Sunday Toughie 72 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Sunday Toughie 72 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 72 by proXimal

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

proXimal has provided us with a proper Toughie today. I had a bit of trouble getting going in the NW corner but the bottom half gave me a foothold and I worked up from there. He always gives me a bit more of a stretch than our other Sunday Toughie setters but I got there eventually, It was quite late when I had the final swig of the Port and Wine cask finished Laphroaig last night.

An unusual 15a and 16d clues today and I have hinted just under half, pipe up if you need an extra nudge or two.
15d is a candidate for Terence’s THE LIST if ever I saw one but as it is a straightforward anagram it remains 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 return with the full review blog just after the closing date. 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. Don’t forget the Mine of useful information that Big Dave and his son Richard so meticulously prepared for us.

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 Charge to store little case (9)
A little smidgen of something inside a charge to look after something gives us the case for a bullet and its gunpowder. Woe betide anyone who puts a smidgen too much milk in Mama Bee’s tea!
Cartouche 9mm double charge FIOCCHI | Decathlon

10a Trap sovereign’s followers on a battlefield (9)
An illegal trap goes after a from the clue (on a) and the retinue that follows a sovereign

Numbers one and four selected in explaining squares (7)
The first and fourth letters of a word in the clue and a synonym of squares or balances

Police work catching ambassador with billion (3,4)
To work or cultivate the land, and abbreviations for the title of His Excellency the Ambassador and billion, give us a slang term for the police

22a Mediation with aim to hold review regularly (12)
A synonym of an aim or objective contains alternate letters of review
What is Intervention? Leadem Counseling

First home? Predict everything to be unfinished (9)
The letters that define being at home, to predict like a diviner or soothsayer and most of a word for everything

Transcript: Barack Obama's Inaugural Address : NPR29a Road sign that’s annoying outside work (2,7)
An annoying, unpleasant or baffling circumstance around a shortened piece of work


Passage a miner goes up (4)
I wasted a lot of last night researching mining adits, drifts, faces and levels when I should have been checking one of Snow Whites’ miners, he is reversed on a from the clue. A passage of music

not their finest but appropriate

5d Label on ground moved to elsewhere (9)
A record label known by its initials and now part of Universal Music Group and ground like cheese perhaps

He’d messed with this since finding debauchees (7)
A conjunction of since can be found in an anagram (messed with) of debauchees after he’d is removed

Most tiddly, small tuft of hair that is on good person (10)
S for small, a tuft of hair, a Latin that is, and an abbreviated good person become the most drunk person

Take no action having birds taking cover in shelter (3,2,5)
The sheltered side contains small songbirds of the family Paridae and a cover

Do keep up, run to take over lead in ultramarathon (10)
A synonym of keep up in the sense of cause to last forever, swaps the leading letter of ultramarathon for an abbreviation for a run at cricket to become  to do, commit or execute a crime perhaps

Soldier lost, not totally ideal (7)
This shortened soldier carried by air and most of a synonym of lost become an ideal model of perfection

25d Beat with good point (4)
To beat like leather and an abbreviation for good become the point that holds a fret into a fretboard for example


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.

Let it Bleed – slide guitar

7 comments on “Sunday Toughie 72 (Hints)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Took me a long time to find the 1d miner – nicely led up the garden path in a similar direction to our blogger.
    Plenty of smile-worthy answers and my top three were 10&26a plus 19d.

    Thanks to proXimal and to SJB for the hints.

  2. Great puzzle; very enjoyable solve. The simple, but very effective, 5D was my favourite. Thanks to setter

  3. Great puzzle – thanks to proXimal (nice to see your signature in the eXact centre of the grid) and thanks to SJB for the hints.
    Amongst the clues I ticked were 9a, 29a, 1d and 19d.

  4. Pesky four-letter clues! Last one in today was 1d; at first it made me ‘grumpy’ but then the penny dropped and I became ‘happy’! 25d literally had me thinking, “What’s the point in this…?!” However, my first option was, lo-and-behold, in the dictionary. But it wasn’t until my 3rd option for 15d, with 5 checkers already in place, before a dictionary check confirmed my postulated answer! A very enjoyable challenge from proXimal, with lots of ticks along the way: 9a, 14a, 22a, 26a, 29a, 5d, 7d, 13d and my favourite – 18a.
    Thanks, proXimal, and many thanks to SJB for his late night travails.

  5. Crikey either that was very tough or my brain is addled with the heat. 1d my last in too & that penny only dropped with the benefit eventually of the initial checker – 1a also a real head scratch not being entirely sure what one was & with neither of the wordplay synonyms having come easily. Can’t really claim an unaided finish as I checked for mistakes a couple of times, needed to confirm the latest entry into T’s List & didn’t fully parse 14a. Very enjoyable & with 29a my fav
    Thanks to proXimal & SJB

  6. Sorry folks, I was distracted yesterday by minor IT problems and some bathroom DIY. I am pleased you enjoyed this and also that the pesky NW corner was my nemesis too. Most of my parsing struggles were confined to 1a and 1d.
    Thanks to the other SJB for the workout

  7. Commenting late, but what a super puzzle – a real Toughie which certainly exercised my ‘LGCs’. Very clever and devious, is Proximal, and I went up so many blind alleys I could re-write the London A-Z map. Too many excellent clues to list them all, but COTD for me had to go to my LOI, 1d – quite brilliant, a real laugh-out-lour moment when the penny dropped!

    Many thanks to Proximal and to SJB

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.