Cephas – Page 3 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 295

Toughie No 295 by Cephas

Could this have been a Saturday puzzle?

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Definitely one of the better puzzles from Cephas. I, for one, would like to see this level of puzzle being used for the Saturday Prize crossword.

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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Toughie 273

Toughie No 273 by Cephas

The Back of Beyond

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Today’s compiler is the usual setter of the Saturday Prize Crossword and this puzzle is a pangram (i.e. it contains all the letters of the alphabet), which is becoming his trademark. Apart from a couple of dodgy anagram indicators (at 22a and 28a) there is a horrible clue at 5d which expects you to find a very obscure village with the only help being that it is in Cambridgeshire!

As always your comments are very welcome.

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Toughie 253

Toughie No 253 by Cephas

It’s All Greek to Me

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I thought that this puzzle was a bit of a mixed bag – some really enjoyable clues but a few cryptic definitions which are just not very cryptic. We also have a few cricket references which are guaranteed to annoy some solvers. How did you find it? – let us know via a comment.

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Toughie 201

Toughie No 201 by Cephas
Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment *

Maybe it is something to do with seeing that black cat chasing a magpie while I was walking under a ladder yesterday. For whatever reason I seem to have been unlucky with the Toughie  today. We have a number of cryptic definitions, which, not to beat about the bush, are pretty woeful, and we have several clues where the word order has been manipulated to try to improve the surface reading.
Am I being unfair? Perhaps you loved it – please leave us a comment! And please record a vote for how much you enjoyed it by clicking on one of the stars at the bottom.

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Toughie 180

Toughie No 180 by Cephas

Having waited ages to logon to CluedUp, this is what I got

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment *

Being in a generous mood today, I have awarded this puzzle one star for enjoyment.

Like a number of you, I have been experiencing an unacceptable level of service (or lack of it) from the CluedUp website.   As I mentioned on Sunday, the Telegraph Puzzles Editor told me “Regarding the “difficulties” you mention, it does come as a surprise. As far as I am aware the Telegraph has not received any complaints about CluedUp of late!”.  If you are having similar problems then contact the Telegraph at telegraphenquiries@telegraph.co.uk or call them on 0800 316 6977.  Should you not do so then the management there will sit in their ivory towers and continue to think that there is nothing wrong with the site.

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Toughie 157

Toughie No 157 by Cephas

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

There are two French phrases in this one, which may re-open the debate about how legitimate this is – feel free to contribute your views via a comment. There are also several obscure (to me anyway) words included, but you would not want a Toughie to be too easy would you? On the plus side it contains several very entertaining clues and I enjoyed it.

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Toughie No 135

Toughie No 135 by Cephas

A puzzle that irritated more than it pleased

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

It’s been a while since we had a puzzle from Cephas.  I found this one to have a few very good clues, but that was outweighed by the not-so-good.  Particular niggles include places being clued on words like capital and wordplay which uses unimaginative constructs like inability is the opposite of ability and campaign is campaigner without the “er”. Continue reading “Toughie No 135”

Toughie No 126

Toughie No 126 by Cephas

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Maybe it’s a hangover from the hospital, maybe I am just a grumpy old devil, but today’s Toughie struck me as being not terribly tough and was no harder than a weekend puzzle.

I found this to have a whiff of the curate’s egg about the puzzle. Very good in parts with one or two bits that left something to be desired.   1 and 8 across and 9 down were clever.  I didn’t like 13 across as it contained a device called “an indirect anagram” (see below), which is frowned upon by most setters.

I wasn’t keen on 21 across and 7 down I have seen several times clued as just “Cha?”, at least this had a definition to accompany it. I like clues to have a nice surface reading wherever possible and this didn’t seem right.

The other thing I wasn’t over-keen on was the grid itself. I felt there were far too many black squares.

Right! Grumble over and let’s look at the clues.If you like to do this to music, may I suggest some soothing Anton Karas zither tunes…….

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Toughie No 97

Toughie No 97 by Cephas

Firm but fair

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

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are becoming a bit of a struggle with two crosswords to be blogged – I already have help on Thursday, Friday and the Saturday Review.  If you would like to help, then get in touch through Contact.  Today I have changed the format a little so that the components of the answer, and the answer itself, are in capitals.

The puzzle itself was firm but fair, apart from some of the silly three letter clues.  Peter Biddlecombe (whose Review of  last Saturday’s puzzle will be published at noon tomorrow) won’t like the grid on this one – four totally separate corners joined only in the centre.  Don’t be surprised if you get some of the answers and then struggle to find the wordplay, but then that’s why this blog is here!

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