Sunday Toughie 107 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 107 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 107

by Robyn


Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee


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Robyn starts with a Spoonerism today, but once over that hurdle, the rest went smoothly
The 2 & 16d combo was my favourite by the proverbial mile but plenty of others satisfied 10a 12a and 9d fight it out for my minor places

What was your favourite?

We have 14a and 16d clues today and I have hinted half – if any ones you find tricky haven’t made the cut I have some leeway to offer a nudge or two

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. 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           Spooner’s pal greeting postman’s unwanted delivery (4,4)
An informal pal greeted like a Roman Caesar as treated by the Reverend Spooner
Creative contempt: Mr. Bingo's Hate Mail collection | Huck

10a        Person on a mission ran a bazaar in Moroccan city (6,1’8)
Diplomatic rather than religious. Ran like a bull, a from the clue and a Moroccan city that can be spelt several ways containing a synonym of bazaar
Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener For sale as Framed Prints, Photos, Wall Art and Photo Gifts

12a        More possibly awful pain after moving out (7)
More possibly would have to be capitalised even if he didn’t start the sentence, The next five words are two anagram indicators, one for positional wordplay and two for the fodder

13a        Not a single family stops me, when abroad, revealing attire (8)
How I refer to myself when abroad (in Francophone countries) around the condition of having not a single family member. Something revealing I wish I could unsee
waitFOR Women Sexy High Cut One Piece Swimsuit Funny Bathing Suit Monokini Swimwear Tummy Control Chest Hair Sexy 3D Lingerie Printed Swimming Costume (White, S) : Fashion

15a        More than one SEAT is really quick, mostly (5)
Here the capitalisation is deceptive, a two-word phrase for really quick loses its last letter
Fancy a ride in my motorised sofa? Mad inventor and wacky racer Edd China takes us for a spin

25a        Emblem inspires character after a Yes record (7)
An emblem inspires the character that follows a and a synonym of yes

28a        Region for hikers from north, during some change (8)
An abbreviation for north drops into the smallest bits of change in your pocket

  The Pennine Way: Britain's greatest walking trail - TelegraphEdale to Kirk Yetholm – I’ve done it twice!             


1d          Bully‘s hard on men receiving shocking treatment (6)
A hard grade of pencil, some shocking treatment and members of the armed services not holding commissions


2&16d  Underground bosses in rapture, right to abandon hopeless crime lord (9,3,6)
Synonyms of rapture and hopeless (that abandons R for right) and a Mafia crime lord They manage the Underground and associated Capital Infrastructure
London's double-decker buses: 11 cool facts to know - Tripadvisor

8d          2 tours function with small concern (8)
One of the modes of 2d around a mathematical function of angles and s for small

9d          Partner of blind American, this person’s gushing (8)
A partner of blind (when swearing or cussing), one of the usual Americans and a contraction of something this person has

14d        Brushing aside one good obstacle to wedding? (8)
The letter that looks like one, an abbreviation of good and an obstacle to a wedding ceremony if the Best Man forgets some important symbols of marriage

24d        Writer of paper in Spanish keeping busy regularly (5)
A British newspaper, regular letters of busy and a Spanish in give us a Norwegian writer and playwright
Henrik Ibsen - The Telegraph

25d        Pierce Brosnan’s rear clad in frilly material (5)
Some frilly material contains the rear of Mr Brosnan
1990 Maidenform Pierce Brosnan underwear lingerie 1-page MAGAZINE AD | eBay

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A piece for 28a

That’s All Folks…

21 comments on “Sunday Toughie 107 (Hints)
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  1. I found this properly tough but very enjoyable, just as you expect from a Robyn crossword

    Many thanks to him and SJB

    Most days I’ll solve crosswords and a clue or two will make me think of Rabbit Dave – today I was imagining how delighted he’ll be that there is an apostrophe in the enumeration for 10a

    1. I too thought of RD – I think it was he who was going to the Transatlantic Sessions that would have made my music clip if YT had any d/recent clips

  2. Really enjoyable puzzle – thanks to the ever reliable Robyn and SJB for the hints and excellent illustrations.
    I ticked 13a, 2/16d and 21d but my favourite has to be 9d (‘Partner of blind’ – brilliant!)

    1. I had a present participle ending first guess and it took a moment to see the possessive ending instead but still a LOL when the 28a dropped

        1. The only editing I have done is to remove Philbert’s alternative answer which is not allowed in prize puzzles I haven’t edited your comment at all

  3. Another terrific puzzle from Robyn – beautifully balanced ‘toughiness’ for me. Challenging, but I was able to finish in good time for the afternoon’s sport on TV :smile:
    I was interested to read the origins for 5a in the dictionary – I’d always taken the word for granted, but crosswords have a habit of teaching us new things! The variant spelling of the Moroccan city was also something new for me. I was assisted in 12a by similar cluing in another crossword I looked at recently, and I reckon 17d has appeared a few times previously in various guises…!
    Podium places today for 13, 23 & 26 in the across clues and 14, 21 & 25 in the down clues.
    Thanks to Robyn and SJB. I’m surprised that 28a wasn’t on SJB’s favourites list, but the illustration plus caption do reveal it to be a favourite destination.

    1. Certainly, a favourite place but a one-letter insertion into the change escaped my attention until it came time to select some pics

  4. A better Sunday toughie than usual perhaps? Thanks Robyn for about a **/**** with things like…….a gentle spooner, a great lego for the man on a mission, a strange but perhaps appropriate surface for an organisation that couldn’t run a pony and trap service, some simple additions, and a long drawn out note to annoy my old aunty. Only thing, I have always used 5a with another letter; I must be wrong but will have a look at BRB after the rugby. Next half about to start soon.

  5. Sometimes I can get onto Robyn’s wavelength, other times I can’t and this was definitely one of the latter! Staggered my way through but only found a few that made me smile – 11a plus 9,14&19d.

    Sorry to be such a dunce, Robyn. Thanks to SJB for the hints which certainly made a difference.

  6. Super, super puzzle. On first visit earlier this afternoon I happily wrote in the Spoonerism and 2 other clues in the NW, then ground to a halt. A break for chores and some DIY, and suddenly I found Robyn’s wavelength and raced through the rest, finishing in the NE with a few flashes of inspiration – possibly still buzzing following Arsenal’s great result against the Hammers!

    Smooth and wonderful surfaces, some lovely deception and lots of humour throughout. Podium places to the 2d/16d combo, 12a and 25d – which made me laugh out loud.

    Many thanks indeed to Robyn and to SJB

    1. I almost fell off my stool when I found Mr Brosnan advertising lingerie! Just thankful he wasn’t wearing them! or maybe he was :o

  7. Made much harder work of this than I feel I ought to have but then the grid does look easier once the answers are in front of you. Struggled a wee bit to get properly on wavelength (half an eye on the PGA golf coverage probably didn’t help) so didn’t enjoy the solve as much as I usually do with Robyn but still found it a class puzzle as per. Still a couple to parse so I’ll read John’s review anon. 2/16d my clear favourite.
    Thanks to Robyn & to John

  8. Wonderful crossword. Thanks to Robyn.
    Superb 12a.
    Very good surface for that old chestnut in 17d.
    Thanks also to the Sloop for the hints.

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