Sunday Toughie 61 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 61 (Review)

Sunday Toughie No 61 by Robyn

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 26th of March 2023



1a Trio outside commercial pub not having a nap (10)
THREADBARE: A trio THREE, around a commercial AD, and a pub BAR, is a well-worn fabric that lacks a nap
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6a Add screening about to show nasty film (4)
SCUM: A mathematical addition SUM, goes around (screening) one of our usual abouts C(irca)  is an early Ray Winstone film or the film around a bath when you haven’t had a boiler for a fortnight!

9a Material dug up the wrong way (5)
DENIM: Dug up or MINED reversed (the wrong way) is the material DENIM

10a Energy cut in depressed region, creating damage (9)
DETRIMENT: A depressed region or DENT, around a synonym of cut TRIM, and an abbreviation for energy E

The depressed region from hitting a deer on the way to work perhaps, What a year!

12a Breaking law, go on conceding this is a mistake (3,4)
OWN GOAL: An anagram (breaking) of LAW GO ON, to concede an OWN  GOAL would indeed be a mistake

13a Old lady suggesting executed English monarch? (5)
CRONE: A cryptic style of the regnal cipher of the monarch we executed in 1649  Charles Rex the First becomes CR1 but spelled out CRONE is also a disagreeable old lady

The beheading of King Charles I. The King has his head on the block with onlookers surrounding him.
15a Flirting from flipping coquette is too forward (7)
FOOTSIE: The Miffypops maxim of when in doubt look for a lurker came to the rescue here, a reverse one too (from flipping) in the rest of the clue

Do you know how to play footsie? | Health24

16a Small paper and grass skirts something seen on star (7)
SUNSPOT: A tabloid newspaper SUN and S for small with some grass/cannabis/POT becomes a SUNSPOT that traverses the sun in 11-year cycles

18a Inferior and under the weather, dropping out (2,5)
OF SORTS: This synonym of inferior or ersatz is also a synonym of under the weather OUT OF SORTS when out has been dropped

20a Place to drink tea, say, turned up by bishop (7)
BREWPUB: An informal cup of tea or BREW, a reversal (turned ) of UP and B for bishop becomes a pub that makes its own beer, A horrible word and one that is IMO either a bad pub or a bad brewery and often both

21a Wander round, heading for Dubrovnik and Split (5)
DRIFT: A synonym of a split or RIFT follows the initial (heading) of Dubrovnik

23a Military delaying time of a match (7)
MARITAL: An adjective relating to the military MARTIAL, drops the Tfor time down the order to be an adjective of the nature of a match between a couple who make vows MARITAL

25a Supposedly conservative style of rebel in US, possibly (4,5)
BLUE RINSE: Style is the key word of the definition, we need a hairstyle of conservative old ladies that is also an anagram (of – possibly) of REBEL IN US

26a Directors craving a change of scene, we’re told (5)
BOARD: A homophone (we’re told) of one who is craving a change of scene or BORED becomes a BOARD of Directors

27a Fare from Asia, say, moving south (4)
EATS: Someone from ASIA say can be said to be from the  EAST, move the S for south and we have EATS a synonym of the FARE we consume rather than the price of a train ticket

28a With old English ex-PM touring, called for zest (6,4)
ORANGE PEEL: Abbreviations of old and English around a telephonic called for O RANG E and a former Prime minister Robert PEEL give us the ZEST we may have on a Negroni

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1d Feature of the ocean even sounded out (4)
TIDE: A homophone (sounded out) of even or tied, become TIDE a feature of the ocean

2d Artist with sense drinking my bitter (9)
RANCOROUS: Our usual artist who has shown at the Royal Academy R.A. and some common sense or NOUS, around an expression of surprise suggested by “my” COR, leaves a bitter or RANCOROUS taste

3d Running arms — tradition for runner? (13)
ADMINISTRATOR: An anagram (running) of ARMS TRADITION, leads to ADMINISTRATOR one who helps run a business

4d Journalists probing dullard’s issue when lying a lot (7)
BEDSORE: Some senior journalists or ED’S in a dullard or BORE, give us a problem BEDSORE, that is an issue for those who are bedridden and lying down a lot

5d Upsets conductor on back of bus (7)
RATTLES: This conductor  Sir Simon RATTLE, and the terminal letter of buS, RATTLES or upsets

BBC - Simon Rattle: The 12 composers who made me
7d What people believe in left-leaning business circles (5)
CREDO: The colour associated with those who are politically left-leaning RED, a business, company or CO circles it to give us the CREDO we believe in

8d Spy alternative option for Hamlet? One’s expectant (6-2-2)
MOTHER-TO-BE: James Bond’s boss M, an alternative OTHER, and one of Hamlet’s options from his soliloquy TO BE or not TO BE. give us an expectant MOTHER-TO-BE


11d In case of trouble, stopping PC is clearly right (13)
INCONTESTABLE: IN from the clue and the case letters of trouble TE, inside a low-ranking police CON-STABLE

14d Pleasant crossing ring road that’s not too steep (10)
AFFORDABLE: The letter that looks like a ring O, and an abbreviated road RD, go in a synonym of pleasant  AFFABLE, for something that is not too steeply priced or AFFORDABLE

17d Training period of rifle carrying finished (9)
PUPILLAGE: An act of rifling or plundering PILLAGE, around a synonym of finished UP, gives the state of learning when a student may attend SEMINARS

19d Char wraps a short time for part of course (7)
SEMINAR: To char or SEAR, goes around an abbreviated MINute to be a SEMINAR part of an education course

20d British drive forwards and flourish (7)
BURGEON: B for British and to drive forwards or URGE ON, to BURGEON or flourish

22d Northerner‘s short stay in French hotel? (5)
INUIT: How someone French may cryptically describe an overnight stay One Night becomes 1 Nuit, replace the numeral 1 with the letter that looks like it and you have INUIT an indigenous people of northern arctic regions, who prefer INUIT to eskimo

24d One’s admired swimming area with lake at the bottom (4)
IDOL: A swimming area or LIDO moves the L for lake to the bottom to become one that is admired an IDOL


1 comment on “Sunday Toughie 61 (Review)
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  1. Enjoyed working through this one with the aid of the hints …
    thought 22D, “Northerner‘s short stay in French hotel? (5)” , was quite cute.

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