Big Dave's Crossword Blog – Page 866 – Putting the words to lights – crossword clues explained in plain English

ST 2506

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2506

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Much easier than last week for me, but there’s plenty to see. First, a bit of symmetry – half-turn rotational symmetry still applies when you’ve drawn in little bars to mark word breaks in multi-word answers.

Legend: (act)* indicates an anagram of act

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Toughie 239

Toughie No 239 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Anax

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

A four-star difficulty rating? Well, I struggled, so I can only give a personal assessment – seasoned Toughie solvers may have different tales to tell. Oddly, the solve itself didn’t take very long, but I was left with a clutch of clues whose wordplay I couldn’t fathom, and for that reason alone I’ve notched the enjoyment level down from what could easily have been 4 or 5. Apart from those difficulties this puzzle offered some tough, imaginative clueing and a handful of real corkers. Kudos to the setter, too, for not being put off by awkward Js and Qs. There’s just one quibble at 23Dn.

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DT 26067

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26067

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

I look forward to the Friday puzzle, but I must admit to feeling a bit disappointed with this one. There’s one amusing clue at 7d, but otherwise I thought that it was fairly mundane stuff, compared to the usual Friday fare. Do you agree or do you think I’m being excessively curmudgeonly? – let me know via a comment.
As usual, if you want to see an answer you’ll find it hidden between the curly brackets – just highlight the white space to reveal it.

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DT 26062

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26062

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

I thought this was quite an easy puzzle, but there were a few clues that generated queries last weekend. My only real complaints were the use of “from” to indicate an anagram and the American term for a water pistol, which is rarely used in the UK, although I would be interested to read your opinion on these.

Tilsit hopes to be back in this slot next week.

Leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

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Toughie 238

Toughie No 238 by Warbler

Hints and Tips by Tilsit

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

Tilsit is currently being given the run-around at the hospital – being wheeled from department to department.  He is hoping to be let out on parole for good behaviour this evening, and to be able to write the review then.

Sorry for the lateness with the posting but as Big Dave said, I have been ferried around the hospital in preparation for going home tomorrow. However, courtesy of a rather nice nurse, I was able to get all of today’s newspaper puzzles printed off and I was able to solve them while waiting for treatment. With the exception of today’s Independent puzzle by our old chum Elgar, this Toughie was the most enjoyable of them all.

It was quite a tough solve, though and some of the clues needed a bit of thinking outside the box. However the anagrams were nice and appropriate, although I don’t like “made up names” as in 26 across. There were also some good uses of present-day words and phrases, rather than some puzzles where you feel like you’re being transported back to the 1950’s. There were a couple of dodgy surface readings, though. Rather too many anagrams for my liking too.

Here we go. Have your say (some of you already have!) and / or rate the puzzle using the star system.

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DT 26066

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26066

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** and a half Enjoyment ***

I didn’t find this a particularly complicated puzzle, but I enjoyed doing it. A decent grid, a nice mix of clues, and a couple to make you smile. What more do you need whilst you are eating your breakfast, or enjoying the first cup of coffee for the day.

Any comments are appreciated.

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Toughie 237

Toughie No 237 by Osmosis

The Nectar of the Gods

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

As usual Osmosis has produced a challenging Toughie, where getting the answer is often much simpler than working out the wordplay. This is an example of how a Toughie can be tricky and entertaining without resorting to very obscure words or the names of people that few have ever heard of.

Let us know what you think of it via a comment.
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DT 26065

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26065

Hints and tips by Tilsit

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Calderdale Hospital where yours truly is still recovering and likely to be here for a little while longer. This was a reasonably typical midweek puzzle which should please most people, although there were a couple of pitfalls here and there.

I thought a number of the surface readings were a little contrived for one or two clues, but otherwise it was a pleasant challenge.

As usual, the answers can be revealed by highlighting between the squiggly brackets and you can rate the puzzle by clicking on the star ratings. Feel free to comment, but newer posters need to be approved first to prevent those nasty spammers from peddling their rubbish.

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Toughie 236

Toughie No 236 by Excalibur

In The Doldrums

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

You are either going to like this or hate it. Me I hated it. I guessed what I was dealing with after two or three clues and plodded on feeling older and wearier as I realised what each answer was. When I had finished I felt as if I had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

Do we have any volunteers who might want to review an Excalibur Toughie? There has to be someone who likes this style of crossword and would be able to put in a good word.

Lets hope the normal cryptic is more enjoyable.

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DT 26064

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26064

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

The first thing to say about today’s puzzle is that there are no cricketing terms at all (well, 26a could relate to a cricket team, but I’ve chosen to go with football instead). Apart from that we have a novel anagram indicator in 7d and a strange, but entertaining, clue at 16d.

As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – just select the white space inside the brackets to reveal them, if you need to.

All comments, whether from seasoned campaigners or first-timers, are very welcome.

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