July 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 191

Toughie No 191 by Osmosis

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

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

You have to work to get the answers in this very enjoyable puzzle.  One or two clues have wordplay that takes a bit of unravelling, but there is nothing here that is beyond the capabilities of the average Toughie solver. That’s what I wrote twelve weeks ago, the last time I reviewed a Toughie from this setter, and little seems to have changed!

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DT 25995

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25995

Hints and tips by Libellule

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

A tougher crossword I think today than we have had for a number of weeks. But still very enjoyable. I do however have a small whinge about the definition for 8 down and 11 across. The answers are as usual are hidden between the curly brackets, just highlight the blank space. Comments as always appreciated.

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DT 25990 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25990 – Review

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

A mostly easy puzzle, helped by straightforward clues to 15-letter answers. Only delay was in NW corner, where 11, 4, 2, 8 were the last few answers. A pretty good puzzle this – only a couple of weak CDs, and pretty solid surface meanings – only 13’s “axe a version” seemed really silly to me, and about half were as good as you could hope for – 8, 15 and 18 for example.

The charity bike ride which should have been happening on the day this appears has been postponed in the hope of getting two dry days in a row next week, riding on the second after the muddy sections of towpath have dried out on the first. Continue reading “DT 25990 – Review”

Toughie 190

Toughie No 190 by Kcit

Elegant and Enjoyable

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

Greetings from a soggy Calder Valley (Hebden Bridge sur mer!) and here are the results of Thursday’s Toughie Jury.   In his various guises, Kcit is one of my favourite setters and like Giovanni produces beautifully consistent and elegant puzzles.  Today’s is no exception and contains clues to make you smile, as well as clues that are technically sound and accurate.

Incidentally some news for those of you who also tackle the Guardian puzzle.  One of their long-running setters, Albie Fiore, who compiled under the pen-name Taupi (and Satori in the FT) died yesterday.  Albie’s puzzles were usually fiendishly difficult, but always fair and contained elegance and wit in every clue.  A sad loss to the world of crosswords.  My condolences to his wife and family.

Don’t forget you can rate the puzzle by awarding it a star rating below left. Your comments are always welcome and positively encouraged.  New posters always take a little longer to appear as the first post has to be approved to check for spammers. Continue reading “Toughie 190”

DT 25994

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25994

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

There are a couple of strange anagram indicators in this puzzle. What’s your view on anagram indicators – do you think that virtually anything is acceptable, or should the indicator be a clear instruction to rearrange the letters of the adjacent word(s)? Let’s have a mass debate as Mrs Merton so graphically put it!
Please take the time to grade the enjoyment factor of the puzzle by selecting and clicking on one of the stars at the bottom of the review. As always your comments are most welcome.

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Toughie 189

Toughie No 189 by Campbell

A Delight for the Polymath

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

Having completed this puzzle, I felt that it had taken me longer than it should have done. It’s a good solid Toughie with a couple of new words (to me, at least) thrown in, and enough classical, literary, floral and geographical references to delight any polymath. There is an error in the version on Clued Up which has the wrong length for 9d.
Please take the time to vote for the entertainment factor by selecting and clicking on one of the stars at the bottom of the review. As always we’d be delighted to get your comments.

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DT 25993

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25993

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This is turning out to be  “New Solvers Week” as we are presented with another relatively easy puzzle.  It’s on days like this that you get the full benefits of retirement – torrential rain and no need to go outside!

Two years ago this month I was returning home on a Friday evening and only got as far as Moreton-in-the-Marsh, where the High Street had turned into a river.  I spent the night in a pub (things could have been a lot worse!) and finally managed to reach Hanley Swan on Saturday evening.

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Toughie 188

Toughie No 188 by Warbler

Fun without being too difficult

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

I enjoyed this puzzle without feeling that I had been over-stretched.  I even survived interruptions from the dog, the window-cleaner and the postman!

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DT 25992

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25992

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This is an ideal puzzle for someone starting out on cryptics, but probably not enough of a challenge for the experienced solver. Our experiment in letting everyone define the enjoyment factor is still running – please take the time to set the number of stars at the bottom of the review. Remember that you are grading the puzzle for enjoyment, not difficulty, so set the number of stars from 1 (hated it!) to 5 (the most enjoyment I’ve had all month!) or somewhere in between.

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