would also welcome your comments, plaudits or brickbats below..

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DT 25925

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25925

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment **

Very much at the easier end of the scale, the only thing that I suspect will hold solvers up today is the grid itself.  What an abomination!  Just under half of the clues contained a double unchecked square (known as a “double unch”).  Indeed my record solving time for the Telegraph would have been beaten only for being held up with 5 down. I really don’t like grids with double unches and although I’ll tolerate a couple in a normal puzzle, surely this was too much.

When a previous Times Crossword Editor took over a few years back, he devoted a bit of time to revising all the Times stock grids.  I think it’s time for the DT to follow suit.

Back to the puzzle.  It being Monday we have the usual collection of cryptic definitions, which are fine, but I would rather have two or three a puzzle instead of the number we get.  I always recommend the Telegraph and Guardian Monday puzzles as good places to start when solving cryptics but I sometimes fear that newer solvers are tempted to stick at this level when other puzzles adopted, shall we say, a more balanced approach.  In addition, as my esteemed colleague Big Dave points out, sometimes the puzzle is weakened by these, 26 across is a good example.

That said, there are some lovely surface readings and constructions.  Thanks as usual to our Monday Maestro.

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DT 25919

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25919

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment *

Unfortunately Tilsit is not well enough to review today’s puzzle.  After doing it, I know how he feels!  I looked through to see if I could say a few nice words about it.

Don’t forget the Clue of the Week competition – cast your vote now.  I don’t think I will be putting any of today’s forward for this week.

Tilsit hopes to be back later this week, and I’m sure you will join me in wishing him well again soon.

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DT Cryptic No 25913

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25913

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

A little bit tougher than the last few Mondays with some of the normal cryptic definitions requiring a bit more thought.  Today’s was chock-full of double definition clues though.

Quite enjoyable and a fair challenge, so thanks to our Monday Maestro!

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DT Cryptic No 25907

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25907

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Greetings to everyone from my local hospital.  Unfortunately I was readmitted in the early hours of Saturday morning and am likely to be here for a few days yet.  Rather than overload Big Dave with more work, I thought I’d try a slightly different approach.

I am a bit of a night-owl at the best of times, so I thought I would sign in to the Telegraph website, Clued Up, just after midnight, solve the puzzle on line and make notes, as I have no access to a printer.  Three different browsers and 40 minutes later, I finally managed to get the crossword to load using Safari web browser.

A fairly enjoyable puzzle with a couple of superbly clever clues, but I also have one reservation in that I think you could technically make a case  for either spelling of the word required at 5ac.   As well as the usual smattering of clever cryptic definitions, I really liked 26 across as a nice neat clue, 10 across likewise. On the other hand I couldn’t see anything other than a single definition at 3 down and I’m not sure about 16 across, I have offered my interpretation below.

Thanks to our Monday Maestro for his usual challenge and I hope to see you all later in the week.  Thanks to Big Dave for his assistance with posting this.

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DT Cryptic No 25901

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25901

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A reasonably straightforward start to the week from our regular Monday setter.  Lots of cryptic definitions and anagrams to give you a good start in completing it.  My only grumble is with the grid itself; 18 answers each contain a double unchecked letter and if the cluing hadn’t been so solver- friendly, I could imagine I would have had trouble.  14 had me looking for something less obvious than it actually was, but generally a nice friendly puzzle after a weekend of solving some really tough beasts.  Thanks to Big Dave for a nudge with 9 across.  And now back to writing almost 200 questions for our local quiz league Individual Mastermind Championship.

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DT Cryptic No 25895

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25895

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Well, was it worth waiting for?  After all the fuss with the CluedUp site, what we got was another typical Monday Crossword.  Not too difficult, nothing contentious, just a good puzzle to start the week

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DT Cryptic No 25889

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25889

Get your week off the ground with this typical DT cryptic

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Monday’s puzzles are usually relatively easy, and satisfyingly lacking in obscure or tenuous clues.  Today’s is no exception.

Tilsit is still in hospital, but hopes to return next week.

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DT Cryptic No 25883

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25883

Today’s hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ***

Tilsit joins us for the first time today.  As I mentioned on Saturday, he will already be known to avid followers of fifteensquared, and his credentials include answering questions on Crosswords, as his specialist subject, on Mastermind.  The standard DT Cyptic should be very easy for someone like him, but he faces sterner stuff when he does battle with a Toughie later in the week. BD

Thanks to Big Dave for his introduction.  I hope these blogs live up to the high standard that he and the rest of the gang have set.  Because of my other activities within the crossword world, I often get requests from solvers about the best way to start solving cryptic puzzles and my answer is invariably the same.  Start with Monday’s Telegraph and Guardian puzzles, you rarely go wrong.   That’s because they are usually set by one of the doyens of the black and white squares – Roger Squires.  Roger  (aka Rufus in the Graun) provides some of the most accessible and solver-friendly puzzles and amongst his talents, he is a master of a type of clue known as the Cryptic Definition, of which there are a few in this puzzle.

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