It is Mama Bee’s 86th birthday today so I may be a bit tardy in responding to comments, as we are taking her out for afternoon tea at (where else) Betty’s.
I was expecting a Zandio today but instead, we have a proXimal, maybe he wanted to give 5d an airing before he disappears into the political wilderness again. A broad stripe from top left to the bottom right came quite quickly but the other corners exercised the grey matter a bit more. Christmas rears its head a couple of times as do our near neighbours across the channel, but the city of Paris refers to the location of the mythological soldier who gave his name to the French capital.
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.
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.
Thanks to Gazza for stepping in to do the hints last week, I was busy boozing myself silly with Elgar, Dutch, Smylers, Fez and many other Big Dave and Fifteensquared alums and a great time was had by all.
It didn’t take too long to crack this last night but I am sure a skinful would have hampered me. I have hinted at half of an evenly balanced 28 clues and hope you have enough checkers to get the rest.
Sunday Toughie 40 by Robyn (Hints)
Hints and Tips by Gazza
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SJB feared that he might be rather under the weather today after the jollifications in York so I’m standing in for him with the Toughie hints. That’s no chore at all for me because Robyn is amongst my favourite setters and he’s given us a typically witty puzzle.… Continue reading
I am a bit under the weather today, proXimal gave me a good brain mangling last night and the after-effects of a COVID booster make me feel like I have been beaten up by a baseball bat all night. Today’s mystery parsing is 9a but as it is just 2/3rd checked a guess should suffice. Not sure I will have the energy or time to illustrate too many but anyway.
Here we go, Folks…
For me, the trickier end of Zandio’s spectrum but I got there eventually. I understand that some of you may have not got the correct enumeration for 1 across, on the new site it was initially (15) when it should have been (4,3,3,5) It has been corrected now and should be an easyish start and doesn’t cause you to 27a.
14 across and 16 down clues today and I have hinted half. If you require extra hints or have alternative parsings (1d and 5d in particular) I am open to help and advice if required.
I rattled off quite a lot of this last night, leaving the parsing, but it has taken several cups of coffee this morning to see the ins and outs of several. (Square Mile Red Brick espresso with tasting notes of raspberry, fudge, blueberry and chocolate today) I have hinted half of an uneven 14a 16d clues but as usual, I still have quite a few clues that are quite tricky. I will try and help with extra nudges if requested.
The top half today fairly flew off my keyboard last night but I slowed down in the south. I still finished in a fastish time for a proXimal. A surfeit of fish (2d et passim) today and even a drop of booze (3d 23d) gin and a glass of Italian sparkling wine (6d)
I have hinted half of an uneven 16a and 14d but welcome discussion about unhinted clues that may have just missed the hardness cutoff.
A not-too tricky Sunday Toughie from Zandio today. I cannot confirm whether it was harder than his Friday offering as work and Mama Bee curtailed my cruciverbalism that day.
Several cups of 16d were required to parse a couple and I hope I have got them now, please feel free to correct me if you disagree. I have hinted half of an even 14a/14d, but even so, there are quite enough hard ones unhinted. I think I have the latitude to help with a few bonuses if you want more hints, just ask away and I will try and help.