Sunday Toughie 13 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 13 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 13 by proXimal (Hints)

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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proXimal again today for Sunday Toughie #13. Let’s hope that there is nothing to put fear into any Triskaidekaphobes out there. I half-jokingly asked proXimal whether

“Anything that Triskaidekaphobics have to fear in #13?” – He replied;

“Yes, the four 13-letter entries. Also, a double helping of proXimal tomorrow, as I set the EV puzzle as well.”

I have to say that I didn’t have too much problem with the 13-letter entries but the pesky bird in 25a still eludes me.

Got him! see the spoiler at the end…

Anyway here goes with today’s hints…

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    Royals half-cut after cocktail somewhere in the Caribbean (10)
We start with a generic cocktail and add half of a collection of female monarchs, for an island in the Caribbean.

Dirty martini | Cocktail recipes | SBS Food

10    Out-of-date netting in ship retaining appearance (9)
A synonym of Out-of-date, such as bread suffers, “nets” in from the clue and is followed by the historical prefix for a ship that indicates its means of propulsion. Often mis-cited but the initials remain the same so we will save that for the review.

12    Coming across fashionable and well-informed with no backtracking (9,4)
A synonym of an unexpected occurrence is an exciting or noteworthy event, followed by a 2-letter synonym of well-informed and a reversal of no (backtracking)

14    Quietly replacing youth’s mat showing dirtiness (8)
A synonym of youth replaces the letters `mat` with the musical notation for quietly, giving a quality of dirtiness.

19    Clothing delivery increased with no resistance (4-4)
One of six cricket deliveries and a synonym of increased (without the r for resistance) for some very specific clothing,

21    Winger using craft to block a feeble shot (4-6,3)
I am obliged and delighted to love this clue as it contains so many elements of my blog name. The craft is a small speedy sailing vessel similar to a SLOOP. Surrounded by an anagram (shot)of A FEEBLE.
I wonder if proXimal was thinking of the blog and the hinty person when he set this. I will have to ask him next time I see him on Twitter. (Probably not, I expect it has been in the pipeline longer than the toughie has been going but I did like it so much I have made a new avatar)


24    Left single day after joining a team (9)
A from the clue, a team or group, how 1 is written and an abbreviation of Day, arranged from the left I will leave you to work out the rest.

27    Wet and untidy tatty clothing left on furniture (10)
Robert Tressell wrote about such tatty trousers, insert L for left and surround it with the piece of furniture you sleep in.


1    Heard cross cry (4)
This feeble cry sounds like (heard) the crossbreeding of a male donkey and a female horse.

3    Green bananas in recipe, need about ten (13)
An anagram (bananas) of words 3, 4, and 5, but wait that is only twelve letters you say, put those twelve letters about the Roman numeral for ten and you have enough to define the first word.

4    Studies of 21 types of creature found outside Portugal (8)
The class of creatures that 21a is an example of surrounds the IVR code for Portugal, to study closely.

8    Turn off song after end is corrupted (10)
An anagram of END IS (corrupted) followed by a song may turn off some people.

11    Going out late near end of tournament with beating (13)
a synonym of near, the last letter of tournament, and a type of beating from a heavy object. The kind of going out late that becomes less exciting in advancing years, I would sooner stay in with a cup of cocoa and a good book.

13    Collection of texts from male is on phone in US area, New York (10)
This collection of writings (texts) is constructed from M for male, is from the clue, how someone from the US area refers to his mobile phone and the two letters that New York suggests.

16    Plant very close climbing concrete shelters (8)
This fragrant plant is made from an abbreviation of Very, a synonym of close, surrounded by a reversal (climbing in a down clue) of another synonym for concrete.

23    Put right pieces on top of dresser (4)
A gender-specific name for the pieces on a chessboard perhaps and the top letter of the last word, define a repair or the action of putting right.

That is 16 out of 28 clues so I hope you have enough to fill the gaps.

I am a bit annoyed at not quite parsing 25a the best I can come up with is the profession of the owner of Captain Flint in Treasure Island but I am obviously missing something. I was, nothing to do with Captain Flint.

A generic b-IR-d loses its outer letters and adds a synonym of bit or what happened to the biscuit I was eating at the lightbulb moment.

Music clips are not translating across some territories so I hope this works;

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12 comments on “Sunday Toughie 13 (Hints)

  1. Thanks to proXimal for a proper Toughie and to SJP for the hints.
    I’ll nominate 1a (reference to the troubled royal tours in the Caribbean?), 26a and 7d.

  2. I had 10a right all along; I just couldn’t parse it because I didn’t realise the last two words were the definition (if I am right on that). But I could not solve 19a at all, even with the correct checking letters. Happy to locate the right ‘winger’ in 21a early on, and it has to be my COTD. Still can’t parse 7d and 26a, though both appear to be correct since the e-judge has marked me 100%. Technically, a DNF, alas, but I came very, very close, and I’ll take that. One of these days…. Thanks to SJB for the hints, one of which I needed (for19a), and to proXimal.

    1. I can help with 7d, I think. First four letters are the beginning of a five-letter word meaning fleece, in the sense of ‘con’. The ‘pound’ is an enclosure for animals. The whole means discount, in the sense of ‘reduce the price’. But I am likewise stumped by 26a!

      1. A rubber company, that make tyres loses the first four letters for a term or period of time

  3. An excellent puzzle for which many thanks.

    I’ve been away ill, with Covid infection number two. Having assumed I’d recently caught Omicron BA2, it seems that one must have been Delta, as my present (now waning, thankfully) infection seems to be dread BA2.

    Rats, as they probably used to say in approximately 1665. Thank goodness for jolly good DT puzzles and paracetamol.

    1. Why are there no Aspirins in the Jungle?

      Because the parrots eat em all.

      Get well soon.

  4. A really good but very fair struggle today. Some really hard thinking required to parse a few, 1a, 9a, 19a my favourites, but the silverware goes to 19a. Thanks to proXimal, and I’ll now read your hints SJB, so thanks in advance for those. Could well have missed something!

  5. As usual, done late in the evening in the bath with a Whiskey Mac. I don’t know if the alcohol helped but this all fell into place with the exception of 26a and I made a stab at it, only to just read the hints and discover the shy and wherefore from SJB. Thank you. The quotation marks threw me. Thanks also to Proximal, you and the WM gave me a good night’s sleep!

    1. Good choice, I rewarded myself with the same tipple after I cracked this.🥃

  6. #13 lucky for some, including me. Done and dusted (on Monday morning, as usual) in 2* time, but a good tussle nevertheless – first pass furnished precisely two answers! All except 26a parsed without help, so thanks for your addendum SJB. Thanks also to ProXimal for the enjoyment.

  7. I have finally parsed 25a. Audible clang as the penny dropped! Superb clue.

    Thanks to Proximal for a great puzzle, and to SJB for the review.

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