Sunday Toughie 116 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 116 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 116

by Zandio

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A delightful Sunday Toughie from Zandio, which I really enjoyed. 16d was my favourite by a country mile and is awarded the “Sloopy” today, but I am sure you will have other favourites?

Long-Term Review: Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Award 50th Anniv.

I have hinted just under half of an even 14a and 14d clues so there is leeway for a bonus hint if you need a nudge for those clues that hit the cutting room floor

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           Taking a short journey, she craftily put locks on her chest (4,6)
We start with an all-in-one, her short journey was around Coventry, and she concealed her lack of clothing with long locks of hair over her chest
Lady Godiva

10a        Singer that gets high, really a negative where publicity is involved (7)
An interjection for really, a from the clue and a negative involve some publicity in the form of a press release

12a        Change wheels (5-8)
A double definition, change in a Victorian pocket and the wheels available for him to cycle
Sarah McManus on X: "i see "pennyfarthing dr" on google maps, 'oh that's twee--' WAIT old english pennies were weirdly big coins; what if farthings were small? that would mean-- calling that

19a        Boisterously dispersed, avoiding disorderly riot that follows someone’s discharge (5,3)
Something you may say to one following an explosive discharge of snot, and an anagram of boisterously (dispersed) after another anagram (disorderly) of riot has been removed (avoided)

21a        Misjudge foolish nude nap with current boyfriend? (13)
An anagram (foolish) of nude, followed by a nap, the physics symbol for current and a male friend

24a        Elbow, a group taking off? The opposite (7)
To give the elbow to. A from the clue and a group takes the opposite of off

27a        12/25 or 25/12, which is modern? (7-3)
Two ways of expressing the 25th 24 hour period of the 12th month define a third for the habit of exchanging gifts that day – like 14a’s I, I think this breaks the “rule” that numbers in clues must refer to other clues but I did have a mental image of a group of Victorian cyclists (12a) exchanging gifts at a (25a) “do”



1d          Heavy metal guitarist’s role with a different sound (4)
A double-definition that are homographs of each other, (words that are spelled alike but are different in meaning, derivation or pronunciation)

3d          Capable of growing common if gender is mistaken (5-8)
An anagram (is mistaken) of if gender follows a common appreciated by the Kinks

5d          Scene in Rome, half the Apostles with Thomas maybe needing answer (5)
How a Roman would count half of the Apostles, an abbreviation of the holiness that Thomas (and the other eleven Apostles had) and an abbreviated answer. I suppose Thomas was chosen for his doubting nature that needed answers

13d        Clean one’s uniform — delayed collecting raincoat (10)
The letter that uniform suggests and a raincoat go into a phrase said when one’s delayed

16d        It delivers its last letter … in code (8)
Be careful with the penultimate letter it is unchecked! I just adored this clue. The last letter of its (or it delivers) when delivered in Morse code would be …

Some more...

The last letter of it delivers or its is S, in Morse code S is dot dot dot… Also, a figure of syntax by which a word or words are left out and merely implied are indicated by this mark…


20d        Bore, not so young, endlessly absorbed by home improvement in retirement (7)
Someone not so young loses the end letter and goes in a reversal (in retirement) of some home improvement. Bore fruit perhaps

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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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You probably expected me to play Mark Knopfler’s new album, but fans will already have a copy.

Instead here is another favourite band I am going to see in Newark in September

That’s All Folks…

25 comments on “Sunday Toughie 116 (Hints)
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  1. Completed pre-hints but with a modicum of electronic assistance.

    Many clever clues and some of which caused much amusement.

    Favourites include 12a ( I like the illustration) and 27a (good to see my canine companion getting a name check 🙂)

    Thanks to Zandio for the entertainment and to SJB for several parsings which had me scratching my head.

  2. An enjoyable accompaniment to my morning coffee with lots of ticks – showing a bias toward the across clues: 1, 6, 12, 19 & 26 then 4 & 5 down. 1a invoked a broad smile, and I was delighted to include a couple of clever four letter answers in my list of favourites. Two parsings at the end required a second beverage: at first trying to justify POTENT for 15a before twigging the correct construct; then pondering over 16d for quite a while until the penny at last dropped! [Talking about pennies – a very nice illustration for 12a, SJB.] I also thought the employment of ‘surfacing’ in 22d was ingenious, making for a good surface reading.
    Many thanks to Zandio and to SJB.

  3. An exceedingly fine Toughie – thanks to Zandio and SJB.
    I concur with SJB’s choice of 16d as favourite but I also liked 1a, 15a, 27a, 2d and 5d.

  4. Our setter playing fair with us today, although I was flailing with the parsing of 15a until the comment from Spartacus made me revisit my answer – than you, kind sir! Clues that earned my ticks were 1,12&26a plus 13d.

    Thanks to Zandio for a pleasurable solve and to SJB for the hints and music clips.

    1. I could have redacted the alternative answer that Spartacus gave, but as yourself and I made the same mistake and we are under half hints I let it go

  5. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the time to solve, hint and discuss.
    Thanks for the kind words about 16d, but a small point here: ‘its last letter’ refers to the answer.
    Nice to see a Kinks song, SJB. I interviewed Ray Davies over nine pages and two issues of the NME in 1977 or ’78 but I must admit that particular song hadn’t stuck in my memory bank. They created so many classics. What a group.
    Thanks again. Have a great week.

    1. Thanks for a fine puzzle I enjoyed. I too hadn’t recalled that Kinks track, but picked it from their Village “Common” Appreciation Society album as it bore my forename. Now to see if I can find back issues of NME online
      I have also put a little bit more under the some more… link

      1. Hi SJB. Good luck with that back issues search! I just found a reference to that NME piece in an American Kinks fan site. Apparently it was in the NME dated “4/16/77 and 4/23/77” (which is quite serendipitous), and also reprinted in Uncut.

        1. Good God that is 47 years ago! I might find a copy in my sister’s loft if she hadn’t changed to buying Sounds then

  6. My default position with toughies is one of scratching my head and wondering what on earth the answer could be. But today, there was enough to give me a foothold and with SJB’s hints and some heavy use of the thesaurus I got a completed grid. No way near an unaided finish, but still some sense of achievement in finishing. Loved the 14a lurker in particular. Thanks to Zandio and SJB.

  7. A very entertaining toughie with sufficient gettable clues to allow a number bung-ins followed by some head scratching to understand the parsing. I did like 1, 15 and 19a with 16d winning the biscuit!
    Thanks to Zandio and SJB for getting me across the line.

  8. 18d Amazing what can find on the internet!

  9. Late again but got to the finish line. Enjoyed the challenge.

    Favourites were 1a, 12a 27a and the 14a slice of lemon.

    Last one in was 16d, which took a bit of thought, perhaps a bit too … devious?

  10. A day late as per. What Spartacus said except the penny for 16d has yet to drop so one shy of completion.
    I’ll think on & resist the hint.
    Thanks to Zandio & to John

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