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 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

Toughie 1719

Toughie 1719 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Since Osmosis appeared Wednesday, I was expecting my nemesis to appear today and was prepared for a long battle – but I managed to get a foothold rapidly, working steadily down the right hand side first and finished in what was 3* time for me.… Read More

Toughie 1691

Toughie No 1691 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

I really enjoyed this, whereas I sometimes struggle with proXimal – maybe it helped not knowing who the setter was when I did the puzzle. I got half a dozen clues fairly quickly then slowly and steadily progressed through the rest with plenty of nice penny-drop moments.… Read More

Toughie 1673

Toughie No 1673 by proXimal

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

The promised heatwave (or at least some very pleasant sunshine) has arrived in North Devon a day late after yesterday’s rain and thunder, but better late than never.… Read More