Sunday Toughie 58 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 58 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 58 by Robyn

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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I am planning a little trip out with Mama Bee this afternoon and was hoping that Robyn would go easy on me last night. Fortunately, I managed to solve this before my wee dram had evaporated in the glass and have enough time to bring you a few hints for a grid with 14a and 16d clues today. Chat amongst yourselves and someone will help eventually, I will reply when I have got back from my favourite cheese and whisky shop
I started slowly but when the penny dropped on 1a it went straight to the top of my podium and stayed there.

Anyway this isn’t getting the baby bathed

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 Auden disheartened by attempt, e.g. in Douglas’s poem (2,5,2,3)
This is not an Auden poem, when you stop reciting his funeral blues all you need are what remains of his surname when the heart is taken out, followed by an attempt, a preposition concerning e.g. and the place where Douglas is and you have a poem by Alexander Pope whose fifth line is apt for cruciverbalists.
A mighty maze! but not without a plan;

9a Country’s main city remains very bad, in north-east (9)
The place where Country music is king, synonyms of remains and bad surround an abbreviation for very and are contained by a compass point


15a Unthinkable to evict monarch with appalling taste? (8)
A synonym of unthinkable evicts the current monarch’s regnal cipher to leave an appalling taste behind

18a Place for racing driver, say, of high calibre? (8)
A synonym of high calibre and by example, one of the tools a golfer may carry

Keep the sport in mind as you will need a French driver for the unhinted 23 a

21a Remain with delivery firm giving jobs in US (5-3)
Criminal “jobs” from a synonym of remain or adhere and a parcel delivery company originally from the United States

27a Funny son concealing funny tattoos (4,5)
Two synonyms of funny, one inside the other followed by S for son

28a Golf — 18 holes — with fan catching right shot (6,6)
This shot at tennis rather than golf is formed from the letter that Golf represents in the NATO alphabet, a full 18 holes of golf, and to fan the flames around R for right.


1d Inability to call up men deployed in the east (7)
An anagram of men in an easterly continent

4d Sharp cry from unknown number of Beatles in Bow (4)
An algebraic unknown and how someone born within the sound of Bow Bells may say a particular Beatles song

6d Like what I do? It’s a plus! (5)
A synonym of like and what Robyn has done for us here is of benefit to us all

16d What defectors do in different ways for old soldier (6,3)
The nickname for the British 8th Army in North Africa is formed from two words that defectors are known for

17d President‘s vow in ceremony for all to see (8)
One of the marriage vows follows some ceremony and adds the film classification for something suitable for all to see. He deserved a better memorial than this, the art inside is better than the outside IMO
Centre Pompidou - Wikipedia


20d Artist‘s medium disputed after leaving university (7)
Something that is disputed loses U for university and follows M for medium

22d King and queen welcoming royal in Asian language (5)
Three regal abbreviations, A piece from chess, welcomes the title that anyone royal enough may have, and our former Queen’s regnal cipher, give us the official language of an Asian country

25d Scot’s dated American, having pulled regularly (4)
A for American and regular letters of pulled give us a Scots adjective for dated


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Found while researching a dodgy homophone yesterday;

23 comments on “Sunday Toughie 58 (Hints)
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  1. I fully concur with Gaza’s analysis of this on “the other” blog, an absolute delight.
    Very difficult to pick highlights but I’ll mention 11(the context of the well-worn Oxford being particularly well disguised)&18a plus 1,4(lol),16&17d with top spot going to 6d as he does it so brilliantly.
    Many thanks to Robyn and John.

  2. A really enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Robyn and SJB.
    I have a multiplicity of ticks on my printout including 1a, 9a, 18a, 4d, 6d, 16d and 24d.

  3. I pay the full subscription which is several hundred pounds and yet I cannot access the Toughie. Can someone PLEASE do something about this. Thank you.

    1. Blimey! … “ several hundred pounds?” Are you sure?

      I pay about £35 for my annual subscription to the DT puzzles (old and new) website.

      1. Yes I am sure – I pay for the dead tree version as my husband doesn’t ‘do’ digital! But I have it on my Kindle which I love but he’s an old fart!

          1. Don’t tell anyone Sloop John Bee but we take the Sunday Telegraph token and use it for the Sunday Times plus 20p as we find the Sunday Telegraph too similar to the Saturday paper. I still feel the Toughie should appear digitally at that price though.

            1. I do mention it to CL at every opportunity and maybe eventually it will appear on the app, here’s hoping anyway

  4. Very nice indeed , but quite the toughie .
    12a ,21a , 22d, and 17d were among my preferred clues.
    Thanks to Robyn and John.

  5. Soldiered my way through under the impression that I was tackling the ‘back-pager’ – silly girl. Quite liked 15a & 6d but no particular favourite to mention.

    Thanks to Robyn and to SJB for the hints – particularly enjoyed the Royal Marines clip.

  6. The poem in 1a was new to me but once I got the first two words, called on Google for the rest as I thought Douglas was in the iow. Silly me.
    No problems with the racecourse in 18a though but don’t ask me to point it on a map.
    No problems either with our F1 driver or our ex president. Went to Beaubourg to visit the modern art gallery last month and the excellent retrospective on Serge Gainsbourg in the library.
    Thanks to Robyn for the great fun and to John for the hints.

    1. What’s brown and steamy and comes out of Cowes backwards?

      The Isle of White ferry :)

      I’ll get my coat…

  7. An excellent puzzle as forecast elsewhere ; a smile for virtually every answer . A knowledge of elderly Frenchmen a help !

  8. Lovely day out at the cheese shop and tea and cakes at the Naked Man Cafe in Settle, Mama Bee a bit jaded after a day out but toasty now by the fire.
    Pleased you all seemed to have enjoyed this as much as I did

  9. After a happy, if not outright jubilant, completion of this wonderful Robyn masterpiece last night, I awoke quite under the weather today. Oh, the joys of ageing. Anyway, I can’t remember ever working a puzzle that I enjoyed more. I was particularly delighted by the juxtaposition, as it were, of xxxxxxx and xxxxxxxx because I remember seeing the great artist on display at the xxxxxxxx back in 1996, I think it was. Thanks to John, whose hints, which for once I didn’t need, I’ll read when I’m up and about, and to Robyn.

  10. How I managed to complete this I do not know – but I did. Most of the clues were pretty much way beyond my understanding, but somehow after much grunting and groaning, plus some very naughty words the spaces were filled. I don’t especially care for Robyn cryptic puzzles, largely because I can’t adapt to his wavelenght, but I admit to being a bit of an awkward old sod and I hate to be beaten so, too many hours later I’m mentally exhausted and off to my bed to read my copy of the Galloping Sausage. Anyone interested should Google it – personally I find the book absolutely fascinating. Thanks Robyn and thanks too SJB – I’m pooped. Night all :-) :-) :-)

  11. Much to my surprise I found this not much more difficult than the Dada prize puzzle & way more enjoyable. Wasn’t familiar with the poem at 1a & don’t get me started on Alexander Pope having studied (& hated) The Rape of the Lock for A Level. Simply too many ticks to mention & not a dud in there. Quality throughout.
    Thanks to Robyn & John.

  12. You wait for a Sunday Toughie to come along and two arrive at the same time :smile:
    This was was certainly worth waiting for as I rate it the best Sunday Toughie yet! Nearly all the across clues deserved a tick and half of the down clues also – I’ll not list them as that would take too much space and I can’t single out a favourite other than the entire puzzle.
    Many thanks to Robyn and SJB.

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