September 9, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

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!
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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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