Sunday Toughie 14 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Sunday Toughie 14 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 14 by Robyn (Hints)

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A reasonably easy Sunday toughie from Robyn today, I have even half-finished the review for a week on Wednesday.

I have hinted at 16 out of 30 clues and a bonus pic for 3d so hopefully, that will give you enough to find the rest.

I think the tennis champion (26a) is a bit obscure, I am not a big fan of the sport, but if you follow the instructions, she should reveal herself. The boxer in 22a is fictional…


1a    Dodged heartless enemies, like Batman? (7)
Heartless tells us to remove the heart of E nemie S, in this case, like Batman? should suggest what this crusader is known for wearing. That leaves the first word as the definition.

10a    Was a ham stuffed, eating cold starter for dinner? (9)
A synonym of stuffed at the dinner table perhaps contains (eating) C for cold and the starter of Dinner. What remains is underlined to define the answer we seek.

11a    It’s not the main change at rare packing company (5,5)
A little bit of Latin here. Main here is a noun for the wet bits of the planet, we seek the Latin for the dry bits. Change is the anagrind, at rare is the fodder and it is packing in a synonym of company.

14a    Get serious spite about setter on public transport (4,8)
An eight letter synonym of spite surrounds some public transport and the setter’s personal pronoun.

18a    At times back in love, really get mushy about love (5,2,5)
A bit of lego here. The back letter of lovE, a synonym of really, followed by a word for mushy around the letter that looks like love in tennis scoring.

27a    King in dubious history losing face — Richard III? (7)
The chess notation for King goes in an anagram of history without its facing letter
This Son of Y***(well I live there) would have preferred to see him here, rather than the car park he was found under. But ****’s loss is Leicester’s gain.

28a    Jeer receiving writer’s tip for facetious title (3,4)
The noise an audience makes when a performance is 10a perhaps surrounds the tip of a writer’s instrument.
A mock title, for a self-important person.


1d    Fixed rates as well as variable, not the real thing (6)
An anagram (fixed) of rates and one of the mathematical variables for a substitute for the real thing

2d    Name a Republican, boring rotter, making fake news (6)
A rotter surrounds N for name, A from the clue, and R for republican for fake news or a lie.




4 Attractive policeman dresses in loincloth (5)
A temperature based adjective for attractive is dressed in a Detective Inspector.


5d    Sweet food, English jam sandwiches, given hype (5,4)
This synonym of jam, in the pack tightly sense, stuffs in an E for English and adds some fluffy advertising hype.

8d    Fool admitted to dodgy drama school for believers (8)
A synonym of fool goes in an anagram of drama. A Muslim school, college, or university that is often part of a mosque. Usually spelled with just one s but I did find the 2 letter alternative in at least one dictionary (Merriam-Webster)

13d    Profligate, having large liabilities including tiny sum in America (10)
L for large, the smallest piece of American coinage, and ones debts. A thesaurus may be useful here as I found the definition listed the answer we seek. I have used coinage here in its true sense the next clue (unhinted) uses it in another.

16d    Part of US county blessed, overlooking lake (8)
An English county and a synonym of blessed without L for lake, is one of the constituent parts of the U.S.

17d    One starting booze, drinking booze before noon (8)
two different alcoholic drinks around n for Noon

24d    Berry turned into aphrodisiac artfully (4)
Todays lurker is reverse (turned into) the rest of the clue, supposedly a purple Amazonian superfood.

Talking of purple I haven’t seen Ed busking in York for a while, but here is a piece I love.

20 comments on “Sunday Toughie 14 (Hints)

  1. Please can these be made available to people who pay a full subscription to the paper. Thank you!

    1. You are preaching to the converted Manders. I hope that CL the Telegraph puzzle editor does come here and read the comments. I suppose even CL has bosses and although the wheels grind slowly we have recently got the weekly toughie on the app. I will keep on asking the question to and hope we get the Sunday Toughie available on the app as well as the puzzles site and paper version soon.

      1. I could be mistaken but I seem to recall CL gave the impression after the chorus of complaints at week 1 that the Sunday Toughie would be included in time in the basic digital pack. Quite why it takes so long is beyond me & very disappointing

  2. Good fun – thanks to Robyn and SJP.
    An interesting juxtaposition of 2d and 3d for French and English (almost) equivalents.
    Top clues for me were 9a, 3d (I wonder who’s being referred to?) and 20d.

  3. I must have been on our setter’s wavelength right from the start and, to my startled satisfaction, just moved right along from top to bottom, loving every minute of it. I thought that 11a was one of the finest examples of indirection and wordplay I’d seen in some time, and it’s my top choice, but 22a & 25a give it a run for the money. The tennis champion has been much in the news over here because of some personal issues shared with the press, so that one came quickly for me. Not the toughest of these most welcome Sunday Toughies but certainly among the most enjoyable for me. Thanks to SJB for the enjoyable hints, even though I didn’t need them for a change, and to Robyn for the great pleasure.

  4. Many thanks for the hints, JB, even though the one I was looking for didn’t make an appearance.
    Assuming that I’ve got 22a parsed correctly, I think a certain Mr Marciano might resent being referred to as being fictional!
    Really enjoyed the 2d clip and the piece from York’s busker – what a talented man.

    Thanks also to Robyn for the puzzle.

    1. Ah, that is very interesting, the identity of the boxer: Marciano or Graziano or Stallone!? I hadn’t realised the possibilities.

    2. Oops I forgot about Mr Marciano, my only defence is the fact that Mr Marciano (or Graziano)almost always had his surname, whereas the fictional one was usually known by just his first name.

  5. No problem with Naomi but it took a while for the penny to drop with the boxer. Never heard of the berry but otherwise reasonably free of any undue head scratching. Delightfully clued as you’d expect from a Robyn puzzle & with any number of clues worthy of a podium spot.
    Thanks to Robyn for the entertainment & John for the review

  6. Please do not say this is a walkover for, to my amazement I’ve finished it. I needed Dan word for the obscure tennis player but I felt that was allowed. I think the name of a US President, would have been more accessible.

    1. Obscure is a little harsh for the (quite recent) former World Number One, and four-time Grand Slam winner, and six-times runner-up, I think – I’m no fan of tennis at the best of times, but her name has still managed to penetrate my grey cells. I just worry what it displaced in so doing!

      1. Sorry! I’m still stuck on the Williams sisters, Martina and the disgraced Boris Becket. Oh for the glory days of Rod Laver et al!

  7. Another enjoyable crossword from one of my favourite setters wherever he appears – I found the SW corner the trickiest .

    Thanks to Robyn and SJB

  8. Finished in the SW, with the S slower than the N. I always find it difficult to get onto Robyn’s wavelength and today was no different. A good challenge and 2d was my clear COTD.

    3* / 2*

    Thank you to Robyn and SJB.

    1. Not as stupid as me. I went through currency and capitals of Africa and Asia before the South American connection dawned on me.

Comments are closed.