Sunday Toughie 13 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 13

Sunday Toughie No 13 by proXimal

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on 24th April 2022

I loved the boaty insect, struggled with the clipped bird and put 21a on the top of a podium with 13d and 27a. Which did you like?


1a    Royals half-cut after cocktail somewhere in the Caribbean (10)
MARTINIQUE: Half of several female monarchs, QUE(ENS) goes after a cocktail or MARTINI + QUE for somewhere in the Caribbean.

6a    Decorated kitchen at regular intervals with diamonds (4)
ICED: Regular intervals of k I t C h E n plus D for diamonds gives us ICED as a decorated cake may be.

9a    Revolutionary and Parisian saying rubbish (5)
WASTE: The way a Parisian may say “and” ET and a saying, proverb or SAW are reversed (revolutionary) for some rubbish or WASTE.

10a    Out-of-date netting in ship retaining appearance (9)
STAINLESS: Food that is out of date and past its best may be STALE. It contains (netting) IN (STA IN LE) and adds the two letters that Steam Ships add as a suffix SS (STA IN LE SS)
it is usually assumed that S.S. stands for steam-ships, but it is a bit more specific in referring to the mode and transfer of power that the boat uses. Paddle steamers use steam engines but use them to drive paddles on the side and they have the suffix P.S. The S.S. suffix is for steam-powered ships that drive a screw and is more correctly a Screw Steamer.

12a    Coming across fashionable and well-informed with no backtracking (9,4)
HAPPENING UPON: A fashionable event may be described as “HAPPENING” and if you are well informed about a subject you may be “UP” on it. Follow this with a reversal of NO (backtracking) for HAPPENING UPON a chance coming across.

14a    Quietly replacing youth’s mat showing dirtiness (8)
IMPURITY: Youth or IMmatURITY replaces mat with the musical notation for quietly P (IM-P-URITY) an impure or unclean thing.

15a    Figure in school that’s repugnant (6)
STENCH: A number or figure (in this case TEN) goes inside an abbreviation of SCHool for a repugnant smell.

17a    Detailed Grecian bust is comparatively tight-lipped (6)
CAGIER: GRECIAn loses its tail letter (detailed) and is anagrammed (bust) for the comparative of being tight-lipped or CAGY.

19a    Clothing delivery increased with no resistance (4-4)
BALL-GOWN: A quite specific item of clothing is created from the cricketty name for one of the six deliveries in an over, BALL and a synonym of increased (GrOWN) without the R for resistance.

21a    Winger using craft to block a feeble shot (4-6,3)
LEAF-CUTTER BEE: I am obliged and delighted to love this clue. The craft is a small speedy sailing vessel similar to a SLOOP, CUTTER it goes inside (to block) an anagram of FEEBLE (shot) for a nice winged insect that can be seen in my avatar (for the time being, until W Hamond’ of Whitby fulfil the commission for the Jet and Yellow gold cufflinks, that I have had my eye on.)

24a    Left single day after joining a team (9)
ABANDONED: A from the clue, a team or BAND are followed by the word for a single in cricket ONE and and abbreviation D for day (A-BAND-ONE-D) or left behind.

25a    Bird with wings clipped bit mad (5)
IRATE: I spent ages thinking about the Ravens at the Tower of London (whose wings are clipped to keep them close to the tower as if they are lost or fly away the Crown will fall and Britain with it) and even longer about the Pirate Long John Silver and his parrot Captain Flint. However it is just the word bIRd that has its wings clipped added to a synonym of bit a piece of food IR+ATE.

26a    Term ‘erase’ good in rubber business (4)
YEAR: This rubber business has been producing tyres in Akron Ohio since 1898 they took their name from the American inventor of vulcanized rubber, Charles Goodyear, if we erase Good we are left with the term of 365.25 days or a YEAR.

27a    Wet and untidy tatty clothing left on furniture (10)
BEDRAGGLED: Tatty or RAGGED surrounds (clothing) L for left and follows (on) the piece of furniture we sleep in.
BEDRAGGLED adj. Very wet and untidy.


1d    Heard cross cry (4)
MEWL: This feeble cry sounds like (heard) MULE, the crossbreeding of a male donkey and a female horse.

2d    Pronounced lines in fruit (7)
ROSEHIP: This fruit sounds like (pronounced) a synonym of lines (ROWS becomes ROSE) and a happening term for in or with it. (HIP)

3d    Green bananas in recipe, need about ten (13)
INEXPERIENCED: An anagram (bananas) of words 3, 4, and 5, (IN RECIPE NEED) but wait that is only twelve letters you say, put those twelve letters about the Roman numeral for ten (X) and you have enough to define the first word.

4d    Studies of 21 types of creature found outside Portugal (8)
INSPECTS: The class of creatures that 21a is an example of (INSECTS) surrounds the IVR code for Portugal, (P) to study closely.

5d    Elevated religious leader with upper-class taste (5)
UMAMI: The religious leader of a Mosque (IMAM) and U for upper-class are reversed (elevated in a down clue) for a savoury, satisfying taste, like that of monosodium glutamate.

7d    Fleece reduced with pound discount (7)
CHEAPEN: To fleece or CHEAt loses its last letter (reduced) and a pound to keep livestock in (PEN) CHEAPEN To beat down the price of, to bargain or get a discount.

8d    Turn off song after end is corrupted (10)
DISENCHANT: An anagram of END IS (corrupted) followed by a song (CHANT) may turn off some people.

11d    Going out late near end of tournament with beating (13)
NIGHTCLUBBING: a synonym of near, (NIGH) the last letter of tournament, (T) and a type of beating from a heavy object. (CLUBBING) The kind of going out late that becomes less exciting in advancing years, I would sooner stay in with a cup of cocoa and a good book.

13d    Collection of texts from male is on phone in US area, New York (10)
MISCELLANY: This collection of writings (texts) is constructed from (M) for male, (IS) from the clue, how someone from the US area refers to his mobile phone (CELL) and the two letters that New York suggests. (NY)

16d    Plant very close climbing concrete shelters (8)
LAVENDER: Something concrete or REAL is reversed (climbing in a down clue) and surrounds (shelters) V for very and a synonym of close END (LA-V-END-ER)

18d    Old man briefly going round a European city (7)
GRANADA: One’s grandfather or grandad is abbreviated (briefly) to GRANDA put this around the A from the clue and we have a Spanish city known for the Alhambra

20d    One used for dirty work with nothing excluded (7)
OVERALL: A double definition a one-piece protective work garment for dirty work, and an adjective for including everything.

22d    Colour prevalent in German houses (5)
TINGE: A lurker (houses) in the middle three words. TINGE, to tint or colour.

23d    Put right pieces on top of dresser (4)
MEND: the pieces on a chessboard (MEN) put on the initial letter (top of) Dresser. MEND – to repair or put right.