Sunday Toughie 57 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 57 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 57 by Zandio

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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A Heinz 57 variety of a puzzle today, 14 acrosses and 16 downs with plenty of anagrams and lurkers in both directions.

France in particular gets a lot of mentions as well as a couple of other Europeans as well as South America and a nod to our New Zealanders.

I have hinted half but if you need any extra help ask away, I may be away entertaining Mama Bee but I am sure one of our happy band of solvers will help with a nudge.

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 Hopin’ for something to bring relief (7)
Start with a lovely &lit, a synonym of Hoping drops the same letter as Zandio to bring relief from a headache

10a Victor’s shout, ‘Wicket out!’ — upon which, it’s best to walk (5,4)
Some plural victors lose the letter a cricket scorer uses to indicate a wicket and add a Spanish shout or exclamation.

11a Fed up, have piercing created in France (7,3)
A synonym of created, pierced by a synonym of have followed by a synonym of in and the letter that is the IVR code for France. Fed up like when you burn toast perhaps

Burnt Toast (A Lesson) – Kindness Blog

14a Particular person in retinue’s confronted by Harry? (12)
These particular people known for being sticklers for fine details of the engines they record are a synonym of retinues followed by a literary Harry

Crowds at 'Harry Potter train' bridge brought under control | The Scotsman

25a Frozen French lake — one eroded in hollow ground … (9)
The French for a lake, the letter that looks like 1 and a synonym of eroded go in what remains of ground after it has been hollowed out

26a … in France where, following article, Jack finds ancient duchy (5)
A two-lettered English article and the French for where around a playing card. The ellipses just link the French surface of these clues

28a Fancy daughter — mum intervenes furiously (4,3)
A synonym of fancy, d for daughter broken by a two-lettered mother



2d City breaks leading to rise for detective (6)
A South American city breaks into a synonym of leading and then is all reversed (to rise in a down clue) should lead us to a fictional detective

The best ever Poirot actor has been revealed - as voted by you! - British Period Dramas

Mass following in Estonia for engineering publication (9)

This political publication is an anagram of Estonia and abbreviations of mass and following

13d Time frame attached to firm’s notes heightening tension? (10)
T for time and a frame follow a synonym of firm

A fine example here, the whole film and 13d are a real treat

15d Cross shown in scripture both ways round — shoddy editor! (9)
A two-letter abbreviation for scripture lessons both forwards and backwards, a synonym of shoddy and an abbreviation of editor

17d Pressure to join club foolishly consuming bitter in this? (3-5)
A synonym of bitter weather perhaps in P for pressure and an anagram of club, one may consume bitter in this but other alcoholic beverages are available

19d Learner goalkeeper’s error, maybe — spread to make block! (3,3)
The letter that a learner driver must display, a footballing error that a goalkeeper may make and the spread you may have on toast create a foresters river blockage now synonymous with other impedances

20d Support sees United’s replacement of European in second half cut resources (6)
To support or protect from harm replaces the second E for European with U for United

24d Audio guide on little bird (4)
Homophones (audio) of the guide we have on a map, and a synonym of small
Kiwi (bird) - Wikipedia

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A bonus hint for 16a;

14 comments on “Sunday Toughie 57 (Hints)
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  1. I found this Zandio puzzle quite challenging. The SE corner held out for some time until I realised I was fixated on incorrect definitions and wordplay for 13d and 20d. So, either the clues were nicely misleading or perhaps I’m just easily misled! It was very satisfying to eventually figure out what’s what, and 13d makes my shortlist for clue of the day. 13d is joined in the list by 1a, 10a, 25a, 16d an 17d, so not such a short list after all.
    Thanks to Zandio and SJB. I particularly enjoyed the illustration for 11a :smile:

  2. I have to say I found this quite tricky and it took me a while to sort it out, very cryptic (typified by 13d) but as ever with this setter ingeniously clued and full of wit.
    In a very strong field I’ve chosen to highlight 1a, the very smart 10a ( my favourite, I like the double allusion to cricket in the clue) 28a for it’s clever and convincing surface read plus 17d for no other reason than I smiled when I saw it.
    Many thanks to Zandio and John.

  3. I was doing quite well on my own with this lovely Zandio Toughie until I hit a wall with 13 and 20d, for which I caved in and sought some letter reveals…and after which I was quite regretful. If I were not so impatient at certain times of the night, especially quite late, I’d like to think–oh well, never mind. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would rather not choose a favourite, but because of the terrific Vermeer exhibit at the Rijksmuseum at present–and how I wish I could attend it!–I’ll opt for 8d as my COTD. Thanks, John, for your hints (which, for a change, I didn’t need) and many thanks to Zandio for the pleasure of his company.

    1. My sister is going to the Vermeer show next week and I am most jealous, last time I was in Amsterdam the Rijksmuseum was under renovation and Nightwatch was in temporary accommodation in an annex. I was similarly stuck on 20d until a flash of inspiration came to me just before lights out

    2. Our local cinema is streaming an event on the Vermeer exhibition on Tuesday 18th April. Why not see if it is on near where you live – I’ve got a ticket and am really looking forward to it

  4. A most enjoyable Sunday pm challenge, thank you Zandio. 13 flummoxed me and I needed a trawl to work out what would fit, and then to back-parse; 24 very clever indeed, but then again so many were absolute gems. Is 9a the sort of cinema one visits to watch terrible films, real stinkers? ;) Harry made his second appearance of the cruciverbal weekend, but I was surprised at how often France appeared here in the one puzzle – like the giants and pigs on the backpager.

    Many thanks also to SJB

  5. Very enjoyable with some very neat attempts at deception – thanks to Zandio and SJB.
    I did like 16d with its two 3-letter anagrams (which might have provoked criticism were the clue less clever)
    Other clues I ticked were 1a, 13d and 24d.

  6. Days late commenting as per. Had a brief glance at this Sun night but too tired to do it justice & remembered to go back to it today. The DT puzzle site says completion time is 37hrs 45mins so no time bonus… Pleased to get over the line without a letter reveal though the check function revealed the need for 1 correction en route (put IERED instead of IATED in at 25a). Found it very tough but hugely rewarding. Tops for me – 5&10a along with 13&20d.
    Thanks to Zandio & John.

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