ALP – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Toughie 3253

Toughie No 3253 by Zenas
Hints and tips by ALP

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ****

I’m sure many of us have been wondering who Zenas is. I was certainly baffled. Thanks (as ever) to the omniscient Gazza, I’m able to say it’s someone you all know.

Continue reading

Toughie 3249

Toughie No 3249 by Donnybrook
Hints and tips by ALP

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I love MasterChef – happily back for its umpteenth season – almost as much as crosswords. But I have made a howling hash of both, from failing to clock The Iliad (the shame of it) last week to wilfully blowing the chance to appear on my favourite programme.

Continue reading

Toughie 3245

Toughie No 3245 by Kcit
Hints and tips by ALP

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

As a hack, I’ve loved interviewing authors. They’re (generally) intelligent, they spend way too much time on their own so they’re often girlishly chatty and, most importantly, they always say yes to a sit-down because they’ve invariably got a book to promote.

Continue reading

Toughie 3241

Toughie No 3241 by Dada
Hints and tips by ALP

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

I’ve just been tutted in the street. Tutted! For cheerily whistling to myself. Was it you, Jane?! Now, I’m far from perfect (you’ll all be astonished to hear this, I know).… Continue reading

Toughie 3237

Toughie No 3237 by Chalicea
Hints and tips by ALP

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I’m still chuckling about a back-handed aside from the wife. “You’re a very strange man,” she told me in Budapest after I’d hunted down an FT (Robyn was playing away as Buccaneer) whilst she tried – and thankfully failed – to get tickets for a four-hour (ugh) opera, adding: “You prefer crosswords to porn and Woman’s Hour says that’s extremely unusual”.… Continue reading

Toughie 3233

Toughie No 3233 by Gila
Hints and tips by ALP

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I’m not overly au fait with Gila and, stymied by Hungary’s hour difference, I was fearing unfamiliarity might prompt a late night/early morning. And I’m not a huge fan of poisonous lizards.… Continue reading

Toughie 3229

Toughie No 3229 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by ALP

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

This proved a welcome distraction from the horrors of easyJet packing, ie working out how to cram a week’s worth of clobber into a pencil-case. Still, the flight was cheap as chips.

Continue reading

Toughie 3225

Toughie No 3225 by Dada

Hints and tips by ALP

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ****

After another lamentable weekend of English sport I find myself sorely tempted to follow something we’re actually good at. Like queuing. Thank goodness, then, for this crossword: deep, deep peace after all that miserable hurly-burly.

Continue reading

Toughie 3221

Toughie No 3221 by Serpent

Hints and tips by ALP

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I can’t be alone in fearing a professorial setter who based his pseudonym on a “cryptographic algorithm”. The very words make me want to sob. As a chap who epically failed Maths A-level, my brain is clearly cheese to his chalk.… Continue reading

Toughie 3217

Toughie No 3217 by Donnybrook

Hints and tips by ALP

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I always get Donnybrook and Giovanni (for obvious reasons) confused so I thought I’d best mug up before tackling this. And they are, of course, very different chaps indeed.

Continue reading