Comment – Jan-Feb 2010

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59 Comments

  1. jane
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much –I have just started doing crosswords–cryptic ones and it’s great to have the answers EXPLAINED! I have started buying the DT again so i can do them, with your help!

    • Posted January 13, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Jane

      It’s a pity I don’t get commission from the Telegraph!!

  2. Mike Lewis Ulysses
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone come across 1 of these wall hanging 6ft crosswords & if so how large is the collection?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330396130078&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

    • Posted January 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Mike

      The answer to your first question is no, so obviously I can’t answer the second. Anyone else?

      BTW I deleted your duplicate comment

    • Posted January 19, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      As this link is to ebay it will, eventually, cease to work.

  3. Sarah
    Posted January 24, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I discovered this Blog the other week, and am finding the enthusiasm, and all the help to be so encouraging. As I like to finish a crossword, I don’t have time to do the daily cryptic, but enjoy both the Saturday and Sunday ones, as well as (slowly) working through a book of either DT or Times cryptics.

    I haven’t tried the Toughies yet!

    Keep up the good work!

    • Posted January 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Sarah

      The compliment is much appreciated.

  4. NathanJ
    Posted January 27, 2010 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    Hi Big Dave

    I have almost finished the DT regular cryptic crossword number 26,148.

    It was an enjoyable puzzle from Jay – challenging but good to solve.

    I finished 30 of the clues quite rapidly but have hit a brick wall with the last two:

    6a Drug bill said to be cut by half (4)
    8d Sporting knowledge? (5,5)

    I would appreciate any help that can be given.

    Many thanks.

    • gazza
      Posted January 27, 2010 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Hi Nathan
      I expect that BD is having a lie-in, so I’ll see what I can do.
      6a. The definition is drug. You want an abbreviation for bill or account followed by half of the word “said”.
      8d. Think of sporting as meaning “wearing” – so you want a phrase meaning knowing what clothes to wear.

      • NathanJ
        Posted January 27, 2010 at 8:57 am | Permalink

        Gazza

        Thanks for that. I have now finished it thanks to your help. It is very good of you to respond so quickly as I know it is still quite early in the UK. Many thanks.

        What did you think of this puzzle? I quite liked it.

        • gazza
          Posted January 27, 2010 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          I quite liked it too. 27a was my favourite. I’m currently writing a review of the Toughie, which today is no more difficult than this one, so you may like to have a go at that!

          • gnomethang
            Posted January 27, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            Ditto that gazza – a good day to try the Toughie.

      • Posted January 27, 2010 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Gazza was right, but it didn’t take me long to catch up today!

      • mary
        Posted January 27, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        thanks Gazza I have them right so it seems, wouldn’t have thought of 8d as ‘wearing’ but got the answer through checking letters but couldn’t understand it, a clever clue, thank you once again :)

  5. NathanJ
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Hi all

    Just about finished the DT Regular Cryptic Crossword Puzzle Number 26,150 by Giovanni.

    It was a good puzzle – challenging but fair.

    The only two I couldn’t solve were:

    3d Undercooked sole to be cooked again? (6)
    24d Confusion about energy supplier (4)

    Any advice that can be given will be gratefully received.

    Many thanks.

    • gazza
      Posted January 29, 2010 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Nathan
      I think that those are the two which will give solvers most trouble.
      3d. The definition is cooked again, and you need to put together the colour of undercooked (rare) meat and sole in the sense of a single.
      24d. The definition is confusion and it’s an archaic word which Shakespeare qualified with “mortal”. About is C (circa) and then you want the sort of energy that is extracted from wells.

    • Posted January 29, 2010 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      They were the last two that went in for me as well.

  6. NathanJ
    Posted January 30, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Hi Gazza and Big Dave

    Thanks very much for the help. Finished now. I think those two clues are the hardest Giovanni has set for a while.

    I still liked the puzzle though. I think Giovanni is great.

    Thanks again for your help.

  7. mary
    Posted February 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave

    I have just recieved an email asking me to suscribe to your site, what is this about? should I just disregard it?

    • Posted February 1, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Not sent by me – can you please forward it to me – I’ll write to you separately.

  8. NathanJ
    Posted February 2, 2010 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Hi all

    Almost finished Ray T cryptic puzzle (DT 26,153):

    1 unsolved.

    12a Old are going to diminish (4)

    Any help appreciated.

    Overall I thought this was a gem. I have always been a fan of Ray T but he has gone above and beyond the call of duty with this one – it was a beauty and I loved it. Keep up the great work Ray T!

    • gazza
      Posted February 2, 2010 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Hi Nathan,
      12a – the definition is diminish, and you want an archaic (old) verb form meaning “are going to” (usually preceded by Thou).

      • NathanJ
        Posted February 2, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Many thanks Gazza – got it now.

    • Ray T
      Posted February 2, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Hi Nathan,

      Thanks for your continuing support. Much appreciated.

      RayT

  9. Posted February 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Testing my nice new avatar!

    • Posted February 2, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      …and its not working yet!

      • Posted February 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        1. It takes a while
        2. Sometimes the cache needs to be emptied

        • gnomethang
          Posted February 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          Yay! There he is!
          Thanks!

  10. Martin Henson
    Posted February 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    What an excellent site. I love my daily crossword as I commute from sleepy Sussex into London. The best thing is two bites at the cherry – always looking forward to having a go at the remaining stinkers in the evening. But when I’m really at a loss by the time I get home, I know there is a straightforward explanation to the remaining few answers on your site. It’s like a the best laxative after a serious blockage. Thanks again, great site.

    • Posted February 3, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Martin

      I’m not too keen on the simile though!! Perhaps a glass of fine claret might appeal more.

  11. mary
    Posted February 5, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave – now u will think i am really clueless, as i cannot work out how to post a comment on the clueless club site, i can see lots there from Shrike but dumbo here cant work it out – sorry?

  12. jo 1973
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this site Big Dave. I try and do the dt crossword most days but am quite new at them so tend to get stuck quite often and that’s when i find your hints invaluable. My Dad and brother have always done the cryptic crossword and i thought you had to have a particular sort of ‘brain’ to do them but i watched the BBC4 programme with Val Gilbert and i was inspired. A mere mortal without a degree in astro physics CAN do the dt cryptic crossword! I’m starting to get quite good at recognising what the clue is asking you to do and that seems half the battle. Having said that, i’ve still not finished one completely! Thanks again.

    • Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Jo

      Glad we can help

  13. Tom Kearney
    Posted February 16, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dave. I am sure there are many, many people out there who would just love to sit at a compiler’s shoulder and see how it’s done! Since you know a lot of the major players I’m sure (with help of course) you could organise groups of addicts to see the great men at work. Anyone out there of similar mind?

    Tom Kearney

  14. Tom Kearney
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Thanks Dave re the blog from Anax on how a Cryptic is compiled – a mist of many moons has been lifted from mine eyes. Incidentally, I see that Hanley Swan is not a million miles from Colwall. A mate of mine (Iain Nesbitt) owns the Colwall Park Hotel there, so any time you’re passing pop in and tell him I owe you a pint for services rendered!

    Tom Kearney

  15. Sylvia Horley
    Posted February 17, 2010 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Dear Dave

    First post. Love the blog. Joined CluedUp about year ago.
    Pick at Cryptic everyday and generally finish but do not use dictionaries. Last few usually done by sudden dawning when thinking about something completely different.
    Found yesterdays, no. 26165 the most difficult so far.

    Best wishes

    Sylvia Horley ( CLEMATIS )

    • Posted February 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Sylvia

  16. mary
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Hi Dave, have you got a section anywhere on Indirect anagrams, I have apparently commited a ‘no no’ on COW and would like to read about them somewhere :)

  17. mary
    Posted February 18, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    welcome back :)

  18. mary
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    tearing my hair out on 12d today!!!

    • Posted February 22, 2010 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Mary!

      Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief.

      Which part of what fruit was used to play this game?

      • mary
        Posted February 22, 2010 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Thanks Dave that’s the only thing I could think it was, but although i know the rhyme, i have never heard of it as a game played with that, live and learn, thanks so much it was driving me mad :)

      • gnomethang
        Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        We used to play the game with any fruit stones coming out of a pudding. When I twigged the requirement for the clue it was just a matter of selecting the fruit from the checking letters!

    • Jezza
      Posted February 22, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Mary
      The last one I put in as well!. Kept trying to fit THIRTY into the first half of the clue..

  19. Jezza
    Posted February 25, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Struggling with the top half of today’s Toughie… A pointer for 8d would be much appreciated!

    • Posted February 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      I’m writing the review at the moment.

      8d is an Italian make of car, famous historically for racing

      • Jezza
        Posted February 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Thanks! Easy when you know how..

        • Posted February 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          They always are – now you can see the Portuguese city in the middle!

          • Jezza
            Posted February 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

            I was looking for a Portugese city as the answer, not a car…. Still got half a dozen left in the top half!

            • gnomethang
              Posted February 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

              Same trouble here – thanks for asking, saved me the wait!

  20. mary
    Posted February 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    really stuck on 1d and 1a Dave any prompts, sorry are u watching final, not a Man U supporter are you :)

    • mary
      Posted February 28, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      s’ok got them thanks now just 22d and 23a

      • Posted February 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Mary

        I was listening to Spurs scrape home against Everton!

        I will include these in the hints. Most of 22d is an abbreviation of circumstances that was new to me.

        • gnomethang
          Posted February 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          22d was last in for me too. Had to resort to Chambers to confirm the abbreviation.
          Not convinced on the definition either but it us in the big red book.

      • Tilly
        Posted February 28, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        22d Another way of saying ‘in this situation’ is ‘ in these *************’. If you shorten that word and insert the abbreviation for university, you end up with entertainment in a tent!

        • mary
          Posted February 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          thanks Tilly / Dave, did get it eventually