Sunday Toughie 34 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 34 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 34 by Robyn

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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Not the hardest Sunday Toughie but a cheeseboard and a couple of wines provide refreshment. We have a nice even 14a  and 14d clues. I have hinted half and hope you find the checkers to finish. I am not going to compete for the prize today as I submitted an incorrect answer (see below) that 16d’s my chances today.

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 failures of parsing 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.

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 Supposing revolutionary changes image of zealots (10)
A conjunction for supposing is reversed and added to the changed image of a business.

12a President Ford, say, with sign of woe leaving America (6)
A sign of woe when we weep, loses the a for America and follows what Ford is an example of

15a It gives speaker skill in rows about Liberal character (7,5)
Informal rows that may be rhyming slang from a Flintstone character, go around the l that liberal suggests, followed by the character of a sound. No arguments about the capitalisation or otherwise of Liberal please!

18a Peaked cap, which may divide Derby or Cheshire? (12)
How you may divide a Derby or Cheshire (or maybe a nice bit o’ Wensleydale Gromit) is also a type of flat cap named because of the similarity between it and the shape of the foodstuff when divided.
Barbour Wax Men's Hat

21a Support that man with extremely cagy forecast (8)
The post you may use to keep your washing in the breeze or to keep a coalmine from collapsing is added to a male pronoun and the extreme letters of cagy.

25a Baddie getting on with female clad in red (10)
Getting on in years and f for Female is clad in a reddish hair colour.

BOND: 10 Things You Might Not Know About GOLDFINGER - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.
27a While wine goes round call for bitter (10)
A conjunction for while, that devious deep-red Spanish wine that crops up more often in crosswords than the glass, around a synonym of call.


1d Rip off coat (6)
A double definition to start the downs, to rip-off or plunder is also the coat of sheep or active outdoorsy types.

3d British engineer with chisel working for architect (12)
A well known British engineer and an anagram of chisel give us the architect famous for building the world’s largest dome of its time.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel | Westminster Abbey
How Brunelleschi Built the World's Biggest Dome | HowStuffWorks
5d Attractive walls round cosy home not being straight (10)
An informal synonym of attractive goes around (walls) the round letter and a cosy home.

7d English stumped, packing freight? French scoff (8)
E for English and how a cricket scorer records a stumping around (packing) some freight.

14d Rapidly developing business valued stores (10)
Something valued stores an abbreviated business.

20d Capital port that is turning into kind of wine (6)
The Latin that is is reversed (turning) into the dryness of wine to give us the capital city of another wine-producing country.

Château Musar Rouge (Gaston Hochar) | Vivino
23d Germans’ current poetry meets with resistance (4)
As is often the case with these currents there are several with very similar names, at first, I was looking at the Ruhr valley, but then I came across another tangentially German (it runs along the border but mainly in Poland) however eventually I found a current in Lower Saxony that is wholly in Germany and shares the name of it’s larger cousin.
Stick to poetry and R for resistance and you won’t make the mistake that I did in submitting a wrong answer.


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12 comments on “Sunday Toughie 34 (Hints)

  1. I was going to save this crossword until later when I have to wait while Mr CS has his autumn COVID booster, but as Robyn is one of my favourite setters, I gave in to temptation and will now take a book with me instead.

    Splendid crossword – thank you Robyn. Thanks also to SJB who may wish to revisit the second word he’s written in the hint for 21a ;)

    1. Thanks CS – it doesn’t matter how many times you read these things before publishing them, there’s always something not quite right :(

  2. Oh dear, I downloaded the puzzle from the ‘new and improved’ Telegraph Puzzles website and the clues are so small on the printout as to be almost illegible. And the archive appears to go back just 3 months? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… :negative:
    So, I was going to report that I had no favourite clues today as they are all too small, but Robyn’s skill has overcome my objections and, despite myself, I have to say I really enjoyed 1a, 9a, 15a, 25a, 5d, 14d and 19d. Thanks, Robyn, for another fine puzzle and to SJB for setting the scene.
    Now back to the DT complaints page… :mail:

    1. I couldn’t agree more. My eyesight will be as bad as Mama Bees if I have to squint at those clues much more. Who will be driving me to MY cataract op? Fortunately the old site is still up. Even copy and paste to put the clues in the blog is taking longer with the new site.
      That apart I did enjoy the puzzle if we all 19d and carp at Mr Ed he may improve things.

  3. A very entertaining puzzle – thanks to Robyn and SJB.
    It’s difficult to highlight just a few clues out of so many goodies but I’ll go with 13a, 14a, 7d and 8d.

  4. I rarely attempt this setter’s puzzles as he’s somewhat out of my pay-grade but, having a bit of time on my hands today, decided to give this a go. Learned about a new hat – fascinating – and very quickly decided upon a favourite in the shape of 15a.

    Thanks to Robyn for the challenge and to SJB for the hints although it goes without saying that the couple I could have done with for confirmation didn’t make an appearance!

  5. Took me ages and was tempted to jack it in, but kept coming back and getting another answer until suddenly they were all in. Some great surfaces but gold medal goes to 15a. Thanks to Robyn and SJB.

  6. It took all I had–as well as five letter reveals–to finish this very excellent Toughie by one of my favourite setters last night before I had to have a long lie-down. I am very proud of myself for solving 3d before I had to get some electronic support elsewhere, and it is my COTD, but 15a runs a close second to 3d. 18a was my LOI since I could not for the life of me decide what the definition was, nor had I ever heard of that term for a peaked cap–about as tough and insoluble a clue as there might be for an American who remains a very ardent Anglophile nevertheless and will keep plugging away ’til the lights go out. Thanks to SJB for your hints and to Robyn for the great challenge.

  7. I don’t know how I will cope when the letter reveal feature disappears. I can also check on progress and see if I have any errors, but not on the new site 😮

  8. I know that we’re not supposed to mention solving times but does 22hrs & 13mins since commencement constitute some sort of record for the longest completion time ? Didn’t use a letter reveal & was determined to resist the hints but can’t claim an unaided finish as I hit the submit button a couple of times to check progress. The usual corker from this setter packed with clever wordplay & immaculate clueing. Big ticks for a host of clues & not a dud in there. 15a has to take top spot.
    Thanks to Robyn & SJB.

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