Solutions – Page 615 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26054

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26054

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Libellule was due to review this puzzle, but he is unable to get on-line at the moment, so I’ve taken it on at short notice – hence the late posting, for which I apologise.

This one is certainly easier than yesterday’s, but it still has one new word and one new meaning for me. The answers as usual are hidden inside the curly brackets – just highlight the white space inside to reveal all.

All comments are welcome.

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Toughie 229

Toughie No 229 by Messinae

An Abomination of Clergy

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

After yesterday’s divertissement we’re back on track today with a good solid Toughie, which seems to have a theme relating to religion, retribution, the occult and horror. It has some good surface readings with a few smiles along the way.

Please let us know your opinion via a comment.

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DT 26053

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26053

Oh No It’s Not! Oh Yes It Is!! Er….Oh No It’s Not!!!

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

A lovely puzzle with some really good clues, especially the clever ones at 9 across, 26 across and . However, some of your bloggers have been involved in heated debate today over one clue in particular. 6 across refers to the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. At first I solved it and thought it was a nice clue but then I started to wonder if Abel was the Third Man. Checks with that eminent theologian, The slightly Reverend Big Dave revealed that Abel was indeed the Third Man, after Adam and Cain. I had forgotten about Eve’s sex, but let’s not go there. Fine thought I, nice clue, and move on. Wrong! Of course Cain murdered Abel; everyone worked that out without calling in Miss Marple. So therefore Abel was the victim! By now the other bloggers had joined in and I suspect it’s a misprint and should have read “This victim was The Third Man”.

Enough of matters theological. On with the blog. Don’t forget to have your say and to mark the puzzle with the star rating system. New posters should be aware that we keep the answers hidden between the curly brackets and that they need to be highlighted with your mouse to reveal them. First-time posters on the blog should also know that their posts sometimes take a little while to appear as they have to be moderated to check we are not being attaced by spammers.

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Toughie 228

Toughie No 228 by Campbell

No Comment

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BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment **

I am not sure what to say about this Toughie, so I won’t. But if you want to claim that you have done a Toughie, then this is the one to go for…

As usual please leave a comment if you want to share a thought or two with us.

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DT 26052

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26052

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

I thought that this one was a bit of a curate’s egg – a few nice clues mixed in with some pretty tired ones. You may, of course, disagree – we like to hear all opinions, so please let us know what you think, but if you’re going to say that it was wonderful or it was horrible please do try to give reasons or examples, so that we can get a debate going.

As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets, so that you don’t see them accidentally. If you do want to see the answer, just highlight the white space between the brackets.

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DT 26051

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26051

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

A typical offering from our Monday Maestro. You can get a bit lost in the isolated corners and I wasn’t too happy about “in Pakistan” as the definition of a river. There were, however, a few smiles along the way.

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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ST 2503

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2503

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

I lost my original copy of this, but think it took a little longer than usual, as I’d entered quite a convincing red herring answer at 8D and had to correct this to get 4A – ?O?S?S?T didn’t look any more likely than ?O?S?S?R

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Toughie 227

Toughie No 227 by Myops

The Big Stinker!

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

I really struggled with this one – Myops is well known in Scotland for setting the Wee Stinker and this one shows why it is so called.

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 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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