2513 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 2513

Toughie No 2513 by Elgar

Hints and tips by Dutch

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

The Nina helped me identify the Labour Minister. It reminded me of a caption I saw recently for a soldier in camouflage fatigues wearing a hi-vis jacket. As an optional extra, 20a invites us to play a little game, with the Nina suggesting one example can already be seen in the answer here.… Continue reading

ST 2513

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2513

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

A fairly tricky puzzle, this one. Someone on Sunday asked whether the “level at which they are set is in the gift of the setter for the day or whether the crossword editor issues guidance to toughen things up or to ease back a little?”  I’m sure some attention is paid to this, and I believe the daily setters have some notion of a general desire for the Telegraph puzzle to avoid some of the tougher vocabulary and “general” knowledge that you might need for other broadsheet puzzles (or the Toughies); but I hope they don’t spend too much time agonising about difficulty, because it’s so hard to measure. Two different people of the same ability level can give you completely different reports about the difficulty of a puzzle, whether they’re beginners or experts. In this puzzle, knowing some fairly standard cryptic xwd material probably helped a lot in keeping the solving time down.

Sunsetter seems to have gone for a bit of Times crossword nostalgia here – this grid is the quirkiest one in the current Times set. It was made by former Times xwd editor Edmund Akenhead, and the big black E is his “signature”. It’s also the only Times grid with answers you might not have to solve at all – the two fully checked four-letter answers.

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ST 2513 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2513 – Hints

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

This was harder than the average Sunday Prize puzzle but as enjoyable as ever. Some of the wordplay was a bit tricky, which tipped the difficulty from three to four stars in my book.

Sorry I’m a bit late today, but it took the whole of the morning to recover from yesterday’s session in London. There were too many people there to name all of them, but from a Telegraph perspective Elgar, MynoT and Notabilis were present and I was particularly pleased to meet, for the first time, Derek Harrison from The Crossword Centre – see the link in the sidebar.

Don’t forget that you can give your assessment of the puzzle. Five stars if you thought it was great, one if you hated it, four, three or two if it was somewhere in between.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, I will select a few of the better clues and provide hints for them.

Peter Biddlecombe’s full review of this puzzle will be published at 12.00 on Friday, 11th December.

Continue reading “ST 2513 – Hints”