Sunday Toughie 84 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 84 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 84 by proXimal

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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I have to be a bit brief today as I am entertaining my niece and partner this lunchtime, she is very graciously lending me her 18a transport whilst mine is being repaired, and I am preparing a Tartiflette for lunch.

I have hinted at half of 16a and 14d clues but I will still be around to help with any gaps you want a nudge for

I found this on the slightly easier (but still Toughie standard) of proXimal’s range, mainly because I didn’t have to spend hours agonising over the Spoonerism

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.


Removed decoration from grasping male that’s not indulged (10)
Walls that have their decorative surface removed around M for male to be the not indulged chap that isnt wearing a brand of disposable nappy
Baby Butt Butter - Ivy Nicole Natural Remedies

9a This might hold oil like fish contains (5)
A slippery fish loved by crossword setters contains a conjunction like like, The solution may hold oil, watercolour or other artistic things

12a Manage reversing AI threat in eventful period (7)
Reverse a synonym of manage and append the Artificial Intelligence that was a threat to the spacemen on a 2001 space odyssey. A time period eventful enough to mark a new age

16a Cut plastic scrap (7)
A small cut followed by the kind of plastic that many drink bottles are made from, an abbreviation of polyethylene terephthalate

18a Transport route blocked by a plant (7)
The transport I am currently without, and a route or path blocked by A from the clue
How to grow caraway - Sweet Living Magazine

23a Raises as those wanting elevated positions in the Shard may take (7)
What you will need to take to raise you up to the elevated restaurant in the Shard
The View from The Shard - London Attraction -

25a Rich person making rabbit periodicals for Spooner (9)
Spoonerise Hugh Hefner’s periodical to make a rich person
Behind the Cover: January 1989 – Playboy Clothing ANZ

28a Advance by women in party working for engineer (10)
To advance by making a move, the women on a pre-marriage party and a synonym of working give us a famous engineer
Stephenson's Rocket | Science Museum Group Collection



1d Second-hand publication from America? (4)
An abbreviated publication that is prized when it is the first published follows one of our usual Americas

2d Traveller climbing headland shown in electronic device (9)
The electronic devices that are seen less often these days contain the reversal (climbing in a down clue) of a Scottish headland

3d Low moment stumbling upon second-rate fish pie place (6,7)
The letter that indicates second rate and a type of flat bodied fish follow an anagram (stumbling) of LOW MOMENT
Dickinson & Morris Large Melton Mowbray Pork Pie 440g – Ye Olde Pork Pie Shoppe

8d Official European court located in flawless administrative region (10)
Abbreviations of a football official, European and court, go in a synonym of flawless

11d Trying pickle for starters? (7,2,4)
A nice little cryptic definition of the “pickle” that newbies undergo to start something for the first time


19d Told heaviness of sheep as warning (3,4)
A homophone (told) of the heaviness of sheep, an informal expression of warning

24d Name of chap that would be defiant going into resit (4)
An informal chap’s name when going into RESIT becomes another word for defiant
Marvel signs deal to use name and likeness of Stan Lee in future projects

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I must watch this film again…

That’s All Folks!

14 comments on “Sunday Toughie 84 (Hints)

  1. Almost waving a white flag until I gained an initial foothold and persevered until the end.

    Numerous favourites including 25a (a usually disliked Spoonerism), 28a, 11d, the amusing 19d and 24d.

    The delicacy from 3d seems to taste best where it is made but our local Co-op comes a close second.

    Thanks to setter and SJB. I had a suspicion the Reid brothers might appear when I saw 14d. 😀

    1. I had to dig a bit to find a 14d song that didn’t name them, I do like a 3d and like many of these protected foods ones own local producer makes the best.

  2. There’s invariably a couple of clues that test the old grey matter in a proXimal Toughie, today’s culprits being the intersecting 21a/22d for me. Biggest ticks going to 20a & 8d.

    Thanks to our setter and to SJB for the hints – pleased to hear that you’ve got a temporary solution to your transport problem.

    1. I bunged the city in before I had fully worked out that the one’s column had moved it’s t for temperature up the order.

  3. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks to proXimal and to SJB for the hints and pics.
    I thought that as Spoonerisms go 25a was better than most. I also ticked 6a, 21a and 11d.

  4. Good afternoon
    I don’t often have a go at the Toughies; on Thursday I attempted the DT Toughie, and entered the grand total of 4 correct solutions.
    However, I’ve surprised myself this afty by actually completing today’s!
    I’m on annual leave next week so I’ll get some practice in
    Many thanks to proXimal and to SJB

    1. Setters and the Editor Chris Lancaster all say that the Sunday Toughie is aimed to be at a similar level of difficulty as A Tuesday Toughie, I hope you have an enjoyable week and come back and fly through next week’s Sunday Toughie

  5. A taxing enough puzzle but very enjoyable. I liked the Spoonerism!
    SJB on hand to help me with some parsing, thanks (though is the correct definition underlined in the 19d hint?)
    Thanks also to proXimal for the challenge.

    1. Oops I underlined the homophone indicator rather than the definition – now corrected

  6. Can’t say I found it a stroll in the park but a one sitting completion & quicker than most Sundays. Last in 24d & not a clue as to why. Ticks for 12,25&28a plus 3,8,11&19d. Partial to a proper one with English mustard & a good pint of bitter so 3d takes the gold.
    Thanks to proXimal & to John – will now read your review though I’ve just peeked at the why for 24d which I ought to have pegged but wasn’t in the ballpark

  7. I rather like a 3d too but our local does them with very coarsely chopped meat and lots of sage, thankfully the pink or grey meat and excessive jelly is absent. I usually try and get one in before the regular Elgar booze ups in York (next one the weekend the clocks go back)

  8. 16a. I had pencilled in “scalpit” for a long time – anagram of plastic and Scottish term for having had a haircut..

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