Sunday Toughie 124 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 124 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 124

by proXimal


Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Many thanks for the birthday wishes yesterday, we had a lovely meal at a 12a curry house

Prashad named Yorkshire restaurant top pick in Hairy Biker's new show
recommended by the Hairy Bikers and the absence of meat was not missed by the carnivores although my sleep was somewhat disturbed by inner rumblings and this quite testing offering from proXimal
A generous 32 clues today and I have hinted at the half I found most tricky, As I have breakfasted on Mama Bee’s leftover curry I will be on hand with some Rennies™ and extra nudges if required

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 return with the full review blog just after the closing date. 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 escaped scrap warning of danger (3,4)
To have escaped and a scrap of fabric are treated by the Reverend Spooner

The Railway Children 1970 | Obscure Train Movies

5a              Bloke supposing that revolutionary cold and evil (7)
The gender of a bloke, a conditional for supposing that is reversed (revolutionary) and an abbreviation of cold, an adjective for producing evil
Maleficent - Wikipedia

9a              Generic article of French striped clothing ultimate in menswear (9)
A French indefinite article and a synonym of the striped or hooped clothing synonymous with French Onion Johnnys around the ultimate letter of menswear
Tears of Laughter with our Onion Johnny French Costume | Karnival Costume Blog

13a           Played backing Queen as decided beforehand (9)
To have played on stage perhaps but reverse the regnal cipher of our late Queen. To have determined beforehand

18a           Dull hearing step class not on (9)
A homophone of the step you may use to get over a dry-stone wall and a scholarly class without on
Best walks on the Pennine Way -

23a           Sub‘s sign of hesitancy after pass back (5)
An alpine pass is reversed and goes before a hesitant interjection to be the substitute you may see if your GP is too busy to see patients

26a           Game with such realism recreated Guatemala City (9)
proXimal™ extraction time, this synonym of realism can be found in an anagram of Guatemala City when GAME has been extracted

28a           Sink key in hole and door’s opening (7)
A computer key (top-left on this laptop) in an animal’s hole and finally the opening of door


1d             Herd topped land ahead (5,2)
The land under our feet is “topped” and goes before an adverb for further ahead

5d             Home and dry after swimming, leaving behind hard current (6-3)
After swimming is an anagram indicator, and home and dry is the fodder, but I hear you say that home and dry is 10 letters not (6,3) so leave behind your hard pencil and you will find the current period

7d             Simple housing is erected with mass reproduction (9)
A synonym of simple housing a reversal (erected) of is and the abbreviation of mass

8d             Knowing about eastern end of lair containing factory (7)
An adjective for knowing (that also means good or nice in northern parts) goes about E for eastern and the end of lair for a factory to prepare and preserve goods
John Steinbeck Monument in Monterey, California | Via

14d           Help this gang struggling to get rogue elephant (9)
Another proXimal™ extraction, the gang can be found in an anagram, when help is removed from the rogue elephant
The Far Side | Far side comics, Far side cartoons, Cartoons elephants

17d           Accidents and risk exposed by hospital shown in charts (7)
Cartographers charts contain the central letters of risk (exposed) and the abbreviation of hospital

19d           Small tick observed after removing lead holding a dog (7)
An abbreviation of small, a short tick or period, a synonym of observed without its leading letter, and don’t forget to include a from the clue for a breed of dog (Not the one reversed in the next clue)

WeRateDogs | Today we are recognizing dogs whose souls are trapped in wood. We do not know how they got in there, but we imagine zoomies were involved.... | Instagram

24d     Retired Cockney player discussed England footballer (5)
A homophone of the surname of an England footballer sounds like the surname of a Cockney player who has announced he has retired from making films
BBC Radio Ulster - Sean Coyle, Did Michael Caine play a character in a film called Harry Kane?

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.

A nudge by 27a sent me to listen to this album last night and I liked it a lot

That’s All Folks!

9 comments on “Sunday Toughie 124 (Hints)
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  1. proXimal is being relatively gentle with us today (although he’s provided a double dose of his trademark compound anagrams). Thanks to him and SJB.
    I thought the definition of 8d was the last two words of the clue.
    The clues which I liked best were 20a, 6d, 16d and 22d.

  2. Relatively gentle, I agree, but also a very enjoyable puzzle – just as we always get from our Sunday setters. The only thing to hold me up was a quick dictionary check on my answer to 5a, as it was not a word I was familiar with. More than enough clues were ticked from which to award podium places in each direction – 13, 16 & 25 across and 14, 16 & 17 down.
    My thanks to proXimal and to SJB; especially if SJB is also kind enough to explain the 8d illustration!

    1. As Gazza correctly pointed out 8d is defined by the last two words (For some reason the transposition from Word to WordPress buggered the formatting) the pic for 8d is the Steinbeck memorial in Monterey where his famous book “Container Factory” Row was set
      You almost got Bruce Springsteen doing The Ghost of Tom Joad from another Steinbeck story, but that is a different novel

  3. Yet again, it was those wretched subtractive anagrams that caught me out and I needed a nudge from our blogger to set me back on the right track. My other issue was not being able to see beyond St Stephen’s Day in 27a. All eventually came good which is something of a wonder given the identity of our setter.
    Ticks given to some of the ‘easier’ clues – 4,6,17&22d.

    Thanks to proXimal for the small miracle and to SJB for the hints and nudges – I reckon I’ve dated a few rogue elephants in my past life!

    1. Ha ha, I hope they didn’t froth too much! I can see why St Stephen came to mind now but I have a variant spelling of the other one as one of my middle names

  4. I found this quite Tough and very satisfying, but while I could see that there were two compound anagrams, had difficulty identifying the definitions, being hidden in the middle of the clues.

    Many thanks to Proximal and SJB

  5. Many thanks for the redefinition of tick. Being prone to be bitten by all manner of insects I was stuck in tick life cycles when trying to parse 19d. I am also still not habituated to the compound anagrams with mid clue definitions. Appreciation to Proximal and SJB.

    1. There are so many ways for setters to clue time periods from fractions of seconds right up to the geological eon or epoch,
      I feel for your tick aversion, I was once bitten by horse flies on an ascent of Ben Lomond they raised 6d the size of eggs that itched for days

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