Author Archives: Gazza

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

Toughie 1605

Toughie No 1605 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I don’t always find Kcit to be all that enjoyable but I was pleasantly surprised by this one which has a couple of good semi-all-in-one clues. However, I did need to move on rapidly from the images which Google offered for 14d.… Read More

Toughie 1601

Toughie No 1601 by Micawber

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

This is not one of Micawber’s more difficult puzzles but, as always, it’s really enjoyable. My last answer was 6d – I had to rack my brains to remember the phrase for a life of ease, which I think has fallen out of fashion.… Read More

Toughie 1597

Toughie No 1597 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

This one’s not too difficult and there a number of smiles along the way but I also had a few niggles, for which I’ve deducted half a star from the enjoyment rating.… Read More

Toughie 1593

Toughie No 1593 by Osmosis

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment **

This is a fairly typical Osmosis puzzle with lots of abbreviations, insertions and reversals. I solved it at a trot rather than a gallop but I quite enjoyed the ride.… Read More

Toughie 1589

Toughie No 1589 by Petitjean

A cakewalk

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I am a great fan of Petitjean’s quirky puzzles but I thought that this one was probably more suited to the back page than the Toughie slot. There are some enjoyable clues but too many seemed very straightforward (especially if, as in the case of 15a, you’ve blogged pretty much the same clue in yesterday’s back-pager).… Read More