Sunday Toughie 125 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 125 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 125

by Robyn


Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee


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Robyn brings us one of his thematically linked puzzles today, solving 27a is the key to this and once I had decided if the Fed’s were singular or plural the rest flowed smoothly (as the top actor is singular and 4d refers to another singular Frenchman I went with that) but as we no longer get confirmation of correct submissions from the new site I can’t be 100% sure that I am right. The recent Zandio SEATS/SEAMS debate would suggest that the data miners (DanWord and Wordplays) are not invincible so I am going with my gut

14a and 14d clues today and I have hinted half, if any clues you are struggling with are not included I will try and nudge you in the right direction

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


8a                   Heavy reading material, as far as I’m concerned (4)
A double definition, split 2,2 a phrase for as far as I’m concerned as 4 becomes a heavy book

10a                One may have dates and honey during breaks in match (8)
An obscure (as far as I’m concerned)™ term for honey and in from the clue breaks into a sporting match

How To Create A History Timeline In Your Homeschool - Happy Homeschool Nest

12a                Near houses I’m going to attack kids’ parent (5,4)
This “Gruff” parent from near or next to houses a contraction of what I intend to do  and 2 little words that mean to attack
Black and White: My Billy Goats Gruff

15a                Catty figure going after some stars (7)
A constellation that supposedly looks like a cat, followed by a figure between eight and ten

Leo constellation: Facts, location, and stars of the lion | Space

22a                British like to install quartz, say, in churches (9)
The mineral that quartz is made from is installed in an abbreviation of British and a synonym of like

26a                Return a bit of one’s make-up with speed (8)
A part of one’s make-up or DNA and a speed make a return on an investment

27a                Evidence Fed’s been shot for top actor (that all other across answers have here) (7,3)
The metal that bullets are usually made from would be found in a federal agent when shot (and a clue to what all the other across answers have in common)



1d                  One’s phone rings in rally (8)
To rally the troops perhaps, from the letter that looks like one (and its ‘s) in your cellular phone

3d                  Demanding dispatched packages somewhere in Herts (9)
To have despatched around (packages) a market town in Hertfordshire
About the shop – Tring shoe repairs & Car keys

5d                  Leave out wings taken off jet and glider (5)
To suppress or abridge a syllable when the winging letters are removed from the jet and the glider, Yorkshire speakers have done this to the definite article so that little remains but a glottal stop, I tried to find a clip of Jeremy Clarkson referring to the band known as “The The” but will settle for the band themselves

6d                  General, one meeting officer in Indian city (8)
A Roman general from the letter that looks like one and an abbreviated army officer in an Indian city

Gnaeus Julius Agricola - Roman Britain

16d                Twelve bagels eaten by disheartened nun failing diet (8)
Bagels are the score you may get if you are particularly bad at tennis, they go in a heartless nun and are followed by an anagram (failing) of diet

18d                Demand from one visiting old part of London (8)
Old or former and a suburb of London containing the letter that looks like one

19d                Inexperienced revolutionary eager for army training (3,4)
A synonym of inexperienced is reversed and followed by someone who is keen or eager

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.
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Robyn has hidden 13 top actors at the top of the across clues but as it is unlucky to mention the thirteen people at The Last Supper and I am unable to hint all the clues in a prize puzzle I will play this

I’m the thirteenth at the table
I’m the uninvited guest
I’m the Banquo at your banquet
I’m the cuckoo in your nest…

I will try and find suitable images of the thirteen for the review a week on Wednesday

That’s All Folks…

12 comments on “Sunday Toughie 125 (Hints)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Another enjoyable Sunday Toughie which I found tricker than Robyn’s previous Sunday outings. My favourite has to be 27a as I thought the evidence Fed’s been shot was brilliant

    Many thanks to Robyn and SJB

    1. I was hoping my recently acquired Bradford’s would help but once I twigged what was happening it went quite smoothly without needing it

  2. How brilliant is this. Many thanks to Robyn and SJB.
    It hadn’t occurred to me that the 13 are all actors – I just assumed that they were all just men’s names.
    Ticks from me for 8a, 10a, 12a, 26a and 19d with my favourite being 27a.

    1. Well we will see if I can find actors for all 13, 11a seemed tricky until I remembered that the boy in Kes prefers to be known by that name, to distinguish himself from the actor with the same name who played the caretaker in the Harry Potter film

  3. I thought this was great. Thanks Robyn. And I agree with John’s gut that 27a has to be singular.
    The sun has finally put its hat on today in t’North so we are firing up the barbecue prior to being disappointed by England tonight….


  4. There were a couple of occasions when I was grateful for the help our setter had offered but equally there were a few times when I forgot that the ‘down’ answers didn’t fall into the same category and I was dreaming up non-existent 27a’s! Like CS, the Fed amused me and I also ticked the kids’ parent.

    Thanks to Robyn for the Sunday challenge and to SJB for the hints. It will be interesting to see which 27a’s you choose to depict in the review!

  5. Thanks, Robyn, I thoroughly enjoyed this. I picked up on the ‘theme’ from 4d, plus a few across answers I had already filled in, yet it still took me a while before I finally figured out 27a! 27a subsequently tops my list of favourites, with 9a, 2d and 16d getting runners-up spots for their adroit surface readings.
    There are quite a few ‘top actors’ that come readily to mind, with others being not so obvious, so I will look forward to seeing SJB’s definitive and illustrated list in due course!

    1. I think Robyn is the man for a definitive list, but you will have to wait until a week on Wednesday for my stab at it

  6. This was a splendid puzzle. Although two relatively brief visits on Sunday proved almost fruitless and had me wondering whether Elgar had an alter-ego, returning to it at 6am today proved it to be a very different creature and much more accessible. Ironically 27a was one of the last clues I solved and even then meant nothing until coming here and reading the blog. Fortunately it was one of those themes that pleases those who like themes, but is otherwise not an obstacle to a completed grid. I did love “Evidence Fed” though – absolutely brilliant, even if the clue leaves open the singular/plural question. I went for the singular, so fingers are crossed!

    Many thanks to Robyn & SJB

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