Sunday Toughie 4 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 4 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 4 by Robyn (Hints)

Hints and Tips by John Bee

Hello from deepest Yorkshire,

This is my first go at providing the hints and I have had a lot of help from many others, Senf, Gazza, Miffs and BD to name just a few. If I have made any errors they are mine alone. Halcyon’s sterling work providing hints for Fridays toughie while Dutch was otherwise engaged is a great example of what this fine blog can do. I hope this works as well as that did.

As it is a Prize puzzle I can only hint at a few and hope that will give you the checkers and inspiration to go further.

I’ll be back just after the closing date with the full blog.

Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints! I hope I don’t have to redact any comments but I am new at this and don’t want to rock the boat. If in doubt I’ll rub it out!

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:

Remember the site rules and play nicely.


1a      Manufactured sham fur and case of Chanel No. 9 (5,4)
We start with a partial anagram and the outer letters of a scent.
to produce a sporty type who wears the number 9.

9a      Delicate and fine wife looking game (5)
The abbreviation for Wife and the game that was used to distract fractious children (my sister and I) on long drives, until we subverted the process by picking rude words.

11a    All there is on growth stimulant plugged by guys (6,6)
The growth stimulant you might put on the roses surrounds some guys and is followed by is from the clue to give a Latin phrase for being of sound mind.

16a    Explorer crossing river on borders of Amazonian land (7)
A land or country can be found by taking the first and last letter (borders) of Amazonian, an animated explorer better known to a younger audience surrounds an R for river.

Noggin | Dora The Explorer

20a     Length of forerunner to the Kinnock era (7)
A predecessor of Neil Kinnock as Labour party leader and a synonym of era, gives a measure of film taken.

22a    Nice to travel round with long-haul trip facilitator (12)
Anagram of words 1, 6 and 7. The “trip” facilitated by its use is one that perhaps Brian Wilson or Syd Barrett took a bit too often.

27a    Sound made by wheel on the back of motor (5)
The letter that looks like a wheel follows a brand of German motor car to give an adjective related to sound.

29a    Move into Apple’s domain is issue for corporation (9)
To move into is followed by a 2 letter abbreviation for the field that the Apple corporation is known for and another gift of “is” from the clue gives an issue or problem with your corporation.

Enteritis: Definition, types, and prevention


1d      What farmer does for animals (4)
What an arable farmer does in his fields and also what a livestock farmer keeps in his Sty’s

3d      Tory vote picked up in item for celebration (7)
A homophone of vote follows a former Tory PM give an item for celebration used in springtime.

6d      Nitwit having lead around one Rottweiler’s tail (7)
The letter that looks like 1 and the “tail” of Rottweiler is surrounded by being in the lead of a race to give the definition.

Class Act: A millimeter-perfect BMW airhead from Sinroja | Bike EXIF

8d      Duck and run, catching awful mess in sewer (10)
The duck we want here is avian rather than crickety but a gender rather than a particular breed. It surrounds an anagram of mess followed by the crickety abbreviation for run.

12d    Captain dropping ace socks etc on new Bayern kit? (10)
A synonym of captain drops the a for ace and adds another word for socks and n for new. Put that together for an item of clothing traditional to Bavaria.

13d    Defending 5-0, stop late shot or cross sent in (6,4)
Take the Roman numeral 5 add the one that looks like 0, they are surrounded by (defending) an anagram (shot) of two more words.

postal vote postbox

19d    Abandoned informal names for two of the queen’s sons? (7)
Informal names of two of the queens three sons can be put together to describe what has befallen the third.

24d    Change film screening day before 4th of April (4)
A film popular in crossword circles screens the abbreviation for day and the 4th of April, to give a task that Chris Lancaster undertakes on our behalf.

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

Some music. Hmm… what shall we finish with?

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 in your comment.

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

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.


43 comments on “Sunday Toughie 4 (Hints)

  1. I have not looked at the Toughie yet – I keep forgetting there is one on a Sunday. I just wanted to congratulate you, John on your debut as a blogger. Well done!

  2. I started off thinking this was going to be a tricky little whatnot, but having solved so many of one of my favourite setter’s crosswords in other places lately, I soon got on his wavelength and finished in a ‘straightforward Toughie’ time.

    Lots to like but I’ll pick 16a as top favourite as this particular explorer always makes me smile

    Thanks to John Bee and Robyn

    1. Tilsit alluded to Robyn’s alter ego in his first toughie but I haven’t worked it out myself?

  3. I’m about halfway through & struggling but just wanted to pop in & say well done for lending a hand & following Halcyon’s lead. I’m going to put it aside & hope for inspiration at a second look later but very probable I’ll require your insight which I’ll look forward to.

  4. I don’t yet have access to The Sunday Toughie on my online newspaper subscription but just wanted to congratulate and welcome you John, I’m sure you’ll do a fine job.

    1. The Sunday Toughie is supposed to be coming on to the newspaper app site. Let’s hope it doesn’t take too long. Welcome aboard Mr B and thanks for giving us your time

  5. Went for Chas as the Queen’s son at first until the soup ingredient dawned on me.
    No other hold ups to declare.
    Thanks to Robyn and congratulations to John Bee for the hints.

  6. From one tyke to another – “job’s a good ‘un!” thanks JB & setter for providing a distraction from the awful weather.

    1. I am only a tyke by residence 54/60ths of my time on earth. a Geordie by birth and a Scot by descent.
      The weather is indeed awful but at least it has melted the snow.

  7. Did three-quarters and decided to go for a couple of pints. Pub closed after electricity transformer blew up yesterday. Luckily it was open yesterday morning and Friday, while we had no power. So I’ve just finished the puzzle. Lots to like, but I think 22a takes the biscuit.
    Congratulations on your first blog JB, and thanks to Robyn

  8. I thought that this was somewhat trickier than Robyn’s first Sunday Toughie – thanks to him and to John Bee (and very well done on your on-the-day blogging debut).
    I thought some of the definitions (e.g. All there, Result of dumping, Fabulous being, trip facilitator) were excellent misdirections.
    My ticks went to 28a, 7d and 13d.

  9. Best of the 4 Sunday Toughies so far in my view. Got there eventually without a letter reveal but it was a helluva tussle. As MP says the checkers are your friends so with clues like 11&29a it was a case of bung something in, spot the definition & then reverse engineer the wordplay. All parsed except 26a where I’ve no idea. Big ticks for 9,11,16,20,22&29a along with 7,12,13&19d & ticks for most of the remainder.
    Thanks to Robyn & particularly to John for an excellent review – Peter Green & Syd I always of as the biggest creative losses re 22a.

    1. The 8 in the clue refers to the second word, nothing to do with 8d, just numerical. Don’t know about the first word…

    2. I have a ? mark against my parsing of 26a too, which I will have to save for the review a week on Wednesday. needless to say I was relieved that I had enough hints to give that one a miss.

  10. Thanks, John, and congratulations on your debut as a hinter-blogger! Your hints did indeed help me solve two of the clues I was struggling with (22a, 13d) but I still have one more unsolved–that blasted soup thing. It must be a particular UK speciality as I’ve gone through the alphabet for each of the letters in the two words and still drawn a blank. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the workout last night on this terrific Toughie, about 80% of which I solved, with some electronic help, before reading the hints. 22a, 11a, & 7d lead a very impressive array of winners. Thanks to JB and Robyn.

    1. 7 minutes later: I just bunged in the missing letters for 26a, and voila! they were the right ones. I then Googled to see what it meant, and, sure enough, it’s a UK thing! I look forward to the parse-ographer’s enlightening me further.

      1. I have a problem with 26a too ( see my comment to Huntsman) but I have come to the conclusion that it has nothing to do with 8 down.

        1. I think I understand the second word’s connection; it’s the first one that has me baffled. Apparently, it relates to ‘overworked’ somehow. Mysteriously.

          1. 26a Hello there from (still) storm-tossed Devon. I think it might work like this … The first word is a synonym for ‘overworked’ in the sense of – for example – a ready/predictable answer. The second word, as you and others have said, relates to a numerological phenomenon of which the number 8 is an example. The whole is an ingredient for soup likely to be sneered at by top chefs…

            1. Very succinctly put, I must say.
              I think the first part of the clue is a bit nebulous, and I’ve trawled the BRB to no avail. Are you north or south Devon? I had to go to a farm on Exmoor at Bentwitchen once a month 30 years ago. Weather was either lovely or wild from memory!

              1. South Hams. Usually lovely .. we have banana plants in our garden, I kid you not. But we also now have a humungous storm-felled ash from our neighbour’s land (not his fault, obviously) which has blocked our access road and missed my little C3 by a whisker, So, grounded now until the the tree man cometh. Such times …

                1. I had a tree surgery business in the 80s, and had to clear some extraordinary damage after the hurricane. I remember standing on a bed upstairs cutting up a huge beech tree that came through someone’s roof. Lucky not to have killed them. Too far away to help you, and far too old now!

  11. Seeing John Bee’s post pop up in my email in-box reminded me to look at this new-fangled puzzle. Glad I did because I really enjoyed the challenge. I hadn’t heard of the ‘explorer’ before but postulating the answer lead to my own voyage of discovery. Several ticks appear on my printout – 10a, 22a, 7d, 13d and 19d, with a double tick for my favourite 11a.
    Your Hints and Tips are comprehensive and well constructed – well done and thank you, John. The motorcycle image puzzled me but a quick search has provided yet another addition to my general knowledge! :good:

    1. I am pleased that the motorcycle was noticed – I thought that was nicely peripheral to the clue without being too obvious.

    2. Perhaps not so comprehensive as 26a is indeed missing, as your latest replies have indicated :smile:

      julesinsussex has already pointed out the relevance of ‘8’ and I have the first word explained simply as a synonym. The whole is not what we would use for the soups we make at home!

      1. Too right, Spartacus! Here in Devon we boil our ham shanks! But if first word of 26a is still nagging, see my suggestion down the chain of 10 above?

  12. Really enjoyed the crossword.

    I enjoyed the picture of the BMW motorcycle and its subtle link to 6D. Mine is 33 years old, much closer to standard and IMHO much prettier. I would have added a picture if I could work out how.

  13. Welcome to the blogging chair John. Well done.
    A most enjoyable solve with a very satisfactory level of challenge.
    Thanks Robyn and JB

  14. A 4* tussle with appreciation for lots of misdirection from the setter. 26a my only worry, so thanks to Linda above. Well done John, great first blog.

  15. Well at the outer edges of my comfort/enjoyment zone but managed it eventually with a couple of bits of outside help in the SE.
    I thought a bit too much specialised knowledge was required to fully parse 1a but probably not the case for fans of the ‘game’.

    Thanks to Robyn and to JB on his first ‘hinty’ session.

  16. Thanks to Robyn and John Bee. I managed to finish this unaided (which pleased me greatly) but I almost always check the blog to see what others thought. I must say I’m really enjoying the Sunday toughies, so whoever had the idea of having them…good on you!

  17. Late to the party today but I’ll chuck my hat in the ring. Well done to JB, thanks to Robyn for a puzzle which, at first run-through, scored me precisely two answers! Things slowly came together, east side first, then SW, and finally NW in good Toughie 2*+ time. 4* for enjoyment. Btw, I had no problem parsing 26a, nor using them every time I make soup – always with a tin of anchovies as the base for frying the onions (first) and the rest of the veg.

  18. Congratulations on your blog John Bee but, reading some of the above, I see I’m going to bathe in completely undeserved reflected glory!

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