235 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 235

Toughie No 235 by Citrus

“You had me cornered”

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Today I have a special treat for you as Anax joins the reviewing panel. He will be known by name to solvers of puzzles in the Independent and by reputation to those in the Times where, as with the regular Telegraph cryptics, the setters are anonymous. The Bloggers page has been updated, so you can read more about Anax there, as well as getting an insight into why he uses the name Anax! I’m sure you can work out for yourselves that anagrind and inserticator are crosswordese for anagram and insertion indicators respectively. BD

The NE and SW corners of this were hard to crack – the former because I was just being a bit dim, the latter because of one obscurity and two bits of wordplay I had difficulty unravelling. Much of the early progress was thanks to going with instinct for the long answer at 4Dn, which gives me an opportunity for a quick solving tip; far from being put off by long answers, they’re often a very good place to start. The simple truth is you either get them immediately or you don’t, and if you do they can provide plenty of starters for cross-checking answers. If you don’t – well, it was worth looking.

I’m unfamiliar with this setter’s style so, inevitably, my solution has a few questioning ticks here and there, but that’s not always an indication of doubt over clue soundness. The Telegraph house style trends away from Ximenean and what might puzzle “purists” may well be perfectly OK here.

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