September 2011 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 642

Toughie No 642 by Notabilis

Lots of four letter words (uttered and entered)!

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

DT Website rating: minus 4539

Greetings from the Calder Valley. As if the day wasn’t bright and sunny enough, we have a splendidly fiendish puzzle from the master setter Notabilis. My plan of action was to print off the puzzle and take it to a hospital appointment this morning. However, due to the dreadful Telegraph website, my plan almost did not come to fruition. I spent an hour between midnight and 1 am trying to get into the site without success. Luckily an American chum persevered and managed to get in after about 40 attempts and was able to send me a copy. Come on, Telegraph IT experts, get your act into gear, or just follow the Guardian’s experience and go free and ditch the competitive elements.

Rant over. Back to the puzzle. When I looked through the clues, I thought that 11 across presented a good place to start and was rather pleased when I entered DIVA (a reversal of AVID – extremely keen). Oh dear! I was wrong. I did think it a bit odd that the next clue I got actually had AVID inside it (9 across), but I was completely stymied in the right corner. However, when I realised what 5 down was, all fell into place. The mark of a great crossword is being nicely deceptive, and today’s challenge achieved it. Thanks to Notabilis for an excellent battle.

Continue reading “Toughie 642”

ST 2607

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2607

A full review by Gnomethang

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Afternoon All!. Last week Crypticsue was bemoaning the fact that I seem to get the themed Virgilius puzzles. Despite the tantalising “HIDDEN SKETCH” running along the bottom I have been unable to find four Yorkshiremen, any dead parrots nor even a scrap of cheese. I hope I haven’t missed something whilst just presenting a review of another excellent puzzle from Brian Greer.

Continue reading “ST 2607”

DT 26671

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26671

Hints and tips by Libellule

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

I thought this was a bit trickier crossword than usual from Giovanni (not that it spoilt my enjoyment) and would be interested in opinions. As is usual on a blogging day it seemed to take ages to get access to the Telegraph Puzzles site to both to print a copy and then check the answers. Bah humbug!

Continue reading “DT 26671”

DT 26666

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26666

A full review by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This week Cephas presented us with one of those seems-tricky-while-solving/took-the-same-time-as usual puzzles , but that’s one of the joys of cryptic solving, one never knows how each puzzle will work out.  Thanks to Cephas once again.   

Continue reading “DT 26666”

Toughie 641

Toughie No 641 by Elkamere

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I did this puzzle in no time at all. Well, that’s according to the kitchen clock that I was using to time myself. It wasn’t until I’d finished the puzzle that I noticed that the clock had stopped and so my time was zero. Actually it felt as if it took longer than average and it certainly took me some time to get started on the southwest corner once everything else had been done. So I’ve given it 4 stars for difficulty though I suspect others will rate it as 3 stars. It was an enjoyable puzzle.

Continue reading “Toughie 641”

DT 26670

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26670

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

A very enjoyable puzzle from one of this week’s mystery setters (but I have a suspicion as to who it might be!). My only grumble is that 1 across may be a bit too difficult for some.

Continue reading “DT 26670”

Toughie 640

Toughie No 640 by Kcit

As Tough as Falling Off a Log

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from all the reviews I’ve written here it’s that if I stray from a middle-of-the-road view on the difficulty of a puzzle I’ll get flack. If I describe it as “pretty tough” someone is bound to comment that they did it whilst listening to the Greenwich time signal; if I label it as particularly easy we’ll get tearful comments from people who have sweated all day over it. So, taking my courage in both hands, I am emboldened to say that this is the easiest Toughie I can remember – when I was solving it I had to look at the top of the page to reassure myself that I’d printed off the right puzzle. There’s nothing wrong with the puzzle itself – in fact I enjoyed it and it would have made a good back-page cryptic, but it doesn’t cut the mustard as a Toughie.
Let us know what you thought of it and please take the time to click on one of the stars below to indicate your enjoyment factor.
PS Another complaint – there’s not much scope for pictures. :D

Continue reading “Toughie 640”

DT 26669

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26669

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja.  Well, I’ve easily broken my all-time speed record for a DT cryptic on this one! But, as I said last week, they don’t have to be hard to be fun and I really enjoyed solving this one. What do you think? Was I just on the right wavelength today or are Jay’s recent puzzles getting a bit  easier?
Continue reading “DT 26669”

Toughie 639

Toughie No 639 by Beam

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Beam, aka Ray T, is one of the setters whose puzzles I always look forward to solving. This one was about the same difficulty as some of his back-page puzzles, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Continue reading “Toughie 639”

DT 26668

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26668

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

One of the Tuesday Mysterons has given us a very enjoyable puzzle (with a tasty pun in the Quickie) this morning. Let us know how you fared in a comment.

Continue reading “DT 26668”