Sunday Toughie 9 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 9 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 9 by Zandio (Hints)

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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Zandio is back for the first “on the trot” setting of the new toughie. ProXimal, Robyn and Zandio are now on 3 each. I wonder if they are going to settle on a 3-week rotation. Time will tell. As I write this (Saturday evening) I am aware that we get an hour less in bed tonight and tomorrow Mama Bee will be controlling Mothering Sundays activities. As a result, this blog may be a little shorter than usual and I hope I have given enough hints to help you over the line. Thanks to all who chipped in last week with some of my parsing failures, your services may be required again today.

An interesting coincidence today, between 9a here and 13a in 3153 very similar ways to get to the answer. Which is the better clue?

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 Who cares if a child’s left home? (4-6)
The person employed to look after one’s offspring while the parents are temporarily absent.

9 Mountainous land with gold found by exposed crag (7)
This mountainous land starts with a preposition “With the addition of”, The heraldic term for Gold, and the letters exposed when crag loses its outer letters.

12 Team from Oxford or Cambridge races in world meeting (6,7)
Not the teams that represent the Universities in those cities, but the Association Football teams of those cities. They share a common suffix. Added to a synonym of race or geopolitical grouping and we have a world meeting first formed in 1945Underneath the Tapestry: "Guernica", From Picasso to Jacqueline de la Baume Dürrbach - Irenebrination: Notes on Architecture, Art, Fashion, Fashion Law & Technology
I think there are a few people sitting under that tapestry who need to reflect on what it represents.

14 Waffle stuff and that’s that! (8)
lots of definitions all amounting to the same – something that makes no sense.

17 Teacher bounded ahead, skipping occasionally (6)
Odd Letters of words 2 and 3 (skipping occasionally)

Are there differences in the roles teachers play in different Buddhist schools? - Lion's Roar
19 Parisian’s grilled again — curt when beaten, but caught out (2,6)
A French culinary term for the action of covering with breadcrumbs and or cheese and grilling until brown. An anagram of again and curt without the letter that represents a catch in cricket.

27 Noted disrespectable drunk making odd sips with this? (10)
Remove the letters of sips from disrespectable and anagrammatise the rest.


2 Nomad wants somewhere to sleep in Cote d’Ivoire, definitely by November (7)
A place to sleep, how someone from the former French colony of Cote d’Ivoire would say yes or definitely, and the letter represented by November in the NATO alphabet. A North African Nomad.

3 It could be worth waiting for this ceremony — rush forward! (7,6)
A religious ceremony and the rush forward such as that undertaken by the Light Brigade in 1854 during the Crimean war, give the sum added to a bill that we hope will be passed on the waiting staff that serve us.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.

4 Two kinds of creativity — elevating one makes one cross (8)
To cross from one side to another is formed from two creative fields, the first one is reversed (elevating in a down clue) and an example of the second from Alfred Lord Tennyson is shown above.

8 Dig spicy condensed Eastern food with pasta? (10)
A dig for valuable mineral resources and a synonym of spicy without its last letter (condensed) and E for east combine to give a tasty Italian soup that usually contains pasta. school version I remember didn’t look like that – more a greyish broth with bullet hard peas and a few minuscule strands of overcooked spaghetti. As for Parmegiano Reggiano or a sprig of Basil dream on!

13 I ordered bartender not to close, keeping one _____? (10)
An anagram of I and BARTENDEr (without the closing letter) is the condition you may be in if you ordered the bartender not to close (à la 10a) and to carry on serving intoxicating beverages.

16 Wallet full of change — half’s gone to make this? (8)
A small wallet in which you keep loose change perhaps surrounds the first half of CHAnge. something you may buy with the contents of said wallet.

22 All Bar One points continental group to t’North, ‘appen! (5)
Three out of four of the points of the compass and a reversal (t’North) of the continental group we used to be a member of giving a verb for something that happens afterwards as a consequence

I have a couple of gaps in my parsing of some (1d and 11d) and think that the pub event in 10a may be peculiarly British. I have vague 13d memories of still being in one when the milkman called in on his (milk)round! Good on him he even bought a round before continuing on to his other customers.

Today’s music is liable to be changed if Senf has noticed his birthday as well. Charles Roger Pomfret ( any relation?) Hodgson (born 21 March 1950) is an English musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the former co-frontman and founding member of progressive rock band Supertramp.


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28 comments on “Sunday Toughie 9 (Hints)

  1. I thought this was an enjoyable Sunday Toughie and it all came together slowly but steadily.

    I am not sure that 19a is necessarily grilled. Perhaps Jean-Luc can confirm this if he is online today? 22d is bizarre.

    In answer to Sloop’s question regarding today’s incidence of déjà vu, I prefer 9d in this puzzle.

    I had plenty of ticks with 1a, 6a, 12a, 3d & 5d my top picks.

    Many thanks to Zandio and SJB.

  2. 19a. It lierally means “by grating”. Culinary: sprinkled with breadcrumbs or grated cheese and browned [or grilled].

      1. Thank you, but I assumed I had deleted that comment – I realised I’d repeated more or less what you’d said above. No harm done …

  3. I’m still shy of 1d but with more bung ins than a visit to the local recycling depot so not really a satisfactory solve. Clearly a troublesome toothache isn’t helping. I’ll avoid reading the hints until later & have another stab at making sense of my answers. Of the ones I’m happy I have parsed 13d was my favourite & with ticks also for 1,12&27a plus 3,5&8d. I’d also give 9a here the nod of the two.
    Thanks to Zandio & to SJB

    1. I had a bout of inspiration about 1d while driving across the AI. A synonym of top or the name of a major A Road is reversed inside B for black and the phonetic code that Sierra represents. The first word of 11d is still a bit of a mystery.

        1. Haha, I have just come to that conclusion myself with Smylers help. For a while, I thought that Stay may be some sort of elongated flying buttress thing. but your idea makes much more sense.

  4. Thank you, Sloop — I got there in the end, but only with some of your hints, and several more helped with parsings. Zandio is one of my favourite setters, and this was definitely harder than their Friday backpagers (as it’s supposed to be; that’s not a complaint!).

    But I’m pleased you didn’t (initially) hint 1d because I did eventually manage to solve it by myself, which I might not’ve done had a hint been readily available.

    And I’ve just parsed 11d while typing this (it was the second word I was stuck on), but am not sure of what I can say for a prize puzzle. Feel free to email me.

    3d was my favourite of many clues that put a smile on my face. Cheers, all.

  5. Very good puzzle, thanks to setter. Particular favourites included 16D & 22D. Very enjoyable :)

    1. Thank you, Zandio, for the deep pleasure of today’s quite challenging Toughie.

  6. Really enjoyed that Zandio, thank you. Did 80% following the backpager, while plugged in for extraction of platelets, and the last few in beautiful sunshine in between races at a point to point later on. My Hon Mentions went to 13d and 16d, but I could as easily have picked many more.

    Thanks also to SJB.

  7. I have a full grid that the online judge has marked 100%. How I got there, however, is a matter of luck, applying all 5 of my online gift of 5 letters, and perhaps a bit of happy karma. 1d & 10a were the reasons I had to settle for the electronic lagniappe. I think I had properly parsed 11d en route to my DNF completion, and I look forward to SJB’s full review. I have really enjoyed these Sunday Toughies, and today’s is no exception. As one who spent 43 years in front of the classrooms of America, I think that 17a is my favourite; I even seem to be resembling him these days. Thanks to SJB and Zandio.

    1. I have been trying to remember a quote from many moons ago in which the best university was described as a log with a pupil on one end and a teacher on the other, but my dictionary of quotations seems to have evaporated. It may have been Thoreau but maybe not.

      1. Sloop, it was US President James Garfield who said, “My definition of a University is Mark Hopkins at one end of a log and a student on the other”. Mark Hopkins was an influential 19th Century American teacher and theologian.

        1. Thanks, RD – I knew someone would recognise it. I really must get a new Dict. of Quotations. I can’t think what happened to the old one.

      2. No help here, I’m afraid, though–in its woodsy nature and its symbolic prowess–it certainly could have come from Henry David. My long-desired and long-awaited day at Walden Pond was rained out by torrential downpours, but they made the whole ambience even more special as a result. Such transcendence.

    2. lagniappe – now there’s a word I’ll have to try & remember to see if it crops up in a puzzle somewhere.

      1. I think Robert has used it a few posts recently — My money is on Elgar picking up on it first 🤣

  8. Too challenging (tough!) to be enjoyable for my level of ability, though completed in ************* time! I think I’ve parsed everything though. Many thanks to Zandio for the mind boggle and SJB for the hints.

  9. Yet another Monday finish for me (as is becoming my wont) but in just under 2* time, by a whisker. LOI 23d and 1d, which also took longest to parse. Still wondering about word 2 in 11d – I see I’m not alone on both counts! Great fun, thanks to Zandio and Mr Bee.

  10. Didn’t get to this until quite late yesterday evening, then tied up the loose ends this morning. An enjoyable puzzle, with my favourites being 15a, 19a, 13d, 20d and with top pick 16d. I agree with RD that 22d is a bit odd, but I don’t think you would arrive at the definition without launching into the vernacular. In 14a, my take is that it derives from a phrase in common parlance: ‘stuff and …’. It was a favourite of my Lancastrian grandparents, so may be more common up in t’North?

    Thanks to Zandio and to SJB for his sterling blog-work.

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