Category Archives: Toughie Crosswords

Toughie 1261

Toughie No 1261 by Firefly

In a bit of a State?

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Continuing a run of easier-than-usual Friday puzzles is this pleasant puzzle from Firefly. Are we being set up for a big fall next week? The only answer that gave me any trouble in parsing was 11 across, so I’ll make it my favourite.

Toughie 1260

Toughie No 1260 by Shamus

Hints and tips by Bufo

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I was sorry to miss last week’s Micawber puzzle especially as this week’s puzzle is a more typical Thursday puzzle. There was nothing particularly difficult in it although, as often happens with Shamus puzzles, the last couple of bits of wordplay needed a little thought

Toughie 1259

Toughie No 1259 by Sparks

Please, Ladies – No Hertrionics!

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

Thanks to Sparks for a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. I’ve bumped the difficulty rating up from three to four stars purely on account of the time I spent trying to come up with a better explanation for 16a.

Toughie 1258

Toughie No 1258 by Dada + - + - + - + - + - + - + - + BD Rating - Difficulty * - Enjoyment ***/**** More back-pager than Toughie, but nicely done.

Toughie 1257

Toughie No 1257 by Beam

Tossin’ and Turnin’

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Much as I like Beam and Ray T, his alter ego, I don’t think even he would have asked for this Toughie to be published on a Friday, the day usually reserved for arch tormentors like Elgar and Notabilis. This puzzle contains most of Beam’s usual signatures like Her Majesty, hidden words and subtle innuendo (but not, this time, a clue where the answer is made up from initial letters).

Toughie 1256

Toughie No 1256 by Micawber

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

What bad luck for Bufo – he has a week off and misses this superb puzzle from Micawber. The difficulty level crept into 4-star territory because I always include the time spent unravelling the wordplay.

Toughie 1255

Toughie No 1255 by Petitjean

What we need is some R&R with a G&T

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

Petitjean tends to polarise opinions but when he’s in his quirky mood he’s one of my favourite setters. Today’s puzzle includes a number of expanded abbreviations in the same format. I did enjoy it and I would probably have finished it more speedily if I hadn’t had a mental block in the NW corner.

Toughie 1254

Toughie No 1254 by Kcit

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BD Rating - Difficulty ** - Enjoyment ****

My train is pulling into Kings Cross as I type, so no time for illustrations today -- which is an injustice to a very nice Tuesday-level puzzle from Kcit. [POSTSCRIPT: Profuse apologies everyone, but I forgot to press the "publish" button earlier in the day to schedule this post for 2pm as normal, and have just emerged from work meetings to find that it was still sitting in the drafts folder.]

Toughie 1253

Toughie No 1253 by proXimal

Three cheers for our queer old dean!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A competent but far-from-difficult puzzle from the setter formerly known as eXternal. I’m not sure why this was picked for the traditionally difficult Friday Toughie – in my opinion it would have sat quite nicely in the Tuesday slot.

Toughie 1252

Toughie No 1252 by Elkamere

Not 9 across – it didn’t take an 23 across

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

Elkamere must be mellowing with age because his puzzles these days seem nowhere near as difficult as some of his early puzzles were. I don’t mind that because this was a very enjoyable puzzle. The clue for 5 down is provided by 8 other answers. I guessed the answer to 5 down from some of the checking letters and this enabled me to work out the two other answers used in the clue that I hadn’t yet got.