EV Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

EV 1558 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1558 (Hints)

Name That Tune by X-Type

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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This is X-Type’s sixth EV crossword. His generous cluing style and use of familiar language will give a speedy solve to old hands and be a pleasure to solve for newcomers to the advanced thematic cryptics.… Continue reading

EV 1556 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1556 (Hints)

Limitations by Jaques

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Jaques is familiar to EV solvers and to Magpie, Inquisitor and Listener solvers too. We know that his clues can be difficult and expect a challenge but we can also expect an amusing endgame.… Continue reading

EV 1555 Hints

Enigmatic Variations 1555 (Hints)

The Rules of the Game by Ifor

Hints and tips by Phibs

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Ifor has a reputation for producing top-quality puzzles which are neither simple nor mind-bendingly hard and are extremely rewarding to solve. No pressure then, Ifor…

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EV 1554 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1554 (Hints)

Absolutely Nothing by Kruger

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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There is no need to introduce Kruger who has been setting EV crosswords for over 25 years. We always find his crosswords challenging and this one was no exception.

Preamble:  Wordplay in each of fifteen clues yields an extra letter that is not entered in the grid.Continue reading

EV 1553 Hints

Enigmatic Variations 1553 (Hints)

Exclamations by Maranga

Hints and tips by Phibs

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I wasn’t familiar with this setter, but a check of Dave Hennings’ Crossword Database (xwdb.info) revealed three previous EVs by Maranga, the most recent in 2019. Incidentally, this database is an invaluable resource for setters because it enables you not only to find out whether a particular theme has been used before in any of the major themed puzzles (including EV, IQ, Listener and the Magpie magazine) but also how it was treated by the setter.

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EV 1552 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1552 (Hints)

Instruction by Piccadilly

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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For the Numpties’ return to hint-writing (we’ll be alternating with Phibs from now on) it is a pleasure to begin with a crossword by Piccadilly who, as we said when writing hints for his last EV where he gave the postal address for Telegraph crosswords, has been setting crosswords for 33 years and EVs since 1995 – this one is his 51st Enigmatic Variations crossword.… Continue reading

EV 1551 Hints

Enigmatic Variations 1551 (Hints)

Opinion by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Phibs

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I’m delighted to have been given the chance to blog some more EVs, starting with this offering from my fellow hintster and tipster. A prolific setter, Chalicea has a reputation for producing highly accessible puzzles; her definitions, whether of answers or wordplay elements, are usually very precise, often closely matching those found in Chambers.

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EV 1550 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1550 (Hints)

Elementary Solutions by A FEW

Hints and tips by Phibs

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The culmination of a month of puzzles that put the ‘eco’ into recondite decoding features a preamble and four preamblets, and is surely the work of a consortium.
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EV 1549 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1549 (Hints)

Elementary IV: A Dramatic Instruction by Kcit

Hints and tips by Phibs

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Today we have the fourth in the Elementary series, the overall motif for which should now be clear to those who have tackled puzzles I-III.
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