Crosswords – Page 1036 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

ST 2493 – Review

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2493 – Review

A full analysis by Big Dave

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

This Sunday puzzle is approaching the standard set by some Toughies.  It make take a little while, but it is well worth the effort.

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Toughie 187

Toughie No 187 by Myops

This one might grow on you!

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

I found this puzzle to get better as I spent time on the analysis. The surface reading is excellent, but full resolution of the wordplay was a bit tricky.  This is the first Toughie from Myops since the landmark Toughie 100.  Those of you in Glasgow may be interested to know this setter is responsible for the fiendishly difficult Wee Stinker (or so I have been reliably informed).

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DT 25989

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25989

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Today’s seemed much harder than usual, for some reason I got stuck in the top right hand corner for what seemed like ages. A Composer, artist and public school also help to confuse the issue. But once again we have a nicely crafted crossword that is enjoyable to do and gives satisfaction on completion.

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DT 25984 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25984 – Review

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

More difficult than usual – I certainly struggled with 21A, as the S_R_T_ER with possible choices for the blanks takes up quite a bit of the print-out’s white space. A slightly unsatisfactory grid – answers like 1 and 10 are underchecked, but ones like 12, 15 and 17 are overchecked.

And now for something completely different – a bit of shameless advertising: Next Thursday, I’m cycling 60 miles along the Grand Union and Regents Canal towpaths in aid of Helen and Douglas House, a home providing respite and end of life care for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions, as well as support and friendship for their families.

If you would like to sponsor me for the ride (or read more), please visit

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Toughie 186

Toughie No 186 by Elgar

Outrageous Stuff!

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

Unless you know different, as a woman with big teeth used to say on TV, today’s Toughie breaks new ground.   I don’t think that crosswords in the DT have had more than one or two cross-referencing clues.   Today’s had quite a few and that added to the fun.   Obviously you had to solve these to proceed further with other clues.

This was a Toughie to savour and it had everything including some absolutely top-drawer clues.   My only tiny grumble was that where answers were linked – like  22, 10 and 23, 2 down, in other publications the complete indications are shown at the first answer.  It just confused me a little.

Where to start?   Probably with the three letter answers.  They are quite good ways to get into the puzzles with quite friendly clues.

What did you think about it?    Feel free to comment after the analysis.

The clue answers are contained within the curly brackets.   Highlighting the space between them will reveal the answer.  If you are posting a comment for the first time, there may be a slight delay while your first post is approved.  This is purely a precaution against the board being hijacked by spammers.

On with the motley and let’s go!

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DT 25988

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25988

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

We come down to earth after yesterday’s classic, but this is still a good puzzle with some very entertaining clues.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal them. And, as always, we’d love to hear your views on the puzzle – just leave a comment.

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Toughie 185

Toughie No 185 by MynoT

Swallowing a Dictionary

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment **

If ferreting out obscure words is your bag then you’ll be in your element with this one! It is certainly a challenge, and I had particular difficulties in the top left-hand corner, with Chambers in overdrive.
As always the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal them. Do leave a comment to let us know what you thought of it!

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DT 25987

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25987

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Even the seasoned pros amongst you will find this difficult!  A very enjoyable puzzle, but some of the clues are a bit convoluted.

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Toughie 184

Toughie No 184 by Excalibur

Hitting the Target

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment **

Thanks to Big Dave for helping out last Thursday when my PC and laptop got the equivalent of man flu.   Now working again, I was happy to swap duties and tackle today’s challenge from Excalibur.  I know that this particular setter’s work hasn’t been well-received round these parts, so I tried to tackle this with an open mind.  I have spent about four hours wrestling with this puzzle today and although I consider myself a reasonable solver, some of the clues just defeated me completely.

When I tackle a tough challenge (like last Saturday’s Independent Prize Puzzle which was by another Toughie setter), I normally have a sense of achievement.  However, I just didn’t get that with today’s, I’m sad to report.

There are some clever  and interesting clues, but there are also one or two that don’t make sense.  The overall puzzle is not helped by the grid itself, which means that you only get help from clues within that corner.  I was lucky to solve the four ten-letter answers, but it didn’t offer me any help with the top right corner and I was staring at a completely  blank corner for over two hours.

The best way I can decribe a few of the clues is to say that in archery terms they hit the outer bull, rather than the inner bull.  When I compile my puzzles, I aim to ensure my clues are precise and hit the inner bull every time, I just felt that a couple here didn’t achieve that.

Let’s take a look at today’s clues, then.  I am afraid there are a couple where my explanation may seem vague,  and if you can help make sense of them, please feel free to comment.  As usual, new posters may take a little while for their first posts to appear, this is purely a precaution against spammers gumming the board up.

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DT 25986

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25986

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

If you like cryptic definitions you’ll love this puzzle which has lots, some much better than others. It’s challenging and entertaining, the two qualities you most want from your daily fix.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – just select the white space to reveal them if my hints prove to be totally inadequate!

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