Sunday Toughie 4 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 4

Sunday Toughie No 4 by Robyn

A full review by John Bee

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This puzzle was published on 20th Feb 2022


1   Manufactured sham fur and case of Chanel No. 9 (5,4)
SCRUM HALF;  An anagram of (manufactured) SHAM FUR and the outer letters (case of) ChaneL to give the rugby player who wears the number 9.

6   Bug is what a doctor gets touring India (5)
APHID;  We have an A from the clue and the doctor is the abbreviation of a Doctor of Philosophy this surrounds (touring) the letter that the NATO phonetic code for INDIA indicates. This gives us a small sap-sucking bug.

9   Delicate and fine wife looking game (5)
WISPY;  W for wife and the game that children were encouraged to play on long car journeys come together to give us a comparative adjective (of hair, threads, smoke, etc.) fine; feathery.
“The sky was blue with a few wispy clouds”

10 Packing article, shake bag for flight (9)
STAIRCASE;  The indefinite article A goes into a synonym of shake ST(A)IR, add a synonym of bag (CASE) to give the flight you may take up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire.

11 All there is on growth stimulant plugged by guys (6,6)
COMPOS MENTIS;   The growth stimulant that you may put on roses COMPOST surrounds some guys MEN and IS from the clue gives a Latin phrase for all there mentally. Or having full control of one’s mind.

14 Say encouraging word, with sons thinking only of others (7)
EGOLESS;   Say is commonly used in crosswords to clue EG the encouraging word is Spanish  – Olé add two of the abbreviations for Sons for someone without ego and thinking only of others

16 Explorer crossing river on borders of Amazonian land (7)
ANDORRA;   A land or country can be found by taking the first and last letter (borders) of Amazonian, an animated explorer better known to a younger audience surrounds an R for river.

Noggin | Dora The Explorer

17 Fabulous being well-off? There’s nothing odd about that (3)
ELF; Remove the odd letters from w E l L o F f to leave a fabulous being.

18 The setter caught breaking into lodge — I appeal! (7)
ENTICER; the first person nominative pronoun or I and the cricket abbreviation for caught C break into a synonym of lodge ENT-I-C-ER  one who seduces or appeals

20 Length of forerunner to the Kinnock era (7)
FOOTAGE;  A predecessor of Neil Kinnock as Labour party leader  Michael FOOT and a synonym of era, AGE gives a measure of film taken.

22 Nice to travel round with long-haul trip facilitator (12)
HALLUCINOGEN; An anagram (to travel round) of NICE (with) LONG-HAUL to facilitate a drug-induced trip

26 Overworked 8, perhaps, is one in the soup (5,4)
STOCK CUBE; Bit of trouble parsing this but 8 here isn’t a reference to clue 8 but a def by example of a cube number ( 2 Cubed = 8) The best that the blog could come up with was from Linda;
I think it might work like this … The first word is a synonym for ‘overworked’ in the sense of – for example – a ready/predictable answer. The second word, as you and others have said, relates to a numerological phenomenon of which the number 8 is an example. The whole is an ingredient for soup likely to be sneered at by top chefs…

I think I am supposed to invoke the naughty step for too much off hint chatter but will let quite a bit go until I get the hang of difficult clues.

27 Sound made by wheel on the back of motor (5)
AUDIO; A particular brand of German car and the letter that looks like a wheel follows (on the back of) to give AUDIO; of or involving sound and the recording and broadcasting of sound.

28 Greatly approve outside clothing for equestrian (2,3)
NO END; To approve of would be NOD this goes outside the outer letters (clothing for) EquestriaN to give a synonym of greatly ‘There was No End to his talents’

29 Move into Apple’s domain is issue for corporation (9)
ENTERITIS; To Move into is to ENTER, The Apple Corporation’s domain is Information Technology or IT, add the IS from the clue to get a medical term for a tummy ache. Corporation here is an informal or facetious term for one’s paunch or stomach.

Because my home town has 3 Breweries, and many drinkers with beer bellies, the local term for a beer belly is “A Tadcaster Tumour”

What causes a beer belly? - BBC Future


 What farmer does for animals (4)
SOWS;  What an arable farmer does in his fields and also what a livestock farmer keeps in his Sty’s

2   Bank might have one making career (4)
RUSH; I may have missed something here but I  think the bank of a river or pond is where the (Bull) rush grows, it is also a synonym of career as in, to Rush headlong into.

3   Tory vote picked up in item for celebration (7)
MAYPOLE; A homophone of vote (POLL becomes POLE) follows a former Tory PM (MAY) to give an item for celebration used in springtime.

4   Allegorist’s revolutionary main theatre work (5)
AESOP; The main would be the sea reversed (revolutionary)  and added to what happens in an OPerating theatre for the author of Allegorical fables.

 One can raise the standard of weary workers (9)
FLAGSTAFF; To weary, tire or FLAG and the people who work for you STAFF combine to give the place to raise a flag such as the Royal Standard.

What is the Royal Standard flag?
6   Nitwit having lead around one Rottweiler’s tail (7)
AIRHEAD; To have the lead you would be AHEAD, this is around the letter that looks like 1 and the tail or last letter of RottweileR A(I R)HEAD to give a nitwit.
I was pleased that the subtle image of a BMW Airhead motorbike was spotted by Spartacus and Scientist.

7   Result of dumping soil, with husband moving rest (10)
HEARTBREAK; Soil or EARTH moves the H for husband then takes a rest or BREAK.
“This relationship is over – You’re DUMPED”💔

8   Duck and run, catching awful mess in sewer (10)
DRESSMAKER; A male duck DRAKE contains (catching) an anagram (awful) of MESS and adds R for run, to get a tailor or one who sews.

12 Captain dropping ace socks etc on new Bayern kit? (10)
LEDERHOSEN; LEaDER drops the A for ace, adds some socks, HOSE and N for new to get some traditional kit from the Bayern region of Germany.

13 Defending 5-0, stop late shot or cross sent in (6,4)
POSTAL VOTE; Take the Roman numeral 5 add the one that looks like 0, they are surrounded by (defending) an anagram (shot) of STOP and LATE. The result is a means of voting or putting a Cross on an election paper to be mailed in.

15  Reforming EU, strive to keep Germany in thrall (9)
SERVITUDE; anagram (reforming) of EU, STRIVE and the IVR code for Germany – D.  THRALL; state of being in the power of another person or thing
19  Abandoned informal names for two of the queen’s sons? (7)
CHUCKED; Charles and Edward are often abbreviated to Chuck and Ed (eg in Private Eye) together they can be an informal term for abandoned. (with 7d is Robyn trying to tell us something?)

21  Piece of music in French, song that’s not covered (4-3)
OPEN AIR; An abbreviation of OPus, and a song or AIR surround the French for in (EN) for an event at the mercy of our rather extreme weather at the moment.

23  Tango led by topless paramour in public (5)
OVERT; One’s paramour or LOVER loses the first letter (topless) and adds the letter represented by Tango in the NATO phonetic alphabet. overt adj not hidden or secret; open; public.

24  Change film screening day before 4th of April (4)
EDIT; A film popular in crossword circles E.T. goes around (screens) the abbreviation for day D and the 4th letter of Apr[I]l, to give a task that Chris Lancaster undertakes on our behalf.

25  Cast leads for The Office’s second series (4)
TOSS; The initial letters (leads for) the remaining four words.


Class Act: A millimeter-perfect BMW airhead from Sinroja | Bike EXIF


9 comments on “Sunday Toughie 4

  1. Many thanks to John Bee (you’re really getting the hang of this hinting lark) and also to Robyn.
    I thought the rush in 2d referred to a sudden strong remand on a bank (as is taking place in Russia currently to get roubles).

    1. Thanks Gazza, a better parsing than mine perhaps, maybe Robyn will pop in to explain?

  2. Thank you, John Bee, for taking the time to dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s in this review. Other than that, to paraphrase a stock (see 26a) response given in parliament, I refer you to my previous comments (i.e. in the hints and tips)!

    1. Thank you, Spartacus. I of course should have mentioned your helpful hint along with Linda’s
      stale, overworked, overused, tired, worn-out, time-worn, threadbare, wearing thin, unoriginal, cliche-ridden, cliched, stereotyped, stock, banal, trite, commonplace, common, pedestrian, uninspired, unimaginative formal platitudinous colloq. corny, run-of-the-mill, yawn-making

      1. Thanks again, John Bee. Actually, by ‘previous comments’ I was thinking more in terms of my favourite clues etc, but I was indeed quite pleased to discover that the list of synonyms for ‘hackneyed’ included both ‘overworked’ and ‘stock’ :smile:

  3. Excellent blog, JB. It looks like you’ve parsed everything perfectly to me! (Stock (adj.) = overworked = hackneyed is spot on.)

    1. Thanks for the thanks, It is always a pleasure to hear from setters. Loved to see Dora the explorer too.

  4. Thanks John Bee and Robyn. There were 3 clues in this puzzle that had me stumped. Now all becomes clear! Plus, I’ve learned two more crossword abbreviations to try and remember, namely say=eg and caught=c.

    1. Thanks, Jon say for e.g or the Latin phrase exempli gratia, meaning “for example.” and the cricket abbreviation for caught come up quite a lot and are worth remembering. I think my brain leaks a bit because as I try and remember some of the MANY abbreviations that crop up, much more escape.

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