Comment – Jan-Dec 2018 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Comment – Jan-Dec 2018


Archived Comments – Jan-Dec 2018

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Created 1st January 2018

Updated 1st January 2019


76 comments on “Comment – Jan-Dec 2018

  1. I’m currently a digital subscriber to the Telegraph and do , or try to complete the cryptic crossword. What is the best means of accessing the “toughie” crossword please?

      1. Just tried playing the quickie on the new website found the layout terrible, having to scroll up and down all the time to see the clues or the puzzle frame!

        Or have I missed a button to press…..?

  2. My first post after using BD for several years. Not strictly DT but can anyone help with a question from today’s Guardian Letters. How does the clue ??? lead to the answer ‘amanuensis’?

    I am flummoxed.

    1. Welcome back

      We don’t normally answer questions on crosswords in other places but if you look here you’ll see that there was a great deal of discussion about this clue but no-one yet has come up with the definitive answer to the question – and the setter and editor haven’t turned up either to say what it is all about

      On Edit
      Apparently the online version of Monday’s crossword now has an amendment

      “The preamble says: Special instructions: 11 January 2018: the clue for 6 down was originally left out by mistake

      and the clue for AMANUENSIS is:

      Scribe has last word about a new university attended by relative”

  3. Love the site – it has really helped me find my way around the cryptic clues. Today, 26th, I am unable to access the clues for today Monday 26th (28696). It looks as if the posting is there because it seems comments have been made, but however I try to sneak up on it neither the solutions nor the comments are available – I get a page saying Sorry, Not Found. All the rest of the site seems OK. Just thought you should know.

    1. Welcome to the blog Sandra

      It looks as if tomorrow’s blogger managed to set up a draft post with the same url as today’s. Should be OK now.

  4. “Telegraph Puzzles will be undergoing essential maintenance on Tuesday 17 April, and will be unavailable between 12am and 6am BST. You are advised to save any incomplete puzzles and to log out before this time. Thank you for your patience.”

    I hope this goes better than previous upgrades…

  5. How can a puzzle which includes Lachesis, galop and escalope not have a triple star for difficulty?

  6. How can a puzzle which includes the answers Lachesis, galop and escallop not justify a triple star rating for difficulty?

    1. Two things:

      Firstly, we have another long-standing commenter called Brian (who is currently on a ‘sabbatical’ but we hope he’ll return) so you’ll have to find another alias so we aren’t confused

      Secondly, if you are commenting on a particular crossword, it is best to comment on the blog post for that puzzle so that the blogger and other commenters are more likely to see it.

    1. I was thinking I might look at it until early solvers reported that there were a few dodgy clues. And no harder than some Toughies according to our estimable ed (see here). Perhaps CS will tell us what she thought of it.

  7. I have been jogged into commenting having noted that in using this excellent site without response, I too am a ‘lurker’. Recently back to the cryptic crossword having been many years away. So far, am able to recognise and solve anagrams and relatively easy clues almost instinctively but am still very slow at deciphering others. Having struggled through a puzzle, I then check through the hints to understand how I achieved some answers. I know – doh,
    Thanks for the help – it is aporeciated

  8. I gave up doing the Telegraph Crossword when Colin Parsons died. Had a dabble since but can’t seem to get into it… until now!
    A helping hand thank you so much :D

  9. so lovely, thank once again Dave, can’t tell you how nice it is, although Im not on blog much these days, I do lurk and use quite frequently, thank you so much xxxxxxxxx

    1. Happy Birthday from me xxxx

      We do miss you – Andy was only asking at the S&B the other week as to what had happened to you. Glad to see you are still around, even if only lurking

  10. The DT app on iPad.
    After the latest update I am finding that if I don’t solve the cryptic at the first attempt when I return to it all the answers have been wiped and I have to start again! The DT support won’t admit to a problem just offer so meaningless advice. In fact they don’t appear to know how memory works on iOS.
    Has anyone else had a similar issue?

    1. Welcome to the blog Peter

      Regular readers will know that the only advice I can give on iPads etc. is “Don’t go there”!

  11. If you think that the DT can sometimes make a hash of things then try doing today’s FT…

  12. Not for the first time I note that the setter of the DT’s Quick Crossword appears to be semi-literate. We sweated blood over the pun today only to find that one of the clues leads to a homophone of the solution!

  13. Please is it poss to show last Saturday 22 Sep no 28,851
    cryptic crosswords solutions ? I’ve forgotten to check and I would love to know as didn’t complete
    Thank you

    1. Welcome to the blog Juniper216

      Our full review was published yesterday:

      DT 28851

      For Saturday puzzles you will find them six days after the original publication date (i.e. after the closing date).

  14. Hi Dave,
    Glad to see you are all still here.
    My shortcut goes to the home page which seems to be permanently stuck on last Saturday (7th), so I assumed the site was having further problems, and have been patiently checking daily hoping for the “fix”. Today, I gave google a go at “where’s Big Dave gone” and found this link – – and was much relieved to find you have been there all the time. still leads to the stuck page (for me at least).
    Happily, I can now check the parsing in this weeks puzzles. I’m glad i saved them.

    1. When commenting about such occurrences it helps if you describe the platform you are using. Others have had similar problems and the most effective cure is to clear the cache.

      1. Sorry BD, again i assumed the fault was elsewhere. I use a fairly new PC with W10 and Chrome and not much PC skill. Is this somehow incompatible? I checked a few times to see if you had answered but there was nothing there. I just now followed the advice from 28867 – F12, clear cache F5 – and your reply appeared.
        Hope you find a solution.

        1. Hi Dave,
          My “spoilers” have turned to the vertical lines this morning. It was not a problem I had been getting up until now.
          Hope you can fix it. All my other issues seem to have been resolved.

  15. Re:FT puzzles
    For the last few years I’ve been printing the FT cryptic for free but as of today it wants me to subscribe. Anyone else similarly affected?

    (BD – I know this is a site for comments on DT puzzles but any advice from our community would be appreciated – Thank you)

  16. Hi

    A few weeks ago there was a post regarding being able to get the Telegraph Puzzles online by subscribing to them only (not the entire Telegraph). Has there been any further information regarding this? I have telephoned the paper but they were less than helpful.

    Thank you

  17. Hello there all

    What on earth happened to yesterday’s puzzle? (Sunday 4/11). I opened it up on my ipad to find that it appeared to be a previous puzzle – (could n’t identify which date and still found some of the clues hard.) but then later in the day it switched to a new puzzle. I kept coming back to this site to see if any light could be shed on the matter but find that there is still no commentary or hints (now Monday afternoon). Am I missing something/going doolally? Is it a conspiracy to keep me guessing and question my sanity? Or is there a more straightforward explanation?

    All feedback gratefully received

    Yours in the dark


    1. You need to clear the cache on your I-Pad and then you should be able to come back to the site and see both the hints and comments on yesterday’s puzzle, as well as an explanation as to why the I-Pad version of yesterday’s puzzle wasn’t available first thing.

      “To clear Safari’s cache on your iPad or iPhone, take the following steps: In the Settings app, scroll down then tap Safari. Under the Safari settings, you will see a blue setting called Clear History and Website Data. You’ll be asked to confirm if you wish to clear your history and website data. Tap to continue.”

      1. I too have been having trouble on my mini iPad. Having bookmarked the blog since DT 27467 and have it update every day, on Nov 1 it stopped updating. Added to Favourites again at DT 28,888 (yesterday) but still not updating automatically as before and now getting list of all puzzles covered. Reluctant to clear history and website data as you suggest, as not sure what I will lose from ‘website data’. Have many qualms about these things! It must be me – but would be grateful for advice…

    2. Hi Aunty Marge and Lulubelle.

      I find that simply refreshing the page – which on my tablet I can do by swiping downwards from the very top of the page – does the trick. On a PC, hit F5 to do the same thing. It does have to be done every time at the moment, but at least it does work.

      1. I’m not getting any problems requiring clearing of cache or page refreshing (and haven’t had in the past) – the site seems to behave normally using both Firefox and Chrome on my PCs. I wonder whether it’s because I have Ad Blockers installed (Adblock Plus on both PCs)? I can’t think of anything else that I might be doing differently to other users.

        1. I have add blockers installed on my PC browsers, though not on my phone, and have had the same problems as others (plus a DNS problem which I reported to the boss in London last Saturday). Clearing web data didn’t help beyond the first “fresh” load of a page, which is why I haven’t been recommending that people do that.

  18. as far as the new puzzle site is concerned when does ‘this afternoon’ become ‘this evening’?

      1. Thank you. I’ve just had a look & there it was. You are a lovely lady & I hope that you get everything you’ve asked for from the crazy fat man in the red suit.

  19. Does anyone else have totally different set of clues on the back page of their Daily Telegraph today?

    1. It can happen occasionally with a few clues but checking my dead tree against the blog and web versions I can’t see any differences. Has your newsagent sent an old paper or are you looking at a diff puzzle todays puzzle is 28901 and the blog for that puzzle might be the place to check.

  20. Huzzah! I can now access the site easily again im not sure if the issue was with the site or me but either ways it’s good to be back.

  21. I’m really unhappy with the new DT layout. It feels as though its designed for children. The commands such as Save, Submit etc are scattered around the page and I have yet to fund the EXIT command. A frustrating long-term problem, that of random cursor movements, is not fixed. When submitting the prize puzzles, I get a warning that my submission is incomplete, but then I score 100%. You may say that I should report this to DT, but perhaps a concerted critique from BD users might be more effective. Finally, might I suggest that the DT site developers take a look at the on.line Puzzle pages of the Times.

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      There is a problem with the Click Here buttons at the moment. It would help those trying to fix the problem if you could say whether you are using a PC or a particular tablet, the version of Windows you are using, and whether you are on Internet Explorer, Chrome or …

  22. Something wrong here today, I printed the crossword and finished all but one, then went on blog to check, only to find it is a completely different one, checking my crossword to find the day and date ate correct but the no says 529!!!!! I checked with my brother and he has the same as myself, anyone else know whats going on????

      1. Ah right Sue, I just saw Cryptic Crossword!!!!!!! really strange that both myself and brother made the same mistake???
        Thank you Sue x

  23. I’ve been on and off the blog for a few months now. As a neophyte I get lots of tips from the contributors and enjoyment from the setters. Do you collate the most enjoyable clues of the year? Dare I say it, a DT/ST Oscars?

  24. Anybody else experiencing problems with the DT site today? I am having problems with logging on as a crossword subscriber & printing. I’ve managed a ‘work around’ but it was very laborious.

    1. I couldn’t find where to turn the snow on, so I wrote to WordPress. Apparently it’s been “deprecated”. They provided a workaround, which didn’t work. I may try a plugin later – watch this space!

  25. Not wishing to crash the server at midnight (UK) I would like to thank all the setters, rookies, bloggers, commenters, lurkers and all my fellow cruciverbalists (even Brian) warm wishes for a very healthy and happy 2019.

    I will be in full swing with my setter’s hat on (Rags – it’s no secret!) this year and have one or two lined up for you all.

    This brilliant community has given me many hours of entertainment over the years, and I feel I have made many friends, some of whom I hope to meet at the Bash in January.

    Happy New Year to each and every one of you.

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