Mr K – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

DT 30159

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30159

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome. No time to find pictures for this week, I’m afraid, because of a long Wednesday at work followed by needing sleep before getting up very early on Thursday to catch a flight.  Continue reading "DT 30159"

DT 30147

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30147

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. I thought this puzzle got off to a great start with 1a and then maintained that standard all the way to the Quickie pun. Not a lot to hyperlink this week, indicating that our setter is not requiring a lot of general knowledge.  Continue reading "DT 30147"

DT 30141

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30141

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. I believe that a RayT cryptic is the only puzzle where the Telegraph Puzzles editor allows a so-called lift and separate clue, specifically the use of SWEETHEART to mean SWEET HEART = the letter at the centre or heart of SWEET. Many of us recognize that signature device and on Thursdays automatically read sweetheart in wordplay as E. But that approach doesn’t work today, because this fine puzzle contains three quite different sweethearts. It also has two wonderful all-in-one clues.  All that plus smooth surfaces and concise tight wordplay made for a very enjoyable solve.  Continue reading "DT 30141"

DT 30135

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30135

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. I found this a puzzle of two halves. On the first pass through the grid, I got nothing in the top half but filled most of the bottom half. That was followed by bouncing around the grid gradually getting every clue answered and parsed, finishing with the devious 4d. There’s a lot of clever wordplay and smooth surfaces in this one, making for a most enjoyable solve. I hope its compiler will take a bow later today. Continue reading "DT 30135"

DT 30129

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30129

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday.  Lots of smiles in the solve today. The difficulty felt a little below the Thursday average, but that might just be me being on wavelength for a change.  Continue reading "DT 30129"

DT 30123

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30123

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. Fresh snowfall on the mountains across the valley last night indicates that our summer is most definitely over. That also means it’s flu shot time. I decided to go all in and get both a flu shot and a third covid booster this afternoon. I’ve therefore been trying to get this puzzle solved and hinted before the expected side effects kick in tonight. Today’s crossword felt more challenging than the Thursday norm. While that might just be me and my vaccine impairment, my feeling is that it reflects a lot of skilled misdirection and disguising of both definitions and clue structure. It was certainly a lot of fun unravelling it all. I do hope its creator takes a bow later.  Continue reading "DT 30123"

DT 30117

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30117

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. While I found most of this crossword straightforward, there were a handful of clues which required pondering and a visit to the dictionary. I’m never sure how to assign a difficulty rating to puzzles like that, so I’m going for an average rating of 3*.  Continue reading "DT 30117"