Comment – Jan-Dec 2016 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Comment – Jan-Dec 2016


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Updated 1st January 2016


110 comments on “Comment – Jan-Dec 2016

  1. Can you explain the erratic behaviour of the letter hint in the cryptic on line crossword. Sometimes it works before the 45minute time and sometimes it stops. It used to only work after the 45 mins, which is surely the best way as you want to try and complete within the time before resorting to the letter hints. perhaps its my computer causing this, it does very odd things if I leave caps lock on too.

    1. BD – I don’t get my daily e.mail with the hints any more. Should I resubscribe or is there a glitch

  2. Hi BD

    What’s happened to the calendar that used to be in the widgets area? Can we have it back please – it’s far easier to access the archives that way than the new way. Thanks. BillyBusker.

    1. It was among the features that bit the dust while performance problems were being resolved. It’s still available on the Calendar and Google search pages.

      1. I know that, but it’s a lot more difficult now to access the archives. For example to access a Toughie from mid-January you have to click on the crossword calendar, then click the back arrow to access the January calendar – which then disappears, making it necessary to keep clicking the back arrow until you find the page that the Toughie you are looking for is located on. Surely it’s possible that once you’ve accessed the calendar for the month you want, instead of it disappearing, to just click on the date to access the crossword, as in the good old days before before it ‘bit the dust while performance problems were being resolved’.

  3. Is it me or have I missed some other comments? When I access the site the screen image has changed & is more convoluted to navigate but when I go on to a blog for a puzzle then the screen reverts to the ‘old’ images.

    1. During the recent problems a caching app was installed. I think it must be caching a mobile request and serving it up to a PC. I don’t know if there is an option to stop that.


      1. the problem goes away in mozilla firefox but remains in chrome. i won’t try ie n case it all goes pear shaped!

        1. I have the same problem intermittently …. sometimes it works …. but most of the time it doesn’t.

          FYI … I have tried Chrome, IE and Firefox all under windows 8.1.

          Just tried it at the local library who still use Windows 7 and everything was fine …. ?

  4. Hi, Dave. I wonder if you can cast some light on this. Using Chrome, I can no longer see recent blogs on the home page. The last one visible is the NTSPP. However, with IE (which I prefer not to use because it’s been such a pain in the past) I can see all the blog posts. I can get to the blogs by a convoluted route with Chrome, but it’s frustrating!

      1. I am happy your issues are resolved. I am still not seeing the recent blogs, though, so maybe it’s something separate. If it can be fixed given time, that’s great. If not, there are ways around it.

          1. Weird. If I log in via, I can’t see recent puzzles. If I log in via, everything is as it should be.

  5. Cryptic 28038

    I can’t wait to see what you all think of this in the morning.

    Wavelength? I have finished it but it felt like swimming in a turbulent Ocean of unguided waves, mixed up and disjointed and not knowing where they are going. Sorry.

  6. I am an old bloke living in France and a complete novice, and this is my favorite website. I nearly completed this and the weekend prize puzzles and a big thanks to you all.

  7. I’ve just noticed that today is the sixth anniversary of my debut Toughie, so many thanks for your support, encouragement and friendly criticism. Apologies in advance for more groan-inducing homophones and Spoonerisms. JP
    PS. Who’s going to point out that debut is a noun, not an adjective?

    1. Congratulations, John and thanks for all the fun – here’s to the next six years. If you could arrange for your Toughies to appear on Wednesdays (my Toughie blogging day) that would be a bonus!

  8. Why can I not connect to on my iPhone since your site was down at the weekend – but I can on my laptop

    1. There are a number of relatively minor issues at the moment, but I wasn’t aware that I did send you an email with the solutions.

  9. Having trouble saving DT cryptic puzzles – is it my computer/laptop or a site malfunction, very annoying asit takes me a long time to finish a hard one. :unsure:

  10. Do you still have a Big Dave App that will install onto an iPhone & iPad?
    I have it for my iPhone, with a graphic that looks like a coffee grinder, and it works, but can find no reference to it on the App Store or on my computer! I was going to put it on my iPad but now am well & truly mystified (which doesn’t take much!) as to where I got it from.
    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Doc. That’ll just be a shortcut to the web page placed on your home screen – I put one on my tablet too. I don’t have an iPad so can’t give you exact instructions, but I’m sure someone who does can help you now you know what you’re looking for.

    2. Thank you both!
      Kitty – you are exactly right! It was a shortcut to the web page & not an App. I have now installed it on the iPad (very easy) and it is going to be extremely useful. Can’t remember when I did it on the iPhone so I better keep on ‘exercising’ this brain of mine with some more crosswords!

  11. Please would someone ping me today’s back pager and Toughie. The DT seem to have forgotten to take the direct debit and my subscription has expired. This happens nearly every year and I’ll get it sorted PDQ but in the meantime . . . no puzzles.

    Muchas gracias in advance.

  12. Have had problems accessing the site over the past 2-3 weeks. Today is the first day in about 5 that I have been able to get on. Have tried Safari, Firefox and Chrome, all with no success.

  13. Today and on some other occasions, Firefox has obstructed my entry to the Big Dave advice site on the grounds that the site owner does not have a valid certificate. Will this continue?

    1. Welcome to the blog, Frank. I’m not having any problems using Firefox, but some people are getting some ‘odd’ problems at the moment. Which add-ons have you got enabled?

  14. Not related to the hints – which I greatly appreciate, as I do all the postings – just for information.
    When attempting to access this site, my browser, FireFox, blocked access stating that the connection was insecure due to the website being improperly configured!
    Edge however has allowed entry without any warning.
    Firefox has previously had no problems and so if the message it postsis valid then it must relate to something fairly recent

    1. Welcome George

      All the site access problems are related to the change to a new host server. BD is working tirelessly to try and get it all sorted out.

      Interestingly, I can access the site easily via Firefox (as I am now) and Google Chrome (on my tablet) but I have to use Internet Explorer at work which means I have great difficulty getting access to the blog, usually without any success. :(

  15. S & B @ Macc
    Thanks to Anax & Big Dave
    Excellent thrash
    Enjoyed myself, nice to meet nice people and good butties

    D. D.

  16. Apologies if this has already been reported but I’m getting a error message every time I submit a posting (even though the posting is successful).

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    1. Thanks Chris

      This sort of info is more useful than just saying it doesn’t work.

      I have disabled the Polldaddy rating plugin. Does that make any difference?

  17. Once again, I have been notified that my subscription to the DT puzzles has been automatically renewed and accepted, and once again when I try to access the puzzles the site is telling my that my subscription has expired. This happens every darned year and it always seems like it’s on a Friday night and previous experience tells me no-one at the DT will respond to me until next week. It’s infuriating. So, Dave, once again I have to rely on your good nature to send me the PDFs of the daily puzzles.

      1. Thanks so much. It’s so frustrating. It’s usually because the end date hasn’t been changed when the renewal goes through, and it takes the DT days to sort it out. It will be at least Tuesday until I even get an initial response.

  18. Hi BD,
    Just to let you know that I’m back on having to use kproxy to access the blog. Windows 7 with Internet Explorer.

  19. I have used big dave’ hints for 3 years on my iPad with Safari.
    In the last few weeks the answers have not been concealed . Any ideas ?

    1. Hi from me too Sally.

      I know that BD is working so hard to sort everything but you could try looking at the blog via a proxy, I had problems posting for a bit and used this.

      Put into the search box, no need to download anything. It might hide the answers. Worth a go. Good luck. Hope to see you on the blog too. :-)

  20. I don’t understand why sometimes the answers are not hidden under a “click here”. Is there anything I can do about this? I’m a beginner so want the hints not the answers!

  21. Hi, I love this site and like to use the hints when I’m stumped (often). However, for the past few days the answers are already revealed and there’s no “click here”. I’ve tried on the ipad and my phone, so it’s probably user error, but could you advise please?
    Best wishes

  22. I took part in a survey a week or so ago about the spoilers for the DT cryptic crossword. It made no difference to me whether there was a spoiler or the word was blurred but the end result seems to have done away with spoilers all together. Is this a glitch or how it will be from now on.

  23. Not from your link they aren’t, (on my PC anyway) I have inserted the astericks

    1d Bribe the French right? He’ll make a mess of it! (7)
    B******: An informal word for a bribe, one of the French definite articles and the abbreviation for right.

    2d Valuable resource of state with no end of power (5)
    A****: State is a verb. We need a synonym for this and the last letter of power removed from inside it.

    3d Identifies problem of San Diego’s poor (9)
    D********: An anagram (poor) of SAN DIEGOS.

    4d Hacks in difficulty — leader appears finally (4)
    N***: Find a word meaning a difficulty and move its first letter to the end of the word.

    5d Cleaner aims to develop personal quality (8)
    C*******: A cleaner or “lady what does” and then an anagram (to develop) of AIMS.

    6d Puzzle of president mainly supporting soldiers (5)
    R****: Pick either the father or son for the president, remove the last letter of the name and put it after one of the abbreviations for engineering soldiers.

    1. It is a frequently asked question, so have a look under the fAQ tab at the top of the page

  24. I hope I am not out of order (though I usually am though when I say that!!), but can someone help me parse an answer in another crossword??
    “Having fine record, bowled over in game.” = “Golf”, but I can’t see why??? Can someone help, drives me nuts when I can’t parse something!!
    BD – please delete if this is out of order.

    1. I have no idea about the etiquette here!

      F(ine) plus LOG (record) is reversed (bowled over).

      1. Many thanks Hanni, I can sleep tonight now!!
        I am still learning and the reversal indicators still go miles over my head, I could have stared at that for 10 years and never have twigged.
        Thanks again, and thanks for a quality blog…

  25. Hi I’ve decided to have a go at becoming a professional crossword compiler and have had a crack at my first crossword. It’s designed to be a “Times Quick Cryptic” in size, style and difficulty.

    Could anyone please give me some advice on how to get feedback. I’d love to regularly post some crosswords online somewhere to elicit feedback from people who enjoy the Times Quick Cryptic.

    many thanks

  26. Great site, folks. I am new to the world of cryptic crosswords despite being 59. I have always avoided them. I have found these pages most helpful.

  27. The latest Toughie 1666 has an error in the grid and an associated mistake in enumeration. 3d should be (7,5) not (8,5) and the light in the 13th row of the 4th column should be black. This error is still there in the printable version and the online solving grid at time of writing this.

  28. yahoo!
    No internet at home for almost a week.
    Managed to reprogram my old XP to finally accept wi-fi from neighbour and 4G from my phone.
    Took me all that time to figure it out.
    Glad to be back on the mainframe. Will be able to print xwords again.

  29. I’ve always wondered how the bloggers get the crossword solved so early. Do they get it before us mere mortals?

      1. I am too but I’d be hard pressed to solve it and write all the hints and preamble as quickly as they do. Very impressive anyway.

  30. While listening to the radio the other day I swear that I heard someone using the word “catastrophise” while referring to how certain people handle crises.

    Please tell me that this was a made up word by a jargonist (another word I have heard used!)

  31. Dear Dave
    Did you get my letter and do you have any comments on the enclosure, OH and I have solved the crossword (we think) but would appreciate your thoughts?

  32. Hello,
    I love your site. It has saved me from insanity a number of times. However, I’m unable to find the answer to a clue in the Telegraph All New Cryptic Crosswords Book 3. That is, I have the answer but I don’t understand why. The clue is ‘Crazy guys, endlessly outrageous’ (6). The answer is clearly ‘mental’. I get the ‘men’ for ‘guys’, but I can’t get the ‘tal’ to jive with ‘endlessly outrageous’. Can you help please?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Rooster,
      You’ve extended your alias since your previous comment last year. Both varieties should work from now on.

      I think that outrageous must be TALL, as in ‘tall stories’. Just drop the last letter (endlessly).

      1. Wow… thank you very much for the amazingly fast response! I don’t think I’d ever have made that leap. :-)

  33. My search engines are refusing to open the page, advising me it is dangerously compromised. Have you any comments?

  34. Hi BD,
    Clicked on the RSS link as you suggested and then subscribed on the page that came up and asked for the feed to show in my favourites bar. Yesterday’s hints and the NTSPP came up in the drop down box as they were posted but today all that shows is the time at which a new post was added – no sign of either the Sunday hints or the MPP review in the drop down box.
    Any ideas?

  35. Hi BD. I’m hoping this will make you smile: you have no idea how many times I proof read my comment on the Prize Puzzle before posting it today!

    BTW, I see that, as of yesterday afternoon, we have another contributor called Mark. Some potential for confusion in future submissions. Do you have a convention in place for such circumstances? I have no problem with volunteering to change mine if that’s the solution.

  36. Thank you for your site; a couple (she 67, he 72) find it such a help to add a bit of zest to the day before the rest of our tasks.

  37. Hi BD, I’ve been using your site for a couple of years and it is brill – a friend asked for some help with a cryptic crossword recently and I’m stumped, so I was wondering if you could assist?? The answer is a six letter word for a mammal for which the clue is ‘Engaged in a weepy walk on the shore with a tradesman’ – there are no crosscheckers?

  38. Thanks – your an absolute legend – it seems so obvious now!! Seasonal best wishes and keep up the great work

  39. A couple of minor niggles: I always thought a duenna was a chaperone rather than a governess, and ward sister = bedmaker is less than complimentary to the profession! Not very happy with mandator either – doesn’t appear in my dictionaries. You will probably guess from this that these were the ones I finally looked up in frustration.

    1. Welcome to the blog, jane leng. A bit of googling has informed me that you are referring to DT 28023 – it’s better to leave your comment on the specific blog for the puzzle that you’re commenting on, then the reviewer will get an email telling him/her of the comment and can reply if relevant.
      (You weren’t the only solver appalled by ‘bedmaker’!).

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