Sunday Toughie 63 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Sunday Toughie 63 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 63 by Robyn

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

In his much-praised last back pager Robyn invited you to try his Easter Sunday Toughie and I hope you do. It was a great way to start Easter Sunday.

A fine toughie for this Easter Sunday with plenty of references to “Him Upstairs” along with a couple of bits of Latin and South Coast geography, we have the lowing of cattle, piety and praise to the lord and a heavenly body to follow


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.


6a Party member with hesitation about Conservative, one keen on standing (6,7)
A convivial or gregarious party, a member of the body, around an abbreviation for the Conservative Party, and followed by a hesitation
Be a social climber - kbbreview
8a Ample figure giving a twirl? I’m horrified! (6)
A single-digit figure less than two is reversed (given a twirl) followed by an exclamation of repugnance

11a Vacuous skiffle covers get wasted for band (6)
What remains of Skiffle when vacuous, covers a bad experience when wasted on drugs
Paul Smith 'Mixed-Stripe' Leather Billfold WalletHow Much!?! for a wallet :O  I would much rather have £1200 inside a much cheaper wallet, though I do rather like Mr Smith’s style

14a More pleased with number one runner losing pound (7)
A runner of contraband loses the Latin Libra or pound, a comparative adjective of someone excessively pleased with themselves

16a Praise grand vehicle having provided for queen (7)
A heavily built motor vehicle swaps the second R for Regina with a provided conditional conjunction, all after G for grand

My van is broken but is being repaired tomorrow – Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

23a Poor artist content to leave drama company giving people a lift (6)
The content of Drama leaves and a taxi-hailing service follows for a bad artist

I too wanted to try my hand at art restoration. : r/Illustration

25a Pole stole hot pants, given fine (8)
A pole to help secure a craft, from a stole worn around the neck (usually feather), an anagram (pants) of hot, and a satisfactory or fine adjective
VINTAGE Marine BRASS Boat Hook Head - BOATHOOK - SHIP'S 100% ORIGINAL (16) | eBay


1d Activity for boys, namely Latin trip (8)
A Latin abbreviation of scilicet, that means to wit or namely is followed by a trip.
Yesterday I took Mama Bee on a trip to see the Daffs in Farndale and had a very pleasant lunch at Steve Cowling’s favourite pub See yesterday’s SPP blog for the photo but here are some of the daffs
Five free family spring walks in York & beyond

4d Kind of red bird seen by Celt (6)
A small songbird of the family Paridae and the Celtic form of my name that means God is Gracious, is a hair colour associated with a particular painter
Titian Painting - Flora by Titian

6d Needing area for circle, foolishly I soon miscount pi (13)
A religious pi rather than the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Almost an anagram (foolishly) of I soon miscount but first you need to swap one of the letters that looks like a circle for an abbreviation of area.

7d Frequently slip after shower, we hear, in dark period (5,2,6)
Synonyms of frequently and slip follow a homophone of a weather shower. A dark period originally from the French Revolution

13d Reporter’s expected au pair (3)
A cracking little clue here. Two homophones (Reporter’s)  in three letters, after the homophone indicator we only have three words, one of which is the definition

15d Not a hint but just an excuse to play this…

18d Obstruction blocking path — this is for the better (8)
An obstruction by the net, or other grounds for cancelling a tennis or squash serve, inside a path. One for the betters or gamblers

19d Stirring up succeeded, as far as leader’s concerned (7)
An abbreviation of succeeded, a preposition as far as, and the (male) leader of a Monarchy stirs up a fire perhaps


Could new readers please read the Welcome Post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.
As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.
Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.
If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.


An Easter Song I love

“I was thinking of the The Skye Boat Song and I wanted Easter to be like that, but like an anthem for Ireland. It’s not a political song, it’s a love song – a tribute to the warmth of the Irish spirit, a message of hope and support to the great majority of people who want nothing to do with the gunmen (all the gunmen) but must, nonetheless, raise their children amidst a climate of potential violence. I referred to Yeats’ poem Easter 1916… more out of reverence to his genius than out of plagiarism… honest!”  Steve Hogarth – Marillion


20 comments on “Sunday Toughie 63 (Hints)

  1. Another fine Sunday Toughie from Robyn, despite the enjoyable but rather cringeworthy homophone in 13d :wink:
    As usual the puzzle included lots of smooth surfaces, my favourite today – almost by definition – being 17d! 17d shared a crowded podium, with two clues on each step, my other favourites being 6a, 8a, 20a, 25a and 6d.
    My thanks to Robyn and to SJB.
    PS I used to play a lot of squash (probably the cause of all my knee problems these days) and the claim for obstruction by your opponent in said game is highly appropriate to 18d.

    1. Sorry about your knees, my own have not forgiven me for running the London Marathon. I forgot about that game, I will include it in the hint.

      1. I’m also in that ‘never again’ club! I enjoyed the occasion immensely but a knee LCL began tightening around mile 16 (the course is so crowded with runners you can’t maintain a straight line like in training) so had to grin and bear it for the last 10 or so…

  2. Robyn is as enjoyable as ever – thanks to him and SJB.
    I’ll choose three clues with cunningly disguised definitions for my podium – 14a, 6d and 13d.

  3. Another very enjoyable crossword from Robyn – not that difficult for one of his Toughies- I wonder if we’ll be saying that in two days time

    Happy Easter 🐰🐣 and many thanks to Robyn and SJB

  4. I haven’t looked at the Toughie yet, Sloop John Bee, just wondered if you enjoyed your lunch. You may not have seen my reply to your previous post. Mrs C and I are going there for ten days this coming Saturday.

    Now I will look at the Toughie as it is Robyn. :good:

  5. I had a very nice steak pie and Mama Bee the fish. No room for pudding but it all looked very nice on the other tables.
    While sat by the fire I spotted a lion can you see it
    I am turning into Grandma Mavin who used to keep interesting shapes she saw in the fire :o

    1. Ah the famous steak pie! We call them Andy Pandies. The chef, Andy, makes us half a dozen when we visit to bring back for the freezer.

      Actually, I can see the lion! :good:

      I’m getting on quite well with the Toughie.

      1. I would post more pics of our day out but my camera was set to take weird motion pictures which just won’t be reduced to fit here, but here are the delicious macarons we had on the way there

          1. Yes in the Talbot Food Court after Charles and Camilla were there before they gave out the Maundy Money at York Minster.
            Coffee from the Roost Roastery, bread from the Bluebird Bakery and a old fashioned butcher too. Ice cream and a Gin distillery too

            1. We plan to visit this trip. There is a fishmonger and we hope to get mussels to take back to The Moors Inn so Andy can cook them for our evening meal.

              I better mention the Toughie. I didn’t finish it but loved what I did solve. I think Robyn is fast becoming one of my favourite compilers along with Chalicea and Hudson.

  6. Struggle to get past some of the surface reads but I did rather like 20a plus 1&2d.

    Thanks to Robyn and to SJB for the hints and the delightful ‘singing in the choir’.

  7. Delightful Robyn Toughie, which I managed to finish with some e-help (in bed, with the flu or something like it; brain not working well). Does 26a really exist, legitimately? It was my LOI. The rest of the puzzle was just brilliantly Robynesque, with 16a and 13d my co-favourites. Thanks John and Robyn

    1. 26a does exist (of course it does Robyn is bound to have checked) but it is an informal adjective for a potty mouth.
      I am pleased that the little 13d is much liked, that and 25a join the painter on my podium

  8. By no means a fast completion but an unaided one. Solved in fits & starts throughout the day & just finished the last half dozen. I could feel the eyelids drooping so put the golf on hold in the hope that using the brain might wake me up. Enjoyable as ever from Robyn though I’m inclined to agree with Jane’s reservation about some of the surface reads. I certainly preferred his Wed back-pager. 13d my fav.
    Thanks to Robyn & John.
    Ps interestingly 2 of the 4 long ‘uns were alternatively clued in Thursday’s puzzles & 9a sort of in Zandio’s head scratcher.

  9. Enjoyable puzzle, hints for which were appreciated for several clues;
    liked 20A “Fresh waters off the south coast here (8)”

    1. Thanks for the thanks, glad to see that you are having fun with these when they have become today’s fish & chip wrappers (I don’t suppose elf and safety allow newspapers any more)

Comments are closed.