Sunday Toughie 68 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 68 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 68

by Zandio

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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 Zandio has given us a Floughie (ish) Toughie today that seems comparable to his recent backpagers. A nice even 14a and 14d clues of which I have hinted half. A couple of bonus pics may help with some of the gaps but remember to look out for anagrams and lurkers. The football team nearly defeated me but it is not a specific team but rather the number of players you seek.

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 Matador’s covering head (4)
Start with a double definition, something a Matador wears and also a geographical headland

10a Celebs refuse to get into golf in India (10)
A NATO code letter, some refuse, a preposition for in and another NATO code letter

11a Twisted love — French sea dog’s ultimate flaw (7)
Love as a tennis score, the French for sea and the ultimate letter of dog, all reversed (twisted) is a mischievous folkloric creature invented at the beginning of the 20th century to originally explain malfunctions or flaws in aircraft, and later in other machinery, processes, and their operators

14a Group with independent album, taking ecstasy, develop moving way to communicate (6,5)
A group or gang, an abbreviation for independendent, an album of vinyl recordings around e for ecstasy, and a synonym of develop an edge on a blade perhaps

18a Rumoured deposit scam split City — what’s in banks? (4,7)
The banks contain a large body of water, lots of homophones to start, to deposit on the ground, to scam, and to split precede an abbreviated South American city
ISS-36 Lake Ontario (horizontal).jpg
21a Changes direction, as we have to keep right aboard ship (7)
A contraction of we have around r for right is kept aboard a steam ship

Giraffe - Wikipedia

26a Phrase we often hear from Republican heading off argument (4)
A repeated musical phrase

Sorry I had to – I was off camera just to the right of Little Stevie. Thanks to Gazza for covering my blogging duties



1d Patience maybe required, seeing comedian snipe? (4,4)
A comical or eccentric person and the question mark? tells us that snipe is an example of a type of bird that may be the target of hunters

2d Witness has reward after framing south Belgrade resident? (6-2)
The reward for employment around an abbreviated south and a member of the people that reside in Belgrade

5d Game of pool … left early after drink (5,4)
A rather plain drink followed by a word from the definition, but the L for left is moved up the order

6d Sensitivity reader for fiction? (3,8)
An all-in-one – they indicate if you are telling porkies

12d On stage in kind of white, red and yellow (4-7)
How Bruce and the E St. Band were on stage last Sunday is in between a pale white flower and one of the other colours in the clue


Pike – The Earl of Manchester's Regiment of Foote

17d Unsociable type making advance reportedly put away (4,4)
A homophone of a financial advance, and one who puts away food like a carnivorous animal

22d They often honk when passing my area of the capital (5)
An interjection, like my, expressing surprise, and the point of the compass that our capital city is in


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I won’t inflict any more Bruce on you today. I know this is a favourite of our setter Zandio, Wilko Johnson sure plays a mean 26a almost like a machinegun, machine-gun, machine gun!

9 comments on “Sunday Toughie 68 (Hints)
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  1. An enjoyable crossword, but for me there were four slightly dodgy definitions and a number of clues where the definition and answer were clear but the wordplay required quite a bit of reverse-engineering! So, not my favourite Sunday Toughie ever, but I did pick out some favourite clues: 10a, 22a and 22d. I quite enjoyed being briefly misled by a ‘football team’ that didn’t require the latin version! Thanks to Zandio (you’re still one of my favourite setters :good: ) and to SJB for kicking off the hints.
    PS I’m not such a fan of Bruce as you are, SJB, but I did enjoy your clip of the ever mesmerizing Wilko Johnson playing with Roger Daltrey!

    1. 18a and 19d were certainly reverse-engineered here, I couldn’t decide exactly which garment was prickly but seem to have plumped correctly

  2. A very enjoyable not too tough Toughie, great fun, and as ever with this setter a lot of clever subtlety within the wordplay.
    I had nine ticks on my printed sheet but I’ll narrow them down to 11,14&26a along with 2,5&17d.
    Many thanks to Zandio and John for a top puzzle and blog. I had the definition of 5d as first word only.
    Enjoyed the music clips too.

  3. Great puzzle, a most enjoyable lunchtime Floughie, so thank you Zandio! COTD by a country mile for the combined surface read, construction and answer to 3a; Hon Mentions to 22a, 2d & 22d.

    Thanks also to SJB

  4. I agree with our hinter that this could have started life as a Friday back-pager but it’s extremely enjoyable with cunning misdirections galore – thanks to Zandio and SJB.
    It wasn’t easy to select my three finalists but those that made it through the heats were 22a, 17d and 22d.

  5. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the time to solve, hint and discuss.
    Good to see ‘Going Back Home’ making another appearance here — StephenL used it a while back.
    Nice joke about ‘Machinegun’ (referring to Friday’s back-pager). Unfortunately we have to follow Chambers!
    The brilliant harmonica on the Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey record is by Steve ‘West’ Weston, a Canvey boy like Wilko and indeed all of the original Dr Feelgood. West often plays alongside my brother, Martin McNeill (yet another from Canvey Island), in Martin’s band Bottleneck Blues. You can see West Weston playing on the live version of ‘Going Back Home’.
    Thanks again, have a good week.

  6. An enjoyable not too tough toughie that required some reverse engineering. I still have a couple to fully parse. Really liked the football team clue. That 8 & 17d make my podium. Only downside was that some of the surfaces were a bit too nonsensical for my liking.
    Thanks to Zandio and SJB

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