Toughie No 686 by Elkamere
The Bigger Picture!
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ****
Greetings from the Calder Valley. After expecting Firefly or Myops today, I was pleasantly surprised to see that today’s Tormentor was Elkamere. I think this is the first outing on a Friday for him and the puzzle is more than worthy of its place in the spot reserved for the hardest puzzle of the week.
This is a slightly unusual puzzle and one that I appreciate may cause a few solvers to give up. There are some lovely elegant clues, but the “gimmick” of the puzzle is clever and perhaps some may say a bit too clever. In this puzzle, there are four clues that have the indications of four and six letters each with grid slots for the four letters. The clues are all “justified” by 14 across. An explanation is shown after the Downs, although you will need to highlight it to see it. I twigged 5 across fairly quickly but couldn’t see how it fitted in to the scheme of things. Only when I completed the grid did it dawn on me how it worked. There was a Guardian setter called Apex who used to use a similar sort of device in some of his puzzles and it is nice to see this sort of working again here.