Category Archives: proXimal

ProXimal is Steve Bartlett, who sets crosswords for The Independent as eXternal (which he first used in our NTSPP series), and for the Financial Times as arteXlen.

Toughie 100009

Toughie No 100009 by proXimal

Bah Humbug!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment *

I feel like Scrooge today.  I usually look forward to the Christmas, online only, Toughie but I found this to be a lack-lustre slog, unlike the Double Toughie which I have completed but am still trying to resolve some of the wordplay (is it me, or is the anagram in 4 Across flawed – I am missing an “O” and have a spare “I”?Read More

Toughie 1931

Toughie No 1931 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

I worry when I start a proXimal puzzle that I won’t be able to complete it, but there was no reason for that really today – I managed with time to spare before the school run.… Read More

Toughie 1899

Toughie No 1899 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A few anagrams help you get into this puzzle, which seemed challenging at first but as usual in most of it seemed clear in retrospect. Writing the review was another opportunity to savour the clues – there are some lovely twists in the definitions.… Read More

Toughie 1863

Toughie No 1863 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Dutch is on his hols for a month so you’re going to be getting some guest bloggers in this spot starting with yours truly.

I thought that this was less tricky than what we usually get from a Friday proXimal but I was held up more than I should have been in the NW quadrant which accounts for the extra half-star I’ve given it for difficulty.… Read More

Toughie 1851

Toughie No 1851 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Thankfully a not-over-the-top-difficult puzzle from proXimal. My top half seemed to go in fairly smoothly, then I slowed down considerably as I sank towards the bottom. I still managed to finish in just over what is 3* time for me, with several smiles along the way.… Read More

Toughie 1831

 

Toughie No 1831 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

 

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

I did feel a little panic when I saw the setter’s name but happily I managed to do this before the school run this morning, within 3* difficulty time.… Read More

Toughie 1814

Toughie No 1814 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Bufo

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

Another Thursday and another hard morning at the Toughie gridface trying to chisel out the answers to today’s clues. And they sure needed a lot of chiselling out.… Read More

Toughie 1799

Toughie No 1799 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

I was quite relieved that proXimal was not at his most fiendish today – the result is an enjoyable puzzle with lots of clever and entertaining clues. I enjoyed the attention to reversal indicators that are specific for down clues.… Read More

Toughie 1775

Toughie No 1775 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

I sometimes struggle with proXimal and started this with some trepidation, but it turned out to be a rather pleasant puzzle in which I made steady progress (except for one clue, see below).… Read More

Toughie 1747

Toughie No 1747 by proXimal

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

Two weeks ago when Dutch emailed me to ask if I’d like to stand in for him this Friday while he was off on his travels, we discussed who we thought the setter might be today.  … Read More