Sunday Toughie 27 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 27

Sunday Toughie No 27 by Robyn

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 31st of July 2022

I thought I had detected a Space/ Sci-Fi theme, A space probe, a flying saucer, Buck Rogers, along with our usual crossword alien ET were some of the theme. I also thought of  The Mote in God’s Eye a science fiction novel by American writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, that and the twitter meme that the 31st of July was the most likely birthdate of George Jetson fooled me into declaring the theme but Robyn has said otherwise and his word is enough for me. I must have wasted too much time reading Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov et al when I should have been better engaged reading the set texts. C’est la Vie.


1a Pioneer maybe in walk wearing special clothing (5,5)
SPACE PROBE: An abbreviation of special SP, contains a brisk walk or PACE and is followed by some clothing or ROBE. Pioneer was an early space probe launched in 1972 and is the second most distant man made object.

6a I forgot to mention, by the way, I want attention! (4)
PSST: this audible call for attention is made from an extra added to a letter after the main text has been finished PS for post scriptum by one of the various ways we travel along a street gives us ST.

9a Head secures university finance to make recovery (6,4)
BOUNCE BACK: Your head or BONCE contains U for university and some financial BACKing. To bounce back and make a recovery.

10a Rule Conservative ignored before long (4)
ANON: A law or rule especially in ecclesiastical matters, loses C for Conservative. ANON Coming soon or before long.

12a Eating peas loudly, drink round in Syrian location (6)
ALEPPO: Some drink or ALE a round letter Oaround two letters you hear when you say peas out loud.

13a Focused on Congress, game Republican stops inept bungling (8)
PRURIENT: A real laugh-out-loud moment when the penny dropped on this one. start with a game of Rugby Union and R for Republican. They go in an anagram of inept to become PRURIENT or someone overly focussed on sexual congress!

15a Dishonest insolence in case of fraudster showing fabulous craft (6,6)
FLYING SAUCER: Some insolence or SAUCE, and some dishonesty or LYING go in the case letters of FraudsteR. Giving us a Flying saucer, the fabled spacecraft of Sci-Fi and Ufologists.

18a Awkward exclamation about her gown, with it off (12)
CRINGEWORTHY: An exclamation or CRY goes round an anagram (off) of HER GOWN and IT.

21a Aid to follow extremely cultural, discriminating type (8)
CLASSIST: To aid or ASSIST follows the extreme letters of CulturaL. A CLASSIST, a person motivated or influenced by classism, or discrimination on the grounds of social class.

22a Glum screening film providing diversion (6)
DETOUR: Our usual screen Extra Terrestrial alien goes in a synonym of dull.

24a Very impressive image found online? (4)
EPIC: An image or PIC has the prefix attached to many things to indicate its online nature E-mail E-banking e-commerce etc, to be Epically impressive.

25a One fills Spanish outfit with fur that can be attained (10)
REALISABLE: The letter that looks like one goes between the Spanish footballing outfit REAL (Madrid) and the fur of the Marten, SABLE.

26a The writer grasping scripture a little bit (4)
MOTE: How the writer mar refer to himself ME contains the Old Testament or OT to be a little bit or speck of dust MOTE.

27a Like e.g. pretty ugly, nondescript coats tailor’s beginning (10)
ANTONYMOUS: Nondescript or anonymous contains (coats) the first letter of Tailor. ANTONYMOUS a word opposite in meaning to another like the example given pretty ugly.


1d Zigzag by vehicle heading north in US rail system (6)
SUBWAY: A synonym of zigzag, as applied to ship, aircraft ( or moon landers) YAW, and a type of vehicle BUS are both reversed (heading north in a down clue) SUBWAY is the US name for the mainly underground rail system in major metropolises the world over.

2d Arresting copper is the last word in shrewdness (6)
ACUMEN: The last word of a Prayer AMEN contains (arresting) the chemical symbol for copper Cu. ACUMEN shrewdness or quickness of perception.

3d Key defender, one bound to provide entertainment (12)
ESCAPOLOGIST: The computer key Esc (top left on this laptop but not exclusively there) and a defender by argument APOLOGIST combine to give us an ESCAPOLOGIST who entertains us by freeing himself from chains, locks etc for our entertainment.

4d Guys in a cage? (4)
RIBS: To Guy or tease is also the cage of bones that protect our lungs.

5d Intrepid hero agreed to enter Aylesbury area (4,6)
BUCK ROGERS: The radio codeword of agreement ROGER goes in the abbreviated county that Aylesbury is in BUCKS. Buck Rogers the intrepid hero of Sci Fi stories for some time. Buck Rogers is a science fiction adventure hero and comic strip created by Philip Francis Nowlan first appearing in daily US newspapers on January 7, 1929.

7d Awareness after losing heart in life, perhaps (8)
SENTENCE: Awareness or SENTIENCE loses the I at its heart to be a SENTENCE of imprisonment for life perhaps.

8d Medicine can treat stifling temperature (8)
TINCTURE: To treat or CURE contains (stifling) T for temperature, this goes after another word for can.

11d With large pants and bras and yet she’ll need to change (12)
BREATHLESSLY: An anagram (need to change) of BRAS YET and SHE’LL.

14d Papers plugging top spy film from Chicago? (10)
MIDWESTERN: James Bond’s boss M is our top spy. ID is our papers, and WESTERN is our film genre. Someone from Chicago is MIDWESTERN.

16d There’s nothing odd in kitchen getting best food (3,5)
ICE CREAM: Just the even letters of k I t C h E n and the best or CREAM give us ICE CREAM to eat.

17d One with second mate advanced through vast fog (8)
BIGAMIST: A for advanced is between a synonym of vast BIG and a fog or MIST, BIGAMIST a person who has committed the crime of having two wives or husbands at once.

19d Repeatedly jeer blunder (6)
BOOBOO: Two wrong don’t make a right but two jeers or Boos make a blunder BOOBOO.

20d Party food (6)
GREENS: A political party share the colour of food that children sometimes refuse to eat.

23d Characters in goal touching region of pitch (4)
ALTO: A lurker, pitch here being the range of a male singing voice.