Sunday Toughie 79 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 79 (Review)

 Sunday Toughie No 79 by Robyn

              Review by Sloop John Bee

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                      This puzzle was published on the 30th of July 2023




1a Defend gagster, outspoken figure (5,2,3)
STAND UP FOR; A two-word phrase for how a gagster or comedian plies their trade STAND UP, and a homophone of the figure four, FOR

6a Might one cram whiskey into boozer? (4)
SWOT; Whiskey has an e so we are in the NATO phonetic alphabet, The letter that whiskey represents goes into someone stupefied by Whisky perhaps, a SOT contains W to be a student cramming for exams a SWOT

9a Bracing tête-à-tête, say, about student teacher’s method (5,3-2)
TONIC SOL-FA; A medicine that is invigorating or bracing TONIC, then tête-à-tête is a definition by example (say), here it is an S-shaped easy chair so that sitters may face each other SOFA, don’t forget to include the letter that student drivers are obliged to display L. The teacher here is specifically a music teacher following the system of notation and teaching devised by Sarah Glover (1785-1867) and developed by John Curwen (1818-80)

10a Place in which soldier evicts tenant (4)
LIEU; An adjective for in place of, in LIEU, is also a rank of soldier LIEU TENANT without the tenant

12a Brief recession where people have little money (4)
SLUM; A place where poor people may live is also a shortening of the financial crisis or recession SLUMP, that may have put them there

13a Adult in nude vids developed rash (9)
UNADVISED; A for Adult in an anagram of NUDE VIDS, it would be 13a indeed to google the mental image this clue suggests

15a Singer in clubs given a wave (8)
CAROLLER; A seasonal singer, from the letter denoting the suit of black trefoil-shaped cards C for Clubs, A from the clue and a large breaking wave or ROLLER

16a More vacuous monarch succeeds Anne I, curiously (6)
INANER; An anagram (curiously) of ANNE I and the Latin abbreviation of monarch or R(EX)

18a Out to seize ring that’s fancy (6)
NOTION; If you are out you are NOT IN siezes the letter that looks like a ring O, for a fancy idea or NOTION

20a I appreciate that French solver carries cloth round (5,3)
THANK YOU; How the French refer to you the solver (informally rather than the formal Vous) TU, around the cloth you keep handy for nose blowing HANKY, and the round letter O

23a Chain hosts wrapped around duck (9)
MCDONALDS; The Masters of Ceremonies (including the s) MC’S, go around a well-known cartoon duck DONALD for a chain of restaurants

24a Kid from the east eating hot curry (4)
DHAL; A reversal (from the east in an across clue) of a kid LAD, eats H for hot for some curried lentils DHAL. there are lots of ways of spelling this but only one that fits the checkers and wordplay

26a Prune one’s cultivated in field (4)
CROP; A double definition To prune or crop something  or the crops you cultivate in a field

27a Lacking control, Cockney suffering after drinking with Scottish hooligan (10)
UNGOVERNED; How a Cockney who drops his aitches may suffer after excessive drinking ‘UNGOVER, and a slang Scottish hooligan or NED. Ned is a scots slang word for a young hooligan

28a A number of Germans weren’t trustworthy (4)
LIED; A German lyric song or made an untrustworthy statement

29a Set out to pen holy book, with odd barrier to fiction? (5,5)
TRUTH SERUM; An anagram of SET, pens a book of the bible RUTH, followed by something odd RUM, this “barrier” would prevent one from making untrustworthy statements. In the Commando comics of my youth, the Gestapo favoured scopolamine


1d Is a crossword compiler caught leaving schools? (4)
SETS; What Robyn has done for us here, when the C for caught is removed from SECTS or schools of opinion

2d Axe a finale from Wagner, like The Ring (7)
ANNULAR; To axe or abolish ANNUL, A from the clue and the final letter of Wagner R. ANNULAR Like the rings of a tree

3d I follow the units of police — and I’m terribly tense! (7,5)
DECIMAL POINT; An anagram of POLICE AND I’M and T for tense, Being the DECIMAL POINT that follows the units before the parts of units in the decimal notation 3.14159265359  mmm pie

4d Film-maker supporting fascist regime’s leader (8)
PRODUCER; A prefix for supporting PRO, the title assumed by the fascist Mussolini (il) DUCE, and the leading letter of regime R

5d Rancid butter firmly grasped (3,3)
OFF PAT; To have a firm grasp of, or exactly memorised. from synonyms of rancid OFF, and the portions in which butter may be served PAT

7d Holiday with e.g. successful film star (7)
WHITSUN; An abbreviation of with W, something that is for example or e.g. a successful film HIT, and our own star SUN

8d Grand tours south of Spain’s capital maybe booming (10)
THUNDEROUS, I may have misparsed this, but I have an abbreviated grand as a number THOU, around (tours) something south of or below UNDER, and the Capital letter of Spain S. TH-UNDER-OU-S like the booming voice of Brian Blessed

11d Flattening what could be a female medic’s gown? (7,5)
EVENING DRESS; The title of a medic DR, and a female suffix ESS, follows a synonym of flattening EVENING for the gown prescribed for receptions, dinners or balls EVENING DRESS

14d Funny nurses working with drug initially, tending to husband (10)
ECONOMICAL; Tending to husband resources, from something funny COMICAL, around a synonym of working ON, and the drug known by its initial E

17d Gradually withdraw shape, it’s suggested (5,3)
PHASE OUT;A reverse anagram, the anagram indicator becomes the second word of the answer, shape is the fodder, so SHAPE is PHASE OUT or gradually withdraw

19d Little perch, perhaps, one seen in a pond (7)
TADPOLE; An informal small amount ( that the BRB suggests is especially N American but as it is also an abbreviation of the North Yorkshire brewing town where I live I forgive the unindicated…) TAD, and the perch that a Kingfisher may alight upon to catch his supper POLE. I bunged in a small fish or tiddler but corrected to a young amphibian when checkers came

21d Does one long period end in autumn? Let me think (7)
YEARNER; A period of time (longer than autumn) YEAR, the end of autumn N, and a hesitant interjection ER, that allows one to think of a better hint. One who expresses longing, a YEARNER

22d Project number five needs right cutting tool (6)
PLANER; A project or method of how to proceed PLAN, the fifth letter E, and R for right 

25d Electronic current blocker somewhere in Holland (4)
EDAM; A prefix for all things electronic E, and the structure that blocks the current of a river DAM, is also a place in Holland famous for its cheese EDAM


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