Answers – Page 608 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 25988

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25988

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

We come down to earth after yesterday’s classic, but this is still a good puzzle with some very entertaining clues.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal them. And, as always, we’d love to hear your views on the puzzle – just leave a comment.

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Toughie 185

Toughie No 185 by MynoT

Swallowing a Dictionary

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment **

If ferreting out obscure words is your bag then you’ll be in your element with this one! It is certainly a challenge, and I had particular difficulties in the top left-hand corner, with Chambers in overdrive.
As always the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – select the white space to reveal them. Do leave a comment to let us know what you thought of it!

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DT 25987

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25987

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Even the seasoned pros amongst you will find this difficult!  A very enjoyable puzzle, but some of the clues are a bit convoluted.

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Toughie 184

Toughie No 184 by Excalibur

Hitting the Target

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment **

Thanks to Big Dave for helping out last Thursday when my PC and laptop got the equivalent of man flu.   Now working again, I was happy to swap duties and tackle today’s challenge from Excalibur.  I know that this particular setter’s work hasn’t been well-received round these parts, so I tried to tackle this with an open mind.  I have spent about four hours wrestling with this puzzle today and although I consider myself a reasonable solver, some of the clues just defeated me completely.

When I tackle a tough challenge (like last Saturday’s Independent Prize Puzzle which was by another Toughie setter), I normally have a sense of achievement.  However, I just didn’t get that with today’s, I’m sad to report.

There are some clever  and interesting clues, but there are also one or two that don’t make sense.  The overall puzzle is not helped by the grid itself, which means that you only get help from clues within that corner.  I was lucky to solve the four ten-letter answers, but it didn’t offer me any help with the top right corner and I was staring at a completely  blank corner for over two hours.

The best way I can decribe a few of the clues is to say that in archery terms they hit the outer bull, rather than the inner bull.  When I compile my puzzles, I aim to ensure my clues are precise and hit the inner bull every time, I just felt that a couple here didn’t achieve that.

Let’s take a look at today’s clues, then.  I am afraid there are a couple where my explanation may seem vague,  and if you can help make sense of them, please feel free to comment.  As usual, new posters may take a little while for their first posts to appear, this is purely a precaution against spammers gumming the board up.

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DT 25986

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25986

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

If you like cryptic definitions you’ll love this puzzle which has lots, some much better than others. It’s challenging and entertaining, the two qualities you most want from your daily fix.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – just select the white space to reveal them if my hints prove to be totally inadequate!

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DT 25985

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25985

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

This morning I received an email from Facebook saying that someone had added me as a friend.  Those familiar with the site will know that this is frequently the equivalent of email spam, but the name looked familiar so I followed the link rather than binning the email.  The result of this is that I am lunching tomorrow with a friend from University that I haven’t seen for 44 years.  I have added his website,, to the links in the sidebar.  Why am I telling you all – well I immediately contacted Tilsit to see if he could cover for me on tomorrow’s Toughie.  The result is that I am doing today’s contribution from the Monday Maestro, and Tilsit will be with you tomorrow.

Those of you who are used to speeding through the Monday puzzle were probably flashed by the Gatso crossword camera today (your ticket will be in the post)!  While not difficult, this was definitely harder than most previous weeks.

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Toughie 183

Toughie No 183 by Firefly

Another fine puzzle

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

To be honest, this was light relief after yesterday’s marathon.  You need to get 5 down early on otherwise a large section of the puzzle will be made more difficult than necessary.

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DT 25983

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25983

Hints and tips by Libellule

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

Another classic Friday crossword, that cannot be faulted – enjoy. The top right corner is the most tricky, but it’s where the best clues are for me. Your views and opinions appreciated as always.
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DT 25978 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25978 – Review

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

The difficulty of this puzzle was about average for a Saturday Telegraph. I didn’t enjoy this one much because there seemed to be quite a few problems of various kinds with the clues. So let’s get down to business.

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