Sunday Toughie 11 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 11 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 11 by Robyn (Hints)

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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Robyn is here today for his fourth turn in the Sunday Toughie slot, Does that mean we should expect Zandio next Sunday? Time will tell. Not as tricky as last week but still I could have hinted at many more clues. I hope you find enough checkers to help you over the line and I am still turning a blind eye to a few bonus hints from the commentariat.


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 Time for turkey, chicken and great wit! (4,6)
We start with the season when a turkey is eaten, add a chicken who lacks confidence, is irresolute and wishy-washy and lo and behold he has transformed into a great wit.

‘Success took me to her bosom like a maternal boa constrictor.’

Talking of bosoms that leads us onto…
6 A lot of money in a minimum of four cups (4)
in the singular these have two “cups” therefore in the plural (2 or more) they would have a minimum of four, also most of a synonym of money (4/5ths)

11 Dislike of the new mobile phone Tobias uncased (9)
An anagram (mobile) of phone and what is left of Tobias when he is uncased, gives us a dislike or fear of the new.

14 Whose works on slyness outperform others? (5,3,4)
To avoid detection by moving carefully (7) is followed by a jumbling of the letters of whose. when split according to the enumeration we have someone who outperforms others on stage.

18 Sign letters have been lost around one’s address (12)
The verb form of the act of adding a punctuation mark to indicate letters have been omitted, also the character that looks like one along with its plural form s is surrounded by said punctuation.

21 Essentially American hero (7)
A Latin phrase for essentially, meaning “by itself” or “in itself” and one of the many crossword abbreviations for American give us a hero who saved ancient Greeks from Medusa.

27 Main defenders make little effort and go slowly, holding United back (10)
To go slowly contains the letter that United could be, reverse it (back) and append it to a word that means to make little effort and we have the defenders that defend us when in peril from the main.


1 Not feeling skin of adult marsupial (6)
Unfeeling and the outer letters (skin of) the next word…


3 Made a brief visit with my boss where drinkers go (6,2,3,3)
A synonym of visit and the familiar way that our setter may refer to the chap who may amend his submissions and the phrase suggested by where one goes to have a drink. altogether it is a phrase for the date at which barristers are formally recognised to have passed the vocational stage of training.
A lovely image of Chris Lancaster and Robyn meeting in the White House to discuss revisions to an upcoming crossword comes to mind and there is probably one somewhere in BD’s gallery! If any such meeting was to take place I hope Robyn would be campaigning to get the Sunday Toughie on the Telegraph app!

7 Cheap red clothing again put on husband (8)
A red gemstone clothing a musical annotation to play again (Twice; – a word showing that something is, or is to be, repeated, as a passage of music) and H for husband for a cheap bit of tat.

8 No hint just a pretty picture ;)

House Sparrow

9 Making use of remote sea, doing sport there (7-7)
A narrow sea and a sport which may be done there. but the couch potato using the “hoofer doofer”  doesn’t sound like he is very sporty.

15 Insular people painter’s capturing I see (9)
The English name of an Italian artist captures his plural (‘s) and an interjection that may be made instead of “I see” – An insular people of the South Pacific.
The picture is by the artist in question and shows 21a again too

16 Roll up large white covers, which can be felt (8)
A type of bread roll is reversed (up) and the abbreviation for large, are contained in (covers) a very light almost white shade.  Capable of being perceived; especially capable of being handled, touched or felt

17 Visitors of university teacher turned up in shorts (8)
The shorts we require here are the restorative tinctures that keep this blogger going they contain a reversal of how one would address your (male) teacher and the usual abbreviation for University.

22 Endless labour by doctor with visibly reduced rate (3-2)
A labour loses its last letter and adds one of the many crossword doctors, for a technique that visibly reduces the rate at which we are presented with images. to better see the details of a fast-paced action.

Todays music is a shameless repeat but I really like this and it is important

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16 comments on “Sunday Toughie 11 (Hints)

  1. I try never to miss a crossword by this setter or any of his alter egos and I really enjoyed today’s middle of the range Toughie. Lots to enjoy but I think I’ll go for 18a as top favourite

    Thanks to Robyn and SJB

    With regard to the latter’s comment at 3d, I’ve been at Sloggers & Betters gatherings where both Robyn and BD were present but to date have never met CL so I don’t think there’ll be a photograph in BD’s gallery

  2. Another very entertaining puzzle from Robyn – thanks to him and SJB for the hints. The crosswording week has definitely improved with the addition of the Sunday Toughie.

    For my podium I’ve selected 1a, 6a and 3d.

    I think that the definition of 18a is address (as a verb).

    1. I did think that 20d was a double definition so in that respect the way of getting to the solution isn’t unique.

      1. I mean that there’s another word which, I think, fits both definitions and the cross letters.

        1. Ah yes, I think I see the word you mean. I hadn’t considered it myself but thinking about it now, would it be art at that stage?

          1. Perhaps that’s it. The used of the term to describe the finished art-icle rather than a material constituent seems rare – although not non-existent.

  3. Here’s another voice to add to the Sunday Toughie fan club. An excellent addition.

  4. How clever (and discerning) of our blogger to connect 21a and 15d in his illustration! Especially since I failed miserably (not being very discerning) with 21a. In fact, I just didn’t connect very well with our setter today, though I did enjoy those I could unwrap. If I had been one of my own darling students, I’d have to give myself about a B-. I thought that the two downward clues 3d & 9d and 14a demonstrated what the brilliant 1a might have called his *’talent to amuse’! And they are my favourites. Thanks to SJB and Robyn.

    *”Heigh-ho, if love were all!”

    1. I don’t know about discerning when I went looking for something by the artist for 15d I realised I had the same hero as 21a. I hope you found the American lush easier than the Greco American hero.

      1. Well, those Nebraskans held me up too long too, but it was one of Robyn’s best ruses, I thought. Felt quite un-American last night.

  5. Well, I’ve spent most of the afternoon with this apart from a happy time Skyping my Canadian family. I think I’ve completed it correctly but there were a few bung ins. Quite a bit of classical knowledge needed. COTD is the lovely 24a to get us dancing in the aisles.
    Thanks to you new persona, I won’t now be congratulated for your hard work!

  6. Enjoyed this gentle cruise to completion, so thank you Robyn, but I must admit I needed several of Mr Bee’s parsings after the event. ‘Twas ever thus! Thanks to you too.

  7. Having enjoyed the fine weather today, this was a post-dinner solve – and a tricky one it was too. However, it was well worth the effort :smile:
    I also learned a few things along the way – the 1d marsupial, that 4d wasn’t just a motorhome and the form of ‘address’ in 18a. My ticks were evenly balanced: 6, 21, 26 & 27 across and 9, 15, 16 & 22 down.
    Thank you to Robyn for once again keeping us on our toes and to SJB for his nice illustrations to accompany the hints – especially the 15d/21a combination which, at a pinch, might even symbolise 27a…

  8. A late post as distracted by golf & football. All going smoothly until struggles in the SW. 16d & 21a my last 2 in & an awful lot of pondering ensued. Reckon I rooted through the bakery for the former & only twigged the latter once the initial checker was in. The wee critter at 1d new to me & 4d (clear from the wordplay) a bit of a mystery until reading Robert’s post. As ever a super puzzle from this setter completed without a letter reveal. Favourite a coin toss between 15d & 18a.
    Thanks to Robyn & John

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