September 23, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 221

Toughie No 221 by Shamus
Pulses and Smiles

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

When I wrote the review of yesterday’s Cryptic I said that it was pretty straightforward but with not a great deal to get the pulses racing or bring a smile to the lips. I did not know at the time of writing that it was by Shamus, who later left a tongue-in-cheek comment to the effect that he would try to get into a more pulse-racing mode in future puzzles. Imagine my surprise when the Toughie I have to review the very next day is by the same setter, and, as good as his word, he’s included a number of challenging and amusing clues.
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DT 26041

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26041

One Banana, Two Banana, Three Banana Four…….

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment: ***

Greetings from the rain-kissed paradise that is the Calder Valley.  A nice friendly puzzle  that shouldn’t cause too much trouble to newer solvers, although a couple of clues require a careful reading of the words.  I also thought there were rather a lot of anagrams (eleven actually, especially of short words and five out of the first six clues), which can suggest a little laziness on behalf of the setter, although here the surface readings of clues are generally very good.

As usual, the answers are  “hidden” inside the curly brackets.  Highlighting them will reveal all.  At the end of the blog, you can click on the star rating to show your opinion on the puzzle, and of course, you are welcome to have your say at the end and newer posters should note that their first posts sometimes take a little while to appear due to having to be moderated to check for spammers.

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