Sunday Toughie 2 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 2 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 2 by Robyn (Hints)

Hints and Tips by Tilsit

Howdoo from Warrington!

Thanks to Gazza for standing in at extremely short notice, yesterday. I am due to have a ‘procedure’ on Tuesday and was going through tests beforehand, which produced some unforeseen complications. Back home now, and feeling ok, but having to self-isolate until the big day. Thanks for the kind thoughts and messages yesterday.

After last week’s opening puzzle, this is an altogether more gentle and friendly one from one of our newer setters, who can be relied upon to produce enjoyable puzzles (yesterday’s FT by their alter-ego was very enjoyable). I am sure that we will get a regular blogging team in due course and the hints will appear during the afternoon in future.

There are still a couple of tricky little blighters in there with some sneaky definitions. I’ll be back just after the closing date with the full blog.

A hint for those trying to tackle it after the Saturday Prize Puzzle. You’ll find this tougher as the name says (although some, like this, will be friendlier than others), but as a rule, you will need an advanced dictionary like Chambers or Collins, to tackle this puzzle. Today’s big hint is that most definitions in this puzzle are cryptic, so do plenty of thinking out of the box.

Remember the site rules and play nicely.


1    Spiritual virtue nearly developed in battle of wits (7,7)
The name for a famous game that test the mind can be found by rearranging SPIRTUAL VIRTUE, without its last letter (nearly).

10    Reportedly line dancing in white (3,4)
A homophone for a line and a sort of dancing, when put together give a description of what a white acts as in a couple of sports.

11    African dwelling by capital of Uganda (4)
A member of an African group is the name for a dwelling and the first letter of Uganda (capital)

12    Out to lunch, I chat men up stress-free (10)
An anagram (out to lunch) of I CHAT MEN UP.

15    Republican saving the planet, really getting better (8)
The abbreviation for a republican, a short word meaning environmentally aware and something meaning really.

18    Leaving southern Frenchman heading west (6)
I saw a clue for this word from a puzzle from around 1989 the other day and it was decidedly un-PC. Take the abbreviation for southern, add an archetypal French man’s name and then reverse it to give the answer.

22    Maybe Victorian PM comes from Caernarvonshire (4)
This has a clever definition. It’s cryptic, and you don’t need to go hunting for a Victorian Prime Minister. The name for what PM stands for in a certain country is hidden in the word

24    Fleece jacket for Luke, following small breeze (7)
After the abbreviation for small and a word meaning wind, goes the jacket for LUKE, i.e. the first and last letters of the word.

25    People wearing sister’s apparel perhaps (7)
A verb meaning to people is how how you may describe a certain type of sister.

26    Rotten contract keeps hospital boss executing order (3,4,3,4)
A famous command for executing is found by taking a word meaning rotten, something meaning to contract, with the abbreviation for hospital inside, followed by a word meaning boss.


1    Skill about cladding long gas pipe (7)
Something meaning skill is reversed around something meaning to long for.

2    Somewhat extravagant man with novel refrain in song (1,4,3,7)
A suffix meaning somewhat, an abbreviation for extravagant, a short word for him, a famous novel (by H Rider Haggard) and the word for a catchy refrain when put side-by-side in order give a famous song of the 1970’s.

4    Close to goal area, can a Mexican miss? (6)
After the last letter of goal, add the abbreviation for area, then a word for a can, and add A to give a description of a girl from Mexico.

7    Cryptically, this suggests I haven’t a ruler (4,3,8)
If you saw the answer to this as a clue, I’ haven’t would be the answer! You’re looking for the name of a famous historical ruler.

8    Daring case of pinchpenny pocketing fortune (6)
Take the first and last letters of pinchpenny and put inside something meaning fortune.

13    Herald of king captured by enemy on trail (10)
The abbreviation for king goes inside something meaning enemy.Add a word meaning to trail.

17    American punching wet leftie (6)
The abbreviation for American goes inside something meaning wet to give a type of left winger whose ideals were espoused by a certain man.

23    Daily newspaper dropped by president (4)
The answer was straightforward, working out what goes on here wasn’t. The name for a president or head of a company needs to lose the name of a newspaper (a very short one!)

So how dd you do? Beaming with joy? Or a face like thunder? Do let us know.

Some music. Hmm… what shall we have? I know!

See you next Saturday!


19 comments on “Sunday Toughie 2 (Hints)

  1. A most enjoyable and gentle Toughie for a Sunday evening (and a very generous dollop of hints indeed, nearly 3/4 of the puzzle, and yet not the only one I can’t fully parse!) with no specialist knowledge required. Everything seems very fairly clued and there was much scope for smiles and chortles.

    COTD shared between 7d and 22a, but a number of others could as easily have taken the laurels.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to Robyn and Tilsit.

    1. Is 16d the one you couldn’t parse? if so, me too. until I had a bit of inspiration that I cannot mention yet.

  2. I very much enjoyed this while watching today’s rugby.
    Many great clues, but I thought 14a and 26a best of all. 2 out of 2 so far; just waiting to be tripped up by the likes of Elgar!
    Thanks to Robyn, and Tilsit, and good luck with your procedure.

  3. Thanks for the hints tilsit, they are much appreciated. I agree that this was a bit easier than the inaugural Sunday Toughie but well worth the effort. 2d and 7d were very good clues and hints, but both were pipped by the rather clever misdirection of 22a – I did waste a lot of time looking up prime ministers of all eras and nationalities before realising I was barking up the wrong tree.
    Thanks to Robyn too and best wishes to you for Tuesday tilsit.

  4. Excellent puzzle, 3*/4*, about Thursday Toughie level. Thanks Robyn. And thanks to Tilsit for explaining the almost impenetrable 2d; still can’t for the life of me parse 23d, even with your no doubt precise hint, lost on me.
    Edit: GOTTIT!

  5. A really enjoyable puzzle with some great misdirections – thanks to Robyn and Tilsit.

    I ticked 10a, 24a and 26a but my favourite was the clever 7d.

  6. I think I agree with Gazza on 7d but there were many others that I swooned over as I finished this terrific Toughie late last night (American East Coast time). 26a, 14a, 15a & 2d especially stood out. I still don’t understand Tilsit’s reference to an ‘archetypal Frenchman’s name’ for 16a, which was a bung-in for me, but it had to be what it was. Thanks to Tilsit and good luck on your upcoming procedure, and kudos to Robyn for a superb puzzle.

    I should add that I had no idea about 22a until I bunged it in and then went Googling. Surprised me! G’day!

    1. OK, I got it, the ‘archetypal Frenchman’s name’! Something I simply didn’t know but Googling finally led me to it. We do live and learn, eh?

          1. You had me worried there BD so I checked. He was carrying on with Brigitte before Jane – lucky lad.

  7. Well I thought this tougher than last week or at least parsing some of them. Can’t claim an unaided finish as just couldn’t see 14a so eventually revealed the 4th letter. I’ve still a couple to try & parse (2&23d) both of which I see are hinted but hopefully the pennies will drop. Joint favourites for me in what was a very enjoyable puzzle 7d & 22a.
    Thanks Robyn & to Tilsit – best wishes for Tuesday.

    1. How did you reveal the 4th letter of 14a Huntsman? It’s a prize – or are you not on the paper edition? I am completely stuck on that last one!

      1. The puzzles website allows you a maximum of 5 letter reveals whether it’s a prize puzzle or not seemingly. Usually I only reveal checkers if desperate but this was my last so had them all. Can’t say it’s a word I’ve ever heard said with the prefix of a vowel. Annoyed I didn’t get it without cheating.

  8. I enjoyed this a lot, and didn’t find it too tough.

    7d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Robyn and to Tilsit.

    1. I meant to add that I struggled with 23d because I always forget that particular newspaper and also my brain will not register the word needed to mean the head of a company.

  9. The daily newspaper finally came to me whilst I was reading through the hints – somehow it never features in my mind. You wouldn’t believe some of the non-existent presidents I’d conjured up!
    Top two for me were 26a & 13d – the latter winning by a short head.

    Thanks to Robyn and also to Tilsit for the hints.

  10. Hi Dave,
    Just wanted to add my good wishes and say that I hope all goes well for you tomorrow.
    Many thanks to you for the blog, and to everyone dropping in to comment, of course. Good luck to anyone still winkling out the last few sneaky ones!

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