Sunday Toughie 35 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 35 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 35 by Zandio

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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A not-too tricky Sunday Toughie from Zandio today. I cannot confirm whether it was harder than his Friday offering as work and Mama Bee curtailed my cruciverbalism that day.

Several cups of 16d were required to parse a couple and I hope I have got them now, please feel free to correct me if you disagree. I have hinted half of an even 14a/14d, but even so, there are quite enough hard ones unhinted. I think I have the latitude to help with a few bonuses if you want more hints, just ask away and I will try and help.

Here we go…


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! – I think that sentence is a bit redundant. You have all been so helpful in sorting out prior parsing failures, 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 East End slang’s double Dutch? (6)
The crime of having more than one “Dutch” if you are from the East End of London and refer to your spouse in that way.


12a Walked round — which staff’s occupied or inactive? (7)
To walk step or tread is reversed around to provide staff for a position.

13a Blackbeard and Calico Jack maybe travel across ocean westwards (7)
Maybe suggests that we have a definition by example, Those names are not the ones their Mamas gave them. How they travel across oceans and the oceans they travel upon are both reversed.

14a Oscar said, Age chooses to regenerate — a fool’s errand (4-5,5)
A homophone of Oscar’s surname and an anagram of Age chooses should produce this fool’s errand.

“The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills…

17a Two French articles aired query into gambling — dirty stuff here? (7,7)
A bit of Lego here, the French articles for the and a, what you do when you have aired clothing, and some gambling around a query.
Best Laundry Basket GIFs | Gfycat

24a High-handed staff with US A&E that’s facing raging flu (9)
The staff on which a flag may fly, the American term for our A&E and an anagram (raging) of FLU
20 years ago, 'ER' gave Clooney's career shot in the arm

26a Most of its vehicles are big or small in length (8)
Where a large seagoing vessel is built is the vessel itself and a small length that is equivalent to 914.4 millimetres.

27a Sign of cat eating small creature that sits beside house? (4-2)
The structure that relies on an adjoining house for support, is also an astrological sign around a small creature.


1d You’ll need help on clues like this — give in? (4,4)
A transitive verb to help or support and the type or direction this clue is the first of.

3d Has to report missing black horse (7)

Ford Mustang on Twitter: "Fire up your engines it's Mustang® Week! Leading up to Sunday, help us celebrate 58 years of the #FordMustang by sharing your favorite Mustang vehicle story. #MustangWeek 🚗 /
5d Trouble with grit one’s found in bed (3-5,6)
The trouble that a missionary in a cannibal’s pot may face and the grit or bravery he will need may keep him warm in bed.

Wilde movie review & film summary (1998) | Roger Ebert
8d Grilled, it may cause gluttony — fifth sin a Dantean keeps up (6)
I do miss the rind on bacon – this well-known producer used to double underline its name leaving a double stripe on the edge. Also a reverse lurker.

16d Strong drink opponents love guzzling squash (8)
Two of the opponents at a Bridge game, the letter that love represents in tennis, around (guzzling) a synonym of squash.

This book and the new Richard Osman Thursday Murder Club book are currently on my bedside reading pile.
This hinty blog was disrupted by the unputdownability of the latter, and put back on track by advice from the former.

19d What will eat idly with no limits? Pigs do (7)
I almost missed the definition here, to do or con someone is of or relating to pigs and the central letters (with no limits) of another word in the clue.

22d Light soups, occasionally with a roll, healthy food (5)
Alternate letters (occasionally) of Light soups, reversed (with a roll)


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I will mark the end of the official mourning for our late queen with this…

27 comments on “Sunday Toughie 35 (Hints)
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  1. Think I found this one to be on a par with our setter’s Friday puzzle but the parsing of some was perhaps even more tricky. I thought Mr T had cornered the market in ‘stretched synonyms’ but it seems that I was wrong!
    Those I particularly liked include 4,14&24a (if only for the pic of the gorgeous Mr Clooney!) plus 15&19d. 15d definitely raised a smile given the comment from Twmbarlwm on this week’s NTSPP.

    Thanks to Zandio and to SJB for the helpful hints.

    1. I did like 10a but ran out of hints before I got to that one. I must find more time to keep up with other puzzles, Twmbarlwm’s NTSPP in particular.

  2. Looking again at this puzzle just now, the online original website, the layout/format has changed in the last hour or so. Anyone else notice that or is my Ipad playing up.

    Thanks to Setter and SJB

  3. A bit late today because the NYT super-jumbo conundrum kept me up into the wee hours and I finally gave in to the arms of Morpheus, but luckily, I had already tackled Mr Zandio before the NYT tackled me. 19d has to be my COTD, if not of the week, because it cracked me up and gave me quite a lift at the same time. Like Jane, I felt that some synonyms were a bit elasticised–I’m still a bit foggy about parsing 26a (the first four letters), even with Wahoo and SJB trying to help me–but I really enjoyed this challenge last night. Probably a bit tougher than Friday’s Zandio but every bit as pleasurable to solve. Thanks Z and SJB.

    I just ordered the 3rd Osman TMC and can’t wait to join that sleuthing quartet of canny seniors again.

    1. S for small and a synonym of “in” plus the length. A place where big vehicles are made. I didn’t see it until Wahoo pointed it out.

    2. I too am hooked by the Thursday Club Robert, but also am enjoying How To Stop Time by Matt Haig, most intriguing and I just adored William Bond’s Sweet Caress.

  4. We got 10a from the checkers and cleverly disguised definition but are totally at a loss to understand the wordplay. Can anyone give us a hint without giving too much away?
    A really good fun puzzle to solve.
    Thanks Zandio and SJB.

    1. The game has six different “men” five of them are known in the notation for the game by their initials, the final one has to use how it is pronounced (11a) as we already have a piece with the same initial.

  5. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the trouble to solve, analyse and discuss. In 10a, “we” is we in the crossword world; there is no wordplay. All the best.

    1. Thanks to both of you.
      We’ve spent the last 20 hours or so pondering but still could not see it as we were taking just the first four words as the definition. Very clever indeed.

    2. OhZandio, I usually love you but I’m struggling here. Monday 2pm and still too many to go. I shall soldier on however, I’m having trouble with my seafarers and my artist/decorator but simply loved 17d and 1a. I think my week in the Yorkshire moors addled my brain. Thanks too, to SJP, for your excellent tips – unfortunately ones I already had! Oh well, another day, another dollar.

  6. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Zandio and SJB (I’m confused by Mr Fry’s appearance at 5d).
    My podium selections are 26a, 1d and 19d.

    1. Nothing to do with 5d – Mr Fry in his Oscar persona is the very definition of 6d and was just a bit of a bonus hint, the same with Bruce where 4a would be.

  7. Lovely puzzle from Zandio, to whom many thanks. I was puzzled by the parsing of 10a but now I see. I don’t know if the setter intended us to spend ages trying to find the name of a flower for 5d? Also many thanks for SJB for a splendid set of hints.

  8. Another very enjoyable puzzle that I’d rate a good bit trickier than Friday’s back-pager – mind you I have to say that after a lamentable failure to separate the definition from the wordplay at 19d until glancing at what what SJB had underlined & the penny immediately dropped without reading the hint. Also forgot it’s ER for A&E over the herring pond so parsing 24a a head scratch. 14a my favourite & liked the other 3 long ‘uns also.
    Thanks to Zandio & John

  9. PS if anyone is there 24hours late, I’m getting there – just stuck on 9 and 7d. How clever was 13a! I dare say it is good for the soul not to be able to finish every single puzzle but on the plus side, I Wordled in two this morning!

    1. Hi DG,
      7d quench synonym (your pm G&T does the job) & move 1st letter to the bottom for the aqua
      9d anagram – I’m definitely not one/rather get someone in.

      1. Oh my, I have just got it!!! It is brilliant, how clever! Yeay. Now I can get down to my list of things
        to do today – it was really bugging me. Thank you so much.

    2. I’m still around, also posting a bit late. I hope I don’t break any rules if I note that 7d cycles the letters of a synonym for quench (eg your thirst), and 9d is a rather clever anagram.

        1. Sorry to be late getting back to you(perils of work), but I see Huntsman and Spartacus have filled in the gap. Thanks to both of them and am pleased that you have got there.

  10. Our Sunday Toughie setters seem to be able to come up trumps every week, and Zandio has indeed done just that (although there are no trumps in the two games that appear). Lots of ticks were administered: 21a, 23a, 25a, 26a, 27a, 3d, 6d, 19d and, my favourite of the day, 20d. I found the definition of 8d a bit odd, but the ‘gluttony’ does chime with the ‘sin’ from the wordplay. My thanks to Zandio and to our commentary host, SJB.
    PS The Mark Knopfler clip brought to mind Jimi Hendrix closing Woodstock, albeit at the very opposite end of the spectrum with regards to solemnity and reverence.

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