Sunday Toughie 89 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 89 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 89

by Zandio

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Zandio didn’t keep me up too long last night, I hope he isn’t affronted that I may have missed something in 5d and 10a The question mark in 5d would suggest some slight and is 10a an &lit/all-in-one or a split double definition? I hope I have captured the gist

We have 14a and 16d clues today and I have hinted half

As it is a dry day here in deepest Yorkshire I will be trimming the Yew tree, but will keep an ear out for any extra nudges if required

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 Alien species confronted by Star Trek’s leading characters (7)
A variety, sort or type of a species is fronted by the leading characters of The Star Trek universe
Star Trek: The Next Generation Characters, Ranked in Order of Awesomeness

10a Many a country group gets American uniform — confederate especially (9)
A group of countries that work for international peace and security, one of our “normal” Americas, a  letter that uniform represents and a confederate. A far from “normal” split double definition

11a Clearly this should fill a vacancy in construction (10)
A cryptic definition of the clear parts that fill the vacancies in a construction
Shell Construction Photo Gallery | Custom Homes in Olathe FL | Regatta Building & Development II

14a One makes a flying visit, not put off by lack of atmosphere (5,7)
Another cryptic definition of something that can fly with or without an atmosphere
Space shuttle | Names, Definition, Facts, & History | Britannica

22a Still figure to go to India on a railway (10)
An abbreviated numerical figure, the letter that India represents, the next two words in the clue and an abbreviated railway remain motionless

27a Perched adult will consume whole grub in segments (7)
Perched on a stool and A for adult consume the whole addition of parts

28a Keeling over, society girl fell when retiring here? (7)
An abbreviated girl on her introduction to Society, and an upland or fell are reversed (keeling over) Where you retire for the night


1d Team’s detailed work’s leaked or it’s parroted (6)
A group or team is de-tailed and work leaks or to be the noise a parrot makes in complaint or protest

3d Put fag out after number arrive repeatedly wanting Ecstasy and dope (10)
A number and a synonym of arrive both lack the drug Ecstasy followed by an informal to fag out or exhaust

5d Showing features in the middle flat at the front? (4-5)
The feature in the middle of your face is rather flat.
Maybe showing_front? defines the first word then the feature in the middle of your face
Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice: Snort, Snore, Huff and Puff... Cute noises of short-nosed dogs, or symptoms of a more serious health problem?

8d Pedestrian judge less biased in hearing (8)
Homophones (in hearing) of to judge the heft of something and less biased, define someone who is a pedestrian

13d Confident of fine meals, eating these on vacation (10)
Synonyms of fine and meals contain what remains of these when it has been vacated

15d Vehicle taken round bazaar, one with a place for tea (9)
A motor vehicle around a bazaar or festivities, the letter that looks like 1 and A from the clue, define a place where tea or other light meals may be taken
MORRISONS, Wetherby - 7 Horsefair - Restaurant Reviews, Photos & Phone Number - Tripadvisor

17d A member of Steps on a plane (2-6)
A collective term for a “member” of a collection of steps, or an adjective for that which is provided on a plane

24d Character appearing in both bible and thesaurus (4)
A biblical character appearing in thesaurus


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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.
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A lovely piece of music and although I like the E.L.P. version this is better


15 comments on “Sunday Toughie 89 (Hints)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Devon and Cornwall (or should it be Dumfries and Galloway for me) delayed things but the pennies eventually dropped.

    Favourites include 9a, 1d and 6d. Some fairly convoluted clues but it is a Toughie after all and it was a good challenge.

    Just saw on TV a Man City Women’s player getting sent off for a second yellow card for time wasting. At yesterday’s local match, a player was booked for taking too long over a throw in. His team was losing 2-0!

    Thanks to Zandio and SJB.

  2. I enjoyed this – thanks to Zandio and SJB.
    I don’t think that ‘Many’ in 10a is part of the definition. You could re-order the first four words as ‘group (containing) many a country’.
    Top clues for me were 27a, 1d, 3d and 8d.

    1. As well as being especial my thesaurus has more too so I bunged many in too, thanks for the clarification

  3. Very enjoyable.
    I always think this setter’s back-pagers are borderline Toughies and his Toughies borderline back-pagers. Inevitably very entertaining though.
    My picks go to 28&26a plus 23&24d but could have mentioned several more.
    Many thanks to Zandio and SJB.

  4. Had my usual gripes about some of our setter’s definitions but did award ticks to 21725a plus 13d.

    Thanks to Zandio and to SJB – especially for the stirring music clip.

    1. I first came across that version on Friday when the Daily Doug compared it to the one by ELP

      I think I am missing Sunday Afternoons by the Bandstand with Mama Bee but they are finished for the season

  5. Hello. Compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the time to solve, analyse and discuss. Much appreciated.
    Thanks to Gazza for the clarification on 10a.
    In 28a, the two elements have to be reversed separately.
    Have a great week.

    1. Thanks for explaining, I did wonder about the 2nd reversal indicator but erroneously bunged it in the definition, Thanks too for a great puzzle

  6. A very enjoyable morning solve with some lovely deception in the choice of words and meanings. I had an answer for 2d early on but it was only when I had checkers that I had enough confidence in it to eventually work out the parsing! No particular favourites, just overall a really nice crossword, as I have come to expect from Zandio.
    Many thanks to Zandio and to SJB.

    1. I too accepted the slightly obscure synonym of obtains only when the checkers and Jean-Luc Picard said make it so

  7. I initially scuppered myself with xxxxx at 4d which works but I did wonder where the homophone indicator got to. D’oh!
    A wholly enjoyable puzzle, just right for a Sunday.
    Thanks SJB & Zandio.

    Alternative answers to unhinted clues in Prize Puzzles are frowned upon

  8. Unlike Stephen I didn’t find anything remotely bordering on a back-pager about this but maybe it was just a case of my brain wasn’t in gear this evening. Not too bad down south but needed a peek at the hint (didn’t need to read it as the pic released the penny) for 11a which then resolved the holdouts at 1&2d + 9a. The first word at 5d was last in & took 2 stabs also. My top 3 were 1&3d + 18a
    Many thanks to Zandio for an entertaining puzzle & to John for the hints

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