Serpent – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

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

Toughie 2347

Toughie No 2347 by Serpent

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

BD has something nice to attend today and his stand-in blogger has a family emergency, so I’m the stand in’s stand in again. How lovely to get an actual proper (and very enjoyable) Toughie on a Tuesday, not least because it gives me a chance to tick off ‘blog a Serpent crossword’ from my cruciverbal wish list.… Continue reading

Toughie 2323

Toughie No 2323 by Serpent

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Today not only does Atrica become our 26th setter to graduate to the national press with a puzzle in The Independent but also Serpent, known here as Skipjack, becomes our third graduate , after eXternal / proXimal and Silvanus, to join the ranks of Toughie setters. Continue reading “Toughie 2323”