Sunday Toughie 7 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 7 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 7 by Robyn (Hints)

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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Hello from Yorkshire,

Fluffy clouds and the odd patch of blue today. I think I have got most of this today. I had to think about 8d for a while. The answer was easier to see than the why’s and wherefore’s.

27a and 18d were my favourites today but I will stick to 18d as it reminded me to go read/watch an old favourite again.

I have hinted at least half of the clues but as a bit of a bonus today 21d is a UK brand of a proprietary pain relief drug useful in treating 14d’s lumbago.

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 One tries e.g. white flower in wet ground at first (4,6)
Someone who tries something for us, of which white is an example. An anagram of IN WET is followed by a flower named for its star-shaped head. (An actual flower not crosswordlands cryptic river)

Words on Wine with Oz Clarke | Site Officiel

9 Frown in Hereford or Ayrshire? (5)
To furrow one’s eyebrows is also a term for the ordinary vocal sounds made by Hereford or Ayrshire livestock

10 Pro gutted in defeat, losing ball game (5,4)
I was going to underline ball as part of the definition but I don’t think I can, as I need it for the wordplay. PRO loses its middle letter (gutted) and is inserted into a famous Napoleonic defeat of Sunday 18th June 1815. The losing ball bit allows us to remove one of the letters shaped like a ball.

13 Maybe poacher, I see, sounded alarm (5)
The kitchen utensil used for poaching eggs perhaps adds letters that sound like I see when sounded out.

15 Smuggle in a key for castle (7)
Smugglers used to “run”  contraband into port. A from the clue and one of the most useful keys on a keyboard, come together to produce a West Sussex castle.

Arundel Castle £1 million robbery Mary Queen of Scots rosary beads stolen | Tatler
19 Man funnily did cracks, doing this? (7)
This man is on a chessboard, he surrounds an anagram of did, for someone cracking a joke perhaps.

24 Yellowish bed on day for fooling? (7)
a shortcode for the day on which fooling and practical jokes are tolerated, and a small child’s bed, give a shade that is yellowish. Interesting bit about Ukraine and April fools day, I doubt they will be playing many pranks this year.

27 Faith about maestro regularly producing outstanding work (3-6)
An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. surrounds the even letters of maestro, to give us a raised image such as these from the Parthenon.

Bas-relief of the Parthenon. 71x32 cm - Sale of reliefs

30 Propensity to pass nectarines, out to lunch (10)
Anagram (out to lunch) of nectarines.

1 & 26 Down How meat may be good for you? (4,4)
A double definition to start. Serve me meat like that at your peril. I prefer mine still lowering!

3 Doughnut right to tuck into as we see it (5)
A (2,2) phrase for our point of view (as we see it)has an r for right inserted

The Earth's Not Flat, It's a Torus, dammit! - The GormogonsI am somewhat esurient now!

4 Spotted philosopher cutting works (7)
According to Monty Python’s philosophers’ song the philosopher we seek was, …of his own free will, On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill. Added to a synonym of spotted we get the works where timber is cut.
Those of a more philosophical bent may not know Ancient British Comedy Troupes and may find the philosopher in the following clerihew by E.C. Bentley;

John Stuart XXXX,
By a mighty effort of will,
Overcame his natural bonhomie
And wrote Principles of Political Economy.

8 Feller from Washington in court, say (10)
To court for the hand in marriage, the initials of Washington in the District of Columbia, and a synonym of say, give us a feller of trees. (blogger resists the temptation to insert Monty Python’s Lumberjack song)

14 Treatment for lumbago, which was once an issue? (4,6)
An old issue of a publication is cryptically also something that could ease the pain of lumbago.

18 Vulgar speaker in French traps dainty negotiator (2-7)
The French for IN goes around (traps) a synonym of dainty and follows a vulgar mouth. (I do like the hyphenation in the enumeration it is apt)

The Go-Between' - L.P. Hartley - Susannah FullertonRead the book or at least seek out one of the many film adaptations.

23 Relish from buffet put on bagel? (5)
A buffet of wind perhaps and the letter that looks like a bagel. I am hungry again, pass my another savoury doughnut-shaped snack, please.


Today’s music is one that we lost recently (Gary Brooker of Procol Harum)  An orchestral and choral backing to a classic song.


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

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25 comments on “Sunday Toughie 7 (Hints)

  1. Great fun – thanks to Robyn and SJB. The Sunday Toughie has turned out to be a very welcome addition to the weekly puzzles.
    My top selections were 10a, 1d and 14d.

  2. There is a lop-sided look to my printout, with across ticks beating down ticks by 9 to 3. From this long list of candidates my podium selections, all across, are 1, 10 and 15. 7 is my pick of the down clues for a deft construction and a jangling penny-drop moment! A most enjoyable puzzle, requiring more coffee than is good for me at the start of the day :smile:

    Thank you, Robyn.

    P.S. My only dictionary reference today was for SJB’s commentary on 3d!

  3. Extraordinarily rich, this masterpiece by Robyn, and certainly the finest Sunday Toughie yet for me. Can’t begin to list all of its glories but 8d, 1d, 27a, 4d, and–just now–thanks to Spartacus, 7d set the pace for its excellence. I did not know, or had forgotten, the sacking in 12a but the clue gave me enough to go on (and then I Googled to be sure). And I remember setting forth, during the Long Vac in 1972, to see 15a on one of my Kerouacian drives through southern England, but never making it there, and now I see what I missed. 50 years later, I can’t remember why we (my mother was with me) never got there. I loved this puzzle, in case it’s not already obvious, and thanks to SJB for his help parsing 8d and his enlightening elaborations along the way. And kudos upon kudos to Robyn.

  4. That was such fun — I ended up with 14 clues on my ‘potential favourites’ list (and that’s after I stopped adding clues which were merely ‘particularly good’ and may have been top on other days), from which I’m going to pick 21a as the one which made me smile/groan the most when I finally got it. Thank you, Robyn.

    John, your hints appeared at the perfect time, just after I’d filled the grid. Thank you for explaining the parsings of 9a and 19a — both of which I should’ve been able to to work out — and 8d, which is brilliant, and so are you because I would never have understood that on my own.

    I have a couple of further comments on a virtual sticky note, which I’ll try to put on the full review when that appears. Cheers, all.

    1. Thanks Smylers, my first guess at 8d in the early hours involved a young George Washington explaining to a judge what he did with his little axe. sleeping on it did wonders and a cup of coffee brought the correct parsing to mind. I could have hinted almost all of the clues as they were all as you mentioned as particularly good as each other.

      1. I too wondered about that Washington myth, about him and his axe, but finally just gave up and bunged in what the answer had to be…it was indeed the word ‘court’ wot done me in. And earlier, I nearly added that I have reams of brilliance to add about the great English philosopher, but I’ll just make a long story short by saying that no philosopher I ever tried to teach ever taught so well as he.

  5. really enjoyed this puzzle, just the ticket for a rainy afternoon in Dover.
    Just over the top end of my solving ability
    Had to use 2 hints, 21&23d.
    Thanks to Robyn and SJB

  6. What a treat for a lazy Sunday morning!

    Loved them all but especially the “Rock Hudson” one and “the feller from Washington”.

    Thanks, Robyn & Sloop John Bee.

  7. Thoroughly enjoyed this & would agree with Robert – it would be my pick also of the Sunday Toughies thus far & about about on a par with last week in terms of difficulty. I wasn’t familiar with (or had forgotten) 27a but the wordplay was clear but it was an otherwise problem free solve with all parsed.10a my clear favourite but there are numerous ticks elsewhere – 1,9&15a plus 1/26,2,7,8&18d.
    Thanks to Robyn for a super puzzle & John for his comprehensive explanations.
    18d (which I studied at A Level) remains one of my favourite books. The Beeb’s recent adaptation of it was surprisingly good but Joseph Losey’s marvellous film is the one to watch

    1. Yes, to the Losey film. Last year (was it?), thanks to this blog, I re-read the Hartley novel and was amazed how much more ‘mature’ it seemed to me in my 80s than it did when I last read it (maybe in my 40s?). I think that maybe you and SJB and others were part of that discussion which ended up inciting me to re-read the book?

  8. I always enjoy a crossword from this setter and/or any of his aliases in other places.

    This one was great fun but sadly over all too soon for a supposed Toughie

      1. The Times. He’s Buccaneer in the FT. Picaroon in the Graun, Rodriguez in the Indy

        1. Picaroon is one of my favourite Graun setters so no wonder I like his puzzles here.

  9. A really enjoyable crossword, but I thought easier than today’s PP, which held me up in the SW for a bit. I’m waiting for Elgar to make an appearance here and knock me off my 100% solve rate so far! Thank you to Robyn and SBB

  10. I don’t normally tango with this setter but none of the chores on my to-do list held any appeal today so I decided to give this one a try – so glad that I did. I’d be very hard pushed to nominate an individual favourite but 10&27a would certainly be up there along with 18d for the memories it evokes of a thoroughly enjoyable book. Haven’t seen any of the film adaptations and I think I prefer to leave it that way – I get such vivid pictures of characters in my mind that I’m invariably disappointed by screen versions.

    Thanks to Robyn for an excellent puzzle and to JB for the hints plus the excellent music choice – one of my all-time favourites.

    1. Although I’m not much of a watcher of films, I’ve usually found one’s own imagination from the original book is more vivid than that of a film director, with a few exceptions of course.

    2. Tilsit Sue and yourself have alluded to Robyn’s alter ego, but I am in the dark. The crossword A-Z is a bit out of date and I would love to know who everyone is.

  11. I’ve been very busy today looking after the boss, and only just found time to have a look at this delight. It took a while for me to drop onto the right wavelength but, when I did, it all came together smoothly, and very enjoyable it was too.

    With plenty of candidates for favourite, I think 14d just pips the others at the post.

    Many thanks to Robyn and to Sloop.

  12. Must agree with all of the positive comments above, and doubtless more to follow. First cursory glance filled only one across answer but the downs made my life easier, with the exception of 7d – which I filled in correctly and have only just (after more than half an hour pondering it) parsed. Thanks to Robyn for a 2*/4* tussle and to SJB for confirming some of my parsings.

  13. Enjoyed solving with the aid of the hints;
    liked 21A ” Important reason to try another restaurant (7) “

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