March 12, 2010 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

ST 2526

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2526

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

Three Brian Greer trade-mark clues in this puzzle – the long hidden word at 23A, and the two all-in-ones at 3D and 6D. Moderate difficulty and the usual elegant clues – away we go …

A few minutes late with the blog as I couldn’t get onto CluedUp this morning – clues below courtesy of a copy wisely kept by Dave. I’d already decided not to give every last shred of wordplay any more – let me know if I’ve left something out that needs explaining.

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Toughie 318

Toughie No 318 by Notabilis

This is what they want

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

This blog often contains comments about whether or not the Toughie does what it says on the tin, but getting the balance exactly right – a tough puzzle, but solvable and enjoyable – is difficult to achieve. The three stars I’ve given for difficulty here are solely a reflection of the fact that I managed to get on the setter’s wavelength very quickly, but I suspect others may have found it hard going in places. What I can be fairly sure of, though, is that those who got through it will have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. No doubt the crossword editor receives many comments along the lines of “I think the Telegraph Toughie should be…”; the only thing I can say is that an increase in the number of puzzles by Notabilis would be welcomed by all. He really is a superb setter; imaginative, witty, concise and solidly Ximenean in technique.

This puzzle is no exception, an absolute delight. The clues are completely fair, smooth, and littered with just the right number of “Aha!” moments, and also a few genuine “Bravo!” moments.

My favourites are in blue but I’ve tried to highlight the very best out of a really fine set of clues.

Your comments on the puzzle are most welcome. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

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DT 26186

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26186

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

It’s Friday, it’s Giovanni, it’s good – what more can I say?
We normally have lots of comments on Friday, so please don’t let this week be an exception. If you’ve been lurking here for a while and have yet to introduce yourself, now would be an excellent time to take your courage in both hands and write something in that comment box at the bottom!
For new readers, the answers are hidden so that you don’t see them by accident. If you do need to reveal one, drag your cursor through the space between the curly brackets under the relevant clue.

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