Sunday Toughie 7 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 7

Sunday Toughie No 7 by Robyn

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on 13th March 2022

I think I parsed this but If you have another interpretation please let me know, as I am still learning here.
The Castle 15a and the Carvings 27a were on my podium, but hard not to put 8d on top of the (wood)pile.



1 One tries e.g. white flower in wet ground at first (4,6)
Someone who tries something for us, of which white is an example. An anagram of IN WET is followed by a flower named for its star-shaped head. (An actual flower not crosswordlands cryptic river)

6 Pack to put among card players (4)
TO from the clue is surrounded by (put among) S and W Opposing Bridge players (card players)

9 Frown in Hereford or Ayrshire? (5)
To furrow one’s eyebrows is also a term for the ordinary vocal sounds made by Hereford or Ayrshire livestock.

10 Pro gutted in defeat, losing ball game (5,4)
I was going to underline ball as part of the definition but I don’t think I can, as I need it for the wordplay. PRO loses its middle letter (gutted) and is inserted into a famous Napoleonic defeat of Sunday 18th June 1815. The losing ball bit allows us to remove one of the letters shaped like a ball.

12 Sacking from NHS A&E is dubious (7)
HESSIAN; Anagram (dubious) of NHS AE and IS from the clue.

13 Maybe poacher, I see, sounded alarm (5)
The kitchen utensil used for poaching eggs perhaps adds letters that sound like “I see” when sounded out.

15 Smuggle in a key for castle (7)
Smugglers used to “run”  contraband into port. A from the clue and one of the most useful keys on a keyboard, come together to produce a West Sussex castle.

Arundel Castle £1 million robbery Mary Queen of Scots rosary beads stolen | Tatler

17 Judged husband entering hard time (7)
A synonym of hard, TOUGH contains an H (husband entering) and adds a T for time.

19 Man funnily did cracks, doing this? (7)
This man is on a chessboard, (KING) he surrounds an anagram (funnily)of did, for someone cracking a joke perhaps.

21 Important reason to try another restaurant (7)
Split 2,5 this is a reason to try another restaurant, unsplit it is a synonym of important.

22 Drove from ancient city, say, around Germany (5)
URGED: Cruciverbalist’s favourite ancient Mesopotamian city (UR) and the IVR code for Germany (D) contain a reversal(around) of another crossword favourite say = eg. (EG)

24 Yellowish bed on day for fooling? (7)
a shortcode for the day on which fooling and practical jokes are tolerated, (APR 1)and a small child’s bed, (COT) give a shade that is yellowish.  In my opinion, orangeish would be just as valid. hence the question mark.

27 Faith about maestro regularly producing outstanding work (3-6)
An acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. (BELIEF)surrounds the even letters of maestro, (ASR) to give us a raised image (outstanding work) such as these from the Parthenon.

Reproduction of statue: Bas-relief from the Parthenon: ephebes and horses XIII

A bit of Beefcake as requested yesterday ;)


28 Convictions of criminal forced to lose face (5)
An anagram (criminal) of  FORCED after it loses its initial letter (lose face) for some more beliefs or convictions.

29 Female put on small jumper or top (4)
A small Australian jumper kanga(ROO) has an F for female put on for the top of buildings.

30 Propensity to pass nectarines, out to lunch (10)
Anagram (out to lunch) of nectarines.


1 & 26 Down How meat may be good for you? (4,4)
A double definition to start. Serve me meat like that at your peril. I prefer mine still mooing!

2 Rock Hudson following novel, a seeker of stories (9)
A synonym of novel (NEW) is followed by an anagram of (rock) HUDSON to get an informal term for a newspaper reporter.

Shirtless Rock Hudson | MATTHEW'S ISLAND

More Beefcake ! Not just for the Ladies apparently.

3 Doughnut right to tuck into as we see it (5)
A (2,2) phrase for our point of view (TO US)(as we see it)has an R for right inserted. In geometry, a torus is a surface of revolution generated by revolving a circle in three-dimensional space about an axis that is coplanar with the circle. Homer Simpson would recognise it better with sprinkles on.

4 Spotted philosopher cutting works (7)
According to Monty Python’s philosophers’ song the philosopher we seek was,
John Stuart Mill of his own free will,
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
added to a synonym of spotted we get the works where timber is cut.
Those of a more philosophical bent may not know Ancient British Comedy Troupes and may find the philosopher in the following clerihew by E.C. Bentley;
John Stuart Mill,
By a mighty effort of will,
Overcame his natural bonhomie
And wrote Principles of Political Economy.

5 Ditched lover Charlie put in shade is not going to erupt (7)
Your usual ditched lover (EX) and a shade or (TINT) which has C for Charlie inserted (put in) gives us a term for a long-dormant volcano that is unlikely to erupt.

7 Spine damaged bagging rugby goal (5)
A synonym of damaged (TORN) contains (bagging) the letter that looks like the Rugby Goalposts (H) (I’ve heard them called sticks, uprights, or posts but never the aitch word?)

8 Feller from Washington in court, say (10)
To court for the hand in marriage, (WOO) the initials of Washington in the District of Columbia, (DC) and a synonym of say, (UTTER) give us a feller of trees. (blogger no longer resists temptation to insert Monty Python’s Lumberjack song)

11 Harmony left to support music genre (7)
A music genre (RAP) is supported by the nautical term for left (PORT)

14 Treatment for lumbago, which was once an issue? (4,6)
An old issue of a publication is cryptically also something that could ease the pain of lumbago.

16 Shrink fleece son exchanged for daughter (7)
To fleece or swindle exchanges S for D to give a synonym of Shrink.

18 Vulgar speaker in French traps dainty negotiator (2-7)
The French for IN goes around (traps) a synonym of dainty ( E TWEE N)and follows a vulgar mouth. (GOB) (I do like the hyphenation in the enumeration it is apt)

9780140087079: The Go-Between - AbeBooks - Hartley, L. P.: 0140087079

20 Core of program less likely to work as Windows installer (7)
The core or middle letter of program and the comparative of someone who is less likely to work (LAZIER) come together to give us someone who installs glass windows, rather than Bill Gates’ lucrative operating system.

21 It brings ease in race northwards over wet ground (7)
A race or RUN is reversed (northwards in a down clue) the cricket abb. for Over and some Cambridgeshire wetland (FEN) come together to give NUROFEN a proprietary brand of IBUPROFEN that may bring ease to your lumbago perhaps.

23 Relish from buffet put on bagel? (5)
A buffet of wind perhaps (GUST) and the letter that looks like a bagel.(O)

25 They may be prickly about start of drama (5)
One of the abbreviations for about (C)irca and the first act of a play (ACT1) give us a prickly plant.

26 See 1 Down.

No reason, just top of my playlist at the moment.

5 comments on “Sunday Toughie 7

  1. Very nice review, SJB. I enjoyed this one very much. I am still mindful of all of the wisdom that the great JSMill incorporated in his Autobiography, especially his poignant narrative about facing a mental crisis at age 21 and how he managed to self-examine his malaise and lifted himself, carefully and philosophically, out of his gloom and doom. One day, a student of mine came to me and said, “John Stuart Mill changed my life. Thank you, Sir” and I said, “Wasn’t me. Was Mill!”

    1. Thanks Robert, I have had a look at the Mick Herron books and there are plenty to go at. I think I will start with resurrection as it is described in a review as;
      “I did a re-read of his Slough House related work. Reconstruction came out in 2008 and is in many ways the proto-Slough House novel.”
      He is quite prolific and I imagine I will be well occupied with bedtime reading, but JS Mill will be a subject of my occasional antiquarian book hunts.

  2. Thank you: in 25d I had ‘about’ as CA then was wondering how CTI could be ‘start of drama’ (which is surely D, anyway?!). Nice to read the explanations and re-live such a wonderful puzzle.

    On the day I spent a long time trying to force 1a into being some kind of ‘tester’ — feeling very pleased with myself for spotting the river Test as the ‘flower’.

    And in 28a I initially wondered if somebody might lose face because they had to ‘redo’ something. Tenuous, I admit, but then so are many of my first attempts at solving clues, and if I didn’t put any of them in till I was absolutely certain then my grids would be far emptier.

    1. My first thought whenever I see flower in a crossword is to think of rivers, pesky setters like to throw in a curveball occasionally. Po, Exe, Dee, Ouse and Ure all come to mind before the Asters we needed here. Nothing wrong with a bung in IMO, as you say grids would be empty up and down the land without them.

  3. Looks like you got everything bang on to me, JB. Great work again! Best wishes to one and all.

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