Sunday Toughie 20 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 20

Sunday Toughie No 20 by proXimal

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 12th of June 2022

This was a tricky little devil that took me a lot longer to solve than the previous proXimal I blogged for the holidaying Deep Threat (Two days earlier #30,010). It is impressive how the other SJB (Steven J Bartlett) can pitch his puzzles with just the right level of difficulty between his back page and toughie puzzles. I believe I get one more go in DT’s blogging chair on the 1st of July, I wonder who I will get then.


7a Write account with one engulfed by many approvals (14)
AUTHORISATIONS:   To write or AUTHOR, an Individual Savings Account or ISA and the letter that looks like 1 inside a synonym of many TONS. AUTHORISATIONS the approvals that may be required.

9a Split parts of Minehead’s oriental fare (3,7)
EGG NOODLES:         Split Mine – Head’s into two parts, A mine or similar bomb can be referred to as an egg, and a colloquial expression for Head’s would be Noodles, reunited they become the oriental fare.

11a Promise goatherd keeps (4)
OATH:       A lurker (indicated by keeps) and our definition would be promise, the word meaning promise is found in gOATHerd.

12a Uncovered both wine and lodging here (3)
INN:         Remove (uncovered) the outer letters of wINe and aNd and we have an INN or place of lodging.

13a Presenting teacher afraid of forgetting article (10)
PROFFERING:     I am presenting this as the solution to this clue. A university teacher or PROF and a synonym of afraid of, FEARING, loses (forgetting) the indefinite article A

16a Wheel crossing line causes obstruction (4)
CLOG:     A toothed wheel or COG crosses an L for line to define an obstruction in a pipe or drain.

17a Vengeance by a revolutionary infiltrating group (7)
PAYBACK: BY A is reversed (revolutionary) and infiltrated into a group or PACK of hounds perhaps. PAYBACK the act of taking vengeance for a wrong.

18a Sportsperson‘s healthiest around, scrubbing his bats (7)
ATHLETE:    A subtraction anagram, HIS is removed from HEALTHIEST. We have two anagram indicators (bats) as HIS is not removed whole but hither and thither, and another anagrind (around) as what remains EALTHET requires anagrinding to become the sportsman.

20a This writer had regularly discarded clues not working (4)
IDLE:     How this writer may be is a contraction of I Would or I Had. I’D then takes the even letters of (regularly discarded) cLuEs. IDLE, unemployed or not working.

21a Throb with marks being tender once (5,5)
POUND NOTES:     The throb in your temples when faced by a devious crossword clue (POUND) and the marks you may make (NOTES) on a grid to remind you of how you parsed a particular clue, used to be legal tender once until they were replaced by a coin in 1988.

23a Competition buzzer (3)
BEE:     A nice little double definition I am obliged to like. The competition to remember the spelling of words is also a small buzzing insect I am eponymously drawn too.

24a Better ring family man (4)
CAPO:     To exceed outdo or CAP and the letter shaped like a ring become CAPO the head of a mafia family.

25a Saving wine depleted after editor’s abandoned working (10)
REDEMPTION:     A type of wine RED and a synonym of depleted, EMPTI(ED) after the editor has been abandoned and a synonym of working ON. The act of redeeming, atoning or saving from sins perhaps

28a Repaired a cut lip, covering wound with one of medicinal preparations (14)
PHARMACEUTICAL:      These medicinal preparations come from. A synonym of an injury or wound, HARM and the card that has one “pip” ACE. They are surrounded by an anagram (repaired) of A CUT LIP. Only one anagrind as HARM and ACE are unaltered.



1d Nettle with grains male put in party dish (7,3,4)
BANGERS AND MASH:     A party or B__ASH, contains (put in)  a synonym of Nettle as in ANGER, the grains you may find on a beach, SAND and M for Male

2d Weapon traps set up (4)
STEN:     Traps or NETS is reversed (set up) Giving us STEN a small lightweight submachine-gun named after Shepherd and Turpin, the designers and, Royal ENfield, The gun factory where such guns were produced.

3d Half of capital raised for one (4)
SOLO:     The Norwegian Capital OSLO has the first half reversed (raised in a down clue) to become SOLO an experience for one.

4d Domestic gathering is large, but not here (7)
MISLAID:     A domestic help or MAID contains IS from the clue and the letter that Large represents, to become something that is not to be found here or MISLAID.

5d Straight-faced comic with vanishing act amazingly visionary (3-7)
FAR SIGHTED:     We remove ACT from STRAIGHT FACED what remains is anagrammatized (comic) to become a FAR SIGHTED visionary. Amazingly is a second anagrind as ACT doesn’t come out whole from the fodder.

6d Chamber below leg in car for drink (10)
LIMONCELLO:     A car or LIM_O contains that part of a cricket pitch that is ON the leg side and a chamber or CELL. LIMONCELLO a citrus-flavoured liqueur drink.

8d Under no circumstances con everyone (3,3,3,5)
NOT FOR THE WORLD:     Con here is a contraction of contra meaning Against. if you are against something you would be NOT FOR, Everyone gives us THE WORLD. NOT FOR THE WORLD is in my Electronic BRB as a phrase that means Not for any reward, not under any circumstances.

10d Unavailable aged fable in which adept disappears (3)
OFF:     If you are OF an age and added what remains of Fable after the synonym of adept (ABLE) has disappeared you would be unavailable or OFF

14d Fabrication engineers picked up drilled building material (10)
FIBREBOARD:     A fabrication, lie or FIB, an abbreviation for Royal Engineers, RE and a homonym of drilled or BORED becomes FIBREBOARD a building material made from reconstituted wood fibres.

15d English lark above duck in low flight path (6,4)
ESCAPE ROAD:     E for English, a lark or CAPER, the letter that a duck in cricket suggests O and a synonym of low SAD. These are assembled with the E for English first, then the synonym of low S_AD that contains the CAPER and the O for duck. ESCAPE ROAD A short track or path, leading off a road on a steep hill, sharp bend, etc, for vehicles going out of control or in a headlong flight perhaps.

19d Cows just engaged in advances (7)
SUBDUES:     Advances of wages perhaps would be SUBS, and if you were just engaged to arrive you may be DUE. Put DUE inside SUBS and you have SUBDUESCOW a transitive verb To subdue the spirit of.

22d Quickly go when your number’s up? (3)
NIP:     A Personal Identification Number or PIN is reversed (up in a down clue) to become NIP. To quickly go or NIP out to the shops for a Loaf of bread and a pint of milk perhaps.

26d Some time scratching in silence (4)
MUTE:     Take some sixty seconds, or a MinUTE and scratch the IN. MUTE an adjective defined as silent.

27d Credit that’s given when one’s right (4)
TICK:     A nice little &lit. The credit that you may be given if your homework is correct.

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