Sunday Toughie 2 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 2

Sunday Toughie No 2 by Robyn

A full review by John Bee

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This puzzle was published on 6th Feb 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty Enjoyment

John Bee’s review was sent to a now-defunct email address – here it is, replacing my earlier effort.  BD

This is the second of a new series of Sunday Toughies. Unlike other Toughie crosswords this is a Prize puzzle. I found this a little trickier than proXimal’s No.1 but I am a poor judge of difficulty but still enjoyed the tussle. I will leave the rating for others to assess.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Spiritual virtue nearly developed in battle of wits (7,7)
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: an anagram (developed) of SPIRITUAL and (nearly all of) VIRTU(E) give a board game popular since the early eighties

9a After a time, Job’s no fan of God (7)
ATHEIST: a job as may be carried out by a criminal HEIST follows A from the clue and T for time

10a Reportedly line dancing in white (3,4)
CUE BALL: a homophone of the line you may wait in, QUEUE becomes CUE followed by a style of dancing BALL

11a African dwelling by capital of Uganda (4)
HUTU: a small dwelling or HUT with the capital letter U of Uganda gives an African people. The Bantu-speaking people of Rwanda and Burundi

12a Out to lunch, I chat men up stress-free (10)
UNEMPHATIC: an anagram (Out to lunch) of the following four words. Meaning without stress

14a Attending hotel, cheat gets beating (6)
ATHROB: a 2-letter abbreviation of ATtending plus H for hotel goes before a synonym of cheat or steal ROB to give the sensation of a beating pulse when a hammer hits a thumb perhaps

15a Republican saving the planet, really getting better (8)
RECOVERY: R for republican, a contraction of ecology ECO, for those trying to save the planet and a synonym of really, VERY to make the process of getting better from COVID perhaps or recovering from the effects of the highland clearances

17a Fail to catch binding agreement for errors in game (8)
MISDEALS: a failure to catch MISS contains (binding) a business agreement or DEAL. MIS[DEAL]S an error in a card game

18a Leaving southern Frenchman heading west (6)
EGRESS: S for southern and a reasonably common French name SERGE Gainsbourg for example are reversed (heading west) to give a word for leaving

21a Liberal failing to get a grip? (4-6)
OPEN HANDED: the act of giving generously, freely, or liberally is also how one’s hand may be if you failed to get a grip on something

22a Maybe Victorian PM comes from Caernarvonshire (4)
ARVO: as Tilsit said in the hints, you don’t need to go hunting for a Victorian Prime Minister. The name for what P.ost M.eridian stands for in a certain country, of which Victoria is a state, is hidden in the word CaernARVOnshire

24a Fleece jacket for Luke, following small breeze (7)
SWINDLE: S for small followed by a breeze or WIND and add the jacket or outer letters of LukE to give a synonym of fleece The answer is the first verb listed in my online BRB

25a People wearing sister’s apparel perhaps (7)
INHABIT: to people or populate a place is also, when split 2,5 how one may describe the attire of a sister who had taken holy orders.

26a Rotten contract keeps hospital boss executing order (3,4,3,4)
OFF WITH HER HEAD: a synonym of rotten, as in bad food (OFF) and a synonym of shrink, shrivel or wilt WITHER contains (keeps) H for hospital and another word for boss HEAD. Put them together for the order that may have been given by Henry VIII about two of his many wives


1d Skill about cladding long gas pipe (7)
TRACHEA: a skill or ART is reversed(about) and placed around (cladding) a synonym of long – TR[ACHE]A

2d Somewhat extravagant man with novel refrain in song (1,4,3,7)
I SHOT THE SHERIFF: I bunged an answer in here long before I fully parsed it but Tilsit captured it nicely in his hint – A suffix meaning somewhat, –ISH an abbreviation for extravagant, OTT a short word for him, HE a famous novel (by H Rider Haggard) SHE and the word for a catchy refrain RIFF when put side-by-side in order and split according to the enumeration, give a famous song of the 1970’s.

3d Finish off European flag (4)
IRIS: Take the last letter (finish off) the European people just to the west of the UK, IRISH gives us the alternative name of the Yellow Flag.

4d Close to goal area, can a Mexican miss? (6)
LATINA: take the last letters of goaL and areA (close to) add a synonym of can and the a from the clue to give a woman of Latin American descent or Mexican miss? perhaps

5d Posh officer married teacher in need of a groom (8)
UNCOMBED: put together abbreviations for posh (U) a non commissioned officer (NCO) and the type of degree a teacher may have (B Ed) these should be married together to give someone in need of a groom.

6d Possibly ‘sheer’ ought to render this? (3,7)
SEE THROUGH: an anagram of ‘sheer ought’ gives SEE THROUGH and a ‘sheer’ fabric is possibly see through.

7d Cryptically, this suggests I haven’t a ruler (4,3,8)
IVAN THE TERRIBLE: I haven’t here is the anagram fodder of the first two words of the answer but cryptically it is ‘terrible’ put them together for a ruler of eastern Europe.

8d Daring case of pinchpenny pocketing fortune (6)
PLUCKY: the outer letters (case of) P-inchpenn-Y pocket a synonym of fortune LUCK to define someone who is daring.

13d Herald of king captured by enemy on trail (10)
FORESHADOW: The Latin abbreviation for king R goes inside something meaning enemy FOE. Add a word meaning to trail. SHADOW.

16d Having least taste, obtain cream clothes (8)
BLANDEST: I made a bit of a meal of this, I was thinking that cream clothes might indicate your Sunday best, but on reflection I think cream alone is the synonym for BEST this then ‘clothes’ goes around another synonym of obtain such as land fish.

Reminds me of the “Going for an English” sketch by Goodness Gracious Me – “Be careful of that Cod Mornay it is really really bland.”

17d American punching wet leftie (6)
MAOIST: The abbreviation for American goes inside something meaning wet to give a type of left winger whose ideals were espoused by Mao Zedong

19d Loudly called Slough housing unfashionable (7)
SHOUTED: the capitalisation of slough is deceptive one of the definitions of slough is to shed (e.g. a dead skin) put that around (housing) a synonym of unfashionable.

20d Peak of path to enlightenment? It gets hard (6)
ZENITH: The Buddhist path to enlightenment takes it from the clue and the pencil derived abbreviation for Hard give us another word for Peak.

I have enjoyed writing this review and hope to have another go and maybe even one day have a go at the hints.

6 comments on “Sunday Toughie 2

  1. Thanks for posting . I don’t think I got it right and as for last Sundays ,it defeated me lets say.

    1. These new toughies are a steep learning curve – but keep at it and all will become easier with time ( I hope)

    1. Thanks, Gazza It really helps my crossword skills to look at the parsings and justify bung ins for another audience, even though the reviews are a bit “after the Lord Mayor’s Show”

  2. Thanks for the comprehensive review. I feel I’ve ascended up the learning curve a little more now!

    1. Thanks for the nice comment. As to the learning curve, You and me both, I have learned lots about clue construction etc. by having a go at reviewing.

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