Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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Listener No. 4388: Cycle 20% More by Smudge

For a while this looked impenetrable to me and I would be embarrassed to admit how few clues I had solved after the first four hours. Once I realised what was happening with the down entries I made much better progress, but I still found it one of the toughest puzzles I have ever solved. I saw Gilbert and Sullivan emerging making THE GRAND DUKE the clear choice for the top row and allowing me to work backwards for some of the puzzle. The endgame was wonderful and the bangers weren’t too difficult to find but I ‘finished’ the puzzle without resolving the gimmick in across clues, and I am afraid that I couldn’t bring myself to do that post such a hard solve. I thought that it was a fantastic puzzle with some fiendish clues, but for my level of solving ability the across gimmick was a bit too much.

I didn’t understand the title until it was explained to me.


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