Sunday Toughie 45 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 45 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 45 by Zandio

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

I found this quite tricky last night, but sitting here and parsing it I don’t know why (I do now – I cannot spot an &lit for toffee). Zandio brings us a nice even 14a and 14d clues and I have hinted half (with a few bonus picture hints along the way)

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 Rejected heavy Greek product for lightweight stuff (7)
Start with a reversal (rejected) of being heavy (as a consequence of eating too much of the Greek foodstuff that follows perhaps) to create a light fabric.
Mrs Bell's Salad Cheese – Shepherds Purse Cheeses

9a Two rams possibly eating fruitcake and other food (9,6)
Two synonyms of ram surround a synonym of a slightly mad fruitcake.
Butternut Squash | Co+op

12a Bird table that sits on a path? (4-5)
A water bird and a synonym of table sit on a path to prevent feet getting wet or muddy.

14a Drill filling gaps in emergency notices (5)
A Physical Training drill goes in the gaps between characters of the emergency radio call … – – – …

16a Last of 22 maybe joining offensive in navy? Much the same (5,4)
When you have cracked 22a the last name is a prince who maybe wishes to renounce the regal state we need for this clue, add an offensive joke we get a colour much the same as navy.

Tuba Bath Tub ASMR - YouTube

22a Detective with hound following male nobody (3,4,3,5)
A male cat, a private detective,a synonym of with and a synonym of hound as in to dog or chase, combine to be a placeholder for unspecified nobodies.

24a Looking very blue, paradoxically (3-4)
The colour of one’s ocular organs after prolonged bouts of being blue or sad may be another shade on the colour wheel.
Analogous Colors and Color Wheel. Colours signify Life. Areas on the… | by Harshani Gajanayake | UX Planet


1d One probes bad lot misbehaving (7)
An anagram (misbehaving) of BAD LOT and the letter that looks like one. An all in one or &lit. (The setter speaks – see below)

Don't tell children Father Christmas is real because lying to children could damage them, warn experts | The Independent | The Independent

4d Some women stumped up to go after articles from London and Paris (5)
English and French articles and the cricket scorers abbreviation for stumped (reversed – up in a down clue)

A Storm Called Aunt Dahlia
5d Public road learner’s used in practice, apparently (9)
This adverbal synonym apparently is formed from something that is known to the public, an abbreviation for road, L for learner in a synonym of common practice.

7d One embodied in US wielding universal fiery bolt, unchained (6,2,7)
One of the concepts of the US constitution is to embody the division of federal and regional government, that regional division of the US (one of fifty) contains the film category universal for all viewers and is followed by an anagram (unchained) of FIERY BOLT. Another &lit

13d Look! Little jumbo may fall in it (3-6)
An interjection Look! to voice ones opinions perhaps and a synonym of little, related to the small part of clothing that it may fit in, combine to be a disturbance in the smooth passage of a Jumbo jet.

Colourful paint splatter background, paint splotched wallpaper. plakáty na zeď • plakáty plátno, ilustrace, retro |

17d Tried retiring, added years — I seem to drop off regularly (7)
A reversal (retiring) of alternating letters (to drop off regularly) of the rest of the clue.

20d Sad-sounding creature that flies and talks, it’s said (5)
A homophone of the flying creature that mimics talking.


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Much missed. My original vinyl copy wore out years ago.

20 comments on “Sunday Toughie 45 (Hints)
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  1. It’s no secret I’m a big admirer of this setter and I thought this was top-notch.
    I have to confess I originally had an incorrect answer for 21a but did eventually see the “low blows”. The excellent 14a was my last in and subsequently COTD with it being joined on an extended podium by 9,11&18a plus 19d.
    Many thanks to Zandio and John.

  2. Thanks for the posting, SJB, and the homage to Christine McVie – a beautiful song, both in the writing and the performing. A very richly illustrated blog, may I say, with a pièce de résistance for 21a. Did you find it or stage it…!
    Just a thought – I had 7d as an all-in-one with the first 4 words providing a component of the clue, rather than the definition?
    Another lovely puzzle from Zandio. A balance in the number of clues across and down, and a similar balance to my favourites – 9, 16 & 22 across and 7, 13 & 19 down. 21a was my last one in and it took me a while to tease it out despite having 3 of the 5 letters in place. I’m not sure why it has to be a fighter, I might ease the pain in such a way after any exercise!
    Thanks, Zandio

    1. I did think about Merusa and Jane and their recent tumbles when the penny dropped on easing the fighters aches and pains.

    2. Re 21a Spartacus, I’m guessing the setter has specifically used fighter as he’s the type of sportsman associated with “low blows”.

  3. One day I’ll discover an appreciation of this setter’s skills, meantime I continue to annoy his fans! At least I found a few that I enjoyed today – 12a plus 7&8d.

    Thanks to Zandio and to SJB for the hints and pics.

  4. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the time to solve, analyse and discuss. I’m with Spartacus: 7d is intended to be an &Lit (as is 1d). Have a good week.

    1. Oh boy Zandio you had me struggling last night – I only resolved it this morning with help from SJB. Many thanks!

  5. A nice puzzle. Fortunately, the long clues were fairly easy to get one going. Like others, I found the 14s the most difficult. Thanks to all.

  6. It’s a YTF at present as 3 shy – all 5 letter ones & despite 3 correct checkers in (21a + 4&20d). It was 4 but the penny dropped at 14a. Those aside I thought this perhaps a little gentler than some of his previous Sunday Toughies in terms of filling the grid in though I’ve still work to do on parsing one or two. 12a was pretty obvious but hadn’t the first clue what one was – only know the houses claimed on parliamentary exes. Enjoyable as ever with ticks for 9,11,14,18&22a plus7,8,14&19d. I’ll plump for 22a as it immediately reminded me of one of the great Bank Holiday favourites magnificently directed by the great John Sturges.
    Thanks to Zandio & John whose review I’ll read after another stab at completing.

    1. Well no unaided finish. Needed the pic for 21a – get the low blows but still not sure I entirely understand it. As for 20d I get/got the homophone but not the definition synonym.

  7. I really struggled with this one last night and again this afternoon. Like Jane, I hope to improve my ‘appreciation’ of this setter’s art. I did well on the west side but drew many blanks on the east. I now have a full grid, thanks to considerable e-help, SJB’s hints, and a bit of my own resourcefulness. Should have solved 7d immediately and am quite embarrassed that I didn’t! I think I’ll pick the 16/22a combination as my favourite. Thanks to SJB and Zandio.

  8. The answer to 20d does not mean “Sad”. Too many setters have individualistic ideas of the meanings of english words.


    1. The homophone indicator for 20d is “it’s said”, sad-sounding (note the hyphen) is the definition and the musical chord change that sounds sad is 20d.
      Thanks for your comment but I don’t think the setter has stretched things very much here

  9. 14d was my nemesis and I needed your picture John. Not a word I like or would use, that’s my excuse. And in 5d I was hung up on osteopathy but of course it didn’t fit. I really liked 1a which was first in and made me a bit gung ho. Many thanks to both of you.

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