Sunday Toughie 74 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Sunday Toughie 74 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 74

by Zandio

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Zandio brings us a fine toughie that amused and confused in equal measure.

I have hinted half of 16a and 14d clues with a few bonus pics to help.

I am off to Whitby for a paddle with Mama Bee, Have fun and I’ll catch up with comments later


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. Dont 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 Bit of bridge that’s stretchy (6)
Part of a cardgame rather than a span

10a Consider odds for duo’s win maybe ten to one — blast! (9)
A synonym of consider and odd letters of two words in the clue
Zandio has only given you ten but I’ll give you 30 seconds to find the answer, here’s a timer

30 Second Channel 4 Countdown Clock with Music in Powerpoint | Teaching Resources

12a Finger sandwiches reverted to whatever’s available (3,4)
To finger the strings on a musical instrument sandwiches a reversal of to

14a Times invested in electronic skill from the East particularly (5)
A reversal (from the east) in an across clue of a skill follows an abbreviation of electronic and the letter that signifies the mathematical Times. a particularly superior commodity

18a Change a bit of English fruitcake, sent back after superior starter (4-4)
To alter slightly, E for English and a slightly mad fruitcake are reversed after another superior commodity

23a Lack of water in diet — that is becoming unhealthy (7)
Swap the Latin Id Est from diet with an unsmooth feeling of being unhealthy

25a People boarding, tricksters giving a tenth of the amount upfront (7)
A trickster swaps its first (upfront) Roman numeral for another a tenth of the amount
Roger the Dodger - Wikipedia

29a Swears about missing a highlight (6)
Swears or declares positively is reversed and loses an initial letter


1d Went over and put a new top on (8)
Summarised a story or put another lid on a biro perhaps

Guide to Britain's tit species: how to identify, song and where to see |

5d Evil ruler believing in fear (7,7)
An evil, a monarch and a sense of believing

8d Statuesque woman takes drive, welcoming husband with kiss (6)
A jaunt in a car or bike welcomes H for husband and the letter you use for a kiss on romantic correspondence

9d There could be no tsunami here in America! (5,9)
This area in America is at an altitude where no tsunami can reach,  it is also an anagram of no tsunami that follows the anagram indicator absent from the clue

16d Cheers up, inserting old penny in gents, twice getting change (9)
A short thank you or Cheers is reversed (up) and contains two gents and a pre-decimal penny

17d Unusual arrangements to cure loss? (8)
An anagram of two words in the clue, I can’t see a separate definition so it may be an all-in-one/&lit What happens to businesses if losses persist

Crooked Spire of Chesterfield - License, download or print for £24.80 | Photos | Picfair

24d Walk ended with heavens opening (3,2)
We want a synonym of Heavens as an expression of surprise and a synonym of ended or over, the whole being what you may say to a horse to make it move from standstill to a walk 


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.

One for 28A – I hope I picked your favourite…

That’s All Folks!

18 comments on “Sunday Toughie 74 (Hints)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Zandio is as entertaining as always if slightly less tricky than usual – thanks to him and SJB.
    I ticked 20a, 23a and 27a with my favourite being the excellent reverse anagram at 9d.

    1. I couldn’t remember the reverse anagram phrase in the early hours, I will try and commit it to memory for the next time as they are very satisfying when the penny drops

  2. I thought that even by this setter’s standards this was particularly good, full of imaginative and very clever wordplay.
    My real sheet is covered in real ticks but I’ll highlight 23a plus 2,6(excellent)&the reverse anagram at 9d with top spot going to the brilliant 24d (where the definition is the first word)
    Many thanks to Zandio and SJB

  3. Zandio comes up trumps again with a puzzle full of ingenuity and misleads. I ticked 4 in each direction, which I thought had some of the best surface readings as well as clever wordplay: 4, 11, 15 & 23 across and 3, 9, 16 & 24 down. The &lit in 17d I had taken to be e.g. the loss of a loved one, but I can see it is equally applicable to your business setting, SJB.
    Thank you, once again, to Zandio and my thanks to SJB for the nicely illustrated post. I hope your trip to the seaside at Whitby was refreshing. It’s probably 50 years or so since I last set foot there – in the sea or otherwise!

    1. Your last visit probably coincided with my first, Papa Bee took me on a sea fishing trip 50 years ago. I caught an enormous (for an 11 yr old) Cod and threw up the rest of the trip!

  4. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the time to solve, analyse and discuss. Have a great afternoon in Whitby or wherever else you may be.

  5. I always forget about this Sunday challenge but remembered when forced into the house by the impending thunderstorm.

    Printout covered by ticks when completed. Very few straightforward clues but nothing too obscure thankfully. Favourites must include 10a, 15a, 6d, 9d and my clue of the day 24d.

    Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle at the upper end of my solving ability and to SJB for a few required explanations (and the picture from Chesterfield).

    1. Technically Chesterfield is not a 21d but close enough for me. The lightning struck on the way home from Whitby, quite spectacular over the moors but it was sunny and warm on the beach

      1. Hence the nickname of Chesterfield FC.

        Hope you enjoyed your Whitby trip and sampled some of the excellent fish and chips available there.

  6. Excellent Sunday Toughie. Loved the clever wordplay. All OK once I’d tuned in to Zandio’s thinking. Needed SJB to explain 25a though! 9d & 16d get my vote. Great fun. Thanks chaps

    1. Not the first time Zandio has swapped Roman numerals in that way. I think he may have been a maths teacher in another life as we have to convert percentages to fractions and know some mathematical symbols too

  7. Took a while to tune in to our setter’s wavelength but I did find quite a lot to enjoy in this one. Podium places went to 27a plus 1,2,5&9d.

    Thanks to Zandio and to SJB for the hints. Favourite Genesis track not on that particular album – Follow you, follow me wins the prize for me.

  8. Another vote for 9d. Very enjoyable guzzle – about on a par I’d reckon with Friday’s back-pager as unusually for a Zandio Toughie there were thankfully a good few gimmes to give you a toehold. Re the Genesis clips I’m struggling to think of a band that changed so markedly – Queen & Doobie Brothers maybe
    Thanks to Zandio & John.
    Ps thought Elton did a pretty good job at Glastonbury

    1. I’ve recorded Elton to watch later,
      Most changed band to me would be Marillion, Fish and Steve Hogarth are v different but both work for me

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.