Sunday Toughie 98 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 98 (Review)

Sunday Toughie No 98 by proXimal

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 10th of December 2023




9a           Ancient civilisation in hope to turn foreign agents (9)
PHOENICIA; An anagram (to turn) of IN HOPE becomes PHOENI, followed by the agents who work covertly on behalf of the American government CIA

10a        Abandoning wings, Conservatives left for recess (5)
ORIEL; An informal term for the Conservative Party T)ORIE(S, abandons the winging letters and adds the abbreviation for left – ORIEL, A small room or recess with a polygonal bay window

11a        Chosen extremely retro type of music (7)
ELECTRO; What we do to choose our Politicians ELECT, and the extremes of retro RO, give us a type of music exemplified by Kraftwerk

12a        Hang American exhaust brackets (7)
SUSPEND; One of our usual America’s US, is bracketed by a synonym of exhaust or use-up S(US)PEND

13a        Organiser that woman used to pen about matter half-heartedly (9)
SCHEDULER; Matter is a comparative of something that is more matt and has a less shiny surface, a six-letter synonym DULLER, has one of the heart letters removed and goes after a term for that woman SHE, around one of our usual abouts  C for circa

15a        Full minute shifting back in tree (5)
AMPLE; The National Tree of Canada MAPLE, shifts the abbreviation of a minute down the order a bit to be full or AMPLE

17a        Told where you’d find students get on transport (7)
HAULAGE; A homophone of the large residence where students are accommodated HALL becomes HAUL, and to get on in years AGE, is how we used to refer to what is now known as “Logistics”

19a        Assumed view Nancy’s negative (5,2)
TAKEN ON; An opinion or view on a subject TAKE, followed by how someone from Nancy expresses the negative NON

20a        Stay mad ignoring mother successfully (5)
DWELL; A synonym of successfully WELL, follows what remains of maD when ma is ignored

21a        Indirect hint hard to decipher overwhelming daughter (5-4)
THIRD-HAND; An anagram (to decipher) of HINT HARD overwhelming an abbreviated daughter D

24a        Fault spoilt coins: missing head (7)
OFFENCE; A synonym of spoilt or rotten OFF, adds the smallest coins of the realm pENCE, without its leading letter P

26a        Maybe primary suspect nicking article (7)
FEATHER; A definition by example (maybe) of the most important avian aids to flight and therefore primary, to suspect or doubt FEAR, nicks a definite article THE

28a        Old parts like this showing imperial measurements (5)
THOUS; An abbreviation of old O, goes between (parts) another way of saying like this THUS, for some THOUSandths of an imperial measurement the inch

29a        Maybe quantity of 17 fight beside lake to feed amphibian (9)
TRUCKLOAD; A fight for the ball that Rugby players do RUCK, and the cartographer’s abbreviation of lake L, are fed into an amphibian TOAD, to be a quantity carried by a “Logistics” company TRUCKLOAD


1d           Disappointments of animated film series (6)
UPSETS; An animated film UP!, is followed by a series of tennis games SETS

2d           Quietly be indebted to Greek character and work for energetic person (10)
POWERHOUSE; A bit of Lego™ A musical instruction to play quietly P(piano), to be indebted to OWE, a Greek character RHO, and to work for USE, combined to give us an energetic person, a POWERHOUSE

3d           Some of sect in kingdom’s uprising closely unite (4)
KNIT; A lurker (some of) is reversed (uprising in a down clue) to closely unite in the other three words of the clue

4d           Body of artists knocking back a litre, alcohol’s drunk (6)
SCHOOL; An anagram (drunk) of ALCOHOL’S after you have “knocked back” A from the clue and an abbreviation of litre L Those artists that follow the style of another or SCHOOL of…

5d           Old language of Spain regularly used on border with resistance mounting (8)
SANSKRIT; Regular letters of SpAiN followed by a border or edge SKIRT, but an abbreviation of resistance R, is “mounting” up the word order slightly

6d           Thrown shot, bulls-eye’s first hit (10)
GOBSMACKED; More Lego™ A shot or attempt GO, the first of Bulls-eye B, and a synonym of hit with an open palm SMACKED To be GOBSMACKED or thrown all out of whack

7d           Dig US rapper endlessly (4)
MINE; An American rapper (whose parents call him Marshall Mathers III) loses both ends of his stage name E)MINE(M

8d           Learner in shift working for club (8)
BLUDGEON; The letter that learner drivers are obliged to display L goes in a synonym of shift BUDGE, followed by working or ON – BLUDGEON To beat with a club

14d        Toxic nature shown two seconds beyond time limit (10)
DEADLINESS; A time limit or DEADLINE, with two seconds S S, beyond gives us the toxic nature or DEADLINESS

16d        Not the plan being injured for athletic event (10)
PENTATHLON; An anagram (being injured) of NOT THE PLAN

17d        Nasty bears close to bobcat dens (8)
HIDEOUTS; A synonym of nasty HIDEOUS, bears the closing letter of bobcaT– nice surface

18d        Request stony-hearted rogue to dispose of dosh (8)
ENTREATY; An anagram (rogue) of STONYHEARTED after you have disposed of DOSH

22d        Rush home with virus unknown (6)
INFLUX; Our usual home IN, a winter virus FLU, and an algebraic unknown X, rush into mind

23d        Knock wine over fancy bar area (6)
DERIDE; A colour of wine RED, is reversed (over)  DER, followed by a fancy thought or IDEa without (bar) the abbreviation of area

25d        Out of order having stomach upset (4)
FROM; A synonym of order or structure FORM, has its middle letters (stomach) upset to be OUT OF or FROM

27d        Cross mayor bringing up case of arson
ANKH; The case letters of arson A-N are brought from the bottom to the top of the surname of the current Mayor of London Sadiq KHAN becomes the T-shaped cross with a loop above the horizontal bar, the Egyptian symbol of life, ANKH

That’s all Folks…

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