Author Archives: gazza

Toughie 1422

Toughie No 1422 by Elkamere

Grot? Not today

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

So, what have we today? Lots of containment-type clues, lots of reversals, exactly six anagrams (as is usual from this setter), smooth surfaces and some beautifully disguised definitions – it all adds up to a very enjoyable puzzle from Elkamere.… Read More

DT 27841

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27841

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Good morning from a sunny North Devon. I wasn’t overly impressed with this puzzle – there were a few good clues but much of it seemed somewhat mechanical with a number of chestnuts which are way past their sell-by date (e.g.… Read More

Toughie 1418

Toughie No 1418 by Micawber

“You’re never more than 6 feet from a rat”

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

This puzzle from Micawber is as entertaining as always although I found it slightly trickier than usual. There are lots of d’oh moments to enjoy.… Read More

DT 27835

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27835

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

When I’m blogging I normally work out the Quickie pun first as a warm-up for the main event and today’s pun gave me hope that we were getting something a bit different in the back-page cryptic department.… Read More

Toughie 1414

Toughie No 1414 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

When I first read through the clues I thought that this was going to be pretty tricky but once I’d established a base camp in the SE corner the rest all succumbed at a satisfactory rate and I even managed to drag the answer to 29a from the dark recesses.… Read More

DT 27829

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27829

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

There’s nothing too fearsome in this puzzle – or do you disagree? Do let us know how you got on and give us your verdict.

If you click on any of the areas showing ‘Click here!’ you’ll see the actual answer so only do that if you find that my hint is inadequate.… Read More

Toughie 1410

Toughie No 1410 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This is an enjoyable puzzle which I’d have completed a bit faster if I hadn’t originally put in the wrong answer for 18a, which caused problems on the left-hand side.… Read More

DT 27823

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27823

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This was more of a sprint than a marathon but I enjoyed it and thought it was pretty good for a Tuesday. No pangram, no theme, no Nina – just a straight cryptic crossword.… Read More

Toughie 1406

Toughie No 1406 by Elkamere

Playing with Fire

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

Elkamere is brilliant at providing definitions in plain sight but disguising them so well that they are difficult to spot. I thought that this was really enjoyable – it took me some time to get going and I never really managed to get into top gear, having to tease out each answer.… Read More

DT 27817

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27817

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Good morning from North Devon on what is another dark, cold, wet and thoroughly miserable June day. My mood wasn’t lightened much by this puzzle. It has a plethora of proper nouns, including a mini Poets’ Corner in the SW quadrant.… Read More