Author Archives: Gazza

Toughie 1645

Toughie No 1645 by Dada

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Dada is never less than entertaining and this one produced a lot of smiles without falling into the uber-arduous category.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.… Read More

Toughie 1641

Toughie No 1641 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I’ve been having intermittent Internet problems all morning so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can publish this. This is a typical Osmosis offering with lots of detailed wordplay (though with more proper names than usual) and it’s what Kitty might call a Goldilocks Toughie – not too soft, not too hard.… Read More

Toughie 1637

Toughie No 1637 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Thanks to Kcit for today’s puzzle. Most of it went in without too many problems but I’ve given it an extra half of a difficulty star for the trouble I had with 10a.… Read More

Toughie 1633

Toughie No 1633 by Micawber

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

It’s always a joy to solve and blog a Micawber puzzle and this one is well up there in the enjoyment stakes. I thought that it was slightly trickier than his usual offerings but that’s possibly because my little grey cells are disappearing at an ever faster rate – do let me know if you agree.… Read More

Toughie 1629

Toughie No 1629 by Dada

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Thanks to Dada for brightening up a wet and gloomy day in North Devon with a very enjoyable puzzle. My main area of difficulty was the SE corner.… Read More

Toughie 1625

Toughie No 1625 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

When you see Osmosis’s name on a Toughie you can be sure that you’re going to get a lot of detailed wordplay including plenty of insertions and reversals and this one certainly follows that pattern.… Read More

Toughie 1621

Toughie No 1621 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

I got through most of this one reasonably quickly then was held up in the SW corner. Apart from the wordplay in 1a (which I don’t fully understand) there’s not much need for twisted knickers here, though some UK football fans may bridle at the repeated use of the word soccer.… Read More

Toughie 1617

Toughie No 1617 by Dada

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

It’s another lovely sunny day in North Devon – a hosepipe ban can’t be far away. Dada is never less than entertaining and today is no exception, though, as has been said several times, it would be nice to get an occasional puzzle from him in full-blown ‘Paul’ mode.… Read More

Toughie 1613

Toughie No 1613 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

The grid meant that quite a lot of the answers had an unchecked first letter which made this puzzle more difficult that it might otherwise have been. Straight from the starting gun three of the long answers (21a, 3d and 5d) leapt out at me from the definition and enumeration but after that it was a steady but rather plodding progression to the finish line.… Read More

Toughie 1609

Toughie No 1609 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is a fairly typical Osmosis puzzle with some enjoyable clues but lots of ‘fiddly’ bits in the wordplay including a great number of abbreviations. On the whole I enjoy solving this type of puzzle but the constant need to add, insert or subtract individual letters can make writing the hints a bit wearisome.… Read More