Sunday Toughie 12 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 12

Sunday Toughie No 12 by Zandio

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on 17th April 2022

A welcome easing of difficulty this week, but problems with the blog and my WordPress ineptitude made a mess of my hints post. Gazza has given me some tips to help and I thank him for that.

The Crooked Chicken and the opportunity to reread (well listen to) Keats Ode to Autumn pleased me the most but I hope you found your own delights.





1 Manic, running wild touring America, one who’s in a band? (8)
MUSICIAN: We start with a compound anagram, MANIC, one of our usual Americans US and the letter that looks like 1 for one who plays an instrument in a band.

5    Bitter that 1 may have consumed in the Sixties (4)
ACID: Last night on the puzzles site I didn’t see that we have the number 1 rather than the I so I missed the reference to clue 1. This morning I see it and the word for bitter is also the drug of choice of many 1a of the nineteen sixties.

9    Huge blunder, with Italy and France consumed by evidence of tension (8)
TERRIFIC: An informal adjective for huge is made from a word that means to blunder, ERR the IVR codes for the countries specified I AND F they are then surrounded by the convulsive twitching of muscles in the face when tense. T-IC T-ERR-I-F-IC something hugely terrifying perhaps.


10    Lie about nothing when in charge (6)
LOUNGE: To charge about or LUNGE contains the letter that looks like nothing O to Lie about or LOUNGE.

11    Start of series: funny, occasionally amusing, it will brighten things up (8)
SUNLIGHT: The initial (start of) S eries, alternate letters of f U n N y and a synonym of amusing LIGHT will brighten things up with a bit of SUNLIGHT. I was unable to post pics and clips last Sunday when the blog was resetting it’s server and although I wasn’t going to hint this I may have given this bonus clip. Now that Gazza has shown me how to blog from Word I will be better in future. Thanks Gazza.

12    Gets taken to court and released (6)
ISSUED: Split 2,4 it is what happens when one is taken to court IS SUED, unsplit we have that which is released, flows or passes out.

14    Perfunctory repast including tea — largely pleasant (10)
MECHANICAL: The word we seek means perfunctory, it is formed by a word for tea CHA, most of a word for pleasant, NICe surrounded by a repast. ME_AL. not at all stretched synonyms here, perfunctory and mechanical are on the same page of my Chambers Thesaurus app.

18    Eight aunts drunk, most misbehaving (10)
NAUGHTIEST: An anagram of Eight aunts (drunk) for the most misbehaving child in the school.

22    Almost common to reflect on November time (6)
AUTUMN: Almost all of a common interest MUTUA(L)is reversed and put on (reflect on) N for November. AUTUMN a Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. I don’t think Keats or myself consider November to be an autumn month, it is there to provide the N

23    They contort themselves back to front, mammalian killer creatures that hang upside down (8)
ACROBATS: This seaborne mammalian killer of whales have another name ORCA, it is back to front and appended to some other mammals that hang upside down ACRO BATS people who contort themselves (including hanging upside down) for our entertainment.

24    Parking right by major road north and other directions gets approval (6)
PRAISE: Four Abbreviations and a road designations in six letters! P for parking R for Right The main road north between London and Edinburgh A1 and S E for the other directions. Together we have words of approval or PRAISE.

25    Chicken in beer? Criminal! (2,6)
AL CAPONE: A castrated chicken or CAPON is put in some beer or ALE for a well-known criminal. Not every rooster is going to sire the next generation of chickens better whip its nuts off and let it grow into a bigger tastier capon.

26    Times carrying ecstasy pills investigation (4)
TEST: Two T’s for TIMES carry more that one Ecstasy pill T(E’S)T Investigation or test a hypothesis perhaps.

27    Similar terms in New York my son’s arranged for accommodation(8)
SYNONYMS: I have been trying to avoid this word so far, as it is probably used more than many in a cryptic crossword blog. An abbreviation (that is probably another word overused by me in my blogs) for New York NY and an anagram of my son’s. Arranged and accommodation can be found on the same page in a Thesaurus, where we look for these similar terms.


2    Note to go over step 12 (6)
SPRUNG: A note you append at the bottom of a letter perhaps P.S. is reversed (go over) and attached to part of a step, also a 27a (SYNONYM) of 12a (ISSUED)

3    Conservative Republican is double trouble (6)
CRISIS: Abbreviations for Conservative and Republican and Is twice (double) give us some serious trouble.

4    Discipline in which working out with equals should get results (10)
ARITHMETIC: One of the Three R’s (Reading ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic). A nice all in one where the discipline of working out some sums using the equal sign gets you the answer.

6    Selection of things cuckoos do, winning hearts (8)
CHOOSING: Two noises that cuckoos make (COO and SING) and H for hearts make the selection of things.

7    Censure part of speech splitting Parisian from church (8)
DENOUNCE: The part of speech is NOUN it is splitting how a Parisian may say from (DE) and one of the several abbreviations for Church ( this time the C of E) DE-NOUN-CE to mean Censure.

8    It delays manoeuvres consistently (8)
STEADILY: An anagram (manoeuvres) of the first two words Consistent or steady progress towards a goal.

9    Tango has appeal as exercise (4)
TASK: The Nato code Tango provides the T and to appeal or ASK provides the rest TASK to put someone to the test.

13    A chip slyly chewed will show in body shape (10)
PHYSICALLY: Another anagram of the first three words. PHYSICALLY how something appears “in the flesh”

15    Fresh for use, not lightly beaten, apparently (8)
UNTAPPED: A prefix meaning a mere negation UN- and lightly beaten like the fingers that hit the keyboard, TAPPED
there is also a link to the preparation of maple trees to source the syrup they contain, but Senf or Falcon know more about that than me.

16    Vehicles bumper to bumper, rising temperature in dock (8)
SUBTRACT: A large passenger-carrying vehicle BUS and a smaller one drawn by a horse perhaps CART, are reversed (rising in a down clue) and followed by T for temperature, to satisfy the definition, dock.

17    That man’s written close to 100 films –they usually need a formula (8)
CHEMISTS: The nominative male pronoun HE is written close after the Roman numeral for 100 C and the red films or MISTS that descend before the eyes when enraged by recalcitrant websites perhaps. They usually make chemical compounds from formulas.

19    Served up portion of escargot at opera –people eat this? (6)
POTATO: A reverse (served up in a down clue) lurker (portion of) the next three words. People eat them.

20    Take off money earned outside of bar (6)
PARODY: A bar or ROD is surrounded by money earned (outside of) PAY
a satirical imitation so poor as to seem a deliberate mockery of the original.

21     Sounds like one’s going to land in water (4)
ISLE: A contraction of how one would say I will… I’LL sounds like a relatively small piece of land in water. ISLE