Sunday Toughie 66 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 66 (Review)

Sunday Toughie No 66 by Robyn

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 30th of April 2023




8a Put down vermouth and tango in pretty lady’s embrace (8)
BELITTLE: A two letter alternative to vermouth relating to its Italian origins IT and the Nato code letter that tango represents T, is embraced by a pretty lady or BELLE

9a Meet malign ship’s captain gently pressing uniform (4,2)
HOOK UP: The malign captain that was  the arch-enemy of Peter Pan – Captain HOOK, with U for uniform and a gentle pianissimo musical instruction P pressing against it

10a Old race defended by chieftain (3)
HIE: An archaic therefore old term for to move fast or race is also a lurker (defended by) in cHIEftain

11a Exhausted demagogue intended hostility (8)
DEFIANCE: Exhaust the internal letters of demagogue DE, and add one who you intend to marry FIANCE

12a Heavy like cows? (6)
STOCKY: a double definition, having a short solid HEAVY form and an adjective relating to cows or other live STOCK

13a Honestly, why consume nourishing food and Asian booze? (3,8,4)
FOR GOODNESS SAKE: We consume nourishing food FOR GOODNESS, followed by some Asian rice wine SAKE, we have a phrase that is an alternative to honestly!

15a Followed composition penned by Bill and his partner in film (7)
ADOPTED: An abbreviated bill or AD, a musical composition OP, and Bill’s partner from the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure series of films TED. ADOPTED to have chosen and followed opinions as your own by free choice
Thanks to Prolixic for the parsing assist

18a Unable to surf over lake in France well (7)
OFFLINE: Abbreviations for over O, lake L, and the IVR code for vehicles from France F,  and a synonym of well or FINE, OFFLINE being the inability to surf the interwebs

21a Bulgarian ruler’s regimented fighters not in the country (5,10)
URBAN GUERRILLAS: An anagram (regimented) of Bulgarian ruler’s  to be the sort of fighters who operate in a metropolitan environment rather than the countryside

24a Congress is compelled by this vow to follow politician (6)
LIBIDO: A marriage vow I DO follows a politician of a LIBeral stripe to be the LIBIDO the driving force behind much sexual CONGRESS

25a Wow, is it someone mad keen on archery? (4,4)
BOWL OVER: Split 3,5 This is someone who admires the instrument used for firing arrows BOW LOVER. split 4,4 it is an informal expression to Wow!

26a States answer by The Telegraph (3)
USA: A collective noun for readers, writers, editors and setters of crosswords in the Daily Telegraph US, and A for answer

27a Son almost seeming like an ass, say, in sparkly adornment (6)
SEQUIN: S for son and almost all of the class of animals that Asses are an example of EQUINe gives the sparkly adornment seen on many Strictly Come Dancing performers

28a Substitute column in terribly arty papers on frame of cinema (8)
CARYATID: Start with the framing letters of cinema CA, an anagram of ARTY and your important papers or ID, a supporting column of a draped female figure


1d Criminal bothered after case has gone straight (6)
HETERO: An anagram (criminal) of b)OTHERE(d after the case letters are removed, the sexuality of someone who is straight, like others on the blog I had an alternative anagram HERETO that fitted the checkers and was  straight to the point but I didn’t get 100% until I changed to a more sexually orientated HETERO

2d Rambling, informal utterance when meeting Charles (6)
HIKING: An informal greeting HI, and Charles freshly coronated title KING, HIKING being a rather informal utterance when one meets the monarch

3d Could this make sandstone be firm? (5,4,6)
STAND ONES GROUND: A compound anagram (could this make) of sandstone but here the anagram indicator is the third word of our answer

4d Place of biblical suffering, say, about hair product (7)
GEHENNA: Say or eg. is reversed (about) GE, followed by a hair dye HENNA. GEHENNA a place where the wicked are punished after death


Gehenna is a valley in Jerusalem, and an analogue of Hell or Lake of Fire in Jewish and Christian tradition.


5d Where to put bra and a lot of delicate undies? (6,2,7)
CHESTS OF DRAWERS: Where a bra is worn, and where other delicate undies may be stored

6d Whacking ball girl sent skywards after pass (8)
COLOSSAL: A girl is reversed (sent skywards) LASS becomes SSAL, after a mountain pass COL,and the letter that looks like a ball O

7d Hide what’s spent by e.g. an Aussie family (8)
BUCKSKIN: An informal term for the spending money in Australia (and elsewhere) BUCKS,followed by ones family or KIN, BUCKSKIN A soft yellowish suede leather originally from deerskin but now usually from sheepskin

14d Oscars presenter finally turned up, a little bounder (3)
ROO: The final letter of presenteR, and two of the letters that Oscar’s  represents, an abbreviated founder or KangaROO

16d Went off track artist included in cover of dance song from down under (8)
DERAILED: A reversal of the covering letters of DancE and a german song LIED goes around our usual artist RA

17d Choice to cover a cheaper metal in a dearer one (8)
PLATINUM: A synonym of choice that is also the nickname of Pelham Grenville Wodehouse PLUM, cover A from the clue and another cheaper metal TIN

19d Wicked Iago’s opening lines (3)
ILL: A yoof synonym of wicked formed from Iago’s initial I and two L’s for lines

20d Check energy consumption during fire (7)
SETBACK: A check or reversal to one’s plans is to fire from a post or raise to the ground SACK, around E for energy and a disease known as consumption TB

22d Hot pudding served up without last of Victoria sponge (6)
LOOFAH: without here is not to exclude the a from the clue but to include it, “There is a green hill faraway without a city wall” meaning it is just outside the wall. Start with the letter you may find on a hot tap H , then A from the clue, a cold fruit pudding FOOL, and reverse the lot for a sponge you may keep in the bathroom LOOFAH

23d Little fish drinks on both sides of the Channel (6)
ALEVIN: An alcoholic beverage popular on this side of the English Channel, usually made without hops ALE, and a fermented grape beverage popular in France VIN, combine to be a young fish, especially a salmonid