12th Birthday – almost a teenager! – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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12th Birthday – almost a teenager!

Big Dave’s Crossword Blog celebrates its twelfth birthday today!

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The blog has been going for 12 years today, 28th January.  No celebration at the Bridge this year, but we are hoping to arrange a Zoom meeting on Saturday (more later) Saturday 27th February Saturday 27th March (more in tomrrow’s Saturday Crossword Club).

I couldn’t have done it without the support of the fabulous team of bloggers who daily give up their time and the thousands of you who read the blog every day of the year, so thank you one and all.


84 comments on “12th Birthday – almost a teenager!

  1. Always one of the first ports of call after opening the computer. Congrats to Dave and the team.

  2. A very Happy Birthday to this wonderful blog! 12 amazing years! Congratulations and many thanks to BD and all the team.

  3. You have created a thing of wonder

    It seems very strange to be wishing a website ‘happy birthday’ but your achievements with this venture certainly deserve to be recognised and applauded. So BD and all who take their time to write hints and clues a huge, big, vast, gigantic thank you!

    If ever there was a day the naughty corner needed cake, it must be today!🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂

  4. Your site has been a godsend to me and, no doubt, other crossword newbies. Long may you continue.

  5. Happy birthday, blog. Your bloggers and commenters are so lovely that I read it even when I don’t do the crossword.

    Hope to meet in person one day.

  6. Congratulations to you Dave and to all the wider team. Not only does it feel to me that you’ve really created a ‘family’ here at BD’s blog but you’ve also encouraged several of us into that wild world of setting – and that simply wouldn’t have happened without you. My heartfelt thanks.

    Tim / Encota

    PS Does that make you a tweenager?? I love that definition in Chambers: “A … child who has already developed an interest in … exasperating his or her parents.” At least that’s how I read it 😉

  7. BD , on behalf of the many who read the blog regularly yet contribute occasionally or never , congratulations and happy birthday 🥳.
    Not forgetting the Setters , of course .

  8. Congratulations – I shall miss going to The Bridge. An annual event which I sometimes coupled with a visit to The France Show and also with a visit to the grandsons. Sadly none of which are possible this year. Last year there were fewer in Number due to pre-Covid after Christmas Illness, and pre- Covid closed train lines. I was looking forward to a bumper turn out this year but will now have to wait till next. In the meantime a Zoom party on Saturday would be fun.

  9. 12 years ago. Congratulations. Jeannie and I first met 54 years ago today. And we are still together.

  10. Very many happy returns and heartfelt thanks from this daily visitor. Although I rarely comment because I do the puzzle early so by the time (much later in the day) I come to the blog I’ve forgotten the crossword. However I love to read everyone’s news and I feel this site is better than a therapist.

    Long may you continue BD

  11. Congratulations BD and all the team. This site and its many bloggers brighten my day and have helped me enormously with my crossword solving.

  12. Happy birthday and thank you. It/you has made my crossword solving so much more successful and enjoyable! I’m looking forward to the next 12.

  13. Congratulations on the 12th anniversary of the site BD. Many thanks to you and to all the team of reviewers who put so much effort into making the site so enjoyable.

  14. Thank you BD. You have helped to develop my crossword skills so much, and the site is even more of a godsend in the present circumstances.

  15. A very Happy 12th Birthday to the Blog, and congratulations to BD and his team and to all those who contribute from so many different parts of the globe.

  16. Congrats & happy birthday. A marvellous blog & a real find. Very grateful to all who give of their time to make it work so well & to all who comment daily. Long may it continue

  17. Happy Birthday and thank you so much BD for creating and sustaining this wonderful site. Thank you to all the bloggers for the hints and explanations that have helped my crossword solving and enjoyment of them. I love the sense of humour and friendliness of all who contribute here. I read you most days and it enriches my life. This must be the best blog ever!

  18. As lockdown started and I discovered daily access to the paper via pressreader. I decided to learn how to do the cryptic crossword. I could already do some of the simpler clues thanks to advice from my Dad when I was a teenager. However, the nuances of the more cryptic clues eluded me. Thanks to this blog I have gradually learnt many of the command terms such as ‘doctor’ and ‘criminal’ as anagram indicators and ‘discovered’ to take off the outside letters, among many others. I am proud to say that I can now often complete, or nearly complete, the crossword without recourse to the hints (although still not on a Thursday!). What a lockdown skill to have mastered!!. Many thanks to all the bloggers and contributors for many hours of education and enlightenment.

    1. Thanks AJM. I have now created a quiz question. In cryptic crosswords, what is common to doctor, engineer, tailor, butcher and criminal. The answer is that they are all anagram indicators.

  19. Happy birthday and Many Happy Returns to BD and the team. Not only have you helped me become a better cruciverbalist but you have been a great source of entertainment and imformation along the way.

  20. Many, many congratulations and heartfelt thanks to Dave, the great bloggers and everyone who contributes in even a small way to this inspiring website. Coming on here every day is as much part of my routine as the mid-morning coffee.

  21. Congratulations to Big Dave and all contributors: this is a fantastic blog and one I check daily. Amusing and informative: what more could you want?

    Thanks to all.

  22. Dear BD and your team of setters, reviewers and bloggers. Congratulations on reaching this milestone, and we all look forward to many more such celebratory messages. I am not generally a fan of ‘social media’ – but this blog is most definitely an exception to the rule! :good:

  23. Happy birthday to BD and all the bloggers past and present who contributed to make this site one of the few bridges remaining between me and the U.K.
    Hope that we will be able to meet again soon.

  24. Happy birthday BD!!
    You have created a wonderful community which is increasingly important in these difficult times.
    My first meeting with you and the great and the good of the crossword world was at The George in May 2017. Being suitably fortified with beer, I pestered loads of people on how to get started as a compiler. They all came up with the same reply – send a puzzle to BD and persuade him to publish it in Rookie Corner.
    Very sound advice, for which I will be forever grateful.

  25. Many congratulations for 12 years of helping people to gain an insight into cryptic crossword solving and building a community at the same time. Congrats also to your team of bloggers who do a stalwart job in producing those ‘insights’ on a daily basis. Shame that ‘The Bridge’ is off the calendar for this year :sad: – hopefully normality will return by next January :smile: I’ll buy you a pint next time we meet. Well done

  26. Happy Birthday Big Dave! This is a great cryptic crossword tutorial and has saved my hair being torn from my head on many a day. Lovely to follow the chat too….from political rants to poorly pets. Many happy returns.

  27. Happy Birthday to the wonderful Big Dave website and a huge thank you to all the fantastic bloggers. I discovered the site a couple of years ago and the hints have really helped me hone my solving skills. I don’t always get to the site in time to comment but I follow daily all the highs and lows of those that regularly do. It’s a terrific community of people who I feel I know and it has been a great refuge during these troubling times. Congratulations 🥳👏🏻👏🏻

  28. Congratulations one and all for a wonderful blog. Having found you by accident about 11 years ago, circumstances made me revert to being a lurker midstream and I want to say ‘thank you’ on behalf of those lurkers who choose to stay as such and who derive great please from your blog. Long may you continue.

  29. Congratulations to all connected with this site – a superb resource.

    I shall celebrate the occasion in song the next time I wash my hands :smile:

  30. Congratulations!

    The NTSPP, MPP and Rookie Corner have been wonderful additions over the last 12 years!

  31. A very happy birthday to the blog and many thanks to BD and his tireless team for continuing to produce all the reviews, hints and special puzzles for us to learn from and enjoy.
    I do hope that CS is sending us all a virtual slice of birthday cake and maybe JL can organise some of those delicious macaroons as well!

    1. Mr CS usually gets the last slice of blog birthday cake but this year he’s just eating the first one on behalf of the rest of you. Apparently it’s a bit of a sacrifice but he’s sure he’ll cope :)

      There’s a photo as part of the birthday banner

        1. I didn’t set out to make a blog birthday cake – I had some marzipan and other ingredients left over from Christmas baking that needed using up. It then occurred to me that if I added a 12, it would make a perfect socially-distanced birthday cake

          1. I do hope that Mr CS isn’t planning to eat the entire cake by himself! He’d need a lot of brisk walks to negate the effects of that amount of indulgence.

      1. Lucky Mr CS! That cakes looks simply delicious, Crypticsue! Perfect for the Blog’s 12th Birthday. Yum!

  32. Amazing – three cheers and well done to BD for keeping it all going – three cheers also to Mrs BD for putting up with it all.
    We found the blog by accident about ten years ago (I think). I lurked for about three months before summoning the necessary courage to say anything at all – haven’t stopped since! At the time my husband said that I shouldn’t get too hooked because, “Blogs come and go all the time”. How wrong he was about this one, thank goodness!

  33. Congratulations – many happy returns of the day! What a wonderful achievement BD, to bring all these disparate characters together from far flung parts of
    the globe. As well as being invaluable in honing ones skills at puzzle solving, I am sure that in these troubled times
    you have actually been providing therapy. I like to think I have made some friends along the way and I was so hoping to meet you all this month, but God willing we’ll make it next year!

  34. A Very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns to this magnificent blog. Heartiest congratulations to BD and his team for reaching this milestone. I have learnt a huge lot from this blog over the past few years. And I feel all the more happy because I was born today in 1960 (though my certificate says 29th) and got married today in 1990. Only my Facebook page has the correct date and that is why my Facebook friends have wished me today. I look forward to participating more and more in the years ahead.

    1. Many Happy Returns to you sir, and many thanks for stepping in to help out on occasion

  35. I certainly enjoyed the Bridge last year and a pity we cannot do the same this year. I don’t think Covid was even on the horizon then but I remember attendance was down for some reason. Not sure if I can make Zoom on Saturday, I have just committed myself to a different Zoom meeting.

  36. Happy Birthday and heartiest congrats to all who set blog and comment here. I am one of those who regrets cancelling last years trip to The Bridge because of train problems. It would have been a nice pre lockdown outing that we have been prevented from doing for too long. I hope to “see” a few faces old and new at a zoom meeting.
    I have laid in a bottle of Talisker Skye and hope my dodgy webcam and internet connection is up to it.

  37. Happy Birthday Blog. It has been a very important part of our lives since we also discovered it by chance all those years ago.
    Looking forward to the proposed Zoom get-together. Promise that we will be there for it even if we have to set the alarm and get up in the middle of the night.

  38. Happy birthday too from me, a very infrequent contributor, this site has enabled me to progress from complete beginner to normally being able to finish the cryptic and usually managing about half of most Toughies ( excluding Elgar). Thank you so much.

  39. I would just like to add my voice to support all the many positive comments which have been made- like many others I find Big Dave a godsend and I have learnt so much already ( even though there is still a lot more to learn before I can master every day!). First time to add a comment on the blog, but your Happy Birthday inspired me to put my head above the parapet, in order to offer my thanks.

  40. Hoppy burpday to the site and all who sail in her – a great resource and community for crossword solvers old and new. Here’s to another 12! :)

  41. Belated Happy 12th Birthday BD. Apologies for the late hour and now my battery is about to die on my tablet!

    This is a brilliant site and has certainly helped me to achieve and successfully parse the cryptic puzzles. Such lovely people on the blog and so many interesting posts. Many thanks.

  42. Belated Happy Birthday
    Two morning rituals for the past 12 years when I turn my laptop on,
    1-Open Telegraph crosswords
    2-Open Big Daves Teegraph blog.

    keep up the good work and thank you.

  43. Happy Birthday and huge thanks to BD and the team and the bloggers. It’s my first port of call when I wake in the early hours. It is a routine that I look forward to and it cheers me up enormously. Hopefully next year I’ll pluck up courage and join you for a drink!

  44. Congratulations and many thanks.
    This blog with its wealth of contributors is an incredible help to me, enhancing both my skill levels and enjoyment.

  45. Warmest congratulations Big Dave and very Happy 12th Birthday to the fabulous Blog! Huge thanks too to Big Dave, Mrs BD, and all the bloggers who give so selflessly of their time and expertise. This blog has enriched the lives of solvers and budding setters alike. What an inspiration the Rookie Corner has proved to be with graduates contributing regularly to national papers!
    Once again, very many happy returns and my profound appreciation.

  46. Happy birthday BD and all the bloggers setters and contributors who have helped me get through nearly a year of lock down. You’re the highlight of each day. Thank you

  47. Many Happy Returns! And thank you all for helping to untangle everything.

    I love the blog for the help and instruction and all the insights into everyone’s lives – Lola included. It feels like a circle of friends.

    Many thanks to all.


  48. Happy Birthday to the Blog, to BD and all those who contribute to this wonderful site. Can’t make the Zoom on Saturday, but looking forward to meeting up next year.

  49. Belated congratulations, Big Dave – and thank you for keeping this wonderful blog going all this time. I must have discovered it soon after it started and now visit every day – I’d be lost without it. Love hearing news from all the regular contributors – they almost feel like friends. Oh, and it’s great for helping me with the crossword. Thank you all.

  50. Belated congratulations from me too. Someone on the DIYCOW site suggested I send a puzzle to Rookie corner a few years back and the friendly feedback and invaluable advice was fantastic, as it has been whenever I’ve popped in since. Thanks BD et al.

  51. Congratulations Dave! Thanks to you and to the blogging team for all of your encouragement – it really is a great and unique environment for new setters to learn. I hope that we are all able to meet up in person to celebrate next year. Cheers!

  52. A very Happy Birthday to the best cryptic crossword blog! 🎂🎂🍾🍾🍾

    Sorry I’m late, Dave but I think you know why. I will try to attend the Zoom meeting but it is looking unlikely, I’m afraid. A great pity because I had vowed to attend the get together this year. Then COVID turned up!

  53. I’m a bit late in the day but have only just discovered the birthday celebrations. Without fail every day I read through the hints and comments for the crossword of the day – mostly before I start to look at the dead tree DT. And many congratulations (and many happy returns!) to Big Dave 44 and very many thanks to every single person involved in any way. Discovering this blog a few months ago has been an incredible blessing in these ghastly days of lockdown, when I have not yet had the chance to cuddle my 4 month old great grand-daughter 12 miles away in Cardiff.
    Once again many thanks to Big Dave for starting this and to all who have supported it over the years (and Mr. Th and I both fancy a piece of that cake!)

  54. Possibly the last word but a heartfelt one nevertheless: thank you so much for the blog. Of course the clues are what get us here but it is the camaraderie and the banter that create the warmth that makes us keep coming back. Thanks so much for all the enjoyment.

  55. Late as always.
    Heartfelt thanks BD. Brilliant concept superbly set up and managed.
    12 superb years. l wonder if you envisaged the site would grow into what it has become?

  56. Congratulations to a marvellous blog!
    I think I joined sometime in 2013 after my first (semi) retirement, although I might have lurked for a bit before. My skills have improved no end, not just by daily practice, but with help from the bloggers. The “conversations” have helped structure the days in the last year, as we’ve all got into specific routines and also created some sort of open door to international experiences of all the wonderful contributors and to stop us feeling like weird stop-ins.
    Thank you Big Dave and your Big Team!
    Hope we all stay loyal even after we venture back into the world as it now is.

  57. Sorry, got here a bit late. Congratulations to Big Dave and all the team. This is such a lovely community.
    I wish I could attend some time via Zoom but our internet is so haphazard and we have quite a limited cap that I think it’s probably not practical. Plus I am back on the blood test merrygoround and various biopsies.
    Doesn’t help that I am terrified of needles which medical people rarely understand, not that they could help either way even if they did.
    So everyone please know that I appreciate being part of this group.

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