Author Archives: gazza

Toughie 1283

Toughie No 1283 by Elkamere

Elementary, my dear Watson

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I’m pretty sure that I completed this in record time for an Elkamere or Anax puzzle, which means either that I’m getting better at them (unlikely, given the rate of disappearance of my brain cells) or (more probably) that Elkamere is in a charitable frame of mind. That said, I did enjoy it a great deal, especially the brilliant 5d and 11a.

DT 27632

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27632

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a fairly solid puzzle today – no great laughs but nothing to complain about (I’ve stopped complaining about the use of ‘on’ to mean ‘precedes’ in across clues such as 10a because it occurs so frequently). Do let us know what you thought of it and how you got on.

Toughie 1279

Toughie No 1279 by Firefly

Chips or chips?

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

I found this one a bit of a slog with not a lot to lighten the mood and some of the clues are not very smooth. Also, I’m not at all sure that I’ve fully understood 24a so any better interpretation for that would be welcome.

DT 27626

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27626

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from a very windswept North Devon. I thought that this enjoyable puzzle was pretty straightforward but the Telegraph Puzzles site has been showing four stars for difficulty all morning so I’ve compromised and given it 3*. Do let us know what you thought of it and how you got on.

Toughie 1275

Toughie No 1275 by Sparks

Land A-Hoy!

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

Thanks to Sparks for an entertaining puzzle quite fitting for a mid-week Toughie. There were several answers that were new to me (the Nobel Laureate, the beatnik, the Far-Eastern boat, the landlord and the stroke) but all of them were clued so well that they didn’t pose great problems.
There is a Nina and, unusually for me, I spotted it without any prompting. I’ve explained it at the bottom of the review so that those who haven’t already found it can search for it before scrolling down, if they wish. Suffice to say here that we now have a good idea where Sparks spent his Summer holidays!

DT 27620

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27620

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

The top half of this one was pretty much read and write for me. I did slow up a bit in the bottom half (it’s the age you know) so that pushed the difficulty rating up to two stars. Do let us know what you thought of it and how you got on.

Toughie 1273

Toughie No 1273 by Micawber

Fried Mutton and Chips?

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

Micawber makes a rare visit on a Friday and although the puzzle doesn’t qualify as a fiendish Friday fight it is chock full of his usual humour and is thoroughly enjoyable. I loved it.

Toughie 1271

Toughie No 1271 by Beam

Here’s Another Nice Mess

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

I thought that this was on the easyish side for a Beam puzzle and my only hold-ups were in the NW corner. The Queen appears to have gone walkabout but, that apart, all his usual characteristics are on show including a shortage of anagrams and several bits of amusing innuendo.

DT 27614

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27614

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

As so often on Tuesdays this is all pretty straightforward with not a lot to make your brain hurt. Do let us know what you thought of it and how you got on.

Toughie 1267

Toughie No 1267 by Osmosis Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment *** This is the kind of Toughie I like – no very obscure words with the ‘toughness’ being in the wordplay and the […]