Big Dave's Crossword Blog – Page 853 – Putting the words to lights – crossword clues explained in plain English

DT 25948 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25948 – Review

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

A pretty sound puzzle of moderate difficulty. No grid gripes, no geography, no arbitary people. Rejoice! Well, there are some gripes below but it feels like fewer than usual.

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Toughie 162

Toughie No 162 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

A fairly ferocious puzzle from Osmosis today and one that pushed me to my solving limits.  Most of the clues have excellent surface reading and it is easy to see that the puzzle has been carefully put together. All very clever cluing which took some time and effort to untangle.  This is turning out to be a splendid week for the Toughie puzzles.

I’ve tried to explain clues as best as I can, and would welcome youir comments.  As usual, the blank bit between the curly brackets can be highlighted to reveal the answer.

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DT 25952

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25952

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

After the discussions of the past few days on whether a puzzle is easy or difficult it is with some trepidation that I suggest that this is one of the easier daily puzzles. This is, however, only a personal opinion, and as the quizmaster used to say “the questions are only easy if you know the answer”.

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Toughie 161

Toughie No 161 by Messinae

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This is a good solid Toughie with some very entertaining clues and nothing too obscure. I enjoyed it a lot.
For newcomers to the site can I point out that the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets. If you need to see an answer just select the white space inside the brackets.

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DT 25951

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25951

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Rather like last Wednesday’s puzzle, this one is not too difficult but has some well-constructed clues.  This could be a good one for all you newbies out there (and you too BigBoab!).

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Toughie 160

Toughie No 160 by Notabilis

An elegant Toughie that shows how it should be done

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

There are a number of excellent Toughie setters and Notabilis, aka Kea and Nestor, is certainly one.  There is hardly a letter out of place, and this could be given as an example of how a crossword does not need obscure words, girls or boys names or exotic places to be a good puzzle.

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DT 25950

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25950

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

I feel as if I’ve drawn the short straw with this one. There are one or two nice clues, but these are outweighed by a number where the word order has been mangled or extraneous words introduced to try to improve the surface reading of the clue. Throw in a couple of very odd words and some “cryptic” clues which are not very cryptic, and you are left with what, to me, was a very frustrating puzzle.

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ScrewedUp News – Jun 08

ScrewedUp News – Jun 08

Edition 19

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Just to be awkward, this has now been changed to (3,3,5,4), even though Chambers gives it as (3-3-5,4)!

My entry was also reset as if I had never completed the puzzle!

I bet you thought that ScrewedUp News had ceased publication!  The website has been much better of late, and the last issue was over a month ago.  Today DT 25949 had given the wrong length for 15 across.

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DT 25949

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25949

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Another Monday, another outing for our regular setter.  As usual, it’s the sort of puzzle designed to be kind to the newer solvers.  Sadly, another outing for one of my least favourite grids, with a lot of the answers containing two consecutive unchecked letters, which I personally consider unfair to solvers.  However the benign clues help here.

There’s the usual stock of cryptic definitions which either make you smile or wince.  Overall, the smile factor is very much in evidence, although a couple don’t quite hit the mark for me.

Black marks to the Telegraph website, I only managed to get in about an hour ago, and the interactive filling is not as smooth as normal.  Another black mark to 15 across which should have the number indication 3-3-5,4 rather than 13,4!  [This has now been changed to (3,3,5,4) although (3-3-5,4) would have been more accurate.  BD]

Anyway, on with the motley and let’s go…..  As usual, the solutions are hidden for you to highlight to reveal the answer.  Please feel free to leave any comments, but if it’s your first time, it can take a little while for your first post to appear.  It just prevents those naughty spammers from invading the board.

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ST 2487 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2487 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

Two weeks ago I wrote “I do prefer my puzzles to be a bit harder than this was”.  Well, you can blame me for this one!  A good Sunday challenge, with a good mix of clues.

For the weekend prize crosswords I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.  A full analysis of this puzzle will be available at 12.00 next Friday, 12th June.

Some hints to get you started:

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