Category Archives: Sparks

Sparks is the name used by Mark Kelmanson for Toughies. He is known elsewhere as Monk (M on K, his initials)

Toughie 1855

Toughie No 1855 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

I enjoyed this, though I didn’t know who the setter was at the time of solving (thanks CS for filling me in). In retrospect, I might have guessed.… Read More

Toughie 1811

Toughie No 1811 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A lovely puzzle which I managed within 3* difficulty time, though I found it hard in parts (it took me a while to twig onto 7d, which meant I was left in the dark for a bit with 16d as well, and there were a few words I didn’t know).… Read More

Toughie 1791

Toughie No 1791 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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

Greetings from Warrington! We finish the Toughie week with a very enjoyable challenge from Sparks, one that causes a bit of head scratching but leaves you satisfied when the last letter goes in.… Read More

Toughie 1751

Toughie No 1751 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

It feels like a Sparks puzzle has been overdue, but this was worth the wait. Plenty of fun clues to keep you amused before you get ready to come to Big Dave’s party in London.… Read More

Toughie 1715

Toughie No 1715 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A challenging offer from Sparks with some fun clueing. Sparks invariably has a Nina and I’m struggling to find one. The best I’ve got so far is a crossover in rows 3 and 5, perhaps there is more.… Read More

Toughie 1667

Toughie No 1667 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Greetings everyone, I have just returned from three glorious weeks in Rhodes filled with sun, beer, ouzo and garlic. I didn’t want to come home. However, this puzzle helped to lift my post-holiday blues (certainly more than the cloudy and chilly Macclesfield weather).… Read More

Toughie 1647

Toughie No 1647 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

I was delighted to see a Sparks puzzle this Friday. This took me well into 3* time with a few clues that stretched my lateral thinking (and added to the enjoyment).… Read More

Toughie 1631

Toughie No 1631 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Sparks is systematically working his way through the Telegraph grids. When I saw today’s grid, I thought thank goodness, no more double unches. It’s nice that Sparks thought so too.… Read More

Toughie 1611

Toughie 1611 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Kitty

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

 

Welcome all.  Sporks has today provided us with a very stiff challenge in a puzzle with some fun definitions, spiky wordplay and a cosy little nina (See below).… Read More

Toughie 1591

Toughie No 1591 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

Sparks told us he’s going through the standard grids systematically and this is his 4th toughie in a row with double-unches (two consecutive unchecked squares). Sparks has use these for a nina before, and looking for one during the solve has made this puzzle all the more enjoyable.… Read More