August 10, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26003

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26003

The Return of the Native

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Back from my short stay in Stalag Luft Calderdale Hospital, where I staged a daring escape by making a small but serviceable glider from pee pots that were stashed in my secret store there.  With a good wind I was able to launch myself off the roof and soar majestically down the Calder Valley and landed safe and sound back in Hebden Bridge.

And after a weekend  allegedly recuperating, we have the Monday Maestro to tackle.  After last week’s plethora of double definition clues, we seem to have an abundance of cryptic definitions which you either love or hate.

I found today’s puzzle pleasant and the usual fine warm-up to the week, but I do have an issue that the answer to one of the clues is almost handed to you on a plate by the clue to the intersecting answer.  The answer is at 23 across and the clue at 21 down.  I just think it looks untidy and would it have made the puzzle ultra-difficult by letting 21 down read  “23 across-ed sheep tear about”?  The expression at 10 across is new to me, and there could have been an ambiguity at 8 down, but it is resolved by the subsidiary indications.  There are also issues with the use of “a”, which in some clues is essential, but in others is padding and would affect the clue’s surface reading if left out.

Let’s go……

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