Sunday Toughie 33 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 33 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 33 by proXimal

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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A little rushed this morning, and as usual a parsing or two still elude me. particularly 14a where the wordplay is a mystery. 16 across and 14 down clues and I have hinted half. I have left the drinks unhinted (4a, 5d 25a) but the strong cider at 27a is a trademark proXimal extraction/anagram. The reverse lurker at 8d will have been heard by anyone who listened to the proclamation of King Charles III

Here we go folks…

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 review 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! I think that sentence is a bit redundant. You have all been so helpful in sorting out prior parsing failures,re and I am sure I will need similar help again.

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.


1a Jerk cycling in hail on the move (6)
A convulsive jerk cycles its first letter to the last, it then goes in a Latin hail to the Virgin Mary.

10a Space with endorsement, say, having turned picture (8)
A printer’s space equal to half an em, the endorsement to travel that a passport may contain and a reversal of an abbreviation for say.

12a Prisoner shot holding air rifle regularly in defiant manner (10)
A prisoner common in crosswords and a shot, go or attempt, and alternate letters of AiR rIfLe. A nursery rhyme alleged to be about various Marys‘ may help.

15a Group of politicians bizarrely seen as rational (11)
One of the Houses of Parliament, and an anagram of seen. This rational behaviour is rarer than we think.

18a Flash article containing so outsize layer of precious metal (6,5)
Another nursery rhyme here and a bit more Latin, A short flash or instant of time, the definite article, a Latin so around an abbreviation for outsize.

21a Winged creature following grouse (4)
My avatar obliges me to mention this winged creature and an abbreviation of following.

24a Domestic military information to protect Royal Navy area (8)
Information about an enemy’s plans and movements contain abbreviations for the Royal Navy and area.

27a Scrumpy might be produced by this country farm, far away (6)
A rare definition that isn’t at the beginning or end of the clue, also a reverse extraction anagram. Scrumpy is an anagram of the country we seek and farm from the clue, after far has been taken away.


1d A new chief is source of much chaos (9)
First or chief, often used to give further emphasis to an already critical or disparaging epithet, goes into various bits from the clue, A from the clue, N for new, is from the clue and the initial (source) of much.

3d Chamber’s opening left covered in grain (9)
The opening of a volcano perhaps and a grain around L for left

7d Man grabs giant, totally unbridled, horse (7)
Totally unbridled is the wordplay, it suggests removing the outer letters of the first three words of the clue.

11d Out of date, we’re told, scrap creamy food (7,5)
A bit more about the breeding of horses here, a synonym of out of indicating the dam of a pedigree animal, particularly horses, to become dated and a homophone (we’re told) of a scrap or brawl.
Fromage Frais Creams with Red Fruit Compote | Recipes | Delia Online

16d Particularly cool piano overturned in raid (9)
A raid or sudden rushing forth of troops contains a reversal (overturned in a down clue) of cool beyond freezing and P for piano.

17d Curses business charges? (9)
The fees or charges of an abbreviated businessman perhaps?

23d Scavenger beginning to rip neat clothes (4)
In crosswords neat is often used to suggest various bovines, the female of one of those bovine species goes around the beginning of rip.


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Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king.
And all the people rejoiced and said:
God save the King! Long live the King! God save the King!
May the King live forever. Amen. Hallelujah.

14 comments on “Sunday Toughie 33 (Hints)
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  1. I enjoyed this. It also took me a while to parse 14a but the penny dropped when I followed the instructions. Thanks to proXimal and Sloop John Bee.

  2. I thought that this was on the gentler side for proXimal – thanks to him and SJB.
    For 14a put your answer inside ‘pad’ to get ‘shared with another’
    The clues I liked best were 27a, 1d and 23d.

  3. I have to admit that my heart was not in this one last night when I attempted it, and after answering a few clues, I gave up, but today–refreshed and revived–I did manage, with thanks to some hints from SJB, to finish, though not an unaided effort of course. I did finish a proXimal recently, but he remains my toughest setter. Thanks to Gazza for helping me with 14a, but my favourites are 27a. 11d (new to me), & 1d. Thanks to SJB and to proXimal.

  4. A bit weird and a bit old hat in places, but what do I know. *+/*. Perhaps too many dodgy surfaces but 15a got a smile. Thanks setter and blogger.

  5. I’ve dipped into this on & off throughout the afternoon while watching the conclusion of the golf at Wentworth. It was very much a case of identify the likely definition & work backwards. Chuffed to eventually complete the grid without a hint or letter reveal & with all parsed except 14a (thanks Gazza) & 18a (most of the way there but undone by the Latin as per). Last in was 23a where I was unfamiliar with neat in this context.
    Top 3 for me were 15a,4a &1d in that order as I thought they were the best surface reads.
    Thanks proXimal & SJB.

    1. I could have been a tad more generous with a Latin hint. Cognito **** sum being the Latin for I think therefore I am. Therefore is synonymous with so, therefore that is the Latin you require.

    1. I hadn’t looked at yesterday’s Toughie either, but saw the video on the site homepage and came here just to express my appreciation. That’s lovely. Thank you so much for sharing it, John.

      PS: Not that it matters, but I think in 18 it’s the article around both the Latin ‘so’ and the ‘outsize’.

  6. Started solving this one in the mistaken belief that it was today’s cryptic but it engaged me sufficiently that I came back to it later in the day.
    Tough going for me but I did enjoy the challenge. 15&18a were probably my top two

    Thanks to proXimal and to SJB for the hints.

  7. Settled in after a couple of early evening pints, and it gradually fell into place, with the last half dozen rapidly revealing themselves. My cotd was 18a, closely followed by 27a. Many thanks to proXimal, and to SJB, not only for the hints, but also for the link to Zadok the Priest, one of my favourite pieces of rousing choral music, and one which I’m looking forward to on KC III’s coronation. Although old enough, far too young to remember the late Queen’s coronation.

  8. Got there in the end, but more of a grind than a joy. SJB, the answer to 18a can be seen on the video clip. I pencilled that answer in with no idea why, but it had to be. When I read your hint, I laughed out loud – becomes my favourite for the use of layer in that context. Thanks all.

  9. Now up to date with my Sunday Toughies after finishing this particularly pleasing puzzle posed by proXimal. I ticked several clues including the 3 letter 14a – very nice! My other favourites were 15a, 18a, 22a, 27a, 2d, and 11d. The NE corner held me up a bit at the end, partly due to my slow unravelling of the 5d anagram. I was anticipating some sort of musical annotation…

    My thanks to both proXimal and SJB.

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