Sparks – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

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

Toughie 2186

Toughie No 2186 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A fun solve from Sparks with plenty of inventive cluing and clever definitions. Sparks often has a Nina and I did notice something interesting, something Sparky has – I’m wondering if there is more, and whether one of the answers is relevant.… Continue reading

Toughie 2135

Toughie No 2135 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A beautiful sunny day in Macclesfield. The puppies have shredded some paperwork; optimistically, I shrug it off as unimportant. Not sure why my wife bought a shredder. Sparks gives us a lovely pangram today, which helped me with 5d.… Continue reading

Toughie 2095

Toughie No 2095 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

A wonderful puzzle by Sparks full of surprises and fun. A few new words for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. There’s a little theme with a related Nina.… Continue reading

Toughie 2051

Toughie No 2051 by Sparks

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

 

Sparks gives us some innovative clueing as always. I managed this without too many problems though I had to look up 17a and 18d, and it took me a while to parse 4a and 24a.… Continue reading