We published a full review, by Libellule, of this puzzle yesterday when it was accidentally released online. As our policy here is to provide hints only for the weekend prize crosswords that review has been removed, and will be reposted at 12.00 next Thursday, February 26th. Instead I have selected a few hints from that review. This will mean that Peter Biddlecombe will have a week off and be back on Thursday, 5th March with a review of next Saturday’s puzzle.
This puzzle has 5 stars for both difficulty and enjoyment. I knew soon after starting that it was going to be a struggle, but as I opened up each clue, I began to enjoy the contest. I will be interested to know what Dr B, my American friend, makes of this one as some of the clues have a uniquely British flavour. As usual, the links provide additional content which is usually useful, occassionally totally frivolous.
This is a review of the puzzle as published in the newspaper and now available online – the one that was originally published online turned out to be the Saturday Prize crossword!. Neither puzzle was anything special – nothing particularly good or annoyingly bad. For a real puzzle, see today’s Toughie No 99.
This analysis is the first contribution from Peter Biddlecombe. Peter was Times crossword champion in 2000 and 2007 and is a pioneer in crossword blogging in the UK (see Times for the Times). I gave this two stars for both difficulty and enjoyment, Peter has been rather more generous and upped it to three! BD.
My time for this was about 60% longer than an average Times puzzle, but I made life hard for myself with two dud answers which had to be corrected – ROUGH OUT at 6D, though the weakness of “some golf = rough” should have made me rub this out, and INCITE at 22D. Without these, an ‘average Times’ time should have been possible.
A better day on CluedUp, so these are a lot earlier than has been the norm recently. When I first looked at the puzzle I wondered just where I was going to start, then one or two easier clues came to light and it all fell into place. As usual, there are several clues where you need to find an answer that satisfies one part of the wordplay and rack your brains to find how on earth it fits the other – 10 across being a good example. There are a few words which are not in the average vocabulary, but the wordplay points you in the right direction.
Last weeks contribution from Gazza was very favourably received, so he’s agreed to do it again. Don’t forget that Peter Biddlecombe’s review of last Saturday’s DT No 25852 is scheduled to be published at noon today. BD
Today’s effort is fairly straightforward with nothing too challenging, but there is one nice pun at 11 across.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays are becoming a bit of a struggle with two crosswords to be blogged – I already have help on Thursday, Friday and the Saturday Review. If you would like to help, then get in touch through Contact. Today I have changed the format a little so that the components of the answer, and the answer itself, are in capitals.
The puzzle itself was firm but fair, apart from some of the silly three letter clues. Peter Biddlecombe (whose Review of last Saturday’s puzzle will be published at noon tomorrow) won’t like the grid on this one – four totally separate corners joined only in the centre. Don’t be surprised if you get some of the answers and then struggle to find the wordplay, but then that’s why this blog is here!
After a late start due to the increasingly frequent problems on the CluedUp website, here are the hints and tips (mainly actual answers today as I was somewhat lacking in inspiration!). Today I have changed the format a little so that the components of the answer, and the answer itself, are in capitals.
Someone at the Telegraph must have been listening, as the Wednesday puzzle used to be the source of a lot of grief, mainly because of the dubious nature of some of the clues. That seems to have changed, as this is a neat, straightforward puzzle.