Sunday Toughie 6 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 6

Sunday Toughie No 6 by ProXimal

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on 6th March 2022

I am beginning to get to grips with these new toughies but I always seem to find one or two parsings a struggle. I Thank Rabbit Dave and Jane for helping out with Passing Muster in this. As I write this I have just found out that Robyn is in the chair this Sunday (last Sunday as you read this) and I wonder how I will/have be/en puzzled by Robyn.



1 Go round excavation blocked by a large stone (10)
TOURMALINE; A go-round or TOUR and excavation or MINE contain the A from the clue and an abbreviation for Large to produce a semi-precious stone.

6 Reported spend for stock (4)
EWES; A homophone of Spend as in to Spend/Use resources  is the Stock that a Shepherd/ess looks after

9 Staff celebrated after the Parisian’s left in retirement (5)
BATON; Someone celebrated or NOTABLE loses what a Parisian uses for the word The. Reversed (Left in retirement)we have a staff or BATON such as an officer may carry.

10 King taking in attendant turning a magnifying device (9)
MEGAPHONE;  A king is entitled to use the title His Majesty, abbreviated to HM, contains an attendant or PAGE, Reverse this (turning) and append to the singular ONE (a) we get MEGAPHONE- a device for magnifying sound.

12 One new item’s breaking in last minute (13)
INFINITESIMAL; The letter that looks like 1 (I) the abbreviation for new (N) a synonym of last (FINAL) are put together in that order I-N-FIN AL but an anagram of items (breaking in) is inserted to satisfy the definition of something minute or infinitesimally small.

14 Division cancel event hotel hosts (8)
ELEVENTH; A lurker (hosts) inside the middle three words, gives a small fraction or division of the whole.

15 Secured home to the west, having security code at front (6)
PINNED; A shame or DEN is reversed (to the west in an across clue) preceded by (at front) the Personal Identification Number  used to access bank details PIN,  to give a synonym of Secured

17 Ridicule extremely debatable journey (6)
DERIDE; the extreme or outer letters of DebatablE and a journey or RIDE; deride verb (deridedderiding) to laugh at ridicule or make fun of someone.

19 Taunt involving son and family scandal (8)
DISGRACE; A taunt or DIG contains S for son and a synonym of family- Race – a group of animals or plants within a species, which have characteristics distinguishing them from other members of that species. together become DISGRACE or Scandal

21 People like Oliver Twist treasure star leader of urchins (13)
RESTAURATEURS; Putting Oliver Twist in the clue is a nice bit of disguise from the setter. The definition by example we are seeking here is not Dickens’ urchin but Jamie Oliver a UK celebrity chef campaigner and occasional Restaurant owner. Twist is the anagram indicator here and the fodder for the anagram is Treasure Star and the lead letter of Urchins put that all together and you get RESTAURATEURS  the plural of what Jamie Oliver exemplifies.

24 In open, runner runs way around suburbs (9)
OUTSKIRTS; A synonym of open (OUT) a runner (SKI) a cricket run (R) and the reversal of the way or STreet (TS) Together we have OUTSKIRTS the outer parts of an urban area.

25 Zoom party’s ending sorrowful (5)
TEARY; To Zoom or TEAR about gets the last letter of partY to give a somewhat lachrymose or TEARY sorrowful person.

26 One classed as noble, heartless admiral (4)
NEON; Our most famous and celebrated admiral Lord NELSON loses the two letters at his heart to become NEON an element classified as one of the noble gases.

The noble gases (historically also the inert gases; sometimes referred to as aerogens[1]) make up a class of chemical elements with similar properties; under standard conditions, they are all odourless, colourless, monatomic gases with very low chemical reactivity. The six naturally occurring noble gases are helium (He), neon (Ne), argon (Ar), krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe), and the radioactive radon (Rn).

Oganesson (Og) is a synthetically produced highly radioactive element, variously predicted to be another noble gas, or to break the trend and be reactive, due to relativistic effects. In part due to the extremely short 0.7 ms half-life of its only known isotope, its chemistry has not yet been investigated.

27 Butler nips out to make plans (10)
BLUEPRINTS; An anagram (out to make) of the first two words.



1 Reduced pipe on a musical instrument (4)
TUBA; A pipe or Tube loses its last letter and is put (on) a from the clue to give us a large brass instrument.

2 Separate new unit constructed (7)
UNTWINE; an anagram (constructed) of new unit gives us UNTWINE – to separate tangled threads perhaps.

3 Island’s green spaces in classic novel (9,4)
MANSFIELD PARK; This island is in the Irish Sea and it keeps the plural s plus two green spaces to give us a classic novel
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, Kathryn Sutherland | Waterstones

4 Climbing alien creature put in film (8)
LAMINATE; Our usual crossword film alien  E.T.and animal (noun 1 a zool any member of the kingdom of organisms that are capable of voluntary movement) are reversed (climbing in a down clue) to give the kind of film you may use to encapsulate membership cards or Ski passes perhaps. I have a small collection of Ski passes but you don’t get them these days, just an app to stick on your phone. A pity, as some were minor works of art in their own right, hanging off your ski jacket on a plastic Marmot shaped elasticated string thing.

5 Served up the unfinished alcohol late in the day (5)
NIGHT; THe loses its E (unfinished) adds a shot of GIN and is all reversed (Served up in a down clue) and as sure as NIGHT follows day you have the solution.

7 Nursing gloomy state with head down, pale timber worker (7)
WOODMAN; MOOD with head down becomes OODM in WAN for pale – Those are the notes I made when solving this and not a lot to be added. pale is a synonym of WAN and the gloomy state is a MOOD move the head of mood down and put it in WAN and you get a timber worker.

8 Daughter gripped by plastered drunk providing support to get up (10)
STEPLADDER; an amusing mental image but an anagram (drunk) of plastered plus D for daughter provides the support you may need to get into the loft or similar household chores.

11 Being accepted like grass with damp smell by fences (7,6)
PASSING MUSTER; Struggled to parse this but RD and Jane helped, 11d, the definition is “being accepted”. A word meaning “by” (PER) is put round (“fences”) a concatenation of a short word for “like” (AS), a verb meaning to “grass” (SING), and a word for a “damp smell” (MUST) – P[AS][SING][MUST]ER;

pass muster – phrase of muster – be accepted as adequate or satisfactory.
“this manifesto would not pass muster with the voters”

13 Cut in dole with rent going crazy (10)
TENDERLOIN;  In, dole and rent are the fodder, and going crazy is the anagrind TENDERLOIN is the result and is a Cut of meat; A beef tenderloin (US English), known as an eye fillet in Australasiafilet in Francefilé mignon in Brazil, and fillet in the United Kingdom and South Africa,[1] is cut from the loin of beef.    :o   an unindicated Americanism!

16 Offence detective relays after tail’s picked up (8)
DISTASTE; States “lifts it’s tail up 3 places and goes after our usual detective inspector

18 Dish sponge blocking drain too regularly (7)
RISOTTO; A synonym of Sponge in the meaning of one who soaks up a lot of booze is SOT
sot in British English
noun. 1. a habitual or chronic drunkard. so SOT goes in the middle (blocking) the even letters of dRaIn ToO
giving a rice-based dish gently poached until it absorbs most of the liquid.

20 A waste receptacle holding most of Stan’s refuse (7)
ABSTAIN; a waste receptacle or A BIN contains most of STAn, to give us ABSTAIN a refusal to vote.

22 Two versions of sport split by area of country (5)
RURAL; abbreviations of both codes of Rugby, Rugby Union and Rugby League contain an A for area, to define that part of the country that is not urban.

23 Decorators firstly agreed colours (4)
DYES; First letter od Decorators on the affirmative agreement YES give the pigments or colours used to dye fabrics. As I write this clue Richard Osman’s House of Games is telling me that Phoenicians used to extract purple dye from snails.
Tyrian purple is a pigment made from the mucus of several species of Murex snail. Production of Tyrian purple for use as a fabric dye began as early as 1200 BCE by the Phoenicians, and was continued by the Greeks and Romans until 1453 CE, with the fall of Constantinople.