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ST 100003

Sunday Telegraph Christmas Day Cryptic No 100,003

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Afternoon All! Suddenly this excellent festive puzzle on Christmas Day by Virgilius seems an awfully long way away as my nose is well and truly back on the grindstone!. All of the across clues can have the word CHRISTMAS either before or after them as described in 16a. I found this an excellent puzzle and was just right for the Christmas morning. Continue reading “ST 100003”

Double Toughie 100003

Double Toughie No 100003 by Elgar

Watch out, Vlad is back!

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BD Rating – Difficulty *****4Enjoyment *****

No fluffy pink slippers today – Elgar has produced this special double-Toughie for Christmas Day. Doubling the size is bad enough, but the addition of the kind of gimmick usually only found in the more advanced barred puzzles has made this four times as difficult.

Please read the instructions given with the puzzle very carefully before starting. Discovering the theme early on, which I did, helps greatly with the puzzle, as does the Nina around the edges of each of the two halves of the puzzle.

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ST 100003 (Hints)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 100003 (Hints)

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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This is an online-only Christmas Day special.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the more difficult clues and provide hints for them.

Continue reading “ST 100003 (Hints)”

DT 100002

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 100002

A Full Review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Afternoon All!. As usual around Christmas time we get puzzles with many festive references and this one is chock full of them. Many of the clues contain the word Christmas and many of the answers are Christmas related. I found it good fun to solve and not too taxing – just what you need on a busy day. Continue reading “DT 100002”

Enigmatic Toughie 100002

Enigmatic Toughie No 100002 by Elgar

A Perimetrical Jigsaw

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

Hope you’ve all had a grand holiday and are ready for some serious solving. This will probably sit amongst the toughest of the Toughies and features Elgar at his most devious.

If you have never solved a puzzle like this before, don’t be put off. These have been featured in the Guardian as Prize Puzzles about four or five times a year set by the venerable Araucaria. They usually have answers that start with each letter of the alphabet.

The first thing to remember is that although you are solving all of the clues without any checking letters, the clues are in alphabetical order of their answers, so the early clues are likely to begin with A, B or C and the end clues, probably start with letters from T to Z.

To solve this one, I would suggest solving the seven and ten letter clues, which should allow you to place the solutions in the grid. Once the grid is complete, a quotation will appear round the perimeter. In case you are really stuck, the quote will be placed at the end and you can highlight it.

Continue reading “Enigmatic Toughie 100002”

Toughie 100002

Toughie No 100002 by Osmosis

Signs of the Times

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

I had a bit of a struggle fitting this one in between the roast turkey and the mince pies! An early solve of 8 across is highly desirable as all of the other across clues include a “symbol of 8”.

Just after I started this review, Gnomethang made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and will be writing the hints for the down clues.

Continue reading “Toughie 100002”

DT 100002 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 100002 (Hints)

Big Dave’s Christmas Crossword Club

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Merry Christmas – I hope some of you get around to tackling this web-only puzzle.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.

Continue reading “DT 100002 (Hints)”

Toughie 100001

Toughie No 100001 by Elgar

Christmas Streamer

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

This is a marvellous piece of crossword construction by a superbly entertaining setter. As we’ve come to expect there is a smattering of rule bending but we wouldn’t have it any other way, and the rewards are spectacularly good. With so many answers contributing to the message it’s inevitable that a couple of obscurities have crept in, but that didn’t spoil the fun for me.

The message itself takes up no less than 12 grid entries – in order, 20d, 12a, 28a, 15d, 10a, 1a, 17d, 5a, 21a, 30a, 16a and 9a – a mighty achievement and you’ll see how these placings pretty much forced everything else into place. The message forms the first lines of a poem by George R Sims.

My favourite clues are shown in blue – how do they compare with yours? Leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

Continue reading “Toughie 100001”

DT 100001

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 100001

Happy Christmas, Everybody

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

On this festive day there are, of course, no newspapers printed, so this puzzle exists only in cyberspace on the Clued Up site. I understand that it should be available even to non-subscribers, but I cannot verify this.

Based on a comment left by Rufus earlier in the week, we can take it that this is another of his, so that for the second day running the Maestro has produced a gentle puzzle with a seasonal theme, designed no doubt with the thought in mind that many solvers may have partaken of a small sherry and may not be in the best shape for deep thought.

I hope that you are all enjoying a peaceful and happy Christmas, and if you do have time to leave us a comment, we’d be delighted to read it.

Continue reading “DT 100001”