October 29, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 26068

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26068

A Really Grumpy Old Man writes ……

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment *

I manage to enjoy most puzzles that I solve, but this just left me completely cold. I am sure there are some of you who will have enjoyed this but I just found some of the cluing lazy and lacking any wit or imagination. There are few decent clues there but they are swamped by the dross. I won’t comment on the double unches in the grid as one of my esteemed colleagues will come on and point out they are OK, suffice it to say I do not.

Fortunately there are better Saturday puzzles and I shall seek solace in those. In fact, this puzzle limps a long way behind all of the others. I have no problem with an easier puzzle if the clues are elegantly written (see every Monday in the Telegraph), but most clues here today are uninspired and in a few cases hackneyed. It would be the sort of puzzle I would expect to see in a magazine such as The Puzzler rather than a serious newspaper.

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Toughie 242

Toughie No 242 by Giovanni

Cooking the Books!

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

A really enjoyable challenge from Giovanni today, but it contained a rare flaw from our setter.  The answer to 4 down contained a misspelling.  However all is well now and a correct spelling and clue have been inserted.    I have known Giovanni for a number of years and on checking with him, and realising a slip had been made and being the professional he is, he was mortified. A quick exchange of mail and all resolved.   This didn’t distract too much from the overall puzzle, which was to his usual standard.

A good balance of all types of clue in the puzzle with a couple  of fairly tricky explanations.  However fairness is paramount at all times, and aspiring setters should study the wording and phrasing of the clues to see how he achieves the clever surface reading.

Have your say after the review, but do remember that new posters may wait a little while (sometimes a few minutes, possibly an hour or so) to have first posts approved.  This just prevents those nasty spammers from gluing up the works.  You can also rate the puzzle with the star rating.

[I have now been able to access the new version, but only from the Play Puzzles / Crossword Puzzles page, not from the home page. BD]

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DT 26072

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26072

Hints and tips by Libellule

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

Once again I didn’t find this crossword particularly taxing (although I am sure some of you will disagree), but enjoyed the ramble through it nevertheless. As usual a good mixture of clues and a nice range of complexity. But today I have to congratulate J. on a cracking clue. 17a.

Any comments are appreciated.

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