Citrus – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 372

Toughie No 372 by Citrus

This One’s a Lemon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment *

I really didn’t enjoy this one. It’s not up to Toughie standard and many of the clues felt as though they’d been generated by computer (not helped by having no less than eight 4-letter answers). Furthermore there are significant errors in two of the clues (9a and 29a).

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Toughie 341

Toughie No 341 by Citrus

After the Lord Mayor’s Show

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Following on from Micawber’s terrific puzzle yesterday was always going to be difficult, but this almost feels at the other end of the scale. It’s certainly harder that most daily puzzles but the truth is that you could probably dash 85% of this puzzle off fairly quickly with the remainder just words that you’ve probably never heard of. The clues are nicely written and sound, but not to the Toughie standard and far too many anagrams.

Apologies for the late arrival, but a visit from a pest-control person resulted in me being evacuated from my flat when he knocked his chemicals over and the flat had to be aired to prevent me from breathing in the nasty fumes.

For new visitors (and we get a few every day) the answers to the clues are contained within the squiggly brackets and if you highlight the space with your mouse, all will be revealed. Feel free to have your say after the blog, and you can rate the puzzle by clicking the stars as well.

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Toughie 323

Toughie No 323 by Citrus

Return of the Grumpy Old Man

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

What could have been an entertaining puzzle was, for me at least, spoiled by some of the constructs. I was particularly unhappy with wasting a lot of time on 13 across, only to find out that you had to solve one homophone before tackling the next.

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 287

Toughie No 287 by Citrus

Sweet enough!

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This was an excellent puzzle from Citrus (aka Mr Lemon). A lot of his Toughies have been a bit too easy – this one was just right.

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 256

Toughie No 256 by Citrus

A View From the Bridge

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Another Tuesday Toughie that’s worth having a go at. There are several anagrams, and some easy cryptic definitions and other clues to get you going. Then you can take a bit more time with some of the more difficult clues. All in all it should prove to be an enjoyable adventure. Especially if you tried to tackle last Friday’s Toughie equivalent of Everest.

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Toughie 235

Toughie No 235 by Citrus

“You had me cornered”

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Today I have a special treat for you as Anax joins the reviewing panel. He will be known by name to solvers of puzzles in the Independent and by reputation to those in the Times where, as with the regular Telegraph cryptics, the setters are anonymous. The Bloggers page has been updated, so you can read more about Anax there, as well as getting an insight into why he uses the name Anax! I’m sure you can work out for yourselves that anagrind and inserticator are crosswordese for anagram and insertion indicators respectively. BD

The NE and SW corners of this were hard to crack – the former because I was just being a bit dim, the latter because of one obscurity and two bits of wordplay I had difficulty unravelling. Much of the early progress was thanks to going with instinct for the long answer at 4Dn, which gives me an opportunity for a quick solving tip; far from being put off by long answers, they’re often a very good place to start. The simple truth is you either get them immediately or you don’t, and if you do they can provide plenty of starters for cross-checking answers. If you don’t – well, it was worth looking.

I’m unfamiliar with this setter’s style so, inevitably, my solution has a few questioning ticks here and there, but that’s not always an indication of doubt over clue soundness. The Telegraph house style trends away from Ximenean and what might puzzle “purists” may well be perfectly OK here.

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Toughie 200

Toughie No 200 by Citrus

Opportunity didn’t knock!

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I was expecting something special from this Toughie, but what I got was a puzzle in which the difficulty only came from obscure words and a particularly tricky wordplay.

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Toughie 152

Toughie No 152 by Citrus

A not-so-Toughie from Citrus

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

An enjoyable puzzle that could just as easily been a normal daily cryptic.  Some slightly tricky wordplay on a couple of clues pushed it from two star difficulty into three.  This would make a good puzzle to start on if you usually struggle with the Toughies.

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Toughie No 131

Toughie No 131 by Citrus

A sweet puzzle from Citrus!

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

A very enjoyable puzzle that took longer to complete than I thought it should, but then hindsight is always 20/20 vision!

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