Sunday Toughie 1 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 1 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 1 by proXimal (Hints)

Hints and tips by Senf

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A quick return by me to get the ball rolling on blogs for the new Sunday Toughie, so this is ‘bare bones’ compared to my Sunday Cryptic blogs.

It’s a prize puzzle so no hidden answers and a sprinkling of hints throughout the grid, and all the usual rule on commenting apply.

I can’t even give one of my cryptic assessments on difficulty as the Puzzles Web Site tells me it took me over 12 hours to complete the solve but that was in two sessions – one on my Saturday evening and one this morning separated by sleep.  But, I will say thanks to proXimal for an entertaining challenge.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints!

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow:


1a Wine in cafeteria’s drunk, rejecting beer essentially (8)
An anagram (drunk) of CAFeTeRIA’S with the centre letters (essentially) of beer removed (rejecting).

9a Legendary great was unsurpassed (6))
A 1960s(?) synonym of great and a three letter synonym of was unsurpassed.

10a Reportedly consider plant in earth bearer of fruit (8)
Two homophone elements – the first is of a synonym of consider and the second is of a single word for plant in earth.

13a Not complete problem, a race Mercedes reviewed as sweet (5,7)
A reversed lurker (not complete . . . reviewed) found in four words in the clue.

16a Patron’s complaint about new player (12)
A ‘meaty’ complaint containing the single letter for New, followed by a (female theatre) player.

23a Pet is shy around mate (5,3)
An anagram (around) of IS SHY and a synonym of mate (as in join together).

26a Parts containing plug, lead of some unsuitable for cars (8)
A synonym of parts (as created by Shakespeare?) containing a two letter abbreviated form of plug and the first letter (lead) of Some to finish.


2d New Orleans, not capital of Louisiana, mind (6)
An anagram (new) of ORlEANS minus (not) the first letter (capital) of Louisiana.

4d Stars with capital supported by attorney (9)
A synonym of with, a (European) capital, followed (supported) by the two letters for (a US attorney).

5d I’m stupid going topless after masculine giant (7)
I’M from the clue (without the apostrophe), and a synonym of stupid with the first letter removed (going topless) placed after the single letter for Masculine.

7d Fluid weighs down sponges (9)
A synonym of fluid (as in unfettered) and a single word for weighs down.

13d Charlie cut up taking in mug’s cracks (9)
The letter represented by Charlie in the phonetic alphabet, and a synonym of cut reversed (up) containing (taking in) a synonym of mug (when referring to a person).

17d One advising better way to stop extreme monarch (7)
The two letter abbreviated form of a type of way inserted into (to stop) the combination of a three letter synonym of extreme and HM’s regnal cipher (monarch).

22d Steve, forgetting woman, with lifted toilet seat (5)
STeve from the clue with (first) woman removed (forgetting) and (with) the three letter informal term for toilet reversed (lifted).

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES OR HINTS in your comment.

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If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

16 comments on “Sunday Toughie 1 (Hints)

  1. Was it just me, or was that a real beastie from proXimal? Got there in the end (with two bits of assistance) but, well, wow. Still can’t for the life of me parse 21a. Thanks to both proXimal and Senf.
    Ah! 21a – Just realised I’ve been spelling his name wrong all this time!

  2. Thank you so much for stepping into the breach, Senf, I do hope you don’t get landed with another permanent weekend commitment!
    Found this one tough indeed in places but have to applaud our setter for the brilliant reverse lurker in 13a.
    An unusual choice for me but I gave top marks to the double homophone at 10a.

    Thanks to proXimal for his second offering in a short space of time and also to Senf for doing Sunday overtime – I hope your pay-check reflects it!

  3. I commented recently that proXimal had mastered the art of producing excellent Friday back-pagers and excellent Toughies with significantly different levels of difficulty appropriate for each. Now he has pitched this one right in the middle, and I would suggest this is the perfect level for this new Sunday Prize Toughie.

    I really enjoyed this with the brilliant 22d my favourite.

    Many thanks to proXimal for the fun and to Senf for working overtime on a Sunday.

  4. Well done Senf. Enjoyed the puzzle & found it pretty tough though not as difficult as his Thursday one. 3 in the SW caused me the most head scratching but managed to get there without a letter reveal though I needed John Bee to parse my bung in at 15d. Top 2 for me the same as for Jane but the reverse lurker just edges it.
    Thanks to proXimal & hopefully CL will ensure digital subscribers get to enjoy it next week.

  5. Thanks for stepping into the breach Senf. I wonder how many people have time to do 8 (well 7 and an answer page ) of puzzles, even on a Sunday.
    This was quite a toughie and I agree it seems to be pitched just right as RD and H describe. I had a hard time in the SW but with perseverance and help from my electronic BRB I got there in the end. 13a 10a and 21a all on my podium today.

  6. Hugely disappointed that this puzzle wasn’t available on the app. Judging by the clues given here, RD’s assessment looks about right. Many thanks Senf for providing this sample – hopefully in future it will be made accessible for all.

  7. Thank you for doing double duty, Senf – much appreciated. Hopefully, it allowed you to stay inside in the warm.
    Thanks, too, to ProXimal from this novice Toughie solver with a good balance of reasonably achievable clues and not too much head scratching to produce discouragement. I continue to be amazed and grateful for those with the skills to both set and decipher the daily crosswords that are such a source of enjoyment.

  8. A very proper Toughie, it seems to me, for its inaugural Sunday appearance. As is usual with this setter, I did struggle a bit, especially in the SW corner, and needed all five letters (electronic reveal) to finish. But what a corker, especially 13a, 21a (took me until about two minutes ago to parse this one), and 23a (I thought only Southern Belles had these). Thanks to Senf for your double-duty day and terrific reviews, and kudos to proXimal for your triple-duty week!

  9. I really enjoyed this one which I found a combination of write-ins and head scratchers.

    Still puzzled by 17D. My two letter abbreviation does seem to have anything to do with “Way”.

    Many thanks to proXimal and Senf.

    1. If you check the first entry for ‘way’ in the BRB you should find that there is a connection, assuming that you have the correct two letter abbreviation.

      It is quite a common ‘device’ used by many setters.

      1. Thanks. It is obvious once you point it out. 17d was my last one in and I had read my answer too quickly so I was using the wrong two letters as the abbreviation.

  10. Apologies for going off topic but I don’t know where else to ask – does anyone know why there was no pub quiz in Sunday’s iPad version? They had the multiple choice one but not the other.

    1. I feel your pain Cypher. There was no ‘Sport on TV’ in the Saturday sport section and I had to suffer watching Sale v Leicester in The Anchor pub drinking Marston’s Pedigree and dipping into a round of Stilton cheese with biscuits. Had I known the game was to be shown on ITV I could have stayed home and watched with a cup of tea and a KitKat

  11. Thanks to Senf for providing the hints.
    Especially as the one I couldn’t get was on the list.
    Namely 23a: I thought about that kind of pet but would never have guessed that synonym for mate.
    Thanks to ProXimal and to the DT for providing this wonderful extra puzzle.

  12. Hi, im new to cryptic and have been laid up ill recently so some friends donated some old newspapers to keep me occupied.
    It took me a few days to do this one, but I’m stuck on 23a (hence I found this blog!).
    I decoded the clue but absolutely cannot fathom the “pet” connection and it’s driving me bonkers.
    Could anyone please explain the “pet” aspect? You’d make this old idiot very happy!

    1. Welcome to the blog, Mick. Now that you’ve found us I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.

      One of the meanings of pet is a tantrum or fit of pique.

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