November 27, 2009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

ST 2511

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2511

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

Quite tricky for me, this one – possibly the hardest Sunday puzzle for me since I started blogging them, though partly from one of those unfortunate groupings of answers that were hard for me – 16D, 17D, 20A, 27A. If one of these had been in each 20A, they would have caused far less trouble! Another source of difficulty might be the simple fact that every answer except 14D is a single word – this seems to make cheap guessed answers harder to come by. (As usual, I’m writing this before seeing what anyone said on the day, so look forward to finding “This was a doddle” comments when I do …)

Note after reading the Sunday hints messages – the newspaper material in 27A’s wordplay is repeated elsewhere, for a “Nina” that completely passed me by – you can find the Sun in 6D, Independent in 3D, Mail in 14D, and Guardian in 12D. If you want to really push it, the Melbourne Age (9A) and and New London [Connecticut] Day (21A) are also there, along with stories (23A) and just the one lie (15A). I found these while failing to notice the Mail.

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Toughie 259

Toughie No 259 by Elgar

All the fun of the pair

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

There’s usually a sense of dread on seeing a clue-set littered with “See x” and numerical references, and a pre-solve reading of these made me fear the worst; I think there were just two answers spotted. As it turned out, this was a fairly relaxing solve, not too difficult and – very strangely – quite muted in terms of Elgar’s usual LOL clues.

As I start the write-up there are a number of clues whose wordplay I only tried to work out after solving, not always with success. Part of Elgar’s unique brilliance is his libertarian playfulness, and he gets away with stuff that other setters probably wouldn’t.

My favourite clues are shown in blue text.

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DT 26097

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26097

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

The Friday Cryptic is often the highlight of the week and, once again, Giovanni does not disappoint. It’s full of entertaining clues, but I did find it quite tricky – let us know whether you agree or not!

As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets so that you cannot see them accidentally – just highlight the white space inside the brackets and say “abracadabra” to reveal one.

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