Comment – May-Jul 2010 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

63 responses to “Comment – May-Jul 2010

  1. After The Chairman mentioned Araucaria’s puzzles in the Guardian, I have had a look in Crowther’s A-Z and thought I’d find out a bit more about some of the compilers.
    I am starting to get more of an idea about the different DT setters, so I thought I’d post some of this information up. I realise it’s old news to most of you on here, but it might be of interest to some. I’d be interested if anyone has other information to add on the setters.
    Rufus = Dante in the FT
    Araucaria = Cinephile in the FT
    Giovanni = Bradman and Polymath in the FT and Pasquale in Guardian
    Virgilius = Brendan in the Guardian.
    mark

    • Virgilius also uses the same pseudonym in the Independent, for whom Giovanni appears as Quixote. For barred thematics Giovanni uses another “Don” variant – Duck!

      I’m delighted to note that some kind soul has added me to Wiki’s “Cryptic Crosswords” page. Many thanks, whoever you are!

  2. I’m sticking to links between Telegraph, FT and Guardian as the latter are free online!

    Elgar = Io (FT) and Enigmatist (Guardian)

    • The Indie puzzles are free too – the only downsides are that they aren’t archived (so you can only solve that day’s puzzle) and they’re only offered as interactive puzzles.

  3. spent ages looking for a ‘tory’ in todays puzzle but having finished it haven’t got one, have I got something wrong???

    • mary
      I’ll give you a hint for 6d which should help with the rest:
      6d E.g. bloody weapon hidden in clothes? Just the opposite (5-4)
      The definition is e.g. bloody, i.e. “bloody” is an example of this, as might “damn” be. Just the opposite means that’s it not weapon hidden in clothes, but clothes inside a weapon (the sort that a pirate might have used).

      • Morning Gazza, thanks again, i knew it was the weapon but just couldn’t understand the clue, ok now onto the rest :)

  4. Thanks once again Gazza, a verty clever crossword today I think, not too easy at least 3* for me, maybe 4, lots of favourite clues today

  5. Just solved today’s puzzle over a cup of coffee, and entering it into cluedup, I received a time of 18 hours and 51 minutes! Interesting, seeing as it is only 9.30 am…

  6. Hi Dave just wondered if you know if there is a problem with the COW site?, keep getting SQL socket error message, whatever that may be??

    • Hi Mary

      Don’t worry about it. I think the server does an occasional back-up which temporarily puts the site offline. Sometimes it reappears after a few minutes, occasionally takes about an hour! But it will come back.

  7. ?
    ———
    __________ / + + __________
    ___|____|_W U W__|_____|__
    _____|_____|_____|_______|_____
    ___|_____|____|_______|______|___

    WOT NO REVIEWS?
    Everything all right or has work got in the way!

  8. Re – 26,263 Just like to say thank goodness that ones finished had to take a gardening break in between! Hard work I thought?

  9. If there is anyone there 1a is driving me crazy, have finished all but this, thought i had it but it didn’t fit with 5d! have all checking letters but just can not get it, help

  10. Anyone know who set today’s ‘Toughie’? With half of it solved in about 6 minutes, I wonder if I am looking at the correct puzzle!

  11. Going to watch tennis, switching over to my birthday present ‘notebook’ to keep in touch with blog, prefer my desk computer, though it’s quite ‘cute’ a samsung notebook in white :)

  12. I hope my comment will be read here. If I was in England I’d be hounding them all the time:…………

    I have completely lost faith in CluedUp and the scoring system. I often look at the Toughie but can rarely do it but submit it so it doesn’t stay in my “Saved Puzzles”. Up to now, naturally no points were awarded. However now when I do that I get the 800 bonus points, and 400 for the cryptic if not done. I used to enjoy keeping my position on the Leaderboards, but not any longer when I can get 800 points for doing absolutely nothing.

  13. Anyone else looked at the live traffic arrivals on Feedjit? I know, a bit anorak, but interesting enough in small doses. Apparently I’m identified as Coventry, even though I’m just on the southern edge of Oxford City, whereas Oxford, Oxfordshire did show up for someone else this morning. Is this also where the site hits are counted up?

  14. Kicking myself for using a hint on cluedup to solve 12a and finish the toughie. I seem to recall a discussion about the definition of this a while back (if my memory serves me correctly).

    • We had the word a while ago – 3d in Toughie 302:

      3d We used to love this track (2,4)
      {} – Dave and I are both struggling to understand this; we think it may just be a cryptic definition, but not entirely sure why. Anyway, it’s a race circuit (track) famed for its 24-hour events. [We both missed this one, which has been pointed out to us by two other setters – John “Myops” McKie and Giovanni. According to Chambers, ***** is an archaic word for a a lover, sweetheart or paramour so “we used to love” is *****s. BD]

      • Thanks gnomethang. I remember the discussion at the time, which makes it even more annoying for failing to solve it this time. I must make a mental note to address the wife tonight, as my dearest ***** !

  15. Hello, if there’s anyone there, i am stuck on 1a, 1d 11a and could do with some help……….please :)

      • Its called “Gnomethang’s law” as soon as I compose an email to him and press send, hey presto the answer falls straight into my head.

    • Of course I see it now, it was the answer I had but didn’t know why, stupid – me not the clue, thanks Dave

  16. Is it just me, or is it too easy to accidentally submit an incomplete puzzle on cluedup? 3 times this week, I have incorrectly keyed an answer into the grid, and at the end, pressed ‘submit anyway’ by mistake. My fault admitedly, but incredibly annoying, as it is too late to go back and correct the entry, and see if the puzzle is correctly solved. It would be better if a message appeared, ‘are you sure you want to submit?’, to prevent those fat fingered people making the same mistake.
    I now have to wait to see if I got 1d correct in today’s toughie! :)

        • The problem is that you are not supposed to press the submit button to check your answers – the intervening screen is the “are you sure” one. Other types of online crossword allow you to check letters or individual answers, which would be much better.

          • Agreed, however the only reason I bother to enter the solution into cluedup, is to confirm that I have completed the puzzle correctly. In the case of 1d in todays toughie, I was 99 per cent sure I had the correct answer, but a fat finger hitting the wrong key prevented me for confirming it!

  17. finished a Giovanni before 10.30! waiting with eagerness for the blog, a few i don’t quite understand :)

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