Sunday Toughie 95 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 95 (Review)

Sunday Toughie No 95 by


Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 19th of November 2023



1a American state? I’m not sure it’s the solution (6)
ANSWER; Start with one of the usual American abbreviations A, then an abbreviation of a state in Australia New South Wales becomes NSW and finish with a hesitant interjection ER, and you have the ANSWER

5a Drink cold wine, but not the last part in bad spirits (8)
DOWNCAST; To drink in one DOWN, an abbreviation of cold C, and most of ASTI a wine that appears in this crossword shortened without the last part I to be a synonym of bad spirits or DOWNCAST

9a People like Diana having husband with a Parisian hairdo (10)
HUNTRESSES; H for husband, how a Parisian says a UN, and a hairdo or TRESSES, HUNTRESSES, People like Diana the Goddess rather than Diana the Princess

10a Youthful setter maybe eating starter of mixed grill (4)
PUMP; Not a youthful setter of crosswords, but the young of a gundog PUP, around the starting letter of Mixed M, PUMP To subject to, or elicit by, persistent questioning

11a Topping party during junket (8)
OUTDOING; Junket as a spree taken by officials on public funds OUTING, around a party or DO

12a Improve in French and in German I must be about right (6)
ENRICH; A French in EN, and a German I ICH, about R for right

13a Scottish girl‘s faith rules out Mass (4)
ISLA; A faith without a measure of weight ISLAM without M for mass gives us a Scottish girl’s name ISLA

15a Sinner has new lapse? It’s what’s expected, at the end of the day (8)
EVENFALL; The original sinner EVE and a new abbreviation N, go before a lapse or FALL, when the serpent tempted her into eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil

18a Maybe he and I whizz round, hosted by sisters (8)
PRONOUNS; A definition by example – A whizz, so good at something he could earn a living PRO, and the sisters in a religious order NUNS, around the round letter O

19a Star back from detoxing confessed (4)
SUNG; Our local star SUN, and the back of detoxing G, confessed or SUNG like a canary

21a Teller of tales is trouble for the head in school (6)
SNITCH; An abbreviation for school SCH,around the follicular trouble NIT that a nurse (usually called Nitty Nora in my day) sought SNITCH a teller of tales

23a Spoilt fruit? I ate sandwiches (8)
UGLIFIED; A fruit that tastes better than it looks UGLI, and I sandwiched in a synonym of ate FED

25a Reportedly fix frame used in building (4)
JAMB; A homophone (reportedly) of the fix that you are in when  in a traffic JAM moving, JAMB the frame that surrounds a door or similar opening

26a Lead university starts calling for all-round education (10)
UPBRINGING; Start with an abbreviation U for University, then a chemical symbol for Lead PB, then the noise that signifies you are calling someone RINGING

27a Charming individual from Soho with time off (8)
SMOOTHIE; An anagram (off) of Soho and time to give us a charming SMOOTHIE like Nigel Havers

28a After polite refusal, Tranmere’s wingers write down the score (6)
NOTATE; An informal refusal NO TA, and the winging letters of the Tranmere TE, NOTATE write down a musical score perhaps



2d Country bordered by Argentina/Uruguay (5)
NAURU; A slightly obscure country lurks within (bordered by) the remainder of the clue

3d Person making Sally hot, weary-looking and taciturn (9)
WITHDRAWN; Sally as a humourous remark or retort WIT, an abbreviation for hot H,and a synonym of weary-looking DRAWN, WITHDRAWN or taciturn

4d Grasping English, tried to translate Polish again (2-4)
RE-EDIT; An anagram (to translate) of TRIED and E for English, the kind of polish Chris Lancaster puts on our crosswords

5d Sideburns styled with gel? Bet this hair looks cool! (8,7)
DESIGNER STUBBLE; An anagram (styled with) of SIDEBURNS GEL and BET – Cool or scruffy is a matter of opinion

6d Did that man look embarrassed, kitted out with rings? (8)
WASHERED; Split (3,2,3) WAS HE RED? it could be the question posed in the first five words of the clue – (8) would be kitted out with rings that help secure fastenings WASHERED

7d Lark‘s head in front of rook (5)
CAPER; A geographical headland CAPE, and the front letter of rook R, give us a piece of mischief or CAPER

8d Addition to sentence of criminal SEMICOLON; bagging loot, oddly, behind house (9)
SEMICOLON; A house connected to one other SEMI, followed by one of our usual criminals CON, bags the odd letters of loot LO, A SEMICOLON; to indicate that the sentence continues

14d Violently force disgraced cyclist to cycle around (9)
STRONGARM; A disgraced cyclist LANCE ARMSTRONG, whose seven victories at the Tour de France have been struck from the records for doping “cycles” three letters of his surname to give us to violently force or STRONGARM

16d Dukes will be involved in this duel? (9)
FISTFIGHT; A nice All-in One for Put Your Dukes Up John! A slang term for the Fists DUKES are involved in this duel

17d Classified hotels accommodating American more than once (4-4)
HUSH-HUSH; Abbreviations of hotel H-H, accommodate one of our usual Americas US, to give us HUSH repeated more than once to give HUSH-HUSH or classified as secret

20d Criminal on bail in the country no longer (6)
ALBION; An ancient name for the island of Great Britain an anagram (criminal) of ON BAIL

22d Case of trauma with scary utterance? It shouldn’t be uttered (5)
TABOO; The utterance you may use to scare someone BOO! follows the case letters of trauma TA,

24d Hemingway perhaps ignoring European artist (5)
ERNST; ERNEST Hemingway ignores his second E for European to give us Max ERNST the European artist

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