Category Archives: Notabilis

aka Kea of the Listener and Nestor of the Independent

Toughie 1165

Toughie No 1165 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley. Managed to tackle today’s blog in between daily trips back to my second home at Calderdale Infirmary. I was very pleased to tackle one of my favourite setters and Notabilis did not disappoint today with an enjoyable puzzle that just nicely stretched my mental muscles.

Toughie 1149

Toughie No 1149 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

When you see that Notabilis has set a Toughie, you know you are in for a treat. Enjoy!

Toughie 1133

Toughie No 1133 by Notabilis

Whatever happened to Mellors?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Many thanks to Tilsit, who morphed into Fred, and his “partner” Ginger for stepping in (or was that stepping out) for me on Tuesday. In return I get to review this wonderful puzzle from Notabilis.

Toughie 1121

Toughie No 1121 by Notabilis

The Devil Rides Out

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Most of the answers in this puzzle had to be teased out, one at a time. And what an enjoyable process it was.

Toughie 1102

Toughie No 1102 (1109) by Notabilis

Words like piss-up, brewery and organise come to mind!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This puzzle appeared in today’s newspaper as Toughie 1109 – it was originally scheduled for Friday 27th December. The Kcit puzzle Numbered 1102, which was published on the website, has been withdrawn and replaced by this puzzle by Notabilis. The Kcit puzzle will be reviewed when it is published in the newspaper at a later date. Confused? Join the queue.

Getting a Notabilis puzzle on a Tuesday is a Brucie Bonus for me. Some of the wordplay took a bit of headscratching, especially 28 across, but that didn’t take away from the sheer enjoyment.

Toughie 1097

Toughie No 1096 by Notabilis

Certainly not a load of 10 across

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

With the exception of the obscure (to me) Korean port in 1 across this was a very enjoyable puzzle.

Toughie 1085

Toughie No 1085 by Notabilis

Another Masterclass

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. We’re teaching three blokes called Len, Craig and Bruno and woman called Darcey how to dance before some TV show at the weekend. Craig whinges a lot, Bruno flirts a lot and Len has a leery look in his eye. Darcey is charming but pirouettes a lot. This might be a challenge.

Speaking of challenges, we wind up the Toughie week with another elegant challenge from Notabilis, one of Crosswordland’s top setters. The puzzle is full of elegant and tough but totally fair clues, the perfect Toughie and certainly my favourite of the week.

Toughie 1069

Toughie No 1069 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from the Calder Valley! It’s Friday and as usual, the difficulty is ramped up with today’s puzzle. Notabilis is back with a nice puzzle to warm up those taking part in the Times Crossword Championships tomorrow. This seemed quite tricky, especially as the big phrases were not ones that your normally see in a puzzle (how many times have you seen Weston Super Mare or Advertisements?). As usual, lots of elegant clues and clever definitions from our setter, demonstrating why he is one of the finest around.

Toughie 1055

Toughie No 1055 by Notabilis

Is It Friday Already?

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We’ve had Notabilis on Wednesdays before but those puzzles have usually been somewhat easier than his Friday offerings. This one, I thought, was more like the Friday ones. Let us know how you got on. His puzzles very often have a Nina but I can’t spot anything today.

Toughie 1041

Toughie No 1041 by Notabilis

Hints and tips by Fred and Ginger

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from the Liberace home for Aged Has-Beens. Our Friday tormentor is Notabilis who once again demonstrates the sheer elegance and quality of his clue writing in this splendid challenge. Probably not one of his more difficult ones, but enough in there to stretch your mental muscles. Had a few problems in parsing a couple of clues and I’m not entirely convinced I’ve missed something obvious in 9d.

Our stand-out favourite clue was 26, which made me smile. Fred was so tempted to have MILIBAND as the answer to 20 across but realised otherwise and found a better solution!