Sparks – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 2485

Toughie No 2485 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

The long answers and anagrams gave a nice way into this puzzle, which is full of Sparks’s usual wit and clever devices. Sparks often has a Nina – although I can see a number of words in the central row, i’m not making much sense of them yet

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. … Continue reading

Toughie 2445

Toughie No 2445 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Some great quirky clueing today. Sparks often has a Nina, but I haven’t seen anything yet, perhaps someone will help me.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.… Continue reading

Toughie 2401

Toughie No 2401 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Some new words for me and some cute perimeter phrases. A fun solve.

The definitions are underlined. The hints attempt to explain the wordplay, and you can reveal the answers by clicking on the click here buttons.… Continue reading

Toughie 2361

Toughie No 2361 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Happy New Year! I’ve only just returned from a lovely week in Phuket with my 15-year old daughter, and the jet lag is conducive to midnight blogging. A nice quirky puzzle from Sparks with some great oblique definitions.… Continue reading

Toughie 2338

Toughie No 2338 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Ah, Sparks having fun again. A very enjoyable puzzle. There is a theme indicated by a Nina. How many did you count? I’m not super-keen on the reverse Polish notation (1d, 3d, 6d, 14d), but plenty to make up for that, and the theme always raises a smile.… Continue reading

Toughie 2310

Toughie No 2310 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A punchy puzzle by Sparks with some great wordplay and some new vocab for me. I remember my thermodynamics, but it would seem I need to brush up on methods of controlling locks, as well as molluscs, woods and Swedes.… Continue reading

Toughie 2274

Toughie No 2274 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Great fun from Sparks. I managed to find a little Nina. Even not knowing the dance, the expression of derision, and the botanical term for losing one’s bits (my last one in), all were clearly clued and I completed within ** time.… Continue reading

Toughie 2246

Toughie No 2246 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Sparks caught me out on a few bits of general knowledge today. It took me 3* time to fill the grid, but a little longer to parse 3d, 12a & 13a, hence the extra star.… Continue reading

Toughie 2218

Toughie No 2218 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Congratulations Sparks! (see Nina). Time to open a couple of Spanish wines. It took a short while to get into this puzzle but it soon flowed smoothly.

Definitions are underlined as usual.… Continue reading