Sunday Toughie 65 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 65 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 65 by proXimal

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A lot of London and numerous routes today, most of which are on the route of today’s London Marathon. I wonder if proXimal is taking part or attending some musical theatre at 2d

Some great penny drops today most of which involve water in some form, meres, pools and plumbing revealed themselves with a clang

An evenly balanced 14a 14d clues today and I couldn’t help but hint (just) over half of them. I hope you find the checkers to solve the rest as I have had to leave some clues that I found quite difficult unhinted

Here we go, Folks…

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 review 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 My home has identity taken over by mere relation (14)
A rather informal expression of surprise suggested by my! followed by the place you live but the two letters that suggest your identity are replaced by four letters that are synonymous with Mere as a small body of water.

9a Notice of employee’s return for work? (7)
A small piece of paper that details the return from gainful employment

12a Doll from Orient manufactured in China (10)
An anagram of Orient in the rhyming slang that China indicates

15a With affirmation, political theorist reportedly signs for course (8)
An abbreviation for with, a two-letter affirmation and a homophone of a political theorist show us the route we wish to follow

Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk — Contours Walking Holidays

17a Way to enter pen, mature pet’s container (8)
A brand of ballpoint pen contains a way or route and follows with mature as you may do to a fine Cheddar 

La Cage aux Folles (Musical) - Volksoper Wien
22a Way king rules after reflection (4)
Hmm… that’s the third time we have encountered way as a route, here it is one for pedestrians formed from the chess abbreviation for the King and the rules we have to obey reversed (after reflection) 

With 17a it is also the way that the runners in today’s London Marathon pass along to reach the finish in The Mall

26a Unemotional act involving a fighter splitting up lads (14)
The Greatest fighter splits up some male offspring and goes in an act and a preposition for each or a


1d Charlie upset misspelling, penning account that’s duplicated (7)
Start with the letter Charlie suggests then a reversal (upset) of a keyboard misspelling containing an abbreviated account. A term applied in resentful derision to an imitator

2d Over river, remedied a poorly run upcoming music venue (5,5,5)
A music venue not far from 6d or 17/24a. An anagram of A POORLY a reversal of to run fast like a very swift mammal of the order Rodentia, over a river in the north that runs through York
Lift Pit & Orchestra Pit Vibration Isolation, Royal Opera House “Open Up” Refurbishment - Mason UK
4d Plant for all to see in sheds (6)
A synonym of in sheds the film classification suitable for all to see. Thanks Wahoo @ #3

A tree that is also a place in London on the route of today’s London Marathon, as is 17/24a and  6d.  Have I just twigged today’s theme?!

6d Catch me up on motorway cutting through county ridge (10)
To catch a crook and me from the clue are reversed, followed by a county in the southeast around the letter that designates a motorway. Also part of the route of today’s London Marathon

7d Airline using carbon in routes supporting token offsets (15)
A playing token, our national airline and another minor route around the chemical symbol for Carbon

13d Trading from car upon turning 18 (10)
An anagram (turning) of 18a follows a German brand of car named after the daughter of Emil Jellinek for the business of trading merchants.
Meet Mercedes Jellinek, the woman behind the name - Autoblog

20d Soldiers almost trap founder of tribe (6)
I almost choked on my toast when the trap dawned on me. We start with some soldiers who are engineers followed by most of the trap that stops smells from coming up the drains, and we arrive at the biblical son of Jacob and Leah who was the founder of the Israelite tribe that shares his name

23d Elevated foursome involved in collaborative dance (4)
We finish with a reverse lurker today (elevated – involved in) My golf knowledge is a bit dodgy but I think foursome is one definition and dance is another  hidden in the remaining word of the clue


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I hope that all the London Marathoners are now Homeward Bound

18 comments on “Sunday Toughie 65 (Hints)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Quite tricky I thought and I failed to spot the theme – thanks to proXimal and SJB.
    I took the ‘foursome’ in 23d to just mean four letters.
    My medals went to 25a, 4d and 20d.

    1. Could be you are correct, the golf reference only came as I was writing the hints. Maybe the other SJB will pop in to confirm

  2. Even with hints, letter-reveals, and the ultimate density of mind (mine, that is), I still have three to go–mostly unhinted–in what has been for me the toughest-ever proXimal. Don’t understand the ‘shedloads’ in 4d but I also don’t know the marathon’s route, so that one remains a mystery. Is U the British term for all to see or is it G, as it is over here? Thanks for breaking the ice for me on this one, SJB, and thanks to proXimal.

    1. It is U for Universal or suitable for all ages to see. And shedloads is a v British informal term for a large amount and therefore appreciated by many, remove the “universal” and what remains is part of London between Canary Wharf and Canning Town.
      Glad to see you have recovered enough to tackle this extremely tough proXimal. He kept me awake past 2am this morning

  3. I took the key word in 4d to be “in”. As something that indicates that it is de rigueur etc, and then ‘sheds” means remove. Nothing to do with lots of money or other items.

  4. Staggered across the line in the manner of someone who has indeed just completed the London marathon!
    My top three came from the more simple clues – 12&17a plus 17d.

    Thanks to proXimal for the stiff challenge and to SJB for the hints and for spotting the theme.

    1. Good sleuthing. I did trot through some of those rain-sodden locations today. I worked out that it would be my turn on the rota and decided to sneak in a little theme.

      1. Congratulations, and a good time too, my two trips around the course were a long time ago (1988 +89) and very similar times

  5. I was distracted by watching the marathon this morning, and afterwards this puzzle was definitely more of a marathon than a sprint. Despite thinking that, I still failed to detect the theme!!! Well spotted and thanks for pointing it out, SJB. Favourites today were 12a, 6d and 7d. 20d was my last one in, with lots of ideas coming and going until the penny eventually dropped on the intended ‘founder’ and ‘trap’. My lunchtime toast and pate had been finished long ago, so I couldn’t choke on it :wink:
    Thanks for a very good Toughie tussle, proXimal, and congratulations if you did indeed take part today.

  6. Needed the hints to get 6d and finally finished with 10a and 8d.
    Was stuck for a long time in that corner until I decided to come for help.
    Thanks for this great site, to proXimal and to John.
    Congratulations for the marathon.

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