Author Archives: Gazza

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

DT 28092

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28092

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This is my last back-page blog for the time being – from next week a new mystery blogger will be taking on the responsibility for the hints and tips on Tuesdays.… Read More

Toughie 1585

Toughie No 1585 by Firefly

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment **

Even though this puzzle is numbered 11,585 on the online site we haven’t suddenly shot forward almost 50 years. I thought that it was perfectly reasonable but fairly straightforward and without a great deal of oomph.… Read More

DT 28086

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28086

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This is a pangram and it’s somewhat easier than the puzzle we had last Tuesday which seemed to cause some solvers a lot of problems. Do let us know how you got on and how well you liked this one.… Read More

Toughie 1581

Toughie No 1581 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I didn’t enjoy this a great deal. There aren’t many laughs and we seemed to need an awful lot of abbreviations and fiddling about with individual letters so that writing the hints became a bit of a chore.… Read More