EV Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

EV 1631 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1631 (Hints)

Missing by Eclogue

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Eclogue set crosswords for all the thematic crossword outlets. This is their sixteenth in the EV series.

Preamble: Four answers must be modified before entry to reflect an historic event. In 28 other clues there is a letter MISSING in the definition; in clue order, these letters provide a similarly thematic name (two words) and an object (three words).Continue reading

EV 1630 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1630 (Hints)

Mixed Doubles by Ifor

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Ifor needs no introduction for EV solvers. Dave Hennings’ crossword database tells us that he has been setting them since 2010 and this will be his 45th in the series. We know that he will give us a challenge with lots of subtle wordplay and that we can expect one of a range of scientific, cultural and theatrical themes.… Continue reading

EV 1629 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1629 (Hints)

Ceaselessly by Curmudgeon

Hints and tips by Phibs

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The author Anne Rice, most famous for Interview with the Vampire, used the pseudonym Anne Rampling when writing a couple of slightly risqué novels. I believe that my fellow blogger, whose output frequently appears under the name Chalicea, uses the nom de clef Curmudgeon for her somewhat edgier puzzles. Though let’s be clear that we’re not talking here about the cruciverbal underworld inhabited by Private Eye‘s Cyclops, and certainly not the nether regions of decency explored by the appropriately-styled setters of the Craptic Crossword in Viz. Strong stuff this is not, although I’m sure the wordplay in 10a and the definition in 9d would never have sullied the thoughts of the demure Chalicea.

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EV 1628 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1628 (Hints)

Could Be by Jaques

Hints and tips by Phibs

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I asked Bard, “If you COULD BE a crossword setter or a crossword solver, which would you prefer, and why?” His response made me think that as a setter he might struggle with the 400-ish word limit on an EV composition, since it could hardly be described as terse even after a few sentences have been edited out.

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EV 1627 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1627 (Hints)

The Missing Link by Gaston

Hints and tips by Phibs

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I cannot see the phrase ‘missing link’ without thinking of an episode in Jennings’ Diary, one of the series of wonderful school stories by Anthony Buckeridge. For Jennings, it represents the prized cuff link lost by Mr Wilkins which prompts him to note ‘Mr Wilkins – missing link’ in his diary. For the somewhat irascible Mr Wilkins, who chances to read this entry, it unfortunately conjures up ‘a picture of a sub-human anthropoid monster, swinging among the tree-tops in some dark prehistoric era.’ I wonder whether this puzzle will involve any flapping cuffs or simian species from the Great Chain of Being.

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EV 1626 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1626 (Hints)

Cops by Piccadilly

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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It is a pleasure to download a crossword by Piccadilly who has been setting them for 35 years and EVs since 1995. Of course he sets for the Listener and Magpie too. We can be sure that his clues will be fair and generous.… Continue reading

EV 1625 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1625 (Hints)

Rogue by Karla

Hints and tips by Phibs

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I write these notes under the watchful eye of a chameleon (not a real one, I hasten to add) who stands on top of my printer and whose name is Karla. The setter who shares that moniker is a new one to me – I think it unlikely that their choice of pseudonym is connected in any way to Culture Club or my low-maintenance pet, but it might perhaps have something to do with John le Carré’s rarely seen but often mentioned Soviet Intelligence Officer, the main reason why George Smiley dismally failed to live up to his emoji. Another namesake is the ex-ballerina in Jacqueline Susann’s Once Is Not Enough, played in the film by Melina Mercouri and described as ‘reclusive, mysterious and beautiful’, adjectives which apply to most, if not all, crossword setters. Along, of course, with ‘modest’ and ‘delusional’…

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EV 1624 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1624 (Hints)

Shadows by Skylark

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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This is Skylark’s eighth crossword in the EV series. We have seen her work during the IQ and EV ladies’ months and in the Magpie and Listener.

Preamble:   Single extra letters in each of 36 clues spell out words spoken in a work.Continue reading

EV 1623 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1623 (Hints)

Bus Stop by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Phibs

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Introducing Bus Stop by Chalicea: A Cryptic Cruise Through Commuter Chaos

Ah, the humble bus stop. A haven for weary travellers, a canvas for graffiti masterpieces (of dubious artistic merit), and, today, the unlikely setting for a cryptic conundrum courtesy of the redoubtable Chalicea. Buckle up, crossword comrades, because “Bus Stop” promises a journey like no other – a winding route through double deckers and daydreams, timetables and ticket stubs, all sprinkled with Chalicea’s signature brand of witty wordplay and devious cluing.

Forget your preconceptions of pastoral landscapes and leisurely strolls through the countryside. This is urban orienteering, where missed connections mingle with cryptic crosswords, and every discarded gum wrapper might harbour a hidden anagram. So, whether you’re a seasoned commuter with a well-thumbed bus pass or a wide-eyed newbie navigating the concrete jungle for the first time, prepare to have your preconceptions challenged and your vocabulary stretched to its limits.

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EV 1622 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1622 (Hints)

The Hater who had a Hater by proXimal

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Solvers will undoubtedly remember proXimal’s EV 1600 when, as our editor, he celebrated the 1600th Enigmatic Variations puzzle with a stunning crossword. They will remember that he also sets as eXternal in the IQ and Listener series (and combines with another setter as eXtent).… Continue reading