Sunday Toughie 104 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 104 (Review)

Sunday Toughie No 104 by


Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 20th of January 2024




1a           Harry S Truman securing time for pets (8)
TANTRUMS: Harry here is an anagram indicator, take his middle initial and surname S TRUMAN and T for time to produce the pets that a troublesome child may throw

5a           Right bores turned on internet — one makes you bitter (6)
BREWER: Start with one of our usual ons or abouts RE, add another term for the internet WEB, that contains the abbreviation for right  R then reverse (turned) it all for  the producer of bitter drinks B(R)EW-ER

9a           Miss suggestion American imports wrought iron (9)
SIGNORINA: A suggestion or indication SIGN, and one of usual Americans A, and import an anagram (wrought) of iron becomes ORIN to give us an Italian “Miss” or SIGNORINA

11a        From the east, Asian bread wraps really curious (5)
NOSEY: An Asian “bread” or means of exchange YEN, contains a synonym of really SO, reversed (from the east in an across clue) YE(SO)N becomes NOSEY

12a        Adult bears regularly live without oxygen? One of these can’t (6)
AEROBE: An adult A, regular letters of bEaRs and to live or exist BE,  go outwith the symbol for oxygen O. A ER O BE, if you are an AEROBE you cannot live without oxygen

13a        Writer‘s work defended by provocateur with energy (8)
TROLLOPE: Abbreviations of a piece of work OP, and energy E, follow (defended by) a provocateur that stirs up trouble on social media platforms or Norse myths TROLL OP E the writer of the Barsetshire Chronicles who died after a fit of the giggles

15a        Having possibly lousy diet, I sense, limits camp Welshman (13)
INSECTIVOROUS: Not necessarily a bad diet but one we should consider. I from the clue, some common-sense NOUS, a camp or body of followers of an extreme movement SECT around a Welshman IVOR. I(N(SECT)[IVOR]OUS)  INSECTIVOROUS something that eats insects as the main part of its diet, lousy being an example of insects such as a louse

18a        Blooming small church, where Tuscans are round it (13)
INFLORESCENCE: An abbreviation of small S, and one of the Church of England CE, go in a place where many Tuscans live IN FLORENCE, INFLORESCENCE the blooming of flowers in clusters

22a        Boy that’s repulsive pocketing large fortune (4,4)
LADY LUCK: An informal boy LAD, and an expression of repulsiveness YUCK, pockets an abbreviation of large L

23a        Children following lead of town crier may want this (6)
TISSUE: A genealogical term for the children you bear ISSUE, follows the leading letter of town T, now dry your eyes

26a        Instrument I must move — there it is! (5)
VOILA: An interjection is produced when you move the I in a stringed instrument VIOLA becomes VOILÀ

27a        Brazil perhaps welcomes cut in French food (9)
NUTRIMENT: To cut into shape TRIM, and the French for in EN, going in a Brazil as an example of the hard-shelled seed NUT NU(TRIM)(EN)T

28a        Cursed leader gets cut out of it (6)
RATTED: A mild curse word DRATTED, loses its leading letter to be out of it due to overconsumption of beer or other intoxicating spirits

29a        Traveller‘s fighting to save variable travel expense (8)
WAYFARER: A serious fight between nations WAR contains a mathematical variable Y and the cost of travel FARE WA(Y)(FARE)R A traveller or WAYFARER




1d           Did model put up with obsession in Pacific state? (8)
TASMANIA: To model for an artist in the past tense is reversed (put up) SAT becomes TAS, and a synonym of an extreme obsession MANIA for a state in the Southern Pacific TASMANIA

2d           River going north in country abandoned by many (5)
NIGER: In is going north in a down clue IN becomes NI, and add that part of GERMANY after many has been abandoned produces a river (and country named after it) in Africa NIGER

3d           Like diamonds leaving West Bromwich, improbably (7)
RHOMBIC: Improbably is an anagram indicator, remove West from BROMWICH and you can have a shape like the diamonds on a playing card RHOMBIC

4d           Send Liberal down in African country (4)
MAIL: Take an African country (that borders 2d)  MALI, and move the Liberal down the order before you send it in the post MAIL

6d           Scorer of classical composition holding rising note (7)
RONALDO: A musical composition of the Baroque era that contains a principal theme and around various episodes or couplets RONDO, holds a reversal (rising in a down clue)of a note on the tonic sol-fa scale LA becomes AL RON(AL)DO a prolific scorer of goals

7d           State mostly judicious reason against wrongdoing (9)
WISCONSIN: Most of a synonym of judicious WISE, a reason against CON, and a moral wrongdoing SIN, come together to give us The Cheese State WISCONSIN

8d           What crowd does with loud Republican songs, given a new direction (6)
RHYMES: R for Republican and the types of song they like to sing HYMNS, but one of the compass directions N, within is changed for another E R(HYM(E)S or RHYMES as do crowd and loud

10d        Great car circling around gets high protection (3,5)
AIR COVER: An alpha-numeric great A1 becomes AI, and a brand of car ROVERcontain an abbreviation for around C. Protection from above AIR COVER

14d        Small vessel for Mediterranean islander (8)
MINORCAN: Something small or insignificant MINOR, and a vessel or container CAN. MINORCAN from the island of Minorca

16d        Drops PR work on overall message (9)
SPINDRIFT: What PR advisors do to develop misleading messages SPIN, and the general meaning or direction a message may take DRIFT. Fine snow, sand or sea spray driven by the wind SPINDRIFT

17d        Creator of improved housing for example (8)
BEGETTER: A biblical creator from a synonym of improved BETTER, around (housing) an abbreviation of for example EG B(EG)ETTER

19d        Leaves chore carrying crude oil on base (7)
FOLIAGE: A chore that a schoolboy may be forced to do for another FAG, around an anagram of OIL and a base letter E Leaves or FOLIAGE

20d        Ancient chicken is that thing I put in cheap eatery (7)
CAITIFF: This is the sure-fire candidate for THE LIST™ Terence That thing  IT, and I go in a cheap eatery CAFF, and get your BRB out to check this ancient noun for a despicable or cowardly fellow CAITIFF

21d        King eating nothing in court — the rich live in it (6)
CLOVER: Our King’s regnal cipher CR, contains what nothing is on a tennis court LOVE. The rich live in CLOVER

24d        Burn outside of soft asparagus (5)
SPEAR: To burn or char SEAR, around a musical soft P, a S(P)EAR of asparagus

25d        Poet wasting day climbing peak in Europe (4)
ETNA: An Italian poet DANTE, wastes D for day, and when it is reversed (climbing in a down clue) you get a peak in Europe Mount ETNA



3 comments on “Sunday Toughie 104 (Review)
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  1. 15a reminded me of the time someone I used to work with brought some edible roasted insects from South America. I took one home for No 1 son to try – he wasn’t keen to say the least, but as I said to him if you eat it, if anyone offers you an insect in the future, you will honestly be able to say no thanks, I’ve already tried one

    1. Ha! Very high in protein though. I can honestly recommend “cricket flour”. It makes excellent, slightly nutty bread, I promise! Excellent as a stock for mushroom soup, too. And if it’s good enough for Heston, who am I to argue?

    2. I am still unsure if I could eat one unless heavily disguised as per Alp’s cricket flour but then again Prawns are just sea insects

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