Sunday Toughie 124 (Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Toughie 124 (Review)

Sunday Toughie No 124 by proXimal

Review by Sloop John Bee

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This puzzle was published on the 9th of June 2024




1a              Spooner’s escaped scrap warning of danger (3,4)
RED FLAG: To have escaped FLED, and a scrap of fabric RAG,  are treated by the Reverend Spooner FLED RAG becomes a RED FLAG or warning of danger

5a              Bloke supposing that revolutionary cold and evil (7)
MALEFIC: The gender of a bloke MALE, a conditional IF, for supposing that is reversed (revolutionary) FI, and an abbreviation of cold C, MALE(FI)C, an adjective for producing evil

9a              Generic article of French striped clothing ultimate in menswear (9)
UNBRANDED: A French indefinite article UN, and a synonym of the striped or hooped clothing BANDED, around the ultimate letter of menswear R. Generic or UN-B(R)ANDED

10a            Covering over wine (5)
MACON: The covering you may wear when it is raining MAC, and a synonym of over ON, give a style of wine from France MACON

11a            Lose tongue after one replaces you reportedly (5)
DITCH: To lose, abandon, or get rid of, from the tongue of people from The Netherlands DUTCH, after you replace the letter that sounds like you U, with the letter that looks like one I DUTCH becomes DITCH

12a            I say shirker should move region (9)
YORKSHIRE: An interjection like I used to indicate ones presence YO, and an anagram (should move) of SHIRKER give us a region that I am particularly familiar with YORKSHIRE

13a            Played backing Queen as decided beforehand (9)
PREFORMED: To have played on stage perhaps PERFORMED, but reverse the regnal cipher of our departed Queen ER becomes RE. PREFORMED as decided beforehand

16a            Thorny plant, say, covering home (5)
SPINY: A person planted into an organisation to uncover secrets SPY, around one of our usual homes IN – SPINY something thorny

17a            King wearing child’s headwear (5)
MITRE: An informal small child MITE, around a Latin Kingly abbreviation R for Rex

18a            Dull hearing step class not on (9)
STYLELESS: A homophone of the step you may use to get over a dry-stone wall STILE becomes STYLE, and a scholarly class without on LESSon Dull or STYLELESS

20a            Son given unwanted responsibility was inattentive (9)
SLUMBERED: An abbreviation of son S, and to be given unwanted responsibility LUMBERED

23a            Sub‘s sign of hesitancy after pass back (5)
LOCUM: An alpine pass is reversed COL becomes LOC, and goes before a hesitant interjection UM, to be the substitute LOCUM you may see if your GP is too busy to see patients

25a            Article with reportedly obscure use (5)
AVAIL: An indefinite article A, and a homophone (reportedly) of to obscure VEIL becomes VAIL,leaving use as the definition, to AVAIL

26a            Game with such realism recreated Guatemala City (9)
ACTUALITY: proXimal™ extraction time, this synonym of realism can be found in an anagram of Guatemala City when GAME has been extracted. It leaves UTALACITY  which is the fodder for an anagram (recreated) of ACTUALITY or realism

27a            Name of man we recalled opening boxes (7)
STEWART: WE is reversed (recalled) boxed in an opening or beginning START, for the name of a man called ST(EW)ART

28a            Sink key in hole and door’s opening (7)
DESCEND: A computer key (top-left on this laptop) ESC, in an animal’s hole DEN, and finally the opening of door D To sink or D(ESC)EN(D)




1d              Herd topped land ahead (5,2)
ROUND UP: The land under our feet GROUND is “topped” ROUND, and goes before an adverb for further ahead UP To herd or ROUND UP

2d              Beginning university in financial hardship (5)
DEBUT: Financial hardship DEBT, around the abbreviation of university U

3d              Not totally cool, oath so mean and vile (9)
LOATHSOME: A lurker (not totally) hidden in cooL, OATH SO Mean

4d              Taunt about half-cut lady being unsteady (5)
GIDDY: A taunt, usually performed with a sharp elbow DIG, is reversed GID, with the second half of the letters of laDY

5d              Home and dry after swimming, leaving behind hard current (6-3)
MODERN-DAY: After swimming is an anagram indicator, and HOME AND DRY is the fodder, but I hear you say that home and dry is 10 letters not (6,3) so leave behind your hard pencil – H, and you will find the current period or MODERN-DAY

6d              Swellings from cycling fall (5)
LUMPS: A fall SLUMP, cycles one letter to be the swellings from a bang on the head LUMPS

7d              Simple housing is erected with mass reproduction (9)
FACSIMILE: A synonym of simple FACILE, housing a reversal (erected) of is SI, and the abbreviation of mass M

8d              Knowing about eastern end of lair containing factory (7)
CANNERY: An adjective for knowing (that also means good or nice in northern parts) CANNY, goes about E for eastern and the end of lair R, for a factory to prepare and preserve goods a CANNERY

14d            Help this gang struggling to get rogue elephant (9)
ENTOURAGE: Another proXimal™ extraction, the gang can be found in an anagram, when help is removed from the rogue elephant, therefore ROUGE E ANT is an anagram of a gang or ENTOURAGE

15d            Villain having brief laugh being introduced to source of money (9)
MISCREANT: The place where money is made MINT, contains most of a (brief) laugh SCREA(m)

16d            Many unburden (9)
SHEDLOADS: Split 4,5 this means to unburden SHED LOADS, (9) it means a plethora or many SHEDLOADS

17d            Accidents and risk exposed by hospital shown in charts (7)
MISHAPS: Cartographers charts MAPS, contain the central letters of risk (exposed) IS, and the abbreviation of hospital H, Accidents or M(IS)(H)APS

19d            Small tick observed after removing lead holding a dog (7)
SAMOYED: An abbreviation of small S, a short tick or period MO, a synonym of observed EYED, without its leading letter YED, and don’t forget to include A from the clue for a breed of dog SAMOYED

21d            Seeing that dog going up wood (5)
BALSA: A conjunction for seeing that AS, and another breed of dog LAB is reversed BAL, (going up in a down clue) For a hardwood that is quite soft BALSA

22d            Old saw (5)
DATED: Another double definition, saw here is in the sense of a romantic occasion

24d            Retired Cockney player discussed England footballer (5)
CAINE: A homophone of the surname of an England footballer Harry KANE, sounds like the surname of a Cockney actor or player who has announced he has retired from making films Michael CAINE

That’s all Folks…

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