Firefly – Page 16 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 263

Toughie No 263 by Firefly

Suddenly I See

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

A mixed bag of clues in a moderately difficult puzzle. I’d expected the NW/SE corners to be sticking points but they fell pretty quickly – in the fact the same was true for the other pair; it was just a small handful of answers (with all checkers in place) that caused some head-scratching.

In terms of entertainment… well, it was sort of OK really; not exactly bursting with wordplay fireworks but little to complain about either, although there are a few little errors of syntax. There were five theme answers to spot (all examples of 9d).

My favourite clues are shown in blue text.

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 246

Toughie No 246 by Firefly

Over-egging the Pudding

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Greetings from the drizzle-sodden Calder Valley. After yesterday’s thought-provoking Daily puzzle, it’s time to return to Toughie pastures. I would like to start by offering an apology of sorts for my posting late last evening. I was probably quite tired and emotional (not in the Private Eye sense of the phrase, as I don’t drink!), but have had a couple of difficult days health-wise which conspired to leave me feeling somewhat drained and a bit upset at what I saw as unnecessarily nasty comments about what was a decent if somewhat tougher puzzle..

Back to today’s challenge. One of my favourite programmes is on BBC2 tonight. The Restaurant with the lovely Raymond Blanc. Last week’s opening episode brought one of those TV moments where you watch almost with your hands over your eyes, as one aspiring restaurateur held a Sabatier knife by the blade and tried to hit it with a rolling pin to crack open a coconut. Today’s Toughie wasn’t as bad as that, but I feld that one or two clues were over-egged and a bit forced in terms of content. It seemed that the setter found an idea to run with, but instead of perhaps thinking enough is enough (or un oeuf is un oeuf in one case!), perseverance didn’t pay off and the clue suffered for it. Otherwise it was a reasonable challenge and quite enjoyable. It will give me an opportunity to play some favourite comedy and music and I think it’s time to have a look at it.

As usual, post your comments after the blog and you can rate the puzzle by means of the star system.
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Toughie 231

Toughie No 231 by Firefly

Is this one tough enough for you?

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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.

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Toughie 215

Toughie No 215 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

I struggled more than I usually do with a Firefly puzzle despite getting the 4d/16a/18a combination, that is the key to several other clues, very early on.  Very enjoyable stuff, with only a few “easy” clues.

Feel free to add your comments.

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Toughie 198

Toughie No 198 by Firefly

Like a Dental Appointment

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

Apologies for my late arrival, my hospital appointment over-ran and a traffic delay also threw a spanner in the works.

Quite a tough struggle today and a real sense of achievement when the last letter went into the grid.  Firefly in all his print guises, produces some really ferocious challenges and today’s was no exception.  However I should say that some of the clues today left a bit to be desired and I have covered those in the blog.

I suspect that 29ac will provide many of the talking points today.  Have your say at the end of the blog.  New posters should note that their first posts may take a little time to appear, this is because first posts are checked to stop spammers from hijacking things.  Don’t forget the star ratings at the end of the review as well.  Click on your rating to tell everyone what you thought of it.

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Toughie 183

Toughie No 183 by Firefly

Another fine puzzle

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

To be honest, this was light relief after yesterday’s marathon.  You need to get 5 down early on otherwise a large section of the puzzle will be made more difficult than necessary.

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Toughie 174

Toughie No 174 by Firefly

Teacher…. Mother…….Secret Lover

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

As the warm-up man for Big Dave and his battle with Excalibur tomorrow, I am usually full of praise for the Thursday setters.  I am also a big fan of Firefly in his other setting alias, but for some reason, this is just not my cup of coffee (I can’t stand tea!!).  I was quite looking forward to it, but just found that some of the clues lacked the invention and  difficulty that we normally get from him.

For some reason I am reminded of the end of an epsiode of The Simpsons, where they do a send-up of Stephen King’s The Shining.  I had a tough night last night with the heat and lack of air, despite having all the windows open and running the risk of bats flying in. However, I was looking forward to logging in and having a good battle today, but like Homer I was disappointed and the urge to kill rises…..(actually the urge to go and have a snooze rises!)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

Anyway, enough whimsy, let’s go.  My basic feeling that this was probably no tougher than a normal daily puzzle.  I was quite convinced for some time that there was a mistake in the grid, but then my recent stays as a guest of the NHS came to the rescue.  Should Toughie puzzles have four letter anagrams? Continue reading “Toughie 174”

Toughie 153

Toughie No 153 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

This is a very enjoyable Toughie with some excellent and amusing clues. Some of the wordplay is tricky and it’s a good idea to claw your way into it by picking off an easy clue (like 24d) or an obvious anagram (like 27a) first, in order to get as many checking letters as possible before you start on the harder clues.

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Toughie No 138

Toughie No 138 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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

Much irritation to start the day, on-line solving access to the Toughie is not available at midnight .  As I have no printer access, I have to draw up my own grid and solve from the clues on screen.

There was much to be admired in today’s puzzle, but there were one or two quite major queries for me.  I really didn’t like 1 across and I am really unsure of the definition of 12 across.  I have also given up on 21 across after it nearly reacted with my sleeping medication to give me hallucinations.

I’d like to nominate 26 across as this puzzle’s entry into Clue of the Week.  Certainly made me smile.

Thanks to Firefly for an enjoyable and thought-provoking challenge.

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Toughie No 116

Toughie No 116 by Firefly

Another very enjoyable Toughie

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

I had a strong start, getting both 1a and 1d immediately, and I thought I was on a roll.  I got a bit lost in the middle and then it all fell into place towards the end.

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