April 2011 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

NTSPP – 064 (Review)

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 064 (Review)

64 by Anax

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When BD told me Anax had a themed puzzle for number 64, I had visions of another song based puzzle (When I’m 64). Instead we have an excellent puzzle with a mini-theme of notable events / things in 1964.

This review is rather brief as I am not available on Saturday so am preparing this in advance.

Many thanks to Anax for the crossword.

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Toughie 554

Toughie No 554 by Firefly

A Curmudgeon Writes…….

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

Greetings from the Calder Valley.

Well it’s a special once-in-a-lifetime day today. Yes, if the weather stays fine, you’ll be able to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour just after its launch later as it passes over the country.

Oh that’s right, there was something happening in London today. That event seems to have brought out the commemorative puzzles. All the newspapers have them and there were two in the Telegraph (although the Guardian’s Paul is restricted to just one clue: Fancy lad and me tied knot! (4,9)). Paul can fight with Giovanni for the cleverer version of it.

I’m risking death-rays I know, but I didn’t really enjoy the Toughie today. I have solved all the big newspaper puzzles today and this lags a bit behind all the others. The Times puzzle has elegantly written (if rather sycophantic) topical clues, the Indy and FT both made me laugh out loud and Giovanni’s DT puzzle was his usual elegant work. This offering by Firefly really seemed a bit too contrived in parts and mystifying in others. It doesn’t give me any pleasure to say this, as I do normally enjoy his puzzles in other papers, especially his barred ones.

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ST 2585 Review

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2585

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The closing date for this Prize puzzle has been put back, so the review will be published at 12.00noon on Tuesday, 3rd May.

DT 26539

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26539

There’s No Escape!

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It can’t come as any great surprise to anyone that today’s puzzle has a theme. So whether you’re enthralled by the whole thing or can’t wait for it to be over, you’re stuck with it here. Let us know what you thought of it in a comment.
For the last few weeks the on-line site appeared to have solved its problems with the enumeration of multi-clue answers. So it’s disappointing to find that they’ve reverted to the old, unsatisfactory method.
If you want to see an answer highlight the space between the brackets under the clue.

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DT 26534

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26534

A full review by Gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All!. Cephas gave us a very enjoyable puzzle. At first glance I wasn’t sure that it was his but having gone through the clues it was clearly one of his!

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Toughie 553

Toughie No 553 by Warbler

Heads you win…

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Bufo is in transit today so BD kindly offered me the chance to blog today’s Toughie. Little did I know that I would have a nice gentle Warbler crossword to review. Her crosswords are always fair and usually at the easier end of the spectrum of the Toughies. Today’s is one of her easier crosswords but none the less enjoyable. My only minor criticism is that there is a heavy reliance on using the first / last / middle letters of a word as part of the solution. However as I am a man of “superb taste” I hope that Warbler will forgive me!

I have highlighted my favourite clues in blue. I am on spring cleaning duty today so will be back later to add some pictures and look at any feedback.

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DT 26538

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26538

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Thursdays without Ray T can sometimes be very dull, but not today. We have an excellent replacement which I really enjoyed. I have been persuaded by Crypticsue to increase my original difficulty rating, so I’ll be interested to know what you think!

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Toughie 552

Toughie No 552 by Micawber

A Couple of Gags

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

I think that I’m lucky to review the Wednesday Toughies, because they’re usually pretty good and I do seem to get regular doses of Micawber. He’s given us another excellent puzzle today; I proceeded fairly steadily through it but was then held up for a bit in the SE corner. Let us know how you got on in a comment.

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