Sunday Toughie No 44 by proXimal
Review by Sloop John Bee
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This puzzle was published on the 27th November 2022
1a Deprived worker perhaps judged in hearing (6)
BEREFT: Homophone of my favourite worker insect BEE and another homophone (in hearing) of judged a football match REFFED. BEE + REFFED = BEREFT a synonym of deprived or having had something taken away.
4a Coin stuck in meter provoked anger (8)
EMBITTER: a synonym of coin BIT, goes in an anagram (provoked) of METER. To anger or EMBITTER.
A thruppenny BIT from the year of Mama Bee’s birth.
9a Silent assistance by local individuals (6)
UNSAID: How our near neighbours over the English Channel, may refer to individuals UN’s, and a synonym of assistance AID. As SC pointed out the vernacular (and therefore local) Good un’s is a better fit rather than crossing the Channel.
10a Hiding pain when husband parts (8)
STASHING: Synonym of when AS, and H for husband go in (parts) the pain of a STING.
11a River breadth striking daughter immediately (9)
FORTHWITH: A river just to the north of Edinburgh FORTH, and a synonym of breadth WI
DTH after D for daughter has been struck out, FORTHWITH or immediately.
13a Guardian article on reflecting (5)
ANGEL: The indefinite article AN and a reversal (reflecting) of the cricketty on the LEG side. becomes a guardian ANGEL.
14a Kick the bucket holding one fine and humble plant (13)
PASSION FLOWER: A slightly more respectful way of referring to death than “kick the bucket” PASS ON contains the letter that looks like one I, followed by F for fine and a synonym of humble LOWER. PASS(I)ON (F)LOWER.
17a A mineral unrefined reportedly way used to increase fitness (7,6)
ASSAULT COURSE: A from the clue and homophones (reportedly) of the mineral you season your food with SALT, and an adjective of unrefined COARSE. An ASSAULT COURSE being a route or way used to increase fitness.
21a One helping Santa arrive before time (5)
COMET: I bet you are singing the rhyme to try and remember all of Santa’s cervine helpers. To arrive or COME goes before T for time.
23a Weak slack oddball gets easy tasks (9)
CAKEWALKS: These easy tasks are an anagram of the first two words of the clue.
24a Funny taking in odd sound from instrument (4,4)
DRUM ROLL: Something funny or DROLL takes in something odd or RUM.
25a Exchanging tips with muscular diver (6)
DIPPER: Someone who is very fit and has well-defined muscles may be described as RIPPED, swap the first and last letters (exchanging tips) for a much more attractive water bird.
26a Ruins of French settlements vacated outside city of Paris (8)
DESTROYS: The French for of DE, what remains of S
ettlement S after the contents are vacated, go around the city that the mythological Paris defended TROY. DE[S(TROY)S] or ruins.
27a Business of mature couple’s opening in New York (6)
AGENCY: To mature over time AGE, and the opening or initial letter of Couple in New York. AGE(N[C]Y)
1d Experts capturing fifty frauds (6)
BLUFFS: Experts or BUFFS captures the Roman numeral fifty L. BLUFFS to fraudulently deceive by concealment of weakness.
2d The man’s novel with such rewrites might make Christmas present (9)
RESCRIPTS: A trademark proXimal extraction anagram, remove the first two words from the last two and rewrite the remaining letters. A rare definition that is not at one of the ends of the clue. C(H)RIST(MAS) PRES(ENT).
3d Rows around lake and escapes (7)
FLIGHTS: Rows or FIGHTS around L for lake gives us FLIGHTS or escapes.
5d Man who presented half hour following dull politician (4,7)
MATT HANCOCK: A synonym of dull MATT and the surname of a comedian who presented his show in half-hour segments Tony HANCOCK ‘s Half Hour.
6d Set up home close to Boris? Unlikely (7)
INSTALL: A synonym of at home IN, the closing letter of BoriS and an unlikely or TALL story to INSTALL or set up.
7d Thinking not fluid matter (5)
THING: Remove the fluid you write with INK from THinkING and what remains is a THING or matter.
8d Soldiers overturned senior with a gun (8)
REGULARS: A reversal of SR for senior and A LUGER, gives us REGULARS Soldiers of the regular army.
12d Stupidly, inspector of ear advanced inside sick Yankee (11)
IDIOTICALLY: Start with a synonym of sick ILL, add Y for Yankee, insert an abbreviated Detective Inspector DI, an adjective of or relating to the ear OTIC and A for advanced. Sort that little lot out and you have a synonym of stupidly.
15d Revolutionary act getting you nowhere? (5,4)
WHEEL SPIN: An all in one, the act of revolving the circular parts at the corner of cars so fast that forward motion doesn’t happen.
16d Assassin with half-hearted deed that’s dropped (8)
CASCADED: A drop of water is the assassin who struck the first blow against Julius Caesar (Publius Servilius CASCA Longus), and deed after one of the middle e’s has been removed.
18d One speaking is plain about upset (7)
UTTERER: To my UTTER amazement it is plain to see that the adjective UTTER contains a reversal of one of our usual abouts RE, to become he who makes an utterance.
19d Flier penned by band’s writer (7)
ROWLING: This flier is an OWL it is penned by a band or RING to give us the writer J.K. ROWLING.
20d Prose about unknown winged beast (6)
OSPREY: An anagram (about) of PROSE around an unknown Y, gives us an OSPREY A winged fish-eating bird of prey. Is about both an anagram indicator and a containment indicator and is that allowed? I guess so…
22d Told places where Americans buy mangles (5)
MAULS: A homophone (told) of the places where Americans shop MALLS.