Sunday Toughie 70 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 70 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 70 by Robyn

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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I started well last night but got a bit bogged down in the end, the very clever 11d lightened my mood. I have hinted half of an uneven 16a 14d clues but as usual some still tricky clues have hit the cutting room floor.
With 20d I may be missing something that no amount of Laphroaig (here finished in strong white 19d casks) last night or coffee this morning can entirely explain, I have the little Spanish girl and the Spanish word for is, but I cannot see the indicator that allows me to reverse her?

Thanks to Robyn for a fairly floughie toughie, with all the clues linked to 11d is that a theme?

And finally a get well soon to Robert, The blog and I have missed your erudite comments

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 What’s in odd places in rarer school subjects (3,5,2)
The odd letters of a word in the clue define the essential school subjects

10a Baggy garment’s advantage over wearing animal hides (4,5)
An advantage, a crickety over in the hide of hairy animals, technically these are a bit long but I couldn’t resist

12a Lasted longer than wino, not in eccentric clothes (7)
A synonym of eccentric clothes wino without in

15a Something written in stone in English mansion (7)
Abbreviations for English and fourteen pounds in weight and an informal term for a large house

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (but not crosswords!)

– The Bible

1 Corinthians 13:11

18a Everything I put in glue number 31 in the lab? (7)
Synonyms of everything and glue around I from the clue

23a Acceptable way to leave Galway or area north of it (7)
A synonym of acceptable and what remains of Galway when way is removed is a county of the Irish Republic to the north of Galway and Mayo

Galway’s finest…

26a Pacific deity Frenchman found on island (5)
A peaceful Greek goddess, from a typically Frenchman’s name after an abbreviation for island

28a Note right reporter’s quoted, taking the long view (3-7)
A note on the tonic scale, R for right and a homophone (reporter’s) of quoted


1d Rubbish answer, which may be my final word (2-2)
a synonym and an abbreviation – that’s all goodbye

3d Cheer up around Saint Richard, formerly dismayed (5-8)
A synonym of cheer up around an informal name for Saint Richard


7d Leader no longer getting support (5)
How soon we forget… jockstraps have stayed in place longer than this PM
JOCKMAIL Mens Sexy Briefs Jockstrap Gym Cotton Athletic Supporter Sports Jockstraps Briefs Sport Fitness Jock Strap Soft Underpants 7 Colors (M, Amy Green) : Fashion

8d String player receiving nothing, working musician (10)
A string player contains the letter that looks like nothing, and a synonym of working, to become a musician in a different section of the orchestra

11d Clingy like 1, 10, 12, 23, 25 Across and 14, 20 Down? (6-7)
Come back to this one when you have solutions to the list of clues given, you may notice they have something in common

14d By the sound of it, hang on bar that’s very light (10)
Synonyms of “hang on” and “bar that” are extremely light

24d Feeble character in Little Dorrit’s opening
A synonym and an opening letter


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Some excellent 8d’s here

That’s All Folks


15 comments on “Sunday Toughie 70 (Hints)

  1. A superb puzzle with a clever theme – many thanks to Robyn and SJB.
    I have loads of ticks including 1a, 10a, 11d and 14d.
    There’s no reversal in 20d. Split the answer 3,4 and take note of the question mark.

  2. As Gazza says, a superb crossword with a clever theme

    Many thanks to Robyn and SJB

  3. Excellent puzzle from the master of misdirection.
    I struggled to parse 3d satisfactorily and I think it may be that the definition is “formerly dismayed” as the solution is archaic, the saint being St and Richard being Rick.
    My winners are 1,10&13a plus 4&7d.
    Many thanks to Robyn and to John.

    1. I couldn’t find any archaic references to either of the words in the solution but further research tells me that together they are indeed archaic. Good spot SL

  4. Excellent puzzle, straightforward but most enjoyable, with an amusing theme. Delayed for a short time wanting 6a to be something very similar, until realising what the musician played and thus where I was going wrong. Highlights for me were 3a, 23a & 20d.

    Many thanks to Robyn and SJB.

  5. Very generous of our setter to give us a theme that enabled us to confirm several of our answers along the way!
    Really enjoyed this puzzle and my biggest ticks went to 1&10a plus 7&11d.

    Thanks to Robyn and to SJB for the hints – nice version of Take Five to illustrate 8d but I still prefer the original Dave Brubeck.

    1. Me too re Dave Brubeck but my search for soloists of the required instrument revealed that or a short bit of Peter & the Wolf

    2. Here’s something that starts with Take Five that you may not have encountered before …

      1. I hadn’t come across that one, Mustafa, thank you for bringing it to our attention.

  6. I hope everyone has experienced a warm, sunny Sunday, as we have done here in Kent :smile:
    In addition to enjoying the weather, this was a very enjoyable puzzle from Robyn with a nicely interwoven theme – making 11d my clue of the day. Having spotted the theme, 12a and 20d almost solved themselves! Setting aside 11d, my podium places went to 1a, 10a and 7d, with the latter getting the smile of the day award. I had to check the Spanish girl’s name – it is indeed commonplace; and the nicely-crafted mislead in 26a became apparent when I checked the deity (I didn’t need to check the familiar Frenchman!).
    My thanks to Robyn and to SJB for the tuneful hints post.

  7. A fabulously clever puzzle. I’m grateful to the blogger MG for the illustration of 8d and the greatest jazz pianist.

  8. Couple of days late to it but great puzzle with a helpful them. LOI was 9a – unfamiliar to me & it was a coin toss between A & H for the 2nd letter then dictionary confirmation.
    Thanks to Robyn & SJB & to MG for the DBQ music

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