Sunday Toughie No 31 by Robyn
Review by Sloop John Bee
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This puzzle was published on the 28th of August 2022
1a Dropped off where sleepers are grabbing a rest at last (6)
ABATED: The place where you go to sleep A BED contains A from the clue and the last letter of resT.
5a Player‘s reluctant air, running with ball (8)
LOTHARIO: Reluctant or LOTH an anagram (running)of AIR and the letter that looks like a ball.
9a A record store engaging even heartless staff (10)
ALPENSTOCK: A from the clue and LP (a long playing record) to store to STOCK contain (engaging) EN the letters that remain when even is heartless. Alpenstock a staff or stick to aid walkers in Alpine conditions.
10a Cases coming from Odessa, short hops here (4)
OAST: The casing letters of OdessA and ShorT give OAST a place where hops are stored.
11a Reporter’s function and job, one giving direction (8)
SIGNPOST: A homophone (reporter’s) of the mathematical function SINE gives us SIGN, a job or POST SIGNPOST one giving directions.
12a Online provocateurs run into charges (6)
TROLLS: Charges or TOLLS contains R for run.
13a Try writing about industrial problem (4)
SMOG: To try or GO and an abbreviation of some writing or Manuscript becomes MS, reverses we get SMOG a problem caused by industry.
15a Indisposed by borders of east sector of Amazon? (1-7)
E-TAILING: The bordering letters of EasT and a synonym of indisposed AILING become E-TAILING the sector in which the AMAZON company do business.
18a Keen to eat mashed suet, eating nothing French (8)
ESURIENT: An anagram (mashed) of SUET around (eating) the French for nothing RIEN, ESURIENT an adjective for hungry or keen to eat.
19a E.g. King Edward hasn’t time for company for a ride (4)
UBER: A King Edward potato is a TUBER, lose the T for time and we have UBER the taxi company that provide a ride if required.
21a Blow is hard, punching face (6)
MISHAP: A somewhat uncommon synonym of face MAP contains IS from the clue and H for hard to be a Blow or MISHAP.
23a Base rogue or devil? (4-4).
EVIL-DOER: An all-in-one – The mathematical base of natural logarithms is E and anagram (rogue) of OR DEVIL
25a Rake in pot picked up (4)
EARN: The money you Rake in or EARN is a homophone of a pot or URN,
26a Journalist cross about current work left unfinished (5,5)
EDWIN DROOD: Our usual journalist ED, a current of air WIND, and a ROOD cross combine to become Edwin Drood. The mystery of Edwin Drood being the final work of Charles Dickens, left unfinished at the time of his death.
27a Place to process crude soldiers with quality kit (8)
REFINERY: Some quality clothing or kit FINERY, follows the abbreviation for a soldier who is a Royal Engineer.
28a Deliver note facing judge (6)
REDEEM: A note of the tonic sol-fa scale RE, is followed by a synonym of judge.
2d Very cold, not cold, or hot food (5)
BALTI: A synonym of very cold or BALTIc weather loses the c for cold to become the hot spicy food BALTI, named for the dish it is served in.
3d Child, rather cutesy, to swim across the Channel (9)
TWEENAGER: Rather cutesy or TWEE, followed by NAGER, being how they say swim across the channel in France.
4d Spades seized by warehouse chief who’s disliked (6)
DESPOT: A warehouse or DEPOT contains S for Spades for a dislikable DESPOT.
5d Ignore cryptic clue for ‘keep’? (4,3,5,3)
LOOK THE OTHER WAY: A cryptic way of looking at keep could be peek. In order to do that you have to LOOK at keep THE OTHER WAY.
6d Comment accompanying hit band (4,4)
TAKE THAT: A comment that may be made when you hit someone, is also a musical band led by Gary Barlow.
7d Face of Gucci decked in silver rings galore (1,4)
A GOGO: Two of the letters that look like rings, around the initial (face of) Gucci. All preceded by the chemical symbol for silver – A GOGO An informal synonym of Galore.
8d Part of shoe, regularly knocked, shows freshness (9)
INSOLENCE: The part of the shoe is INSOLE, and the even letters of kNoCkEd show a certain freshness or INSOLENCE.
14d White animal in frame from Magritte or Munch (9)
MASTICATE: A white wine ASTI, an animal CAT, inside the the framing letters of MagrittE. Giving us MASTICATE a synonym of munch or chew.
16d Boy touring south of Spain cleaned up (9)
LAUNDERED: A boy or LAD, around UNDER for south and E being the IVR code for Spain.
17d E.g. corner of hardened pastry case as discarded (3,5)
SET PIECE: Hardened or SET, and a pastry or PIE, plus the letters from CasE after as is discarded. SET PIECE is a dead ball situation in various ball sports and E.g. corner is our definition by example.
20d Daughter leaves meal after end of Christmas Eve? (6)
SINNER: D for daughter leaves dINNER and replaces it with the last letter (end of) ChristmaS, giving us SINNER and Eve is one of the original sinners.
22d Whence we get guru in hotel, and what’s next mostly (5)
HINDI: I couldn’t parse this at the time and “conveniently” left it un-hinted. As I write this the parsing came to me. H for hotel, then the next letter in the alphabet after H is I the NATO radio code word for I is INDIa. Most of which follows the H for HINDI the language from whence we get guru.
24d Flipping English, as I see it, ham it up (5)
EMOTE: E for English and as I see it TO ME. All reversed (flipping) to give us EMOTE to show exaggerated emotion or ham it up.