Author Archives: gazza

Toughie 1330

Toughie No 1330 by Elkamere

A Gaggle of Old Comedians

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

Elkamere has given us a proper Toughie today packed with his usual sneakiness. I really enjoyed it but I wonder whether the inclusion of two comedy acts from about 25 years ago (who weren’t that well-known even in the UK) was really fair for expats and non-Brits solving the puzzle on the DT Puzzles website.… Read More

DT 27702

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27702

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Miffypops is otherwise engaged this morning so he and I have done a swap and he’ll be here tomorrow. We have a fairly typical, and fairly gentle, puzzle from Rufus today. More than with any other setter I have difficulty in deciding exactly what to underline in some of Rufus’s clues – for example is 5a a double definition or a cryptic definition?… Read More

Toughie 1326

Toughie No 1326 by Beam

The Die is Cast

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

After a couple of flirtations with a single anagram Beam has given himself a good talking to, pulled himself together and returned to austerity with his latest Toughie. All the usual Beam characteristics are there including a spot of innuendo at 9a. I enjoyed unravelling the wordplay.… Read More

DT 27697

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27697

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

I don’t really subscribe to the current theory on the blog that back-page puzzles have got harder since 1st January but I have to concede that this one seems to me to be above average in terms of difficulty with some quite complicated wordplay (so I’ve given it four *).… Read More

Toughie 1322

Toughie No 1322 by proXimal

And the pig got up and slowly walked away

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

I plodded rather than raced through this puzzle with each answer needing to be prised out but there was a sense of satisfaction in completing it. There did seem to be a lot of container/insertion type clues.… Read More

DT 27691

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27691

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

There is a literary flavour to today’s puzzle with two novelists and a novel featuring in the answers. I started off at a rate of knots but slowed down in the SE corner and needed all the checkers for what I thought was the trickiest clue, 21d.… Read More

Toughie 1318

Toughie No 1318 by Micawber

That Was the Year that Was

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

Micawber’s traditional end of year roundup of what happened in the last 12 months is as brilliant as ever. I’ve tried to identify all the events – do let me know of any that I’ve missed or misunderstood.… Read More

DT 27685

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27685

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

I didn’t enjoy this one a great deal – quite a few of the surfaces seemed clunky and didn’t make much sense and some of the definitions seemed a bit off. So, there’s plenty of room for discussion here – let’s hear what you thought.… Read More

Toughie 1315

Toughie No 1315 by Messinae

Play for Today

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

It’s Christmas Eve and we have a themed puzzle – so no prizes for guessing what the theme is all about. We’re told in the preamble: “14 thematic answers are clued by wordplay only; of these, one answer contains all the others and one group is included both individually and collectively.” I’ve identified the 14 thematic answers with ** – obviously, because they have no definitions, there’s nothing underlined in those clues.… Read More

DT 27680

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27680

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

We have a fairly run-of-the-mill puzzle today with nothing that really stood out for me. Do let us know what you thought of it and how you got on.… Read More