Sunday Toughie 10 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 10 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 10 by proXimal (Hints)

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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proXimal is back in the chair today, for his fourth of the new Sunday Toughies.
I have hinted quite a few and even included few bonus pics. I found this quite a challenge but got there in the end. My parsing of a couple is lacking and I am prepared to be led by better brains on 9a and 26a. I have just got a new mobile phone and will be monitoring the blog whilst out with Mama Bee.

I solved this on the puzzles site last night, and now I am having a go at the Dada on my new mobile app. I notice that the toughie has not yet appeared on the app and plead with Mr Lancaster to get it on there ASAP.


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              Healthy earnings after accepting unlimited duty (8)
An employee’s earnings contain the letters that remain when duty loses its limits.

5              Discourage construction of animal enclosure (6)
A construction to restrict the flow of something and an animal enclosure combine to discourage enthusiasm perhaps.

9              Royal hurt carrying on with it (9)
I am not sure I have parsed this correctly but the head of the Royal family gets an adjective of or relating to being a King or Queen. Gazza explains it so “I think 9a is a verb to hurt containing ON, then an adjective meaning ‘with it’.”

12            Offensive bitter drink picked up (6)
A synonym homonym combo here, sounds like a synonym of bitter and a homonym of Britain’s favourite beverage
combine to give a military offensive.

13            Eliminate disrespectful rogue shaking fists around (8)
A partial anagram here, I am wary of the comment from the blog that we should avoid hinting too many of these but I found this pretty tricky to solve last night. A long word from the clue loses (shaking) a shorter one, and is anagrammatised (around)  to satisfy the definition.

15            Grating group of politicians fixture of office (6,7)
This isn’t an anagram but was quite a bit easier to solve and provides lots of checking letters. The grating that Mama Bee does to keep her talons sharp and some politicians with ministerial powers combine.

23            Villain’s beside gold device on display (6)
Several cowardly and despicable villains goes beside the heraldic term for gold. A tricky little blighter I am always losing on this screen.

27            Remove feline blocking pass after some time (9)
A feline pet is contained within (blocking) a synonym of pass and goes after a rather long period of time.

28          Guide to British thrushes - Happy Beaks Blog




1              Like 16 houses belonging to leader of Thailand (4-4)
Best go find the answer to 16d first. Suburban houses with one close neighbour “belonging to” the leader of Thailand. Like 16(d) is a definition by example of the solution we seek here.

3              Wrenching sound endlessly with rhubarb being pulled up (7)
A wrenching or twisting force is found by taking a sound without its last letter (endlessly) and statements or beliefs that are untrue or make no sense and reversing the lot (being pulled up)

7             Billy Elliot- Tom Holland | Tom holland, Billy elliot, Tom holland billy elliot


10           Beginning to crack before bishop, odd part of organ (8)
A bit of lego here, The beginning to Crack, a poetic term for before, one of the abbreviations for Bishop, and a synonym of odd, go together in that order to become part of the organ we think with.

14           In revolution, medal occasionally comprises award (8)
In revolution is the instruction to seek out the definition. A well hidden reverse lurker.

16           Grilled food topped with mostly green cheese (9)
A food usually grilled, (although I recall late-night trollies in London that sold a vile version that had been sitting in once boiled water for most of the evening – nevertheless they soaked up some of the excesses of the evening) topped with most of a shade of green give a type of cheese.

17           Swimmer‘s routine’s changed abandoning island for good (8)
If the letter that represents island is replaced with that for good and changed we have a swimmer. nice to see proXimal not going for the politically obvious way to clue this.

ITV News : The Latest Nicola Sturgeon News

19           Greek character losing heart disposes of tools (7)
It would have been lovely if this was the 19th character of the Greek alphabet but it is the 22nd we seek here.
it is added to a synonym of disposes of (for monetary gain) without its central letter (losing heart)

20           Rejoin train going north moving right to the front (7)
a synonym of train or entourage. is reversed (going north in a down clue) but before bunging it in you need to move the letter represented by right to the front.


Today I have been mostly listening to the Band from Rockall.





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18 comments on “Sunday Toughie 10 (Hints)

  1. Well I stared at a blank grid for what seemed like an eternity then got 15a followed by 8 more then threw in the towel but progressed to a finish unaided at the second attempt. Really enjoyed the puzzle (best of the week’s Toughies for me – though I’ve only managed half of Friday’s Osmosis) & with plenty of excellent clues to choose from. Last 2 in for me were 20d&23a & I’ll pick the former as my favourite with big ticks for 1,13,27&29a plus 1/16combo,6&10d.
    Thanks to proXimal & John whose review I’ll read midway through my walk – reckon 26a a triple definition but the other has me beat.
    Ps think it very poor indeed that this puzzle is STILL not on the digital paper app.

  2. I thought this was the toughest Sunday Toughie to date, very enjoyable – thanks to proXimal and SJB.

    I think 9a is a verb to hurt containing ON, then an adjective meaning ‘with it’.

    Top clues for me were 27a and 7d.

    1. Thanks, Gazza that makes sense now. I’ll try and amend the hint on this phone.

  3. Blimey, what a contrast to today’s Sunday cryptic. I found the whole thing very tough indeed but the bottom half was an order of magnitude harder than than the top half. Sheer bloody-mindedness carried me through to the end.

    I can see neither the definition nor the parsing for 22a and have bunged in the only thing I can think of which fits the checking letters; and I can’t parse 7d, although SJB’s picture confirms that I have the right answer.

    I think the triple definition for 26a was my favourite, with 27a in second place.

    Thanks to proXimal and to SJB.

    P.S. Now I need to go and lie down …

      1. Thanks very much, Gazza. Having solved 13a, it didn’t occur to me that there might be another compound anagram in the same puzzle; and I am kicking myself regarding 22a as I thought it was probably a homophone but I split the word 4-4 and not 3-5! :oops: However, I still don’t much like the definition even with the question mark.

    1. Thanks RD I know the feeling. 7d is a bit like 13a an anagram after an extraction.

  4. Thank you for the much needed hints, SJB. I managed to finish and parse it all with your help. And thank you Proximal for the challenge which I really enjoyed.

  5. My poorest showing so far on these Sunday Toughies. While the bottom half slowly filled in, I fared very poorly on the top half, even with the application of 5 letters from the online charity, so many thanks to SJB for your hints today that enabled me to finish–i.e, fill in the grid. Congratulations to Huntsman & Rabbit Dave for your achievements! Shall I blame my colossal failure on my rapidly degenerating grey matter or the fact that a super jumbo NYT puzzle took it all out of me? Excuses, excuses. Thanks to SJB and proXimal.

  6. Thanks, John. Actually, I have done very well on Anna Schectman’s puzzles–the ones she currently sets for The New Yorker anyway. My occasional difficulty, as I toggle in a matter of minutes from the NYT / NYkr type of puzzle to the British cryptic genre, is indeed moving from a heavily GK-centred grid to one that generally eschews GK, the cryptic. (I say ‘generally’, mind you.) Lately, American puzzles–and I include the brilliant LA Times dailies–have become too enamoured of hip-hop so-called artists, and that drives me bonkers. I HATE rap music; I can abide anything else, though classical reigns supreme, and that includes opera, which all Xword setters over here seem afraid of. (Because they know so little of it?) So I do have some issues with American setters, but they are minor…as minor and as unnecessary as rap itself.

  7. Phew, that was a struggle! :phew:
    Came back to it on and off during the day and finished it off with the help of coffee and Armagnac this evening. I ticked 22a, 26a and 10d but then I stopped thinking about favourites as the going got tougher… 1d and 12a held me up at the end until the PDM arrived. The two double homophones were especially wily.
    Thanks for the thought-provoking and entertaining challenge, proXimal, and “Chapeau!” to SJB for stepping up to the plate on these Sunday Toughie reviews :good:

    1. The 1d 12a intersection was my first freebie hint, as I too stared at that corner for too long.
      I ran out of my self imposed limit of 50% (ish) hints long before I got to any so called easy clues.

    2. P.S. My ‘construction’ of 5a was an animal (female) followed by an enclosure.

      1. Could be but you could just eliminate construction and still get that answer. Construction has to be in the clue for some reason, and it doesn’t really indicate the female animal.

  8. In common with many others I found this a real struggle, finished only with SJB’s assistance for a couple and 3(!) letter reveals in the SW. When it was finally all over I had no probs with any of the parsings, amazingly enough. Thanks SJB for the hints and The X-Man for the battle.

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