April 2, 2010 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

ST 2529

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2529

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

A notch or two harder than most of the Sunday puzzles for me. The most interesting clues for me were 1A and 1D – both as cryptic clues and as a possible controversial comparison! (BG has expressed one or two political opinions in other puzzles.)

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Toughie 330

Toughie No 330 by Firefly

Holiday Fever

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

After about 30 minutes, with three or four unfilled answers, I started to panic with this one. The problem for me was an abject lack of knowledge about the themed answers connected with 4d, so there was more guesswork going on than I’m used to. That wasn’t a legitimate cause for panic, of course; no, it was panic because today is going to be a mad rush before flying out to Italy pre-sunrise tomorrow. My parents live over there, you see, so while I have the advantage of very cheap holidays on a hillside overlooking the Med with Portovenere in the distance and hot sun and great food and beautiful scenery and fellow bloggers turning green with envy, I have the disadvantage of midnight emails asking me to buy various bits and pieces they can’t get over there.

It’s fair to say my mind is on other things, so let’s stop the holiday talk for a moment and knuckle down…

This was a straight-down-the-middle sort of puzzle for me – no fireworks but hardly anything to grumble about; in fact there is an unexpected and very commendable high point at 12a. My enjoyment rating of three stars is only because I didn’t have an affinity with the theme, but I’m sure many of you will have taken greater pleasure in it.

Favourite clues are, as ever, in blue.

Leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

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DT 26204

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26204

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

The absence of Clued Up this morning meant that I had to go out to get a paper and type in the clues (so apologies for any transcription errors). It also means that I’ve been unable to verify my answers, so you may find that I’ve got the whole thing totally wrong!
I thought that today’s Giovanni was a strange mixture of very simple clues (especially 23d) and some answers (13a, 14d and 18d) that I’d never heard of. The four 3-letter clues in the middle all have fully-checked letters so that it’s possible to get an answer without looking at the clue at all!
Your comments are as always very welcome, and may I take the opportunity to wish all our readers a very enjoyable holiday weekend.

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