Sunday Toughie 16 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 16

Sunday Toughie No 16 by Zandio

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 15th of May 2022


1a    Winter event in sierra — promptly take a tumble (8)
SNOWFALL:    According to his weather reports Senf sees quite a lot of this winter event. A Nato phonetic code S for sierra, when something should be done in order to be prompt NOW, and a tumble FALL come together.

5a    Writer needs line after US VP cut one (6)
PENCIL:        A former US VP  PENCe cuts his last letter and adds the one that looks like one I and the one that looks like a line L.

8a    Deposit with investment returns already (2,2,2)
AS IT IS:        You can save tax free with an Individual Savings Account or ISA. And when you deposit your bum on a chair you SIT. Reverse (returns) them and you have a saying for already. 1 : in the present condition : the way it is Leave everything exactly/just as it is. 2 : with the situation that exists now We have enough to do as it is without your latest orders!

9a    Turkey’s peak linked to, say, Persian area tunnel (8)
CATACOMB:    A Persian pet animal CAT, an abbreviation for area A, and the thing that turkeys have on their peaks COMB, come together for a tunnel where the remains of the dead are kept.

10a    Figure to get hack’s sound support, first to last (8)
EIGHTEEN:    This hack is an animal we ride for pleasure, we want the sound it makes NEIGH, and the support that a golfer uses TEE, put them together and move the first letter to the last.

11a    Pop that sounds less accessible for driving to? (6)
FATHER:    If something was less accessible it may be farther away, we want a homophone of farther that sounds like your Pop. pop3 nouninformalespecially N Amer 1 father; dad. 2 often as a form of address: an elderly man.

12a    Dignitary giving service in times past? On the contrary (8)
MAYORESS:    A religious service in times past would be the wrong way of constructing this, on the contrary, we want an obsolete or poetic term for times past YORE in a religious service MASS.

13a    Hear of record number seeing solo tango (6)
LISTEN:        We have a record or LIST and a number TEN. If we only have one T for tango we have LIS-TEN or hear

15a    Regret consuming Double Diamonds with Romeo — one’s usually in stern control (6)
RUDDER:    To regret or RUE contains two D for diamond followed by R for Romeo. RUDDER the thing at the stern of a boat that controls the direction.

18a    Clash, second-rate outfit playing Liverpool for instance (8)
MISMATCH:    This is a clash of style, size, or even football talent when Liverpool meets second-rate opposition.

20a    Representation of Monet getting born and put in grave (6)
ENTOMB:    An anagram of Monet and B for born. entomb verb (entombedentombing1 to put (a body) in a tomb. 2 to cover, bury or hide someone or something as if in a tomb.

21a    Worked backwards, 101 to 100 … after retiring, it could put you to sleep (8)
NARCOTIC:    The Roman numerals for 101 CI , “TO” from the clue, 100, C and a synonym of worked RAN are all reversed and put together in the order suggested for something that makes you sleep. NAR C OT IC narcotic noun 1 a drug causing numbness and drowsiness

23a    Green duck trapped by local copper (8)
INNOCENT:    A local hostelry or INN, the letter that a duck suggests O, and a small copper coin CENT create INNOCENT. Green is  colloq said of a person: young, inexperienced or easily fooled.

24a    Repeatedly secure personal ornament (6)
TIEPIN:        Two means of securing an item TIE and PIN become a personal ornament used to secure a tie.

25a    While cutting old rocker’s quiff may appear thus (6)
GREASY:    An all in one &lit here. Old rocker’s were often known as Greasers for the habit of using a lot of Brylcreme on their quiffs. As such when having their hair cut it may appear rather GREASY. As Gazza pointed out AS goes in GREY for the Greasy quiff. Thanks Gazza

26a    Drill making that woman’s revolutionary listening aids echo (8)
REHEARSE:    That woman HER is reversed REH, followed by things that help you listen EARS and the phonetic code that echo represents E.


1d    London area vehicle’s piercing alarm (5)
SCARE:        The point of the compass where the London area lies SE, are pierced by a vehicle CAR. To alarm or scare you.

2d    Slogan about husband and wife drawn in toward breaking up (9)
WATCHWORD:    Usual crossword abbreviations for about C, husband H, and wife W, go in an anagram (breaking up) of toward.

3d    Bleak before following street paved with gold (7)
AUSTERE:    Start with the periodic table symbol for Gold AU, add the abbreviation for Street ST, following with a poetic before ERE. AUSTERE severely simple plain or bleak

4d    Old Scottish character with a lot of neck, unreliably sighted (4,4,7)
LOCH NESS MONSTER:    He is Scottish, has a long neck and sighting him is unreliable if not impossible, but that doesn’t stop shopkeepers in Drumnadrochit from selling all sorts of tat to gullible tourists.

5d    ‘Hop it,’ I fulminated, putting in ‘sorry!’ (7)
PITIFUL: A somewhat apologetic lurker spread over the first four words of the clue.

6d    Do some decorating work — note time to go and time to stay (7)
CROCHET:    A musical note ( that contains two tees), the first of which is removed but the second one can stay, a decorative handicraft.

7d    Warren seen in bar, thinly disguised (9)
LABYRINTH:     A thinly disguised anagram of BAR THINLY.     warren noun 1 an underground labyrinth of interconnecting rabbit burrows.

12d    Plugs damage beer barrel with metal inside (9)
MARKETING:    Synonyms for damage MAR, a beer barrel KEG, the barrel has a silvery metal TIN inside, for the kind of advertising tricks that persuade gullible children to part with parents cash for tartan tat in the shape of 4d

14d    Really a popular time for regular broadcast (4,5)
SOAP OPERA:    Synonym of really SO, Abbreviation of popular POP, and a geological time period ERA, come together for a regular broadcast that some people are unaccountably attached to.

16d    Attendees not as drunk as closer relations (7)
DÉTENTE:    Attendees lose the letters A and S (and add an acute accent) for a French term for the closer relations between countries)

17d    Rip-off getting uniform for nothing — it’s liable to be bent (7)
RUBBERY:    A synonym of Rip-off, in the sense of theft from the person, swaps the letter represented by uniform for the one that looks like nothing.

19d    Caught twice holding grass, all imported by mum in score (7)
SCRATCH:    Two examples of the letter that represents a catch in cricket scoring C_C contains a grass that may tell on someone RAT, all contained in the noise made when you want someone to keep mum SH. S C_RAT_CH a mark scratch verb (scratchesscratchedscratching1 to draw a sharp or pointed object across (a surface), causing damage or making marks. score noun 1 a total number of points gained or achieved eg in a game. 2 an act of gaining or achieving a point, etc. 3 a scratch or shallow cut, especially one made as a tally.

22d    One rides wave on a current, rising (5)
CANOE:        This is a lurker indicated by One rides and it is a reverse lurker indicated by rising (in a down clue) hidden in wavE ON A Current. Which doesn’t leave much for the definition so I suspect this is a reverse lurker all in one with at least the first 6 words being the definition.

That’s All Folks see you again on Sunday.

3 comments on “Sunday Toughie 16

  1. Thanks to SJP for the full review and thanks again to Zandio for the puzzle.

    There is some wordplay in 25a: AS (while) goes inside (cutting) GREY (old) with the definition being just the last five words.

    1. Thanks Gazza. By the end of the puzzle, I was feeling a bit burned out and missed that. I have amended the post.

  2. Nice timing, SJB, as I finally got around to solving this puzzle last night. I’ve now caught up with my Sunday Toughie backlog! Thank you for providing the nuts and bolts of the construction – fortunately Zandio’s compilation fits together more snugly than your 18a illustration :smile:
    I noted down 6 favourites – although I can sometimes overlook a good clue when solving late in the evening – 9a, 13a, 1d, 12d, 19d and, top of my picks, 21a.
    Many thanks to Zandio and SJB.

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