Sunday Toughie 75 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 75 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 75 by proXimal

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

I found that quite tough last night but maybe I was affected by the paint fumes from the ongoing redecoration of the bathroom. As usual with proXimal and Toughies, limiting the hints to about half is quite difficult. I hope you have an easier time parsing and find the checkers to finish this puzzle.
I have hinted at half of 14a and 16d clues today (with a bonus pic and video) and I think I have most of this parsed if you want an extra nudge or two just ask. I will be finishing a second coat of a slightly too-vibrant yellow in the bathroom but will assist if required.

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 Seafood pieces roughly cut on counter (5,7)
Start with some powerful chess pieces, a two-letter synonym of roughly or about, and to cut trees or horns reversed (on counter)
Whitby Queen Scallops | Quite excellent. | Matt Holland | Flickr
9a Help penning article on mean discriminatory system (9)
A synonym of help “pens” a mean score at golf perhaps and a definite article

What Lies Beneath Stonehenge? | History| Smithsonian Magazine
13a Dog overturned across a plant (6)
An obscure (to me) plant from a synonym of dog, hound or fret reversed about a from the clue

17a Wrapped up limb with one cast (8)
A specialised limb of a water-borne creature, the letter that looks like 1 and to cast one’s hide or horns

19a Reptile back occupying smallest stunted tree (6)
A constricting reptile is reversed in a shortened smallest
Care guide for the Baobab Bonsai tree (Baobab) - Bonsai Empire
27a A space hollowed by clever badger (9)
A preposition for each or a, what remains of space when hollowed and clever or astute

28a Rat is secure somewhere remote (6,6)
The 7th Armoured Mobile Division (Egypt) is our rat, is from the clue and to secure at Terra Firma
Matt cartoons, May 2018
1d Shaking doubt about Bible (7)
An officially sanctioned edition of the Bible goes in a doubt
Hundreds of packets of Quavers have spilled onto the M60 - Manchester Evening News
3d Refusal to American to consume port of bad repute (9)
A refusal, to from the clue and an abbreviation of American surround a South American port.

5d Devotionally inept, not into spoiling sweetheart (4-4)
An anagram (spoiling) of a word in the clue after into is removed

7d Broadcast journalist avoiding mad sort of dictator (6)
Another extraction anagram is an adjective relating to a Roman dictator

15d Back to salad, hard to be involved in diet that’s never-ending (9)
The last letter of salad, and an abbreviation of hard go in what you have to do with your diet to lose weight

16d End connection with insurrection with line written in fourth letter (8)
An insurrection and the letter that looks like a line go in how you may say the fourth letter of the alphabet

20d Fret about VAR upsetting a brilliant display (7)
To fret or chafe around a reversal of VAR and a from the clue


25d Enter run to measure pace (4)
To enter and add up a long column of figures and a cricket scorer’s run


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I witnessed the last but one Transit of Venus on my birthday (8th June 2004) while waiting for a steam train at the Glenfinnan Viaduct, If you missed the last one (5th June 2012) you will have to wait until December 2117. ! If you can’t wait that long enjoy this in the meantime.

15 comments on “Sunday Toughie 75 (Hints)
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  1. ProXimal’s as entertaining as ever but (I thought) a bit trickier than usual – thanks to him and SJB.
    I took the measure in 25d to be a measure of spirits.
    I have lots of ticks including 10a, 28a, 4d, 8d and 15d.

  2. Another very enjoyable puzzle from the X-man.
    As per with this setter I have lots of ticks on my printed sheet but I’ll mention 10a, 22a for the contemporary use of the first word (if I’m parsing it correctly) the lol 24a plus 4&15d.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and SJB.

  3. A DNF today with gaps in the NE and SW. Not too sure about some of my answers either.

    Unfortunately, I have only seen the Transit of The Jacobite on my visits to Glenfinnan. Thankfully they were on a deserted hillside in the pre-Harry Potter mania days.

    Thanks to proXimal for the challenge and SLB for the hints.

    1. 2004 was a visit to Sgúrr Thuilm, made slightly harder by being over-refreshed on Lagavulin. Glad of the train home to An Gearasdan

      1. Been round the Glenfinnan munros several times. My last round of the munros was done in ascending order of height. Started with Beinn a’Chlaidheimh and finished on Ben Nevis three years later. Some crazy weekends with more time driving than on the hill.

        1. Munroist 514 I assume very impressive, my own list seems to have stalled just under 200 but I have done the furth ;) but you have probably not reported all the times you have completed.
          My first was with munroist 87 but Mama Bee’s decline has curtailed things for a while

          1. That’s me. Strangely, Dawn (515) stayed round the corner from me but we never climbed any hills together.

            Motivation ran out with about 30 of round 4 left. You beat me with completing the furths – one Welsh one not done and none in Ireland.

  4. Maybe I was affected by paint fumes too, as I found the going pretty hard with this puzzle – albeit we have no paintwork in progress…
    It was very satisfying to get over the line eventually, but the lack of ticks on the page is an indication of where my focus was. Nevertheless, 15 down did catch my attention and received a large tick! I needed to look up the 1a ‘cut’, which was new to me (unless with ****ard on the end), and the useage involved for the first word of 22a felt a bit obscure (assuming I have the right parsing).
    Thanks for a good challenge, proXimal, and thanks to SJB for the hints – nice choice of image for 1d by the way :smile:

  5. Interesting puzzle but have to admit to several unparsed guesses currently inserted into the NE. Must try to keep hold of my print-out until the full review is published.

    Thanks to proXimal and to SJB for the hints. If you think paint fumes are bad you should try being stuck with the front door propped open for days on end to dry following several new coats of varnish!

    1. I don’t know why varnish has so many more volatiles to evaporate but I agree that it is much worse than emulsion or gloss. I feel for your sinuses
      NE was tricky here too but a reverse lurker, a second extraction anagram and a homophone of an elision of what a chap will do just missed the cut, the bonus pic for 12a is a tad obscure but shows the “church block” and the film obscuring the view

  6. Managed to finish with help from SJB. it was a slog but I think I have parsed all the bung-ins now! Not happy with 22a either….it didn’t 22a my world…

  7. Getting there, just a bit of silicone sealant and 3rd coats as painting on rough artex is hard!

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