Answers – Page 617 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26049

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26049

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Having got used to the Friday puzzle being the highlight of the week, I must admit to being a tad disappointed with this one. There’s nothing specifically wrong with it, but I didn’t get the “wow” factor from any of the clues, and (I know this is subjective, and others may disagree) I thought that it was on the easier side of average in terms of difficulty.

I look forward to hearing your views, especially those of our correspondents who usually have problems on a Friday.

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DT 26044

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26044

God Save the Nina!

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

I think I shall start this review by introducing you to a new word. Or at least a word whose meaning you are not familiar with. NINA. What is it, O wise one, you ask? Well, gentle reader, it’s a word that has been adapted by crossword setters to mean something hidden in a crossword that you may not be aware of. Quite a few puzzles have Ninas, although you’d never know if you were not looking for them.

The Nina is actually named after the daughter of American artist Al Hirschfeld, who would hide things in his drawings that are related to Nina, his daughter. And so crossword setters happily nicked the idea for their puzzles as well. Some contain little messages like HAPPY BIRTHDAY or suchlike around the perimeter or in the rows between the answers. Sometimes some of the answers are linked in a sort of private joke. Some of you may know that I compile puzzles for the Independent General Knowledge Jumbo series (as Harbinger, I’m in this Saturday’s paper by the way!) and in July, a puzzle of mine read HAPPY BIRTHDAY BERYL across the top, as a tribute to my lovely sister who was celebrating her birthday on the day it was published. The Sunday Telegraph recently had a General Knowledge puzzle where a lot of the answers were the names of Toughie Crossword compilers. The Telegraph Crossword actually has a sort of famous history of Ninas going back to World War II, where the then setter Leonard Dawe published several puzzles that inadvertently contained the top secret codenames of the D-Day beaches just before the landings happened, and he was hauled in for questioning.   Although that article says it was coincidence, Dawe was a teacher and used to encourage his pupils, some of whom were sons of RAF Officers, to supply words for him to put in the puzzles.

Anyway, back to 2009. Last Saturday’s puzzle was a tribute to our very own Big Dave and this site, and while it is tempting to think of our host as a dementia-ridden nun who likes to sing God Save The Queen, I think that would have been going a bit too far. Although Mrs BD may like to produce evidence!

This was quite a nice puzzle and certainly an improvement on the previous week. There were some lovely clues and as I solved it, I began to see one or two things appearing. So let’s have a look….

Don’t forget to vote on it at the end of the blog by clicking on the star rating, and have your say in the comment boxes at the very end. Newer posters sometimes take a little while for their posts to appear as their posts are moderated.

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Toughie 226

Toughie No 226 by Kcit

Put through the Mangle?

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment **

After finishing this one I felt as if I had been put through the mangle! It was moderately difficult but I didn’t enjoy doing it. Some of the wordplay still eludes me so maybe I might change my mind later.

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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DT 26048

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26048

Hints and tips by Libellule

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

Not quite two stars, but I don’t think this is worth three stars for difficulty either. But there’s still a lot of fun to be had and depressingly I can’t even complain about the anagram indicators.

Did the setter deliberately juxtapose 1d and 17d and also 21d and 8d? I am not sure, but I like the effect.

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Toughie 225

Toughie No 225 by Notabilis

Taken at the Flood

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

There’s a bit of a theme involving water and leaks in this puzzle by one of my favourite Toughie setters. Getting the answer to one of his clues is often only the first step – you then have an enjoyable battle with the wordplay to try to understand it fully. This puzzle does not disappoint, with some lovely twists.

This week’s Toughies are looking good so far – let’s hope the trend continues! We’d love to get a comment from you, whether containing bouquets or brickbats.

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DT 26047

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26047

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment **

Tilsit is taking a few days off to attend to other matter, but don’t worry he’s not unwell and should be back next week. Today’s puzzle is one of those that will probably split the opinions into two. The more experienced solvers will dismiss it, and the less experienced will be happy that they have finished it.

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 224

Toughie No 224 by Micawber
Result happiness!

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

We have been having some nice easy Tuesday Toughies for a few weeks now…. Well its time to wake up and smell the coffee. A really enjoyable crossword, with some great surface readings and clues to make you smile.  Getting some of the longer answers early on will help.

Feel free to leave a comment.

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DT 26046

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26046

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Regular solvers will doubtless recognise the style of today’s setter – all single-word answers, a good variety of clue types and few proper nouns. It was a good workout with some smiles along the way.

As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets, so that you do not see them by accident; if you do want to see one, just highlight the white space inside the brackets.

All comments are welcome, whether from regular contributors or first timers.

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DT 26045

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26045

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

It was nice to get going on this typical Rufus puzzle after my earlier brush with DT 49.  I had missed the wonderful cryptic definitions that are to be found here.

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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DT 49

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 49

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

I managed to pick this up from CluedUp when I asked for today’s puzzle.  You can get to it by entering 49 into the puzzle number in the Search Puzzle Archive on the main crossword puzzles page.  You will find that it is dated today!  It also uses exactly the same grid as DT 26045 – coincidence?

Maybe it was just the biorhythms, but I found this to be a little harder than the average Monday puzzle. There are enough charades today for a whole TV program (for those who remember “Give Us a Clue”).

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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