Sloop John Bee – Big Dave's Crossword Blog

Sunday Toughie 120 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 120

by Zandio

Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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Zandio has brought us a Sunday Toughie that I found a little bit easier than his backpager last Friday, but then I was pressed for time and didn’t really concentrate on what I was doing so your experience with this may differ

I found quite a lot of political references in today’s puzzle but not sure if there are enough to call a theme. Especially as my slightly political place in Parliament in 19a appears to actually be a mining deposit (see comment #1 below). Ho-Hum no doubt the first of many mistakes I will make without the 100% assurance from the old site

We have an evenly balanced 14a and 14d clues today and I have hinted just under half, allowing me a bit of leeway with a bonus hint if required

Here we go…

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Sunday Toughie 119 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 119

by Robyn


Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee


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Phew That was a proper Toughie. Fortunately, the delay in getting the new site to upload didn’t happen and I managed to start this shortly after midnight. I managed to fill the grid by about 01:30 and after a first stab at parsing I slipped off to the land of nod just before an antipodean email sympathised with my plight (thanks to the 2K’s I hope to hear your views when you wake)
The new site no longer confirms a correct gridfill so I may have answers different to yours, I cannot hint as many as I would like so If you disagree with any of my hints or want to discuss alternative answers I will be lenient with the red pencil of doom today
The change of website and the difficulty level appear to be an attempt to reduce the number of correct entries, so maybe the Mythical™(Steve Cowling) is a little more likely

Quite a lot of Greeks today of varying levels of obscurity and after a conversation with my wine merchant on Friday I recall that today is Greek Orthodox Easter (Thanks Christos) Maybe Robyn is also celebrating Easter by the Julian Calendar

We have 14a and 14d clues today and I will try to keep the hints down to half

Here we go…

Continue reading “Sunday Toughie 119 (Hints)”

Sunday Toughie 118 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 118

by proXimal


Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee

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This would appear to be the last time I get to use the “old” site and I think I will struggle to do without some of the beneficial features. I didn’t need to reveal any letters last night, but I checked a few bung-ins with the submit now feature. I am sure, when both those features disappear, I will make some mistakes and we will have to work together to get the right answers.

We also lose the list of Toughie Setters and that means it is back to waiting for the actual puzzle before I can prepare a blog. I hope to be able update the app soon after midnight to see the puzzle, but it always appears later than I would like. I forsee a steep learning curve! In this case, I didn’t need to know that it was a proXimal as he has as good as signed this with an opening Spoonerism and a smattering of eXtraction anagrams

We have an even 14a and 14d clues today and I will hint half, I hope you find the checkers to help with those clues that don’t make the cut, but remain on hand with a bonus if I can

Here we go, Folks…

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A date for your diary…

25th January 2025

The Blog will be celebrating its sixteenth birthday next January 28th 2025. With help from the Guardians of the Blog (Cryptic Sue, MrK, Gazza and Prolixic)as well as John and Jane “Elgar” I am reviving the Big Dave Birthday Bash and want to bring it to the attention of as many of you as possible.

If you would like to see what we have got up to in the past have a look at the gallery here

The nearest Saturday to the actual date is 25th January 2025 and I have spoken (well emailed) the venue we have used in the past, The Bridge House in Little Venice, and they are happy to reserve us an area in their recently renovated pub as in previous years.… Continue reading

Sunday Toughie 117 (Hints)

Sunday Toughie No 117

by Robyn


Hints and Tips by Sloop John Bee


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Robyn is at the slightly easier end of his spectrum today, and I am thankful for that as I have been preparing another post that you will want to see, watch this space…

A quite unbalanced 13 across clues and 16 down clues today, and I have hinted just under half. I hope you get the checkers to solve the rest of this puzzle, but I have a bit of leeway to give a bonus hint if required

Here we go…

Continue reading “Sunday Toughie 117 (Hints)”