Sunday Toughie 32 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 32

Sunday Toughie No 32 by Zandio

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 4th of September 2022



1a Judge sees dope and ecstasy used by two sons (6)
ASSESS: A dope or ass, e for ecstasy and two of the abbreviations of son.

4a Beg surgeon to work to save Charlie (8)
SCROUNGE: An anagram of surgeon and the letter that Charlie indicates.

9a Bit stranded, having swapped sides (6)
OFFCUT: Stranded or CUT OFF swaps around to be a bit of wood.

10a Ordered to be quiet (8)
RESERVED: A double definition. To be quiet, shy or withdrawn is also the act of pre-booking a table at a restaurant.

12a Glass of sherry rather welcoming in church (8)
SCHOONER: A synonym of rather contains CH for church.

13a Line up, exhausted, after foxtrot (4,2)
FALL IN: A synonym of exhausted ALL IN, goes after F for foxtrot.

15a Cool until one fan breaks into song (2-2-3-6)
UP TO THE MINUTE: the letter that looks like one, a fan or nut inside a song or theme tune follow up to for until. UP TO THEM( I NUT) E.

18a Two-and-six in old money? (6,2,5)
PIECES OF EIGHT: Two and six are parts of eight. Also 2 shillings and sixpence or half a crown is a coin or piece of which eight are needed to make a pound. The old money is a Spanish gold coin often split into up to eight pieces.

20a Poles touring Texas site overlooking centre for swimmers (6)
SALMON: South and North poles around the Texas site of a battle the ALaMO after the central a is overlooked.

22a Job vacant in airport shop? (4-4)
DUTY-FREE: A job or DUTY, and being vacant or FREE, are joined by the hyphen in the enumeration to be the airport shop.

24a Eventually we’ll all come to these streets (4,4)
DEAD ENDS: Eventually, we’ll all come to shuffle off this mortal coil. These streets also have nowhere to go. RIP EIIR

25a When you could have lunch boxes cold with no delay (2,4)
AT ONCE:  A time at which lunch may be served contains (boxes) c for cold.

26a Hunt gathering stand back, showing discipline (8)
CHASTISE: To stand for Parliament allows you to SIT in the House of Commons, it is reversed (back) and goes in a synonym of hunt CHASE.

27a Recalls missing Stipe’s band — they’re burnt out (6)
EMBERS: A synonym of recalls remEMBERS, loses the band that Michael Stipe was a member of R.E.M.


1d Whip up a distribution of euros (6)
AROUSE: A from the clue and an anagram of euros, whips up a sexual frenzy perhaps.

2d Where a mole hides when ratting takes place? (4,5)
SAFE HOUSE: A mole who rats on others may need to hide for his safety. A safe house would be such a place.

3d Impulsive Harry Kane at penalty time? (4-2-3-6)
SPUR OF THE MOMENT: A singular of the abbreviated team that Harry Kane takes penalty kicks for, is an impulsive act.

5d One may need fresh ice brought over occasionally (4)
CHEF: a reversal of alternate letters of fresh ice gives us CHEF, someone who may require ice occasionally.

6d A surgeon depends on this connecting tool (9,6)
OPERATING SYSTEM: The tool that we use to connect to our computers or similar devices is a Surgeons good practice.

7d Marine overturned US city vehicle (5)
NAVAL: The abbreviation of the US city of Los Angeles LA and a vehicle or VAN are reversed to give a synonym of marine.

8d Compromise, in a word or two (8)
ENDANGER: Split 3,5 we have two words that suggest that to end anger would enable a compromise to be reached, as one word endanger it means to put at risk or compromise.    Hmm…

11d Ruin of the French city that was besieged (7)
DESTROY: How a French speaker may say of the, DES, and a city that was besieged by Ancient Greeks TROY to destroy or ruin.

14d With most of the Continent looking skywards, Verne’s voyaging proceeds (7)
REVENUE: most of the continent of Europe are members of the EU. That is reversed (looking skywards in a down clue) and follows an anagram (voyaging) of VERNE. REVENUE the proceeds of a sale.

16d Perfect tango, maybe, apart from opening statement (9)
UTTERANCE: This statement is a synonym of perfect UTTER and most of a tango or dANCE, after the opening D is omitted.

17d Occasional alcoholic, I do sip entire upended bottles (8)
EPISODIC: A synonym of occasional is a reverse lurker (indicated by upended bottles) of the rest of the clue.

19d Shows article’s disregarded parties (6)
REVELS: Shows or REVEaLS disregards the indefinite article A, for some parties or REVELS.

21d Creature lying up in stream — alligator? (5)
LLAMA: Another reverse lurker (lying up in a down clue)

23d Wilfred Owen’s words, perhaps: ‘Soldiers, every second counts’ (4)
ODES: Alternate even letters (every second counts) of soldiers, gives us ODES. Wilfred Owen was quoting Horace’s ODES in his poem Dulce et Decorum Est.

1 comment on “Sunday Toughie 32
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  1. Thanks, SJB – you have confirmed my tentative parsings of a couple of clues. The stand/sit of 26a and ‘ratting’ in 2d felt a bit awkward within an otherwise straightforward and enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks again to Zandio. My flabber is well and truly gasted at the week in and week out creativity shown by proXimal, Robyn and yourself :yes:

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