EV Hints – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

EV 1568 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1568 (Hints)

Baby’s First Words by Ifor

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Ifor needs no introduction for EV solvers. Dave Hennings’ crossword database tells us that he has been setting them since 2010 and this will be his 44th in the series. We know that he will give us a challenge and that we can expect one of a range of scientific, cultural and theatrical themes.… Continue reading

EV 1567 Hints

Enigmatic Variations 1567 (Hints)

Condition by Eclogue

Hints and tips by Phibs

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The name Eclogue might suggest some connection with Virgil, but I believe that it actually refers to a hybrid creature whereof the front part is operated by Eclipse (thus partial rather than total) and the rear section by Logogriph, this latter being “a kind of enigma, in which a certain word, and other words that can be formed out of all or any of its letters, are to be guessed from synonyms of them introduced into a set of verses.”

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EV 1566 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1566 (Hints)

Head Back Home by inkling

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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“Who is Inkling?” we ask. We will have to solve this puzzle to see whether there is the familiar style of a setter hiding under a new pseudonym or whether the setter is new to us.… Continue reading

EV 1565 Hints

Enigmatic Variations 1565 (Hints)

Solstice by Chalicea

Hints and tips by Phibs

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I learn from an interview with The Guardian that “Chalicea began as a simple merging of CHARLES (husband) and ALICE (mum). Doc, the editor of 1 Across magazine, accidentally added the A and it stuck.” My fellow blogger also on occasion goes under the names Curmudgeon and Gnomie (suggesting a tight fist and a pointy head?), and has a reputation for producing entertaining and scrupulously fair puzzles which tend to inhabit the lower end of the difficulty spectrum.

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EV 1564 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1564 (Hints)

Two Missing by Piccadilly

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Piccadilly has been setting crosswords for 33 years and EVs since 1995 – this one is his 52nd Enigmatic Variations crossword. Of course he sets for the Listener and Magpie too. We enjoy Piccadilly’s crosswords and know that we will have fair clues and an endgame that will not leave us frustratingly head-scratching.… Continue reading

EV 1563 Hints

Enigmatic Variations 1563 (Hints)

Belief Systems by Serpent

Hints and tips by Phibs

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I gather that our setter’s alias derives from the name of the block cipher (cryptographic algorithm) which came second in the contest to establish the Advanced Encryption Standard. Why not choose the name of the winner? Well, Rijndael doesn’t quite have the same ring about it, and anyway Serpent was arguably the hardest of the lot to crack – let’s hope that cracking this puzzle isn’t quite so tough…

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EV 1562 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1562 (Hints)

Loss by Kcit

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Kcit needs no introduction for EV solvers. Dave Hennings’ crossword database tells us that he has been setting them since 1993. We know he will give us a challenge and this crossword is no exception to that norm.… Continue reading

EV 1561 Hints

Enigmatic Variations 1561 (Hints)

Thirtieth Anniversary by proXimal

Hints and tips by Phibs

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The Enigmatic Variations series was started by James Leonard (RUSTIC) in 1992. The first puzzle was published on 18th October of that year – entitled GREETINGS, the perimeter of the completed grid contained the message ‘WELCOME TO THE NEW SUNDAY TELEGRAPH PRIZE CROSSWORD’. Leonard edited the puzzle from its inception until his death in 2013, at which point Chris Lancaster (SAMUEL) took over the responsibility. When Chris moved on in 2019, the current editor, Steve Bartlett aka proXimal, took over.

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EV 1560 (Hints)

Enigmatic Variations 1560 (Hints)

It’s Not What You say by Vagans

Hints and tips by The Numpties

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Solvers will already have met Vagans whose first Inquisitor, ‘Excess Baggage’, (with Dante’s Divina Commedia as the subject) appeared last year. In his ‘Encounter’, his first EV, Stanley met Livingstone at Ujiji.… Continue reading

EV 1559 Hints

Enigmatic Variations 1559 (Hints)

Save by Vismut

Hints and tips by Phibs

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In several European languages, ‘vismut’ translates to ‘bismuth’. My university thesis (in the dim and distant past) concerned the photoelectron spectroscopy of oxidation catalysis by bismuth molybdate. I can’t see that being relevant here.

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