Comment – Jan 2014 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Comment – Jan 2014


Archived Comments – Jan 2014

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Updated 1st February 2014


86 comments on “Comment – Jan 2014

  1. Does anyone know how much the subscription is for the puzzle site? I’ve just had an e-mail advising that £35.88 has been deducted from my account but it doesn’t say whether it’s for the puzzle site or for access to the digital DT itself which I subscribe to also.

    1. I believe that is the correct puzzle subscription. Seems odd that they can keep that part of the system working and not the rest – apparently they are yet again in “the final stages of testing”.

      1. Thanks Dave. I presume it must be a separate system possibly maintained by the bank. If it is for the puzzle subscription then I think they’ve got a bloody cheek! Imagine continuing to charge a customer for a service which has been at best a makeshift job for 6 weeks – you’d never get away with it.

    2. I was under the impression that the crossword subscription was discounted for continuous renewals.

      They have been refunding me at £2.50 per month, which adds up to £30 for an annual sub.

      The service is getting worse by the way – today’s link brings up 2nd December’s puzzles!

      As the yoof would say “Epic fail”.

      1. Welcome to the blog Martyn

        What annoys me most is that you only get a refund if you apply. This is incompetence on a massive scale.

        By the way, you’ve got mail.

        1. Many thanks for the mail Dave.

          While it’s annoying to have to apply for a refund, I got the second month’s refund without prompting, which was nice.

          Not sure everyone on here is aware that refunds are available.

  2. 10:10 & the link has not been updated for today’s puzzle. Pathetic goes nowhere near describing the ineptitude of the site’s maintenance team.

      1. Hi Dave,
        Any chance of one for me too. I’m about to go out for the day and was hoping to have a copy in my pocket for those times when I’m waiting for my wife (most of my life).
        I have been refreshing the page on the site every ten minutes of so from about 9:30 this morning.

      2. Hi Dave…
        Ditto if no problems, absolutely miserable up here at the mo, still no update on site, and wife wondering what I’m up to, ink in biro is drying up.

  3. Thought I’d give them until 1200GMT but it’s not there yet so I guess it probably won’t turn up at all.

    Pretty please Dave, Virgilius is my favourite!

  4. Any chance of a copy of today’s crossword please?. I’m getting severe withdrawal symptoms! My yearly subscription is due and I’m beginning to wonder what I’m actually paying for.

    Thanks BD.

      1. You have saved the day! Thank you so much, very much appreciated. I’ll be back later for some hints!

    1. Just bought the paper … look inside the “First World War” section.

      On which subject … maybe we complain too much just because “telegraph.puzzles” fails to deliver.

      1. Just bought the paper … and then what happens? Cryptic Crossword No. 2725 finally appears!

        Are they taking the ****?

  5. If I could have a copy as well, please, I’d be very grateful.
    Thank you very much indeed.

  6. BD – Do you by any chance have a pdf of yesterday’s Virgilius please? I still have no internet access at home, and did not venture outdoors yesterday to find a copy of the puzzle.

  7. Big Dave, please may I also beg a pdf of Sunday’s Virgillius’ puzzle if poss? Have been away. Much appreciation.

      1. I do????? Must be really dim today, homophone indicator obviously …?? Oh yes… duh!! thank you Prolixic :-D

  8. “Our technical department are working hard to restore full service.” – Obviously not hard enough. Also it should be “our technical department is”. Tut, tut!

    1. BD – in this situation I would consider the use of the word “update the progress report” an unfortunate choice of phrase.

  9. Is it me, or is time going backwards? The current ‘temporary’ link to the crossword is now giving us Monday 2nd December’s crossword. Even the ‘apology’ is out of date.

  10. This is extracting the urine! We’ve now got a crossword which, if numbered correctly, is about 5-6 weeks old! What the blazes is going on? It’s total anarchy. Mr McNeil is going to be getting a very terse mail from yours truly. I can’t believe they’ve taken my annual subscription when they aren’t providing what I paid for! As you can tell I am in a state of apoplexy.

      1. That’s witchcraft. How did you do that? The access link on the DT site is still showing a pre Christmas puzzle!

          1. If they asked then I bet it would take you and the other IT minded bloggers about 10 minutes to sort this out. What a bunch of clowns! As my Dad would say – “they couldn’t tip sh#t off a cliff without reading the instructions”!

  11. BD – the side bar showing the recent comments seems to have gone AWOL. Or is it just me?

    1. The plugin which controls the widgets was updated – I’ll see if I can restore the previous version. Meanwhile I’ve set it to appear on every page.

  12. what a way to run a whelk stall! I suppose the news side of the business is also enjoying a rerun of Decembers news? Clearly there is more rocket science about ‘puters than we all realised in the days when we worked on and with then all day…. However, its not all bad. The sun has finally come out in Yateley and there is a good chance of a walk later.

  13. Still can’t access the DT puzzle site. Sent 2 mails showing that I paid my subscription on 3 jan, 2 telephone calls – on hold for 2 mins each, no answer. Thanks to BD & his generosity I have access to the PDFS. Anybody else experiencing these problems or is it just me they’re persecuting for being a gobby Northerner?

  14. Kill the budgie & give the cat a treat! I can now access the site (thanks to BD’s intercedence) – we’re having a street party and all are welcome!

  15. Just solved 2 clues from another publication which i thought (IMHO) worthy of sharing:

    ~ he represents one and I another (7) – first letter E
    ~ it will be 8 if you don’t get a shift on (8) – first letter A

    1. The first one rates as an old chestnut – I think Virgilius is among those who have used it. The second is very clever and I haven’t seen before.

    2. The second is brilliant. The first is too clever for me – will carry on ‘perservating’ – don’t disappear, please!

          1. Can’t get either of them – going quietly mad. Give us another letter or so for each – please – I’m rather ashamed of myself!

            1. In the first clue ‘He’ and ‘I’ are symbols.
              For the second one look at your keyboard – I thought that was brilliant.

              1. Oh thank you so much……………………Never in a thousand years would I have got the second one!

        1. Got in now. I kept wanting to make it ‘pronoun’ but even I know that that doesn’t start with an E!

    1. `I can see that he’s working on them. Perhaps he decided to enjoy some of the lovely sunshine after his subscription nightmare. All good things come to those who wait.

  16. Hi Dave,

    I have just found and watched a recording of a tv programme I must have made a few years ago called “How to solve cryptic crosswords”. I found it really enjoyable and am going to copy it for a few friends and relatives who are trying to get into cryptics. The programme is based around a puzzle that Don Manley set specially for it and I thought it would be a good idea to give my friends a copy of the puzzle with a copy of the programme. Sadly though I can’t find a copy of the puzzle anywhere and, given your encyclopaedic knowledge, I wondered if you knew where I could get hold of one?

    Many thanks,


  17. BD re:usual suspects. a cracking idea & way beyond the call of duty. thanks for making such an effort on top of managing the site & the odd wayward blogger & solver.

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