Crosswords – Page 845 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26074

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26074

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

On second reading I found little to change my earlier opinion. This is a reasonable puzzle which has one or two debatable clues, As Saturday puzzles go it is better than most. Enough said.

Tilsit and I have swapped for this week, and his review of last Sunday’s puzzle will be posted tomorrow.

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Toughie 246

Toughie No 246 by Firefly

Over-egging the Pudding

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Greetings from the drizzle-sodden Calder Valley. After yesterday’s thought-provoking Daily puzzle, it’s time to return to Toughie pastures. I would like to start by offering an apology of sorts for my posting late last evening. I was probably quite tired and emotional (not in the Private Eye sense of the phrase, as I don’t drink!), but have had a couple of difficult days health-wise which conspired to leave me feeling somewhat drained and a bit upset at what I saw as unnecessarily nasty comments about what was a decent if somewhat tougher puzzle..

Back to today’s challenge. One of my favourite programmes is on BBC2 tonight. The Restaurant with the lovely Raymond Blanc. Last week’s opening episode brought one of those TV moments where you watch almost with your hands over your eyes, as one aspiring restaurateur held a Sabatier knife by the blade and tried to hit it with a rolling pin to crack open a coconut. Today’s Toughie wasn’t as bad as that, but I feld that one or two clues were over-egged and a bit forced in terms of content. It seemed that the setter found an idea to run with, but instead of perhaps thinking enough is enough (or un oeuf is un oeuf in one case!), perseverance didn’t pay off and the clue suffered for it. Otherwise it was a reasonable challenge and quite enjoyable. It will give me an opportunity to play some favourite comedy and music and I think it’s time to have a look at it.

As usual, post your comments after the blog and you can rate the puzzle by means of the star system.
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DT 26078

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26078

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Well it’s November 5th and we have a suitably themed crossword today. First of all I don’t think the setter of this crossword is our normal Thursday setter, although if someone can prove me wrong I would appreciate it. Nope, its J. (see comment below) I think it was just me having a bad day. Secondly when I did this crossword I wasn’t particularly thrilled with it, but on reflection and on attempting to work out all the word play it did become much better than I originally thought.

As usual all comments are appreciated.

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Toughie 245

Toughie No 245 by Messinae

My Kingdom for a Norse

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Those who are having a struggle with today’s Cryptic may like to have a go at this one, which is in my opinion (which is of course totally subjective) easier than the Cryptic. I’ve only given it three stars for difficulty, rather than two, because it contains a couple of words new to me, but it’s full of well-constructed and very fair clues.
So, especially if you’ve never tried a Toughie before, give this one a go, and let us know how you get on via a comment.

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DT 26077

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26077

Enjoyable or 5 Down?

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley. I think I nearly had a relapse with today’s puzzle. Another grid that I am not too keen on, as you are only offered one way into each corner. With almost 50% of the answers you have neither the first nor last letter, and, with the exception of the two long answers, in the remainder you have only either the first or last letter. This to me adds additional difficulties in solving. The other problem is using the Clued Up software, you don’t automatically see the enumeration if the solution runs across two answer spaces, e.g. 1a and 9a.

As the setter is a very dear friend, I am used to solving some of his puzzles and he does produce some of the toughest around in the variety of dailies he sets for. I suspect here he is an acquired taste for some, and I hope you won’t be put off, particularly as one of the answers gives me a chance to play you one of the funniest pieces of comedy from TV history. If you feel you are quite blank with this, have a look at how one or two of the clues work below (especially the two log ones), and go back to it. I know sometimes when you look at a puzzle and don’t get much in reward, the temptation is to leave it, but persevere, it is worth the effort. If only for solving 20 across which made me smile. The puzzle itself is terrific and contains some wonderful clues.

As usual, you can have your say after the puzzle, and rate the puzzle using the star system. I know all the bloggers love reading what you have to say and it helps us pitch our blogs to you as well. For new visitors, your first comments always have to be moderated to prevent spammers gumming up the works. And if you wish to see the answer, it is hidden between the squiggly brackets at the start of each clue. Simply highlifght that part of the page to view the answer.

And if you do get really stuck, as the man on telly used to say, don’t have nightmares, and another will be along tomorrow, as will I with the Toughie!

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Toughie 244

Toughie No 244 by MynoT

Why oh Why?

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

By the time I had worked out half a dozen clues, a pattern began to emerge. Ahh MynoT I thought. (Clued up doesn’t tell you who the setter is). Every answer has a “Y” in it, just in case you haven’t noticed.

I do think I need to remind everybody of a couple of comments from the last MynoT Toughie where all the vowels were “U”’s and also that it was the last Toughie in the “vowel” series….

Prolixic – “Maybe MynoT’s next challenge is to compile a grid where every answer has a Q or X or some other lesser used letter!”
Gazza – “I notice that there are no Ys at all in the answers, so perhaps MynoT regards Y as a sixth vowel……”
Looks like you are both “sort of” right.

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DT 26076

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26076

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A bit of a mixed bag today – some nice clues and a few that I didn’t like. If your bête noire is “double unches” then you’ll hate the grid.
As usual the answers are hidden (to prevent your seeing them by accident) inside the curly brackets – highlight the white space inside the brackets to reveal all.
Your comments, as always, are vital to keeping the blog lively and stimulating – so let’s have them in profusion, please!

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DT 26075

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26075

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

More Magic from our Monday Maestro. Start the week with this relatively easy puzzle that should give a lot of satisfaction to many.

Leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

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ST 2508 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2508 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This one is not quite as challenging as several recent Sunday prize puzzles, but still a very enjoyable one to solve.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.

A full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 6th November (Peter Biddlecombe is still on holiday).

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DT 26074 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26074 – Hints

Big Dave’s Saturday Crossword Club

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Anax’s excellent article, titled “From the Top”, on how he put together a whole puzzle will be posted at 12.00 today.  You will find this insight into the mind of an accomplished setter extremely interesting, all the more so if you solved the puzzle when it was posted last Saturday.

This puzzle gets three stars for enjoyment mainly because it is a lot better than last week’s Prize Crossword. A couple of iffy clues spoilt the overall effect, but it should please a lot of the Saturday regulars.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them. A full review of this puzzle by Tilsit will be published at 12.00 on Thursday, 5th November (remember, remember!).

Continue reading “DT 26074 – Hints”