Sunday Toughie 28 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 28

Sunday Toughie No 28 by Zandio

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 7th of August 2022



1a One’s pencilled in as reserve to go by second vessel (10)
SKETCHBOOK: Reserve or BOOK follows S for second and a type of sailing vessel KETCH.

6a A buzz about Scandinavian record (4)
SAGA: Buzz is in the BRB as a verb to talk excitedly, A synonym of which would be to GAS. Take A from the clue add GAS and reverse the lot (about) for a record of Scandinavian adventurers SAGA. According to the BRB again a SAGA is A prose narrative of the deeds of Icelandic or Norwegian heroes in the old literature of Iceland.

9a Relation seen in sordid article ostracised (5)
UNCLE: sordid or UNCLEan loses the indefinite article AN to become an avuncular relative. Usually one of your parent’s male siblings.

10a Opposed to party faction’s twisted solutions (9)
ANTIDOTES: Opposed to or ANTI, one of crosswordlands usual parties DO, and the reverse of a faction or SET becomes ANTIDOTES the solution to a poison.

12a Pine props put down by old man, wiggly things (5-4-4)
DADDY-LONG-LEGS: one’s old man or DADDY is followed by a synonym of pine for LONG and the props that keep your bum off the floor LEGS. A.K.A. a crane fly but DADDY-LONG-LEGS is so much more descriptive.

14a They cover river when sunrise breaks across it (8)
INSURERS: An anagram of sunrise and R for river, for those that cover our losses as long as the premium is paid!

15a Out of a black tower (6)
ABLOOM: A from the clue, B for Black and to tower or LOOM over gives us ABLOOM or what happens to flowers when they are out.

17a Speed brought in by city’s divine females (6)
NYMPHS: Speed or MPH follows the city of New York- don’t forget the ‘S NYMPHS are the divine females we seek.

19a Rotten row EMI timidly rejected, partly being out of date (4-4)
TIME-WORN: A reverse lurker in the first four words of the clue ( indicated by rejected partly ). The last four words being the definition.

21a When prices jump or vault, it’s said makers will be twitchy and tense (7,6)
SELLERS MARKET: A homophone (it’s said) of a vault or cellar becomes SELLER, followed by an anagram (twitchy) of MAKERS and add a T for tense. A SELLERS MARKET – When vendors get the upper hand on pricing decisions.

24a Goat fruitcake? It could be edible (9)
BUTTERNUT: What goats do to get your attention and a slightly crazy fruitcake. BUTTERNUT A variety of Squash that may be eaten (but not by me)

25a A crew from the East also called (5)
ALIAS: A from the clue and a reversal (from the east in an across clue) of to crew a sailing vessel.

26a Cross-beam in medical facility (1-3)
X-RAY: The letter that looks like a cross X and a beam or RAY is the medical facility that allows the examination of internal parts.

27a The old retiring teacher sadly consuming cold dish (3-7)
EYE-CATCHER: This dishy or attractive person is a reversal (retiring) of the old term for the, YE becomes EY, followed by an anagram (sadly) of TEACHER that has consumed another C for cold.


1d Heard cracks when cycling and turned round (4)
SPUN: Cracks or PUNS cycles the last letter to the beginning to be SPUN or turned around.

2d Keeps secret chapter and verse to undermine opponents (7)
ENCODES: Start with two Bridge opponents (East and North) EN, C for chapter and some verse or ODES. ENCODES some secrets.

3d Revolutionary sadder about eating the same English food (7,6)
CHEDDAR CHEESE: Two copies of our usual revolutionary (revolutionary and the same) contain an anagram of SADDER and E for English.

4d Marine plant — reptile with three feet swallowing tons (8)
BOATYARD: The plant where Marine going vessels are made is a reptile or BOA (constrictor perhaps) T for tons and followed by three feet or a YARD.

5d Published work showing eclipse (5)
OUTDO: An article published is OUT and to work or DO becomes OUTDO to surpass or eclipse one’s achievements.

7d Botched data read upside down, oddly lacking style (3,4)
ART DECO: Reverse the first three words of the clue (upside down in a down clue) then remove the odd letters to get ART DECO is an early 20th-century style of decorative art.

8d Evaluation of idiots on street collecting team (10)
ASSESSMENT: Some idiots or ASSES go on ST for Street that contains a (male) team or MEN.

11d Maybe setter’s tight after time off — it’s a mess (4,9)
DOGS BREAKFAST: The setter here is not Zandio but a breed of DOG ( don’t forget the ‘S) add some time off or BREAK and make sure something is tight or FAST. A friends dog would not start the day without a couple of slices of buttered toast, and she was a fastidious eater to whom the mess that Dog’s Breakfast suggests would not apply. My own childhood dog was a Labrador and he ate like a pig! and made a dogs breakfast of EVERY meal he ate.

13d Sense head will go on strike — there’s much swearing here (7,3)
WITNESS BOX: Your senses or WITS (lose the possessive ess) a headland or NESS, and to BOX or strike. WITNESS BOX A place where you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

16d Jumbo seen in show with an act that’s often repeated (8)
GIGANTIC: A show or GIG, AN from the clue and a repetitive act or TIC gives us the Jumbo sized GIGANTIC.

18d Troops crossing strait — I limped over (7)
MILITIA: Troops is the definition, crossing — over is the indicator that tells us to look for a reverse lurker in the rest.

20d East German with megabucks — this one has some neck (7)
OSTRICH: How a German says east OST and some who has a lot of money RICH. OSTRICH – a bird with a long neck.

22d Fine to sound like Bono? (5)
SUNNY: Not the lead singer of U2. Fine or SUNNY weather sounds like Sonny Bono the one-time husband and singing partner of CHER.

23d Leader’s talent’s giving second half priority (4)
TSAR: Talents or ARTS allows the second half TS have priority over the first half AR  to be the TSAR or leader of the Russian Empire.