Comment – Oct 2012 – Dec 2013 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Comment – Oct 2012 – Dec 2013


Archived Comments – Oct 2012 – Dec 2013

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Updated 1st January 2014


134 comments on “Comment – Oct 2012 – Dec 2013

  1. For a long time now all my submissions have been rejected with the message ‘check publication details’. What to do?

  2. I can’t be the only one who had the wrong clue for 5a in 27,004 – anyone know why some issues had wrong clue and some had right clue??

  3. Unable to finish bottom r/h corner today, another five with question marks by that , although I have the answers I don’t understand quite how! I’m sure it’s all pretty simple really but I have spent enough time on it for now, so I’ll be back later hopefully for some enlightenment :-)

    1. Perservated and finsihed but now I have another I just don’t understand, as I said back later to hopefully ‘see’ all

  4. Merry Christmas to the TEAM. thank you for being our ‘safety net’ and getting us out of trouble from time to time!
    Happy New Year!

  5. Just recently I have been unable to see the puzzle NTSPP on IE8 on Windows 7, it claims your website has a problem.

    Google Chrome is OK.

    Am I alone?

    Charles Seager

  6. Hi Dave, I absolutely love this blog/site. My grandfather introduced me to the Telegraph crossword as a nipper and I have enjoyed all things related to words and language ever since. However, I feel compelled to say that, although Ray T was quite risqué yesterday, I rather object to the addition of photos of enormous boobs as part of clue-solving. I like a light-hearted approach and a giggle, but that particular image is cheap, beneath you and verging on soft porn. Thank goodness you didn’t post a photo for 16d!!

    1. Roger,
      Your comment needed moderation because you’ve changed your alias.
      I’m sure everyone on this site joins you in sending best wishes to Araucaria.

  7. Only just realised Dave I don’t get automatically emailed each time anyone makes a comment on my posts?

    1. You don’t have any posts!

      You need to subscribe to each post when you leave a comment. I can only find out who is subscribed to the main post notifications.

  8. For some reason I cannot open the comments and hints on todays puzzle, I can click on the link and just get the top part but no further anyone else having problems??

  9. Hello Big Dave & co,

    Can anyone recommend a great website / tool for compiling one’s own cryptic crosswords, please?

  10. Re:DT27091 HINTS,
    I notice that the hint to 23D contains a picture which, contrary to your policy of not posting solutions, is tagged with the answer – which coincides with the jpg filename!
    Is this a glitch.that has been overlooked or just a one-off slip?

    1. It’s deliberate John

      There are a handful of gimmes each week to help the newer solvers to get started. But that’s where it ends.

  11. Afternoon Dave,

    I cant access the hints for DT27121 today. I get the intro then that’s it. Is it me or is there a prob with the site today?



  12. nearly did this on my own….managed a daily without help last week so getting a feel for these perhaps…will probably crash and burn now I have posted this

  13. Help! The on line cryptic for today shows the clues but no grid! Anybody got a pdf they could send me please? I can’t face Friday without the puzzle so I would be most grateful.
    many thanks

  14. On line DT weekly prize crossword -just logged in to enter and I got a completed crossword and a time of -1 second – anyone else got a problem?

    1. They are aware of the problem. This is what I got when I reported the problem:
      Further to your enquiry I am writing to advise that the Crossword Editor is aware of the problem that the page seems to be linking to old prize puzzles. They have informed their technical team who are trying to fix this as soon as possible.
      Please accept our sincere apologies for this matter.

  15. Thanks for that just tried again and got the puzzle for the 4th June 2012 – ah well at least the “ordinary” puzzle works will try the prize later in the week. Hasta la vista Geoff marbella (actually Croydon today and the weather is better here!)

  16. Re. Monthly Prize Puzzle: I’m probably being thick, but can you please explain “Two lines in the grid describe, etc.” as I’m not sure what is required.

      1. Finally worked out what’s required – but only after submitting my entry with the wrong interpretation.

  17. As a female crossword solver and great fan of your site, I am astonished at the amount of photographs of naked and semi naked women illustrating your pages. With some of the greatest minds available, why so cheap and tacky? You are worth so much more than this,

  18. DT27211 12D
    Clue misleading. In the early stages I had rejected the correct answer as American English. What next? Pidgin English?

    1. If you comment on the blog for the specific puzzle, it will more easily be read and replied to no matter how long it is since ‘publication’

  19. Sorry, you’ve probably received loads of comments on this by now! DT 27,229 16d. The magazine article is FEATURE, without the ‘F’ + CR from ‘credit’. Keep up the good job, your hints do help me.

  20. Morning Dave, I’ve entered the telegraph web-site’s monthly/weekly prize cryptic (yesterday’s – number 248) and failed with 96%, and I suspect, one wrong answer. I don’t see any reviews for this crossword on your great site (too much fuss with the entry dates I suppose), which is a pity as I would need them most weeks.
    I think I know which clue I got wrong, and would love it if you could give me an explanation.

    6d End of game inventor reviewed (2-4)

    From the checking letters, a 6 letter bulb inventor fits quite nicely backwards. However when subsequently split 2-4 doesn’t make sense to me – perhaps it does to you?
    Maybe I have the wrong inventor, and I’ll have to move on.

    1. It is the inventor you think. Apparently the expression means the end of a rugby match as signalled by a referee’s whistle. I checked when I didn’t understand the correct solution last night!

      1. Hello CS, and thanks for your reply. This means I have something else wrong.
        Just been back and looked. As usual a hidden typo, I spelled the lady with a G instead of a J.
        Must try harder!

  21. I’ve just received the august catalogue (No 235) from Postscript Books – [] and they are have got the 12th edition “Chambers Dictionary” in HB for £14.99 + £2.00 P&P.

    Thought it worth a mention as it’s published price is £40

  22. I am eagerly waiting todays blog, as no matter how I look at 9a, I can’t quite make it work, the answer is obvious but the construction…?

  23. Used to do the Telegraph Crosswords quite often, then for some years did not get the paper. With the event of a well-known supermarket offering a free daily paper with the shopping, have got back into the habit, which is good for the 75 year old brain-box, or what is left of it!

    I discovered your brilliant helpful website a couple of weeks ago, and now that some of those clues that niggle away can be seen in plainer English, I get there eventually!

    Love the website, thanks guys.

  24. Calling Cryptic Sue (as I know you do the site Monday prize puzzle).
    I have entered a correct solution to today’s (252), so know I have the correct battle at 1d but can’t see why.
    Can you help?

    1. The outside letters are the scholar. Look up the word ‘factor’ in the dictionary.

      1. Thanks CS, I’d been staring at that for hours.
        All very obvious (when some kind soul points it out).

  25. Thanks Big Dave. It’s comforting to know where to come just before the ‘pulling hair out’ stage of frustration. The effort of maintaining this site is very much appreciated.
    Kind regards, John

  26. I am new to cryptic crosswords but was having some success with the one in my local paper – until the setter changed! Anyone help with the following:
    Royal vessel with engagement in view? C????????
    Not daunted, the girl got married ??A???
    letter of credit he takes ??A??
    in the straits of something ??S

    I can’t seem to get to grips with their ‘style’ of setting – but really don’t want to give up!

  27. Can see courtship now.
    Had unawed but it wasn’t recognised by my dictionary – is it definitely a word?
    Thought perhaps it could be its as a hidden word, but why ‘in the straits’?

    What about ‘she lost blood but is given strength’ ????L?D
    The third letter is the last in ‘letter of credit he takes T?A??
    (I had enabled but this makes the second answer T?A?A)

    Thanks for the help – am definitely not going to give up on my cryptic ‘education’ now I’ve found you……………….

    1. ‘In the straits of’ = in the confines of, i.e. hidden inside.
      The letter of credit clue is definitely theta (a Greek letter).

      Ena bled (she lost blood)

      When writing a clue it’s always best to give the clue exactly as it’s given (including the enumeration) and whether it’s an across or down clue (which can affect the wordplay).

  28. Aah, need to remember ‘in the straits of’ can indicate a hidden clue.
    Noted the points about giving the clue exactly as it’s given.

    Roll on Thursday when the next paper is out.

    Thanks Gazza

  29. Once again, to Cryptic Sue regarding yesterdays site prize puzzle.

    Finished fairly easily and entered correct, but can’t see quite how 6d is arrived at.
    Can you help?
    (I also believed the 10 letter word could be two words or hyphenated but not one word).

      1. He’s not talkiing about the ST Virgilius but the clued-up puzzle. The first bit should be hyphenated but that’s all I am going to say.

        1. I have already entered the puzzle correctly.
          It’s just that it is ages before the solution is published and you would be able to discuss the clue, and I’ll have forgotten it by then.
          I suppose looking at the clue again, there is only one word that can have a double meaning , and the rest of it is very weakly cryptic.
          Thanks anyway.

            1. Sorry for the confusion BD.
              The Telegraph puzzle site does a monthly/weekly draw based on correct entry of a cryptic, a quick and a gen knowledge published each Monday.
              I have previously asked for clue explanations on here (after submission) and CS, who seems to do the puzzle as well, has kindly helped as far as she is allowed.
              It is a pity this cryptic doesn’t get reviewed here, but I suppose the monthly thing makes it impractical.

    1. Welcome to the blog Sam

      I’m just finishing them off – there was a bit of a technical problem on the blog that needed some urgent action, but that’s now fixed.

  30. Great cryptic crossword in DT today 2/11/13.
    Answers just fell in!
    Couldn’t sleep so downloaded it and submitted it by 05.30!
    First time in ages I haven’t needed any help from your excellent website.

    1. Welcome to the blog Revd Cindy. Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope that you’ll be a regular commenter.

  31. Dave, Have followed your great web site for several years. Its wonderful!! Cannot comment on current crosswords as I work some 3 months behind!!! You may not be interested but did you know the following:-
    DT 27222, 5 July posted by Gazza. When trying to enter the crossword details, I always get ‘reported Phishing Website, Google Chrome has blocked This site has been reported as a phishing website’ Using ‘advanced’ I override the message and used the answers! But I thought you might like to know. John

  32. Thanks Dave, Yes it works fine now. Never had this problem before. If I work really hard and do 5 crosswords a day I should be doing todays puzzles by the New Year!!! Then I can comment each day!! John

      1. I became “live” yesterday – thanks to Gazza’s encouragement to newcomers. Note what you say, but it’s frustrating not being able to comment at this time of the night (00:26 here) but I’ll try to switch on the pc in the morning to comment on 27344.

  33. Hi Big Dave et al

    Can you please let me know how you and your associates get to know the names of the setters every day for the DT cryptic? I’ve never seen their names mentioned anywhere in the paper or online!


  34. Hi Dave, despite upgrading my info on Telegraph site and a phone call I might not be able to access the puzzles until tomorrow…so if any nice person is willing to send me a copy of todays I will be eternally grateful

  35. 24 hours later and they still haven’t found out which wires go where! I despair – if my IT provider offered this level of service then I would be looking to renegotiate the contract & seeking some compensation for loss of profit. Pathetic!

    1. Personally I think the telegraph editor should provide one everyday until ‘normal’ service is resumed!!!!

    2. I hope so as I don’t relish the prospect of forking out whatever today’s paper costs just to read yesterday’s news warmed up.

      Come on Mr McNeill ~ do the decent thing for all us subscribers who are not getting the service that they have already paid you for!

      1. are quick enough to cancel a subscription if a card or some membership detail is not up to date…not so quick to provide the service we have paid for, we are the lucky ones if we can get it through this blog, many others aren’t!!! We should have had the pdf by now

    1. There is a Rufus in today’s Guardian which we did. A good one too! And it is our strawberry season but we prefer them with ice-cream. Yummy! :)

  36. Thanks to Phil McNeil, Sue and Dave, I do not have to go without my Monday Fix of ‘Rufus’, so glad I didn’t, one of his easier ones I thought, but really enjoyable, favourite clues 17a and 19a, Oh so many good clues today IMHO, thanks to everyone who provided the puzzle, instead of strawberries without cream I had double cream

  37. If anyone is having problems opening the cryptic crossword from the Telegraph Promotions page today (4 December), try changing the address in in you browser from “….” To “….” and it should open.

      1. Sir – you are a gent of the first water. Many thanks. Now if I can get today’s FT to update then my weekend will be a happy one even though I’ll probably miss the Virgilius tomorrow as I will be suffering from ale passion I expect.

        1. If the same talent responsible for the stopgap solution is being brought to bear on the main site (today’s link not yet updated), we are doomed to a long wait.

  38. Having not done yesterdays crossword I blithely printed off this morning the crossword I thought was todays (Saturday) muttering all the while to myself while doing it that ‘this doesn’t feel like a Saturday crossword” !!!!! only realizing when putting the last one in at 15d that it was yesterdays!!!!! Todays has just come up but I don’t know if I’ve got the brainpower for another now, it will all be a bit of a rush!!!!!

  39. Hi BD, i have just tried to print off the December MPP, and the link seems to be pointing to number 17 rather than 19.

      1. Thanks Dave, that supplied link to the pdf works fine, but still, if I go to the MPP via the tags at the top and hover over the Prize Puzzle No 19 – by Radler, the little pop-up says No 17, and that is what appears when I click on it. Seems strange if it’s just me.

        1. I’ve found the link to which you were referring, and changed it. I thought you meant the link on the puzzle page but it’s the link to the puzzle page from the index.

  40. What is the matter with the Telegraph’s IT department? It’s several weeks now that their website is down, I finally got a 1 month rebate but it’s not really good enough, so I am going to claim the full subscription, I bet they outsource the IT work and haven’t paid up….

    1. Welcome to the blog Steve.

      Latest update from Telegraph Towers:

      “We are in the latter stages of fixing the Telegraph Puzzles website, and subject to this going well, we believe the site will be restored early next week.”

    2. I feel that all should be offered a month’s extension for every week of failure and that we should not have to ask for it. It should be a matter of concern to senior management that such ineptitude is allowed.

      1. We, non-subscribers, are having a lovely time! No need to buy the paper!

        Daily Telegraph crosswords for free!

  41. Is the DT working to fix its site based on the theory that if you fill a room full of monkeys and give them a slack handful of typewriters then they will will complete the works of Shakespeare eventually…..I make it nearly 3 weeks since it went dark.

  42. I think it’s more than three weeks, Spindrift. I still have the Virgillius puzzle I marked as Sunday 24 November. And I well remember Toro’s super NTSPP of the Saturday. Have a look at all our comments for the weekend of 23-24 November! Did the DT site go down late the previous Friday evening? Big Dave will know!

      1. Then it’s actually 4 weeks nigh enough. What is going on? The excuse on the link site is innocuous & out of date. At least they could show a bit of honesty & admit they don’t know how to fix it!

        1. Current message says it will be up and running in the early part of this week. Seems to me they’ve got half an hour left to fix it :lol:

  43. MPP – 19
    Without giving too much away, a perfectly reasonable solution to 5 down “Station announcer’s company” could be *****! Crossing lights had me flummoxed for ages!

    1. Welcome to the blog Nigel

      I prefer not to have any discussion until after the closing date. The knowledge that an answer is wrong can be helpful.

      1. Many apologies – I was just dumfounded by the three or four days of fumbling in the dark.

  44. I don’t mind a joke but bugger a pantomime. The link site has yet to update with today’s puzzles. This is becoming tedious and by their own admission they’ve left themselves 4 days to fix it. I’m not taking bets….

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