Sunday Toughie 58 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 58 (Review)

Sunday Toughie No 58 by Robyn

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 5th of March 2023



1a Auden disheartened by attempt, e.g. in Douglas’s poem (2,5,2,3)
AN ESSAY ON MAN: This is not an Auden poem, when you stop reciting his funeral blues all you need are what remains of his surname when the heart is taken out A-N, followed by an attempt ESSAY, a preposition concerning e.g. ON and the place where Douglas is The Isle of MAN, and you have a poem by Alexander Pope whose fifth line is apt for cruciverbalists.

A mighty maze! but not without a plan;

9a Country’s main city remains very bad, in north-east (9)
NASHVILLE: The place where Country music is king, synonyms of remains ASH, and bad ILL, surround an abbreviation for very V, and are contained by the compass point north-east or N.E.

10a Paper starting with cryptic has part of mine (5)
SHAFT: An anagram (cryptic) of HAS, and the abbreviation of the newspaper the Financial Times FT, SHAFT the part of a mine that colliers descend

11a Perhaps Oxford’s bottom student requires year alone (6)
SOLELY: The bottom of an Oxford Brogue SOLE, and L for a student and Y for year create this synonym of alone

12a Desirable to coat a cheap metal or an expensive one (8)
PLATINUM:  Something desirable or PLUM, contains (to coat) A from the clue and a relatively cheap metal TIN, to be PL-ATIN-UM a much more expensive metal

13a Threads in edge of antifascist flag (6)
ATTIRE: Threads here are the garments you choose to wear, formed from the “edge” letters of A(ntifascis)T and to flag or TIRE

15a Unthinkable to evict monarch with appalling taste? (8)
INEDIBLE: A synonym of unthinkable IN(CR)EDIBLE, evicts the current monarch’s regnal cipher CR, to leave an appalling taste behind

18a Place for racing driver, say, of high calibre? (8)
A synonym of high calibre GOOD, and by example (driver say), one of the clubs a golfer may carry WOOD, GOODWOOD a place for Horse and Motor racing

Keep the sport in mind as we need a French driver for 23 a

19a Shelter always found around shantytown’s west end (6)
ASYLUM: A poetic always or AY around the westernmost letter of a synonym of shantytown SLUM. (A[S]Y)LUM

21a Remain with delivery firm giving jobs in US (5-3)
STICK-UPS: Criminal “jobs” from a synonym of remain or adhere STICK and a parcel delivery company originally from the United States UPS

23a Touring Italy, fast Frenchman’s in good health (6)
PROSIT: The fast Frenchman is the Formula 1 driver Alain PROST, around (touring) I for Italy you have PROSIT, a salutation in drinking toasts wishing good health on fellow drinkers

26a Recalling troops in fear (5)
ALARM: a prepostion for recalling something A LA followed by troops who are Royal Marines. ALARM or fear

27a Funny son concealing funny tattoos (4,5)
DRUM ROLLS: A synonym of funny DROLL followed by S for son conceals another synonym of funny RUM, 

28a Golf — 18 holes — with fan catching right shot (6,6)
GROUND STROKE: This shot at tennis rather than golf is formed from the letter that Golf represents in the NATO alphabet G, a full 18 holes of golf ROUND, and to fan the flames STOKE, around R for right.


1d Inability to call up men deployed in the east (7)
AMNESIA: An anagram (deployed) of MEN in an easterly continent ASIA

2d Stand or move slowly left (5)
EASEL: To move slowly or EASE , and L for left give us the stand or EASEL for paintings

3d Trouble is over law suit’s possible provenance (6,3)
SAVILE ROW:  An anagram (trouble) of IS OVER LAW gives us SAVILE ROW, A street in London synonymous with tailoring fine suits

4d Sharp cry from unknown number of Beatles in Bow (4)
YELP: An algebraic unknown Y, and how someone born within the sound of Bow Bells, who drops his aitches, may say a particular Beatles song (h)ELP

5d Tip for listening in demanding bugging (8)
NEEDLING: The tip or first letter of (L)istening in a synonym of demanding or NEEDING

6d Like what I do? It’s a plus! (5)
ASSET: A synonym of like AS, and what Robyn has done for us here SET (the puzzle) is a plus or an ASSET of benefit to us all

7d Someone who might take me for dinner? (8)
CANNIBAL: Someone who may eat me for dinner!

8d Times incorrectly claiming Hendry’s back in snooker (6)
STYMIE: An anagram (incorrectly) of TIMES claims the last letter of HendrY (‘s back). STYMIE to frustrate, thwart or otherwise block one’s progress as in the game of snooker. Originally Scots from the game of golf.

14d River current circulates, as in equatorial regions (8)
TROPICAL: Something current or TOPICAL circulates around R for River, as in the equatorial region between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn

16d What defectors do in different ways for old soldier (6,3)
DESERT RAT: The nickname for the British 8th Army in North Africa is formed from two words that defectors are known for, to DESERT or to RAT on friends perhaps.

17d President‘s vow in ceremony for all to see (8)
POMPIDOU: One of the marriage vows I DO, follows some ceremony or POMP, and adds the film classification for something suitable for all to see U. The French President Georges POMPIDOU. He deserved a better memorial than this, but the artist below is well represented inside

Pompidou Centre gets a £90m facelift 40 years on | Paris | The Guardian

18d Waffle with flipping butter one’s found on hob (3,3)
GAS TAP: To waffle or GAS and the reversal (flipping) of to butt or PAT

20d Artist‘s medium disputed after leaving university (7)
MATISSE: Something that is disputed or AT ISS(U)E loses U for university and follows M for medium, for the artist Henri MATISSE

Matisse Cut-Outs | 26 - 30 April 2020 | Eames Fine Art

22d King and queen welcoming royal in Asian language (5)
KHMER: Three regal abbreviations, A piece from chess K, welcomes the title that anyone royal enough may have HM (His or Her Majesty), and our former Queen’s regnal cipher ER, give us the official language of an Asian country, KHMER being the language of Cambodia

24d Volley from e.g. Czech with a higher ball (5)
SALVO: A Czech or SLAV moves the A up one place SALV, and adds the letter that looks like a ball O. A salvo or volley of gunfire

25d Scot’s dated American, having pulled regularly (4)
AULD: A for American and regular letters of pUlLeD give us a Scots adjective for old, dated or AULD




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