Sunday Toughie 5 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Sunday Toughie 5 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 5 by Zandio (Hints)

Hints and Tips by John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Hello from deepest wettest  sunny but breezy Yorkshire,

I am beginning to get the hang of these new Sunday toughies. I think they are settling down to a comfortable Tuesday or Wednesday toughie level. I am not sure I will cope if they ramp up to Thursday or Friday difficulty. Zandio said he was responsible for today’s toughie and a fine example it is. The dreaded Reverend Spooner appears but I managed to overcome my nemesis today.

I have given you hints for half the clues and hope you have enough checkers to winkle out the rest. Remember the Miffypops maxim “When in doubt look for a lurker” both of today’s are unhinted and reversed (21 and 26a).

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.


1    This cyclist may be in bottom position (6,4)
A problem a cyclist may suffer from and where he may suffer it.

How to train with saddle sore - Training - TrainerRoad
6    Two-thirds of three, say, it often goes with 1 (4)
Three is an example, (as was eighteen yesterday). Take two-thirds of the six-letter noun that three is an example of, to produce a sensation that someone with 1 across may feel.

11  Ginger Rogers taking the lead, directed by Sheeran? (3-6)
take the lead letter of Rogers, add Mr Sheeran’s forename and follow with a synonym of directed.

No. 6 Collaborations Project review: Ed Sheeran's ambitious, star-studded album fails to hit the mark-Entertainment News , Firstpost
13  Singular bravery needed to repel a menace (7)
The letter that is added to a singular possession (sometimes – isn’t English delightfully complicated) and a synonym of bravery without the letter a.

18  DJ’s cleaner? (7,5)
Not Sir Terry’s Cleaning woman but something he may need to get fluff off his evening wear. 2016-02-01T08:28:18+00:00 Myleene Klass Myleene Klass had a great time on holiday THAILAND https://cdn ...
23  Evidence of maturing shellfish being broken up by river (7)
These shellfish used to be served in the shell with a pin to extract them. Break them up with the abbreviation for river and you get the evidence of maturing that W. H Auden had in spades.

TOP 25 QUOTES BY W. H. AUDEN (of 432) | A-Z Quotes
27  Screen times for ‘Encounters with the Unknown‘ (5,5)
A screen you may put up at a window and times you may mark on a calendar combine to give romantic meetings with unknown partners.
Blind Date's Cilla Black would've been 'happy' to see Paul O'Grady host | Metro News


1    Train with taps installed in rest rooms upside down (6)
rest rooms is a rather formal (and possibly American) phrase for the smallest room, Take a plural informal British phrase for the same room turn it upside down and insert the letters found on most taps therein.

2    Bedclothes Casanova’s thrown over, very European at heart (6)
Casanova saw himself as having, great sexual energy and prowess, a colloquial phrase for such a chap is thrown over and has abbreviations for Very and European inserted. I need a new one as most of the fluff has emigrated from mine.

8    Spooner’s father predicts they won’t get paid (3,5)
If your father predicts sporting events he would be a gambler. Treat a simple phrase that that suggests, in the manner suggested by the Rev. Spooner and you get another term for the inability to settle one’s losing wagers

9    Admired that guy on line before soldiers posted? (4-10)
a bit of a lego clue, A male pronoun, a horizontal arrangement or line, Other Ranks of soldiers, and a synonym of posted are put together to satisfy the definition

15  They’re eight in number, or figure, stereotypically (9)
This sporting eight cropped up yesterday but here they are gender-specific and somewhat unflatteringly we get a stereotypical description of their figure. Everybody forgets about the coxswain.



19  Husband is perkier, oddly going absent (3,3)
The odd letters of a word are absent, add the three that are left to a synonym of going for a phrase that means to husband one’s resources perhaps.

20  Time Out‘s latest books rejected for empty slogans (6)
A synonym of latest has the New Testament removed and replaced with the outer letters of SloganS for time spent on the naughty step. No Lemon drizzle cake for offenders today.

Time Out Hourglass Stool

Today’s music choice will be familiar to those who did the NTSPP yesterday. I could have chosen any of the artists mentioned there from Pete Seeger to Jimmy Somerville via Joan Baez and Peter Paul and Mary. Some of them (I’m looking at you Jimmy) came with distressing imagery I have spared you from, so I have chosen this one as the background to solving this last night.

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.


30 comments on “Sunday Toughie 5 (Hints)

  1. First ever Sunday toughie for me. 20d held me up for quite a while but otherwise straightforward. Thanks to Zandio and JB.

  2. My solve was bit like a round of links golf on a course with 9 holes going out & away from the clubhouse then a turn for home & into the wind. Going out (top half) was a breeze but found it a good deal trickier coming home. 16,17&20d plus a pesky lurker gave me a good deal of head scratching but took a break & the pennies dropped at the second look. Certainly the easiest Sunday thus far & very enjoyable too. Ticks for me – 1/6a combo & 27a along with 1,17&20d.
    Thanks to Zandio & John – of the numerous renditions I listened to yesterday that one escaped me. Very good it is too.

  3. An enjoyable Toughie – thanks to Zandio and JBee.
    My podium selection is 24a, 27a and 19d.

    My preferred rendition is Marlene Dietrich “Sag’ mir wo die Blumen sind”.

    1. Had to learn that in the 60s, and can still sing it start to finish. A couple of German tourists suffered a rendition from me a couple of years ago in the pub. The 3 or 4 pints must’ve helped the memory!

  4. Surprised myself on a few counts with this one – managed it without any electronic assistance, clicked with the dreaded reverend and thoroughly enjoyed the solve. I obviously prefer this setter in his Toughie mode.
    Masses of ticks which included the 1/6 combo, 18,23,24&27a plus 17d.

    Thanks to Zandio and to JB – I liked that version of yesterday’s haunting song.

  5. A steady plod to solve mostly because completion was subject to multi-tasking shared with the events in Dublin and the ‘experts’ tell us that multi-tasking doesn’t work.

    I really liked 18a and 27a.

    Thanks to Zandio and JB.

  6. Quite tough for me, I’m afraid, but also quite fairly clued throughout. Can’t claim an unaided finish as I developed an ‘idee fixe’ about 15d and couldn’t free myself of a numerical prefix as part of the definition, so I finally had to reveal a few letters. Shame on me, as it seems we just had a very similar clue elsewhere recently. 17d is my COTD with 1/6a and 9d close behind. Still can’t parse 24a so I await JB’s full review for the unveiling. Loved the Irish version of the old classic, so many thanks for that and the hints, John. And many thanks to Zandio too.

    1. Aha, just got 24a! But 18a remains a mystery to me, the illustration and the parsing. The only person I recognise in the illustrations above is the great poet Auden; the rest remain blanks. I’ve lived such a sheltered life.

      1. Sorry I have picked a rather UK centric set of pics. The picture in question is of the Disc Jockey or DJ Sir Terry Wogan. but it is not a cleaner for disc jockeys we require but a cleaner for removing the lint off his jacket. In the UK this is also commonly referred to as a DJ, it is probably better known on your shores as a Tuxedo.
        I probably didn’t provide hints for enough in the SW corner but the two lurkers I mentioned in the preamble were supposed to help in that regard.

  7. Hello all, compiler here. Thanks for the analysis and feedback.
    24a is a tribute to my favourite clue of all time, which appeared in a Telegraph Toughie by Elkamere (or Anax): ‘Space flight succeeds (9, 6)’.
    Funnily enough, Elkamere had rewritten that one completely during editing. In today’s Toughie, 18a was a complete rewrite. I’ll leave you to decide if the result is better than the original submission, which was ‘Rubber gear may be demanding (7,5)’. Chris Lancaster, the Puzzles Editor, thought the definition was too much of a stretch, but anyway it was probably too similar to 1a and 24a.
    Have a good week.

    1. Thanks for a cracking puzzle Zandio, I did like the eight at 15 even though it sort of cropped up yesterday, and 11a too.

  8. Difficult but doable and it took a long time for some of the pennies to drop but we got there eventually. Favourite was 24a. Thanks to Zandio and JB.

  9. Managed 3/4 in reasonable time but seriously held up by 17d and 21a. Loved 24a. Got the answer for 15d but can’t see how the ‘or figure, stereotypically’ works, or JB’s illustration. Thanks to Zandio for the workout and JB for the hints.

    1. I didn’t see your comment about 15d until after I had posted mine, Cryptor. It’s good to know I am not alone …

  10. I really enjoyed this. It was challenging in parts but persistence paid off.

    24a is brilliant and my favourite of many excellent clues.

    Although the answer is obvious from the definition and checkers, the wordplay “or figure, stereotypically” makes no sense to me at all even given JB’s hint.

    Many thanks to Zandio for the fun and to JB.

    1. The best I can come up with is the old fashioned ( and frankly sexist and sizeist) bingo call for 88. The celeb chefs in my picture share that name. I will let Zandio off the slur against women who participate because of the use of ‘stereotypically’

  11. Help! Despite my initials I am not John Bee. I don’t know what we do about this? I certainly don’t possess the brain to solve Sunday Toughies let alone blog them!

  12. Sailed along until I got a bit bogged down in the SE corner, but teasing out 23a (rather like the said shellfish) led to a domino effect and the rest fell into place. I hope Zandio hasn’t upset about half of today’s solvers with 15d – JB’s use of the word ‘unflattering’ appears appropriate, perhaps even understated! My favourites today were 6a, 24a and 20d. I also thought the anagram in 14a was very good, within a nicely constructed surface.

    I’m enjoying these Sunday Toughies :smile: Thanks, Zandio, and congratulations to John Bee for his sterling work on the hints and tips.

  13. Great to see Zandio in the toughie slot.
    A lovely and straightforward solve.
    Nice to see our host in 9a. Might turn it in a poster for my bedroom along with Superman and others.
    Thanks to Zandio for the fun and to John Bee for the first half of the hints.

  14. This was a lovely puzzle, which took a bit longer than I thought it should on reflection. This may be the result of a visit to Twickenham yesterday.
    Thanks zandio and JB, or is it IB now?

Comments are closed.