Sunday Toughie 63 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 63 (Review)

Sunday Toughie No 63 by Robyn

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 9th of April 2023



6a Party member with hesitation about Conservative, one keen on standing (6,7)
SOCIAL CLIMBER: A convivial or gregarious party SOCIAL, an abbreviation for the Conservative Party C, followed by a member of the body or LIMB, and followed by a hesitation ER. A social climber is keen on  improving their standing in the community
Be a social climber - kbbreview
8a Ample figure giving a twirl? I’m horrified! (6)
ENOUGH: A single-digit figure ONE, is reversed (given a twirl) ENO, followed by an exclamation of repugnance UGH

9a Middle part of three inches, perhaps, is so long (4-4)
CHIN-CHIN: Inch written out three times  INCH INCH INCH, from which the middle eight letters become CHIN-CHIN an informal goodbye or so long

10a Beastly noise from pet shaking tail (3)
MOO: A pet or sullen MOOd shakes off the tail letter d

11a Vacuous skiffle covers get wasted for band (6)
STRIPE: What remains of s(kiffl)e when vacuous S-E, covers a bad experience when wasted on drugs perhaps TRIP

12a Advance across rolling sand in promontory (5,3)
LANDS END: To advance or LEND goes across SAND when the S is rolled to the end 

14a More pleased with number one runner losing pound (7)
SMUGGER: A runner of contraband SMUGGLER, loses the Latin Libra or pound L, a comparative adjective of someone excessively pleased with themselves

16a Praise grand vehicle having provided for queen (7)
GLORIFY: A heavily built motor vehicle LORRY, swaps the second R for Regina with a provided conditional conjunction IF, all after G for grand

20a Fresh waters off the south coast here (8)
INSOLENT: The south coast body of water between Southampton and the Isle of Wight the SOLENT after here or IN

23a Poor artist content to leave drama company giving people a lift (6)
DAUBER: The content of Drama leaves DA, and a taxi-hailing service UBER, follows for a bad artist

I too wanted to try my hand at art restoration. : r/Illustration

24a Disregarding the odds, goalie’s giving encouragement (3)
OLE: Disregard the odd letters of gOaLiE and what remains is a Spanish word of encouragement

25a Pole stole hot pants, given fine (8)
BOATHOOK: A pole to help secure a craft, from a stole worn around the neck (usually feather) BOA, an anagram (pants) of hot THO, and a satisfactory or fine adjective OK
VINTAGE Marine BRASS Boat Hook Head - BOATHOOK - SHIP'S 100% ORIGINAL (16) | eBay
26a Cursing son short of energy (6)
SWEARY: S for son followed by lacks energy WEARY

27a Perhaps one’s given order to steam trains? (13)
STATIONMASTER: A nice little all-in-one that is an “aptagram”, TO STEAM TRAINS is aptly an anagram of the man who orders movements to steam trains


1d Activity for boys, namely Latin trip (8)
SCOUTING: A Latin abbreviation of scilicet, that means to wit or namely SC, is followed by a trip or OUTING.

Patient packing royal couple’s expensive clothing? (8)
CASHMERE: A medical patient or CASE contains two abbreviations for Royal His or Her Majesty HM, and the late queen’s regnal cipher ER

3d Very bitter officer decorated coats (3-4)
ICE-COLD: An abbreviated COLonel  surrounded by a decorated cake that is ICED

4d Kind of red bird seen by Celt (6)
TITIAN: A small songbird of the family Paridae TIT, and the Celtic form of John that means God is Gracious IAN, is a hair colour associated with a particular painter
Titian Painting - Flora by Titian
5d Two Americans receiving a lot of support? You can count on it (6)
ABACUS:Two of our usual Americans A and US receive 3/4’s of to support or BACk

6d Needing area for circle, foolishly I soon miscount pi (13)
SANCTIMONIOUS: A religious pious or PI, rather than the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Almost an anagram (foolishly) of I soon miscount but first you need to swap one of the letters that looks like a circle for an abbreviation of area. I SOAN MISCOUNT is the fodder for a PIous SANCTIMONIOUS

7d Frequently slip after shower, we hear, in dark period (5,2,6)
REIGN OF TERROR: Synonyms of frequently OFT,  and slip ERROR, follow a homophone of a weather shower rain becomes REIGN. A dark period originally from the French Revolution

13d Reporter’s expected au pair (3)
DUO: A cracking little clue here. Two homophones (Reporter’s)  expected or DUE, and  au pronounced O, in three letters, after the homophone indicator we only have three words, of which PAIR is the definition

15d Suffering a reversal, cricket side come together (3)
GEL: The leg side in cricket is reversed to GEL together like a nice jelly

17d Heavenly body in tight leotards (8)
LODESTAR: An anagram (tight) of leotards is LODESTAR, the heavenly body towards which lodestones or magnets point POLARIS

18d Obstruction blocking path — this is for the better (8)
ROULETTE: An obstruction by the net, or other ground for cancelling a tennis or squash serve LET, inside (blocking) a path or ROUTE. A wheel for the betters or gamblers

19d Stirring up succeeded, as far as leader’s concerned (7)
STOKING: An abbreviation of succeeded S, a preposition as far as TO, and the (male) leader of a Monarchy KING stirs up a fire perhaps

21d Bar reduced expenditure on whiskey (6)
OUTLAW: Expenditure or OUTLAY is reduced by one letter that is replaced by W for whiskey

22d Gucci to review turning clothes blue (6)
EROTIC: A lurker (clothes) and a reversal (turning) gives us a somewhat blue EROTIC


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