Sunday Toughie 42 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

Sunday Toughie 42 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 42 by proXimal

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

I found this a little easier than the last from proXimal, helped by remembering that the last time we had the other SJB in this slot we had an epic poem. Today we have the author of that poem. I have hinted at half of an evenly split 14a/14d clues, but as usual, I am open to discussion about the other clues that you may find tricky.

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 be back just after the closing date with the full review 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.

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.




7a Go over a time one’s expected back (7)
Start with a cricketty over, a preposition for each, and the reversal of the time when you expect to return.

10a Freezing cold PM after exercise class no good (9)
The forename of a PM (at time of writing!) goes between abbreviations for an exercise class and no good.

Little Perishers (Roger The Reader)

13a Cut a line that’s bitten by sea cat (9)
This cut of meat is formed from A from the clue, L for line in between a shortened sea and a big cat.

Top Sirloin Medallions with Grilled Green Onions and Red Wine Sauce | Thrifty Foods Recipes

18a Digging on road regularly turned problem for uninformed person (9)
Alternate letters of the first three words and the reversal (turned) of a mathematical problem.

21a Article seen on island from over the pond (5)
Start with an island (over the Solent rather than the pond), add a grammatical article used before a vowel for an American from over the pond.

He came from Des Moines – Someone had to…

23a Recalled crime pinching bow, suspect mythological figure (9)
A slang suspect, and a reversal of a moral crime around a curve or bow.
Narcissus (Caravaggio) - Wikipedia

25a King having holiday aboard cutter (7)
Our new King’s regnal cipher around some holiday gives us the cutter you may use to cut the meat in 13a.


1d Help cure an eccentric creature of folklore (10)
Start with a nice easy anagram (eccentric) of the first three words.

Leprechaun - Wikisimpsons, the Simpsons Wiki

3d Made dark plot, gestured to have leader brought down (8)
A silent gestured, moves its initial letter down and follows a garden plot.

6d Crust of snow at front on vehicle (4)
A vehicle for hire follows S for snow.
Curious Kids: how do wounds heal?

9d Writer‘s novel surmised penned after leaving Italy (6,7)
See preamble, The author of the epic poem in the last proXimal toughie is an anagram (novel) from SURMiSED PENNED after the IVR code for Italy is removed.

14d Unsure of Parisian cutting corners (10)
How a Parisian may say of, is cornered by an adjective for cutting.

17d Neighbourhood police officer, authoritarian (8)
Authoritarian follows one of our usual abbreviated policemen.

22d Heartlessly cheer defeat (4)
A loud eager cheer loses the middle letter to leave a synonym of defeat.

Could new readers please read the Welcome Post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.
As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment.
Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.
If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.
I wanted to include the moving family Bocelli performance from the Remembrance Service yesterday but it is blocked, so here is something similar that I hope plays for you.

23 comments on “Sunday Toughie 42 (Hints)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Thanks to the Sloop for the nudge in 21a: my last one along with 22d.
    The SW gave me a hard time and it took ages to spot the anagram in 24a.
    Very fresh crossword by the looks of 10a.
    Thanks to Proximal and to John Bee for the hints.

    1. Late today, having been otherwise engaged (by sleep!), but I very much enjoyed this nicely challenging proXimal last night. Had some parsing difficulty with 1a: do the 3 letters after the 1st letter equate to the article ‘a’? If so, is that a commonplace among cryptic compilers? I was amused by (and laughed at) 17a; enjoyed 21a (Des Moines, BTW, is a lovely city, one of my very favourites, and a good ‘Blue’ stronghold in a very ‘Red’ state); and picked 10a as my COTD if only for its timeliness. I also liked Gazza’s three choices. Thanks to proXimal and John.

      1. ###
        1.For each or a
        2.(chiefly commercial) by
        3. In the manner or direction of (heraldry)
        From the BRB (electronic version)
        So yes and it does crop up a fair bit.
        The chap from Des Moines is a favourite of mine and the book he is signing is great too. Apart from his throwaway comment about Des Moines he also speaks highly of it.

      2. Thanks, Gazza and SJB. In my three years of doing cryptics, with this wonderful blog greatly assisting my learning curve, I seem to have missed that particular device–or if I actually have ’employed’ it, I must not have known what I was doing!

  2. Sorry, J-L. I meant this as a separate comment, but it is indeed nice to see you back among the Toughies. Very heartening news about the immigrants, too (from your backpage comment).

    1. Stick at it, I have struggled with proXimal more than the other Sunday Toughie setters but with perseverance they get a tad easier.

      1. Finally down to just 4 left, managed to avoid seeing any hints or clues so far, maybe another evening might be enough for me to get the last few before I resort to help. I wonder what the record is for longest time to solve……..

        1. I imagine it is measured in years. CL has had correspondence from people who find old newspapers and still solve the puzzle. Here we often get comments from syndicated crosswords many moons after they are first published.

          1. Got 3 of the remaining 4 during the week and bunged in 7A this morning as couldn’t think of anything else it could be, but I could only parse the last 3 letters. Handily that one was hinted so I now see it is my lack of cricket knowledge that held me up. Very pleased to have finished a toughie unaided even if I did spend about 15 hours on it !
            Now for this Sundays….

            1. Good luck! I found today’s toughie quite hard, several clues got the bung in and reverse parse treatment too. Now to try and write a hint for them.

  3. Had trouble in the SW and still can’t parse 24a despite having the right answer from checkers and definition. Would appreciate a hint.
    Fun puzzle and much enjoyed.
    Thanks ProXimal and SJB

  4. More do-able than Friday’s toughie I thought. I keep expecting x-less pangrams, to give a bit of help, but not in evidence lately. 7a LOI, 13a and 18a I thought excellent, but my cotd has to be 24a. Thanks to proXimal, and to SJB of course

  5. A day late to this but well worth the effort. Not the brain mangler I was fearing but still plenty tricky enough for the likes of me. Jean-luc wasn’t alone in having a problem with 21a&22d – my last 2 in & try as I might I couldn’t think of a 4 letter synonym for defeat or the 5 letter one for cheer until the penny dropped with the state& the checker came to the rescue. 10a just edges 25a as my pick from many goodies.
    Thanks to proXimal & to John whose review I’ll read anon.

  6. Finally got around to this last night but, as Huntsman says, well worth the effort (and it was a bit of an effort!). I was half asleep when I put in 14d so got the ending wrong (…on), which made life difficult when finishing the puzzle this morning. The 9a writer had popped up recently so I was quite chuffed to get the anagram fairly early on, which did help with checkers. 21a/22d stayed mostly blank for a while until I remembered seeing that particular ‘island’ device in a puzzle from a while ago. Without knowing the first letter I doubt I would have got 22d. My picks today are 7a, 7d and the 21a/22d pairing. It was interesting to see our new PM and King both making an appearance.
    My thanks to both proXimal and SJB.

    1. I got the 14d ending in various ways until I hit the right one. I too noticed the PM and King, it just goes to show that some setters don’t have a long lead time. I have chatted to Dada on his video meets and he sometimes has months in hand and has forgotten some of his own crosswords.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.