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ST 2501 – Hints

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2501 – Hints

Selected hints by Big Dave

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

These Sunday puzzles just keep getting better.  This one is somewhere between a standard daily puzzle and a Toughie in terms of difficulty.

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, 18th September.

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DT 26032 – Hints

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26032 – Hints

No whingeing today!

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

I actually enjoyed this one!  The best Saturday prize puzzle in a while just about creeps into 3-star difficulty.  The only proper noun is a Biblical character who is considerately clued as an anagram.

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. A full review of this puzzle by Tilsit will be published at 12.00 on Thursday, 17th September.

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ST 2500

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2500

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

As expected, this puzzle was a bit out of the ordinary. At least in the online version, it was accompanied by a warning message attached to the first across and down clues: “WARNING: Two answers in this special 2500th puzzle require numbers as well as letters. The figure zero must be entered as a capital O.” This spoiled any possible surprise but I guess it was necessary for clarity when completing entries online.

Our Sunday setter specialises in thematic puzzles when writing as Virgilius or Brendan, so it’s no surprise that the thematic element here is handled elegantly – each of the Across rows in the grid has one word in the theme, which is clarified by the clue for 28A.

The thematic stuff led to some strange words elsewhere but solvers seem to have found even the one that’s not a proper English word – or so some of us thought – see below.

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Toughie 215

Toughie No 215 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

I struggled more than I usually do with a Firefly puzzle despite getting the 4d/16a/18a combination, that is the key to several other clues, very early on.  Very enjoyable stuff, with only a few “easy” clues.

Feel free to add your comments.

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DT 26031

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26031

Hints and tips by Libellule

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Back in the Friday slot, because Gazza is taking a day off and what do we have? Not an overly difficult puzzle today, but a little tricky in places. But otherwise perfectly enjoyable entertainment.

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DT 26026

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26026

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment: **

Tilsit has been unable to do this review, but will be in this slot next week.

Just a few weaker clues in this prize puzzle, but it wouldn’t be Saturday without a boy or a girl – this week it’s a girl!

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Toughie 214

Toughie No 214 by Messinae

Messinae Magic!

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

A lovely  Toughie today, worthy of the title and set by one of my favourite setters Messinae.   A nice feeling came over me when I entered the last answer, and  I was able to look back on a good fight with the compiler.

As usual, feel free to add your comments afterwards, and don’t forget to add a star rating as well.

Couple of grumbles with the website clues in the Java version.  No link between 1a and 10a at 1 across and an apostrophe missed off 8 down, which made the clue look wrong.

Off we go!

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DT 26030

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26030

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Because I’m away tomorrow, Libellule has kindly agreed to swap reviews and he will be doing tomorrow’s. The one he’s missed out on today is pretty straightforward with well-crafted clues but nothing to make you break out in peals of laughter.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets so that you cannot see them accidentally – just select the white space between the brackets if you want to reveal one.
As always we’d love to get comments from you.

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Toughie 213

Toughie No 213 by Myops
A Three Pipe Problem

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

I reckon that even Sherlock Holmes would have been stretched by some of the wordplay in this one, but you do get a sense of satisfaction from unravelling some of these clues. Along the way I seem to have mislaid a couple of anagram indicators – if you can find them please let me know!
We’d love to get a comment from you about the puzzle, the review or even the weather (lovely in the South-West today!). Also, please click on one of the five stars at the bottom of the review to record your assessment of the puzzle.

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DT 26029

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26029

All Puzzled Out!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Greetings from the Peoples’ Republic of Hebden Bridge, and before I start, a quick word of thanks to Gazza for covering last Thursday’s Toughie for me at short notice. I must confess to feeling somewhat drained as I have managed to do the Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and Times puzzles today. I figured that one or two might have something special going on (09/09/09), and was right. Today’s Telegraph wasn’t one of them, but then I wasn’t expecting it to be.

I wrote last week about clues hitting the target, but not the bullseye or gold and today’s puzzle is like that. The surface reading of some clues is off the mark, and others just seem inaccurate (What is a carbon-free decree?) Should we expect our clues to make sense, or are we spoilt when some setters spend their time achieving accuracy in their surface readings? As an aspiring compiler, I spend a lot of my time trying to write clues that read well and make sense both literally and factually. The fact that many of my attempts end up in the waste or recycle bin because they don’t must say something.

I found today’s DT puzzle to be reasonable, nothing more or less. There was nothing in there that really troubled me and I would be terribly surprised if most of the regulars felt differently. What I did miss was anything to make me smile and I did find that in abundance in the other three daily puzzles I solved. I did deliberately make sure this was the first one I solved today, but it just seemed rather humdrum, I’m afraid.

As usual, I’d love to see your thoughts, and you can leave them after the blog. Newer visitors should note that the clue answers are hidden between the curly brackets, and you need to highlight between the brackets with your mouse to view them. New message posters should note that your first post also takes a little while to appear, as they are moderated for spammers.

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