Serpent – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 2563

Toughie No 2563 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Serpent always gives us something extra and today he’s excelled by providing a pangram without the single most common letter in English (although its shape does make a few appearances in the grid).… Continue reading

Toughie 2539

Toughie No 2539 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Thanks to Serpent for an enjoyable and not too tricky puzzle. When I blogged Serpent’s last Toughie the setter left a comment telling us that every answer in the grid contained the letter L to match the patterns of the black squares in the grid (which I and all those commenting had totally missed).… Continue reading

Toughie 2519

Toughie No 2519 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

There’s some complicated wordplay here (which I enjoyed winkling out). There are two clues (1a and 14a) where the definition can only be the whole clue but the whole clue doesn’t really match up with the answer.… Continue reading

Toughie 2495

Toughie No 2495 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

This is just the sort of puzzle I like – no gimmicks, no obscurities just clever wordplay and deceptive definitions. Thanks to Serpent for the entertainment.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.… Continue reading

Toughie 2463

Toughie No 2463 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

There’s not a lot to worry the horses today, though I couldn’t see any reason for the capital letters in 22a and 18d.

Do leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.

Continue reading

Toughie 2439

Toughie No 2439 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

It was only when I was checking my full grid for a possible pangram (which seemed a probability with all the high-scoring Scrabble letters present) that I realised that what we actually have here is a lipogram where our most common letter is notable by its absence.… Continue reading

Toughie 2423

Toughie No 2423 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Thanks to Serpent for a fun puzzle where the difficulties come from tricky wordplay rather than obscure vocabulary (just the way I like them). A few of the surface readings do relate to the current health problems.… Continue reading

Toughie 2406

Toughie No 2406 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment *

I’m sorry Serpent, but when there are several clues where your reaction on solving is to suck on your teeth rather than to smile then that usually means that you haven’t enjoyed the puzzle, which was the case for me here. I hope others enjoyed it more than I did. Continue reading “Toughie 2406”

Toughie 2386

Toughie No 2386 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

I am not a fan of obscure words, like the potpourri in 15d, but at least it was clued unambiguously so the alternative spelling, which involved its unchecked final letter, was not an issue. I am even less keen on the use of foreign words in UK puzzles, particularly like the swede in 17d, which lacked any indication of it being American. Continue reading “Toughie 2386”

Toughie 2367

Toughie No 2367 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment **

In some ways I was quite pleased to get a gentle puzzle today as I’m recovering from a severe bout of manflu. However, I suspect that those wanting a ‘proper Toughie’ will have found that this one didn’t really cut the mustard.… Continue reading