Crosswords – Page 850 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 231

Toughie No 231 by Firefly

Is this one tough enough for you?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I sometimes wonder about the affect this blog is having on the setters. Firefly, known elsewhere as Glow-worm, was the first to leave a comment on the blog, way back in February (Toughie 92) and his puzzles do seem to be getting steadily tougher. This is the first one of his to get close to making me lose my bonus points on CluedUp! While I enjoyed the puzzle there were a number of instances where I had to guess an answer from the checking letters and then pick my way through the wordplay afterwards.

Feel free, as ever, to leave a comment and don’t forget to give us your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

Continue reading “Toughie 231”

DT 26055

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26055

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

It was all a bit like groundhog day. There was I, relaxing over a late breakfast and wrestling with today’s Toughie, when I got a message from Libellule saying that his communication problems have resurfaced so that he could not do the review. So I’m afraid that you’re stuck with me again.
Not that reviewing a Giovanni puzzle is ever a chore – it’s well up to his usual standard, so that means some excellent surface readings with a number of smiles, not to say guffaws.
We’d be delighted to get your comments as usual.

Continue reading “DT 26055”

DT 26050

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26050

After the Lord Mayor’s Show…….

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment **

Last week we were treated to a hugely enjoyable puzzle which contained references to that well-known character Big Dave. This week we came back down to earth with a bump and while we don’t talk about solving times as part of the blog, let’s just say that cooking two hard-boiled eggs might have taken me longer.

Most of the Saturday papers tend to reserve their toughest or most elegant puzzles for a Saturday, but the Telegraph I think tends the other way, with a friendly none-too-taxing challenge, which generates lots of entries for the prize. In that respect, it ticks all the boxes. However, I prefer a puzzle that does offer a bit of a challenge. The grid was pretty awful as well, with lots of “double unches” (double unchecked letters) and a lot of four letter words which are clued rather uninspiringly. Compare with the Wednesday puzzle where the four-letter answers were clued with a bit of imagination and care.

The other slight issue was that the clue at 10 across was clued differently on line than in the paper. Luckily the answers were the same, otherwise there might have been a bigger problem.

Here are the clue explanations:-

Continue reading “DT 26050”

Toughie 230

Toughie No 230 by Giovanni

This Crossword is Brought to You by…..

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

An interesting challenge today which I found quite tough in parts and blindingly easy in others.  I particularly struggled with the bottom left corner.  As I solve the puzzle on line, I usually play guess the setter until I can contact a chum who takes the paper.  I have to say I wouldn’t have guessed today’s was Giovanni, it didn’t feel like one of his puzzles.  However, it was the usual enjoyable mix of witty but scrupulously fair clues.  Aspiring setters should always take time to study Giovanni’s clues as they are an absolutel model of perfection.

Recently it was announced that ITV are to be allowed to infest their already dreary programmes with product placement, and I thought this had arrived early in Crossword-land today as 6 across required you to know the name of a leading motor-oil brand (other leading brands of motor oil are available) to help you solve the clue.  Some curious answers today including the name of a Cultural Colossus (see yesterday’s Crossword blog).

Off we go, and remember your home is at risk if you put a tin containing petrol in your microwave and turn it on….

Continue reading “Toughie 230”

DT 26054

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26054

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Libellule was due to review this puzzle, but he is unable to get on-line at the moment, so I’ve taken it on at short notice – hence the late posting, for which I apologise.

This one is certainly easier than yesterday’s, but it still has one new word and one new meaning for me. The answers as usual are hidden inside the curly brackets – just highlight the white space inside to reveal all.

All comments are welcome.

Continue reading “DT 26054”

Toughie 229

Toughie No 229 by Messinae

An Abomination of Clergy

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

After yesterday’s divertissement we’re back on track today with a good solid Toughie, which seems to have a theme relating to religion, retribution, the occult and horror. It has some good surface readings with a few smiles along the way.

Please let us know your opinion via a comment.

Continue reading “Toughie 229”

DT 26053

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26053

Oh No It’s Not! Oh Yes It Is!! Er….Oh No It’s Not!!!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A lovely puzzle with some really good clues, especially the clever ones at 9 across, 26 across and . However, some of your bloggers have been involved in heated debate today over one clue in particular. 6 across refers to the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. At first I solved it and thought it was a nice clue but then I started to wonder if Abel was the Third Man. Checks with that eminent theologian, The slightly Reverend Big Dave revealed that Abel was indeed the Third Man, after Adam and Cain. I had forgotten about Eve’s sex, but let’s not go there. Fine thought I, nice clue, and move on. Wrong! Of course Cain murdered Abel; everyone worked that out without calling in Miss Marple. So therefore Abel was the victim! By now the other bloggers had joined in and I suspect it’s a misprint and should have read “This victim was The Third Man”.

Enough of matters theological. On with the blog. Don’t forget to have your say and to mark the puzzle with the star rating system. New posters should be aware that we keep the answers hidden between the curly brackets and that they need to be highlighted with your mouse to reveal them. First-time posters on the blog should also know that their posts sometimes take a little while to appear as they have to be moderated to check we are not being attaced by spammers.

Continue reading “DT 26053”

Toughie 228

Toughie No 228 by Campbell

No Comment

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment **

I am not sure what to say about this Toughie, so I won’t. But if you want to claim that you have done a Toughie, then this is the one to go for…

As usual please leave a comment if you want to share a thought or two with us.

Continue reading “Toughie 228”

DT 26052

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26052

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

I thought that this one was a bit of a curate’s egg – a few nice clues mixed in with some pretty tired ones. You may, of course, disagree – we like to hear all opinions, so please let us know what you think, but if you’re going to say that it was wonderful or it was horrible please do try to give reasons or examples, so that we can get a debate going.

As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets, so that you don’t see them accidentally. If you do want to see the answer, just highlight the white space between the brackets.

Continue reading “DT 26052”

DT 26051

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26051

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

A typical offering from our Monday Maestro. You can get a bit lost in the isolated corners and I wasn’t too happy about “in Pakistan” as the definition of a river. There were, however, a few smiles along the way.

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.

Continue reading “DT 26051”