August 6, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 25996 – Review

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 25996 – Review

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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A fairly straightforward puzzle except for the obscurity at 10A which took me as long as the rest of the puzzle. I’m not keen on puzzles with one stinker clue like this after 29 easy ones – if, as I did, you already knew about orfes, peccadilloes, Lethean and Salieri.

When you read this I should be pedalling my bike about halfway between Tring and Limehouse, so I’ll respond to any feedback on Friday.

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Toughie 194

Toughie No 194 by Busman

Charabancs of Fire!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Calderdale Hospital, where I am having a very short stay (hopefully home this evening!).  I have just been served with a bowl of the finest NHS Chicken Soup and a Cheese Sandwich for lunch.   Rather oddly, I have also been served with Cheese and Biscuits for dessert!

I was admitted at some rather ungodly hour this morning and while waiting for the ambulance to bring me in, I managed to tackle this Toughie.  When I eventually solved it, I tried to play the game of guess the setter (I do wish they would tell us on the website!) and came up with six other suspects rather than Busman.

I have a feeling this may divide the Community; some will like it and others hate it.  I am disappointed with the rating it got on the website,  it certainly wasn’t that weak.

Whether it’s the medication I am been filled up with, I feel rather sanguine about it.  In some ways I am disappointed as Busman’s alter ego produces some absolutely terrific puzzles in The Spectator series ( was last week’s cracker), and this doesn’t feel like a Toughie (today’s DT 26000 was much more ferocious!), but there were clues to make me smile and 8 across was a brilliant clue.  When I finished solving online, I submitted the solution and found I had five mistakes – two were typos, but 2 down,  21 down and 26 across left me having to rethink.

Anyway, let’s dive in and see what lurks within.

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DT 26000

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26000

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Today marks a significant milestone for the Telegraph crossword – look at the crossword number – and the setter has incorporated references to this milestone in the clues. Additionally, there is a gimmick described at 16a/1a.
So, it’s a bit different from the usual daily cryptic; I liked it – what about you? – give us your views via a comment. And please take the time to click on one of the stars at the bottom of the review to vote for the entertainment factor.

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