Sunday Toughie 55 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 55 (Review)

Sunday Toughie No 55 by Robyn

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 12th of February 2023



1a Pay fine, also needing to return coppers (4,3,4)
FOOT THE BILL: An abbreviation seen on particularly fine pencils F, a reversal (needing to return) of an also TOO  become OOT, and an informal term for the Metropolitan Police THE BILL, as used in the title of the longest-running UK police procedural show

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10a English newspaper’s online reading material (5)
EMAIL: E for English and the shortened name for an English newspaper The Daily Mail, combine to be the online reading material EMAIL

Bar’s pair of cups one put back? (9)

BRASSERIE: A woman’s undergarment with a pair of cups BRASSIERE, puts the letter that looks like 1 back down the order to be BRASSERIE, simple restaurant’s or bar’s that serve food

Son with the awful drinking trouble gets drop of the hard stuff (9)

HAILSTONE: Anagrams of SON and THE around a synonym of trouble AIL, HAILSTONE the precipitation that drops from the sky of frozen and hard water

Giant hailstones kill toddler and injure 30
Clever clogs cutting single class (5)
GENUS: A clever clogs or GENIUS cuts the single 1 to give us a GENUS or classification of lifeforms

Record musical covers to express sorrow (6)

REPENT: The musical based on Puccini’s La Boheme RENT, around a record slightly longer than a single EP or extended play

Middle Easterner once in Suriname, travelling (8)

SUMERIAN: Just an anagram (travelling) of Suriname for someone from a former middle eastern region that was one of the earliest known civilizations in Mesopotamia

Partridge, say, in dens, excited in mating periods (8)
ENDGAMES: Partridge is a definition by example (say) of a GAME bird it goes in an anagram (excited) of DENS for the period of a chess game where mating is most likely

Official backs king in charge — is it irony? (6)
FERRIC: A reversal (backs) of a sporting official REF becomes FER, followed by abbreviations for King or R(EX) and in charge or IC. FERRIC an adjective for compounds that are predominately iron

Muslim maybe in Quebec caught in fresh air current (5)
IRAQI: The physics symbol for electric current I, the letter that Quebec denotes in the Nato code alphabet goes in an anagram (fresh) of AIR, to be an IRAQI a native of the mainly Muslim country of Iraq

The Spanish cheese left by Mike is very basic (9)

ELEMENTAL: I think that most of us leapt for Manchego, but the cheese we seek is Swiss and holey EMMENTAL, one of the holes has swallowed up one M for mike, and follows how a Spaniard would say the definite article EL, something so basic it may appear on the periodic table or EL EMENTAL

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Local banks are almost right for account (9)
NARRATIVE: A local or NATIVE banks around almost all of ARe and R for right to be a NARRATIVE or account

Droning noise made by personnel in corporation (5)
THRUM: Personnel/Human Resources abbreviated to HR goes in an informal corporation, belly or TUM

Crook boasts about detective’s case, maybe a murder (6,5)

HOODED CROWS: A slang term for a violent crook HOOD and a synonym of boasts CROWS around the case letters of D etectiv E. A particular Corvid whose collective noun is a murder of crows


Arab turning up very shortly (5)

OMANI: Our third middle-easterner today a 2,1,2 phrase for something that will happen very shortly, IN A MO, is reversed (turning up in a down clue)

Betrays family pair involved in famous archery feat? (5,2)
TELLS ON: William TELL and his SON were involved in a famous archery feat where Father shot an apple on the head of his SON, split according to the enumeration it becomes TELLS ON a synonym of betrays

Socialise in mostly sweet hotel to the north (6)

HOBNOB: Most of a French sweet BONBON and H for hotel is reversed (to the north in a down clue)
The dark chocolate-covered version is the biscuit of choice in my biscuit barrel when socialising 

Battered starter of bass fully consumed (6,2)
BEATEN UP: To have fully consumed or EATEN UP follows the starting letter B of BASS

Way to eat dip — item served in trattoria? (7)
LASAGNE:  A country way or LANE around (to eat) a dip or SAG. LASAGNE a traditional Italian foodstuff often served in trattoria

Goal that lady ignores? Flipping hell! (6,7)

NETHER REGIONS: The goal that footballers are aiming for NET, a female possessive HER, and an anagram (flipping) of ignores become the NETHER REGIONS, another name for the underworld or hell

Borderline impudence I heard at intervals (8)
FRONTIER: Impudence or FRONT and alternate letters (at intervals) of I hEaRd, a borderline or FRONTIER

Holds section of newspaper for capital feature (7,6)

NELSONS COLUMN: Wrestling holds that involve a grip around the neck NELSONS, and a section of a print newspaper COLUMN, give us a feature of London found in Trafalgar Square

Go with platforms on, making feet feel better? (8)
PODIATRY: Platforms or PODIA ( being the plural of podium) goes on a synonym of a go or TRY, PODIATRY the branch of medicine concerned with making feet feel better

In France, I admire cooked grouse (8)

JEREMIAD: A grouse or lamentation from how a French person may say the personal pronoun I, JE’  followed by an anagram (cooked) of ADMIRE. JEREMIAD, a grouse or lamentation named for the reputed author of the Book of Lamentations. 

Way of playing ball cheers up a rotter at first (7)

AGITATO: This musical way of playing in a restless and wild manner is AT from the clue, the letter that looks like a ball O, with a slang rotter first A GIT, Git is in the BRB as a person (derogatory), A fool or a bastard 

Horse is less jerky over time (7)
EVENTER: a slightly clunky less jerky or EVENER around T for time, EVENTER a horse suitable for participating in Three Day Eventing

Execute career plan for ambitious teacher (6)
BEHEAD: The career plan for an ambitious teacher would probably to BE a HEAD of a school, remove the space to execute someone

Extremely tough words in puzzle (5)

THROW: The extreme letters of TougH and the “words” with someone developed into an argument ROW.  THROW To puzzle or confuse




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