Sunday Toughie 102 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 102 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 102

by proXimal


Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Thanks to proXimal for a pleasant Toughie today, probably at the easier end of his spectrum but I am maybe just relieved it wasn’t as tough as his Christmas EV
Plenty of homophones and anagrams of various degrees of partiality and A Spoonerism that shouldn’t frighten the livestock either equine or avian

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.


4a           Improved film ratings with excellent edition (8)
Two film ratings from the more suitable end of the scale, an informal term for excellent and an abbreviation for edition are improved by letting you turn left at the airplane door

11a        Course of instruction for golf almost completely full (9)
A prefix for for, the letter that golf suggests and almost all of a synonym of completely full

13a        Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden finds her Golden Buzzer act

14a        Argentine leader hosting relation, regular drinkers directly communicating (6-2-6)
Take the most famous Argentine leader and insert (hosting) a young male relation and some regular drinkers

17a        According to Spooner, source of eggs for Roald, novelist (7,7)
The least troublesome Spoonerism for some time, The surname of one novelist and the source of eggs become another novelist when treated by the Reverend Doctor
Harry Heape on X: "Dahl's chickens OR Charles Dickens? YOU CHOOSE Happy #RoaldDahlDay" / X

23a        Cheese pieces with temperature maintained in space by onboard computer (9)
A printers space, the pieces on a chess board and the abbreviation for temperature go before (by) the onboard computer that proved troublesome in 2001: A Space Odyssey

I don’t understand why Planet of the Apes got the Best Makeup Oscar in 1968 – Maybe they thought these apes were real?

24a        Regularly ignored bad talk against South Island (8)
The capitalisation of South Island misleads us towards New Zealand, Ignore alternate letters of bad talk, a term for one who is against something and the abbreviation for south leads us to an imaginary island unless Dubai has built one at the Palm Jumeirah Resort (They have but just as a hotel)

26a        Cursed the Spanish embargo with bananas getting turned back (8)
A Spanish the, an embargo and a synonym of bananas are reversed (getting turned back) to be deserving of being cursed



1d           Difficulties avoiding eastern junks (6)
The difficulties that childhood knees suffer avoid the abbreviation of East to be junked or thrown away
117 Knee Scab Stock Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

2d           Alien finally invading this galaxy could be Armageddon (9)
Is this a rare central definition? An anagram (alien) of the last word when you have removed the final letter of invading – More likely an extraction anagram &lit
Andromeda-Milky Way collision will see our galaxy merge with its neighbour

5d           Chaos over in slate mine plastered with mud (11)
A crickety over, to slate or criticise, mine and mud from the clue are anagrammed (plastered)

7d           Awe Romeo out of play receives (5)
An adjective (of a ball perhaps) that is out of play receives the NATO phonetic code letter that Romeo suggests

12d        Car appropriate to carry Republican, one of government office (11)
A small car and to appropriate illegally carries an abbreviation of Republican and the letter that looks like one

16d        Burns, perhaps, under crusted skin’s protective covering (8)
Those childhood knees again, their crusted skin go under the term for a national poet, Rabbie Burns of Scotland in this case

19d        Like agreeable wine (7)
A synonym of agreeable and a type of wine form a similarity or affinity you may like


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Take the load off Fanny…

That’s All Folks!

13 comments on “Sunday Toughie 102 (Hints)
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  1. The Spoonerism was top-notch, 23a was cheekily clever and 13a made me laugh. I know, I should probably get out more! 9a was perhaps a bit of a push though. But this was a joy to whip through. It took me a couple of reads to get with the 11a but, then,
    it flew in. Some lovely Lego, too. Many thanks to proXimal – one of his best, I thought – and Sloop, of course. Always enjoy your pix and vids. Ta lots.

  2. No particular favourites today but I really enjoyed the Spoonerism, which is something I can’t say about the synonyms for ‘excellent’ in 4a, or ‘extraordinary’ in 21a… I don’t watch BGT but I was aware of the person required in order to solve/parse the clue. I did like the use of ‘alien’ as an indicator, though, and enjoyed the PDM for ‘entrance to living area’. Thanks, SJB, for the ‘out of play’ hint – I failed to spot that link despite it being used in so many sports. I think I might have got there eventually, but you saved me some time scratching my head and wondering when I have other things I really should be doing. Must get on now…
    Thanks to proXimal, and again to SJB.

  3. Given that I did eventually finish this, I probably have to grudgingly accept SJB’s suggestion that this was at the easier end of our setter’s spectrum. Biggest ticks were all awarded in the Across section – namely, 11,17,23&26. The Spoonerism made me laugh which is very unusual!

    Thanks to proXimal and to SJB for the hints.

  4. Good stuff – thanks to proXimal and SJB.
    Thanks also for including easily the best version of the 14a song.
    My podium has on it 11a, 6d and 12d.

  5. Amost hard enough to be a Friday cryptic. 🙂

    I thought that I might not be on the setter’s wavelength when I had to Google BGT.

    Got there with the hints. Favourites 13a and 3d.

    Thanks to proXimal and SJB.

  6. A very enjoyable puzzle. I agree it was on the easier side, but I felt it was just right for a Sunday Toughie. Finished in time to go and watch Liverpool beat Arsenal 🤞😁..

    Thanks proXimal and SJB

    1. HNY to you too, The Reverend is always a hit when you see the answer but puts fear in others when he is trickier
      Enjoy the rest of the puzzle

  7. Thought I’d make a start on this in bed before lights out & astonished to rattle it off in marginally quicker time than the Dada puzzle took. Much easier than Friday’s back-pager & very enjoyable too. The Spoonerism was my clear fav with ✅s for 11,14,23&26a plus 2&15d.
    Thanks to proXimal & to John for his review & music choices. The Weight is one of my fav songs – there are so many great versions but for me the one sung with the Staples at The Band’s farewell concert at the Winterland Ballroom remains my fav. Don’t get me started on 2001 (69 incidentally) – it wasn’t even nominated for best picture

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