Sunday Toughie 43 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 43 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 43 by Robyn

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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I found this at the difficult end of the Toughie spectrum, equivalent to a Thursday or maybe Friday Toughie rather than the somewhat gentler Tuesday level that Zandio says Mr Ed. is aiming for. I needed my dictionary for a couple of obscurities, (if the unit of magnetic field strength was the first thing to mind you are a better cruciverbalist than I)

When the long down clues revealed themselves I picked up the pace a little but it was still a bit of a grind (rather like an 8d innings!) With 20d I have a definition and an answer but the wordplay eludes me, any ideas?
Anyway, this isn’t getting the baby bathed.

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.

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 High crime? Glad about Italy acting to clean up (10)
An anagram (high) of crime, glad and the IVR code for Italy for something used to get a hygienic clean.

10a One’s left this area, with slender horse going around (9)
An inheritance that you are left in a will perhaps, is a for area, a synonym of slender, in a small horse.

12a Hot cakes left, sweet food (7)
Hot as in the proceeds of crime and L for left. Is this the first Christmassy clue of the season? I had my first 12a only yesterday.

Mine came from Aldi but the Bettys version above is not available until the 26th November.

15a Unit of soldiers seizing English horse heartlessly (7)
Other ranks of soldiers around E for English and a synonym of a horse without its central letter. Follow the instructions and get out the BRB as I doubt this word for a unit of magnetic field strength named after a Danish physicist is in common use.

20a Queen, perhaps, with new place to get liquor (7)
The nominative female pronoun and my favoured avatar go with n for new. An illicit Irish liquor shop.

21a17 Best Champagne Brands for 2022 - Our Favorite Champagnes to Sip

25a Watery drink picked up somewhere in Surrey (9)
A synonym of watery, as in overdiluted and a homophone of a fermented honey-based drink combine to give a riverside location in Surrey of historical note.
File:John F. Kennedy Memorial, Runnymede, UK - 20150708-03.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

27a Stone axes happening to be found towards the west (4)
Something happening or occurring and the axes on a graph (their usual alphabetical order is reversed (from the west in an across clue)

28a Attractive, e.g. on posing in image? (10)
A temperature-based synonym of in and anagrams of e.g. and on go in an abbreviated image.


1d Scoff huge rolls, getting energy (4)
A verb to scoff at is a reversal (rolls) of a synonym of huge and e for energy.

3d Dressed for summer ahead, after rejecting American play hard to get (2,5,6)
How you may describe wearing trousers suitable for the summer, a synonym of ahead and play from the clue after A for America has been rejected.

8d Spurning last of scampi in batter — no good! (10)
The last letter of scampi and an abbreviated no good follow an obdurate Yorkshire batsman.
Birthday of England's most colourful and controversial cricketer- Sir Geoff Boycott | Chase Your Sport - Sports Social Blog
11d Robyn’s on seedy food, accepting such consumption isn’t wise (7,6)
The seed of leguminous plants as food goes in a phrase our setter Robyn, may use when it is his round at the bar.

14d Where to find better game? Look round estate, say (5,5)
A three-card game to be avoided as it is usually a scam, a vehicle of which an estate is an example and a synonym of look, give us a place renowned for betters who gamble.

19d Uncovered king given check where there’s a castle (7)
A Welsh place where there is a castle, Our new king loses his covering letters and adds the chess notation to place in check.

24d It’s put on after bathing in continental climate (4)
We finish with a lurker (in) the last two words of the clue, I got all the way to the last clue before I got a start today!
Baby Powder Fart GIFs | Tenor

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I am going to see Bellowhead next Friday so here is a bit from them. Voldemort will be there too so we can have a bit of a catch-up while we try to get to the bottom of the barrel.

17 comments on “Sunday Toughie 43 (Hints)
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  1. A magnificent puzzle – thanks to Robyn and to SJB for the hints.
    There are too many great clues to list them all – I’ll just mention 20a, 4d, 5d, 8d and 20d.

    The ‘art including’ in 20d is as in “(thou) art including”.

    1. Re 20d. I’ve got with in the clue as letters 2,3 and 4, and art, as you say, as 5,6 and 7. But that’s the French or Latin translation. I don’t get the direction to translate it. Maybe I’ve got the wrong solution. The last two words I take to be the answer!

      1. You have to think of the old English word for you, i.e. thou. ‘Thou art including’ or ‘thou includest’ could be ‘thou xxxxxx’ where xxxxxx is the last 6 letters of the answer.
        (It is difficult to give a meaningful hint for this one without revealing the answer!)

      2. I think you have it right the last two words are the definition. Gazza has explained it much better than I could have done, checking with the BRB it appears to come from the Old English thou… and as such an instruction to translate is not required. The genealogical abbreviation of the first word was new to me too but again the BRB confirms.

  2. I took a break from yesterday’s NTSPP to solve this puzzle, however it wasn’t exactly light relief! Nevertheless, it was great fun to solve, receiving many ticks along the way – 4 in each direction: 13, 20, 21 & 27 across and 2, 4, 5 and 22 down. My favourite was 4d. Some physics knowledge helped with 15a, and some cricketing knowledge with 9d! Like SJB, I was a bit puzzled by 20d, but Gazza’s comment has cleared that up.
    Thanks, Robyn, for another fine puzzle, and to SJB for his work on the hints.
    P.S. I also just bought a 12a last week, but have yet to sample it. I usually invest in a panettone around this time of year too. Fortunately it will stay fresh in its wrapper for several months as Mrs S always bakes a delicious Christmas cake which takes precedence.

  3. I can only add to the plaudits given by the first two posters….I thought this was excellent with a capital E, a masterclass in misdirection. Like John it took me a while to get going but it was worth the exercise in patience.
    In a super strong field I’ll nominate 20a plus the brilliant 5&8d for podium places.
    Thanks to Robyn and John

  4. At the difficult end…. You ain’t kidding there John. I’ve come to a grinding halt 15 answers in & they’ve been like pulling hen’s teeth but given the A team (Gazza, Sue & Stephen) have declared it magnificent I suppose I’ll have another bash tomorrow. Have thoroughly enjoyed what little I’ve managed so far – 2,3&19d all super clues.
    Thanks both

    1. A new day & with fresher eyes the remainder finished albeit with the help of a letter reveal (14d/15a checker) & some definition bung ins where the parsing escapes me. 8d & 20a my top 2.
      Thanks to Robyn & John

    2. I had several bashes at this one, fighting a really bad migraine-ish ache that has lasted several days, and finally had to yell Uncle! And Uncle John (of the Bee Clan) finally delivered me. One of the strangest things, though, is that I remembered the Danish physicist’s unit from uni physics class. Parsing remains a problem in several unhinted clues, and so I await the full disclosure from our distinguished and erudite blogger. I rather liked 20a, 23a, and 2d of those I can parse. Thanks to Robyn and SJB.

  5. I found this a veritable toughie, up til the wee small hours. So much so Sunday afternoon was lost to naps while missing most of the snooker. I think I have most of it parsed now (thanks Gazza again!)
    I have blocked out the review for a week on Weds but remain available for extra nudges if required.

    1. Voldemort and I have just exchanged some greetings–his, among other matters, wishing me a good birthday, and so I do hope that you dig deep from that barrel and draw forth some lovely liquids for lively libationing. Cheers for a great Bellowhead concert!

      1. Thanks, we will.
        I have just noticed from the JFK memorial that your 25th Birthday was the day before the events in Dallas. It must have been a strange time to be around. I was technically around but at 17 months of age hardly aware.

        1. OMG. Have I got a tale to tell about the evening of 21 November 1963 before that fateful day, 22 November. My graduate school friends, as well as English Department faculty at Florida State University, hosted a 25th birthday party for me, and it was a joyous, festive occasion as you can imagine. Little did we know what another 13 hours or so would bring!

  6. Well done on wrestling this one to the ground, SJB. I certainly had no sense – or intention – that it should be any harder than normal. It’s difficult to tell with crosswords: sometimes you think they’re quite formidable and they turn out to be kittenish; sometimes you think they’re pretty innocuous but, once unleashed, they show themselves to be savage little blighters!
    Anyway, best wishes to one and all.
    (BTW, 28 across is a full & lit. so the whole clue is the definition and, simultaneously, the wordplay.)

    1. Thanks for coming in, I wouldn’t know where to begin with assessing difficulty, it is very much (like 28a-ness) in the eye of the beholder.

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