Sunday Toughie 65 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 65 (Review)

 Sunday Toughie No 65  by proXimal

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 23rd of April 2023


1a My home has identity taken over by mere relation (14)
CORRESPONDENCE: A rather informal expression of surprise suggested by my! COR, followed by the place you live RESIDENCE, but the two letters that suggest your identity ID, are replaced by four letters that are synonymous with Mere as a small body of water POND.

9a Notice of employee’s return for work? (7)
PAYSLIP: A small piece of paper that details the return from gainful employment

10a Article in French with heading that’s clear (7)
UNBOUND: A French article UN and where you are heading or BOUND, UNBOUND to be clear of binding or bonds

11a Bitter cop leaving work early (4)
COLD: A Cop loses some work or OP, and adds someone early to arrive or OLD

12a Doll from Orient manufactured in China (10)
MARIONETTE: An anagram of ORIENT in MATE, the rhyming slang that China indicates

14a Reached summit of fell overlooking loch (6)
TOPPED: TOPPLED or fell overlooks the letter used to represent Lochs on maps

15a With affirmation, political theorist reportedly signs for course (8)
WAYMARKS: An abbreviation for with W, a two-letter affirmation AY, and a homophone of a political theorist Karl Marx show us the route we wish to follow WAYMARKS

Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk — Contours Walking Holidays

17a Way to enter pen, mature pet’s container (8)
BIRDCAGE: A brand of ballpoint pen BIC, contains an abbreviated way or route RD, and follows with mature as you may do to a fine Cheddar AGE

18a Involve row hiding at back (6)
ENTAIL: A row or LINE hides AT from the clue and is then reversed (back)

21a Endured running around hours before reaching home straight (10)
UNHINDERED: An anagram (running) of ENDURED around H for hours and IN or home

22a Way king rules after reflection (4)
WALK: Hmm… that’s the third time we have encountered way as a route, here it is one for pedestrians formed from the chess abbreviation for the King K, and the rules we have to obey LAW, reversed (after reflection) 

With 17a it is also the way that the runners in today’s London Marathon pass along to reach the finish in The Mall

24a Examines nail that is beginning to split (7)
STUDIES: A nail or STUD, that is id est or IE and the beginning letter of Split

25a Shaggy-haired youth having hump with group, getting left out (4,3)
BEAR CUB: To have the hump with like a BEAR with a sore head and a group or CLUB as long as the L gets left out is a shaggy-haired young bear

26a Unemotional act involving a fighter splitting up lads (14)
DEPERSONALISED: The Greatest fighter Muhammed ALI, splits up some male offspring SON’S, and goes in an act DEED, and a preposition for each or a PER


1d Charlie upset misspelling, penning account that’s duplicated (7)
COPYCAT: Start with the letter Charlie suggests C, then a reversal (upset) of a keyboard misspelling TYPO, containing an abbreviated account AC. A term applied in resentful derision to an imitator

2d Over river, remedied a poorly run upcoming music venue (5,5,5)
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE: A music venue not far from 6d or 17/24a. An anagram of A POORLY a reversal of to run fast like a very swift mammal of the order Rodentia HARE becomes ERAH, over a river in the north that runs through York OUSE

3d Both stripped, wet Welsh swimmers (4)
EELS: Strip the outer letters from both wet and Welsh and what remains are swimming EELS

4d Plant for all to see in sheds (6)
POPLAR: Something “IN” or liked by many POPULAR, loses the film classification suitable for all to see to leave the poplar tree

Also a place in London on the route of today’s London Marathon, as is 17/24a 6d.  Have I just twigged today’s theme?!

5d Sailor’s uniform covered by awkwardly lain cat (8)
NAUTICAL: U for uniform in an anagram (awkwardly) of LAIN CAT

6d Catch me up on motorway cutting through county ridge (10)
EMBANKMENT: To catch a crook and me from the clue are reversed NAB MEbecomes EMBAN, followed by a county in the southeast KENT, around the letter that designates a motorway M. Also part of the route of today’s London Marathon

7d Airline using carbon in routes supporting token offsets (15)
COUNTERBALANCES: A playing token COUNTER, our national airline BA, and other minor routes LANES, around the chemical symbol for Carbon C

8d Trembles removing head and organs of animal (6)
UDDERS:Having the Trembles or JUDDERS loses its leading J to be the mammary organs of bovines, Men have (redundant) nipples do Bulls have udders?

13d Trading from car upon turning 18 (10)
MERCANTILE: An anagram (turning) of 18a ENTAIL, follows a German brand of car named after the daughter of Emil Jellinek MERC, to be MERCANTILE relating to the trading by Merchants

16d Monsters head over close to other snakelike characters (8)
OGRESSES:To head to or GO is reversed (back) the closing letter of other R, and how you would verbalise the snakelike characters of the alphabet ESSES

17d Mark overheard plots (6)
BRUISE: A homophone of plots schemes or BREWS is BRUISE the mark left by a minor injury

19d Bottom of pool bishop splits leaked fluid (7)
LAKEBED: B for Bishop splits an anagram (fluid) of LEAKED to be the bottom of a large pool of water

20d Soldiers almost trap founder of tribe (6)
REUBEN: I almost choked on my toast when the trap dawned on me. We start with some soldiers who are Royal Engineers RE followed by most of the trap that stops smells from coming up the drains U-BENd, and we arrive at the biblical son of Jacob and Leah who was the founder of the Israelite tribe that bears his name

23d Elevated foursome involved in collaborative dance (4)
BALL: We finish with a reverse lurker today (elevated – involved in) My golf knowledge is a bit dodgy but I think foursome is one definition and dance is the only one proXimal intended,  hidden in the remaining word of the clue

Thanks to proXimal for bringing us a little theme about his Marathon exploits, I hope this was set while resting and carbo-loading for the race itself.  I found it quite tough and would not have been able to solve this and rest properly for a marathon.