Sunday Toughie 6 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 6 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 6 by ProXimal (Hints)

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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Hello from Yorkshire,

The dead tree has just arrived and I can confirm that this is a ProXimal.
I had to give it a good coat of looking at before it revealed itself but I got there in the end.

I would like to have hinted 11d as that was my trickiest solve but it remains only partially parsed. I will be lenient in the wielding of the naughty step about that clue.

I have hinted half of the clues and that should give enough checkers but if the gap created by 11d is causing problems I will toss in 27a as an anagram of first two words and the last word is the definition.

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 Go round excavation blocked by a large stone (10)
We start with a synonym of go-round as in a circuit or trip or outing, add the sort of industrial excavation used to extract valuable resources, this contains (blocked by) a  from the clue and the clothes label abbreviation for Large. Together we have a semi-precious gemstone found in many colours and places

Tourmaline Properties and Characteristics | Diamond Buzz

6 Reported spend for stock (4)
A homophone of Spend, as in to spend ones resources sounds like the (female) stock  The Yorkshire Shepherdess may keep

A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda Owen
10 King taking in attendant turning a magnifying device (9)
The majestic title reserved for male monarchs (2 letters) go around (taking in) an attendant, reversed and attached to a singular, you have a device for magnifying sound

12 One new item’s breaking in last minute (13)
another lego clue, In from the clue, a synonym of last, the letter that looks like 1 and an anagram of item’s are scrambled together to fit the definition in its extremely small sense

15 Secured home to the west, having security code at front (6)
A wild mammal’s hidden home reversed  (to the west)attach a Personal Identification Number to the front

Stainless Steel Locking Nappy Pins Set of 4 - Blue
21 People like Oliver Twist treasure star leader of urchins (13)
Twist is an anagram indicator the bit we need to anagrammatize are the next two words and the initial (letter of) Urchins. I am not sure how international this particular ‘Oliver’ is but when he stops telling us what our children should eat he has actually run (and closed) a few dining establishments.
Jamie Oliver | Official website for recipes, books, tv shows and restaurants

26 One classed as noble, heartless admiral (4)
Our most celebrated Admiral loses his two central letters (rather than his right arm) to leave a noble gas.
Nelson's Column - Wikipedia


1 Reduced pipe on a musical instrument (4)
A pipe loses its last letter and replaces it with an a.
Tuba definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

3 Island’s green spaces in classic novel (9,4)
A particular island in the Irish sea well known to crossworders adds a plural ‘s and two green spaces for a classic novel.

Review: A woman looks in on wealth, finds love, in 'Mansfield Park'

4 Climbing alien creature put in film (8)
Our (possibly) overused cinema alien and a more generic creature are reversed (climbing in a down clue) give us a protective film. to cover or overlay (a surface) with a thin sheet of protective material, eg transparent plastic film.

8 Daughter gripped by plastered drunk providing support to get up (10)
An anagram of D for daughter and plastered

13 Cut in dole with rent going crazy (10)
Probably the finest (certainly expensive) cut of meat is an anagram of three other words in the clue

22 Two versions of sport split by area of country (5)
abbreviations for both codes of the sport played by men (and women) with odd shaped balls + a for areafor the opposite of an Urban lifestyle many aspire too.

Nice puff for my home region in yesterday’s Telegraph
Probably done wonders for house prices but nothing for young people trying to get on the property ladder

23 Decorators firstly agreed colours (4)
First Letter of Decorators and a term of agreement.

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.

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15 comments on “Sunday Toughie 6 (Hints)

  1. I enjoyed this a lot. Getting a full grid was relatively straightforward but parsing about half-a-dozen of the answers proved to be much more challenging.

    21a is a beautiful clue and my favourite, although many others came into consideration.

    SJB, for 11d, the definition is “being accepted”. A word meaning “by” is put round (“fences”) a concatenation of a short word for “like”, a verb meaning to “grass”, and a word for a “damp smell”. Feel free to redact if I have overstepped the mark, but I don’t think I’ve written anything that is not in the clue!

    Many thanks to proXimal and to SJB.

    1. Thanks RD, I was 2/3rds of the way there but ‘like’ Jane says I had missed a bit.

    2. Thanks Proximal & SJB for a challenging puzzle & tints & hips. BTW SJB does Humphrey Smith still think he’s the King of Tadcaster?

  2. I do sometimes think this setter plays a bit fast and loose with interpretations but I guess that’s the name of the game for Toughies!
    The picture conjured up by 8d made me laugh and my top three were 1,11&25a.

    Thanks to proXimal and to JB for the hints – have you remembered to include ‘like’ in your parsing of 11d – that was where I almost came adrift.
    Sorry, RD, I was still typing when your comment came in!

  3. I am enjoying proXimal’s Sunday appearances. A steady solve – a few last night before brain-eye coordination started to go out of kilter and the rest at a gentle pace this morning.

    13d is on the menu today!

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 3d, and 11d – and the winner is 11d.

    Thanks to proXimal and JB.

  4. A very enjoyable solve with lots of good clues and an adundance of misdirection, so ticks all over the place. A decent scattering of anagrams helped me to get underway, completing the bottom half first then heading north. Solving and parsing 12a held me up until I stopped trying to make an anagram of ‘in last’ or use ‘n’ for new – I got there in the end though! My clear favourite of the day was 21a; with 1a, 4d and 11d just edging ahead of a further 10 ticked clues.

    Thank you, proXimal, for providing a good start to the day and to SJB for ably setting the scene.

  5. Rather pleased with myself having solved it .
    I just guessed 12a , so thanks for the explanation.
    11d was another guess.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  6. For me, suffering from a number of woes–not the least of which was another poor outing with Dada–I found this proXimal quite a godsend. An enjoyably solid finish for me. Especially liked 11d, which I did parse without too much difficulty. Didn’t know that ‘Oliver’ but managed it with the anagrams, and it is my COTD. Thanks to SJB and proXimal.

    1. Thanks for the thanks. Looking at it now I don’t really know why I had a problem. I guess that it may be because I can’t go to bed until I have got the bulk of it solved, I charge in like a bull in a china shop. It was about 01:30 before I had enough done to go to sleep and some of the parsings I did before sleep escaped me like the “low spirits” you mentioned yesterday.

  7. Ever the obedient one, Sloop John Bee, I’m having a go at this Sunday Toughie as you requested! So far I’ve managed a third which, for me, isn’t bad for a Proximal.
    Are congratulations in order for bagging this new addition to the DT puzzles? Best of British as they say!

    1. Thanks, JB. I hope you are enjoying the toughie.
      This new toughie is just about the first new cryptic puzzle the Telegraph has brought in since the midweek toughies 2812 puzzles ago. I think that there are probably many who could have a go at writing a blog better than I do, but a volunteer is worth ten pressed bloggers.
      I hope I speak for all the others who give it a go that no one is defensive about their blogs and if anyone wants to have a go they would be welcomed.
      I think everyone is hoping that Kath will feel well enough to give writing hints a go again and shuffling seats for anyone who wants to help this wonderful site is ok by me.

  8. I thought this was very enjoyable and pitched at just the right level for a Sunday Toughie, i.e. a bit tougher than the Dada but gentler than the Toughies we get on Fridays. Thanks to proXimal and SJB.
    My ticks went to 9a, 21a, 25a and 22d.

  9. I’m sure no one will be reading this as I’m so late to comment but I just wanted to say thanks Sloop JB as I really enjoyed your hints. Obviously I haven’t completed it all- but onwards and upwards. Thanks too proXimal, your crossword has certainly had me coming back to have another go – several times!

    1. Thanks, Helen. All comments are seen by the bloggers and they appreciate the thanks, Stick at it and we will get better together.

      1. Or, to paraphrase George Orwell, you might say “Big Dave is watching you”… :wink:

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