Toughie No 100001 by Elgar
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BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ****
This is a marvellous piece of crossword construction by a superbly entertaining setter. As we’ve come to expect there is a smattering of rule bending but we wouldn’t have it any other way, and the rewards are spectacularly good. With so many answers contributing to the message it’s inevitable that a couple of obscurities have crept in, but that didn’t spoil the fun for me.
The message itself takes up no less than 12 grid entries – in order, 20d, 12a, 28a, 15d, 10a, 1a, 17d, 5a, 21a, 30a, 16a and 9a – a mighty achievement and you’ll see how these placings pretty much forced everything else into place. The message forms the first lines of a poem by George R Sims.
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A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.