Toughie 571 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 571

Toughie No 571 by Beam

A bit of “How’s your Father”

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

This great puzzle from Beam is laced with innuendo. Tuesday has not been a good day for Toughies recently, but this has been the best since Beam’s last offering four weeks ago.

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1a    Describing where William Wordsworth wandered? (12)
{ALLITERATIVE} – a cryptic definition of an adjective describing words with the same initial sound (not necessarily letter) in close succession – way back in DT 25956 (June 2009) Ray T used “This is what William Wordsworth wrote” as a clue for the equivalent noun!

8a    Liberal Tory leader after leftie taking in English (7)
{LENIENT} – this adjective meaning liberal is constructed by putting T (Tory leader) after a famous Russian revolutionary leader (leftie) and then inserting (taking in) E(nglish)

9a    Commissioned sailor steered on empty Exxon… (7)
{ENABLED} – a word meaning commissioned or authorised is derived by putting a sailor (2) and a word meaning steered (3) after EN (empty ExxoN) – presumable an allusion to the Exxon Valdez which “emptied” its cargo back in 1989

11a    Labour’s hunt to secure a victory (7)
{TRAVAIL} – to get a word meaning labour put a word meaning to hunt or track around (to secure) A and V (Victory, as in V-day)

12a    Catches faithless partner holding it back (7)
{ENTRAPS} – a word meaning catches or snares is hidden (holding) and reversed (back) inside the clue

13a    Diminished support with Democrat ousting Liberal (5)
{EASED} – to get a word meaning diminished or alleviated start with a support used by an artist and put D(emocrat) instead of (ousting) L(iberal)

14a    Charlie stood around posh before Church affirmation… (9)
{ASSURANCE} – start with a “proper Charlie” or fool, then a word meaning stood, as in stood for election, include Crosswordland’s abbreviation for posh and finish with the Church of England to get an affirmation or guarantee

16a    …ceremony with bag, right, having final word (9)
{SACRAMENT} – to get this ceremony or religious rite start with a bag and then put the two-letter abbreviation for right around the final word in a prayer

19a    ‘How’s your father?’, say religious groups (5)
{SECTS} – what sounds like “how’s your father?”, a euphemism for intercourse, are actually religious groups

21a    Acting fit, embracing sweetheart (7)
{INTERIM} – to get a word meaning acting or provisional put a phrase meaning fit (2,4) around E (swEet heart)

23a    Nibble ends in smallest getting most emaciated (7)
{LEANEST} – put NE (the end letters of NibblE) inside a word meaning smallest or fewest to get a word meaning most emaciated or thinnest

24a    Record single with tenor taking the title (7)
{EPITHET} – start with a record with double the tracks of a single, then add I (single) and T(enor) and insert (taking) THE to get a title or description

25a    Sort of painting done in one second (7)
{IMPASTO} – this sort of painting where the paint or pigment is laid on thickly so that it stands out from a surface is created by inserting done or completed inside I (one) and a very short period of time

26a    Trousers pop undone around end of farce? Farcical (12)
{PREPOSTEROUS} – put an anagram (undone) of TROUSERS POP around E (end of farcE) to get a word meaning farcical or ludicrous


1d    Tempers turning hot and cold (7)
{ANNEALS} – a slightly cryptic definition of a verb meaning heats and cools gradually in order to temper or toughen metals

2d    Throw back dead uncooked fish downwind (7)
{LEEWARD} – reverse (throw back) a charade of D(ead), uncooked and a snake-like fish to get a word meaning downwind

3d    Arouse bird getting full sex returned with energy (9)
{TITILLATE} – to get a verb meaning to arouse start with a small bird (3) and insert (getting) a word meaning full and a two-letter euphemism for sex reversed (returned) and finally add E(nergy)

4d    First woman attached to army unit, it’s official (5)
{REEVE} – put Adam’s mate (first woman) after (attached to) an army unit to get an old-fashioned official or chief magistrate

5d    Judas, informer embracing one in high place (7)
{TRAITOR} – a Judas is created by putting an informer around (embracing) I (one) and then inside a high place or hill

6d    Criminal laid up in hollow (7)
{VILLAIN} – to get this criminal put a word meaning laid up or unwell inside an adjective meaning hollow or worthless

7d    Gossip from British bird about soaps (12)
{BLATHERSKITE} – this person who talks at great length without making much sense is created by putting B(ritish) and a long-tailed bird of prey of the hawk family around a word meaning soaps or froths – according to Chambers this is a dialect word; the ODE says it is North American – either way it was new to me

10d         Coppers dash off base, no time for administration (12)
{DISPENSATION} – start with some senior members of CID, follow that with to dash off or write and finish with a base or depot without its first T (no time) to get a word meaning administration

15d         Stood before (9)
{SATELLITE} – a word which, paradoxically, can mean stood is followed by a homophone (reportedly) of radiant to get a heavenly body of which the Moon is an example

17d         More like a bitch, paradoxically? (7)
{CATTIER} – this word meaning more like a bitch refers to a feline rather than a canine

18d         Zeppelin tune? Start to smoke joint! (7)
{AIRSHIP} – a mechanically driven dirigible, of which the Zeppelin was an example, is a charade of a tune, S (start to Smoke) and a joint in the body

19d         Treatment for bad state of shock (7)
{SHAMPOO} – a cryptic definition of a treatment for the hair

20d         Six needed to win in Trivial Pursuit? (7)
{CHEESES} – six of these are required in order to win a game of Trivial Pursuit and together they form a ‘wheel’.

22d         American university tries heart out for baseball gear (5)
{MITTS} – the abbreviation for a university in Cambridge, Massachusetts followed by TS (TrieS without its middle letters / heart out) gives some large fingerless gloves worn by the catcher and first baseman (baseball gear)

26 comments on “Toughie 571

  1. Most enjoyable crossword. I got stuck in the NE for a wee while then realised I had the wrong ending to 1a. Many thanks to Beam for a super puzzle and to BD for the review.

  2. As BD says, the best Tuesday toughie for a while. I thoroughly enjoyed this; not the quickest of solving times, but a pleasurable experience to savour!
    Many thanks to Beam, and to BD for the review.

  3. Being a massive fan of both Beam and Zeppelin 18d was my favourite. Top stuff, thanks to RayT and BD

      1. They’re all good Dave!
        The entirety of ‘The Rain Song’ from the film ‘The Song Remains The Same’ would be lovely. I don’t know how much Zep fodder is on YouTube but studio is probably more accessible than early live stuff!

        Btw, the mobile format just went mental with your latest cut and paste!

  4. Excellent puzzle from Beam some really clever clues of which my favourites were 1a 9a and 19a thanks to Beam for the puzzle and Big Dave for the comments.

  5. SO much of an improvement on recent Tuesday offerings. I second those whose favourites are 1a and 19a, though will add 26a for the amusing anagram. Thanks to Beam and BD

  6. A very enjoyable treat of a toughie. I too was in the wrong last three letters of 1a club but I think it was my favourite clue. Thanks to Beam and BD. Back out to the garden now as there is a big black cloud coming over the horizon and I must enjoy the sun while it lasts!

  7. There seems to be a list of ‘computer-like’ jargon showing under the hint for 22d.

    1. I have tidied it up – There was no epilogue that I could see so that might be missing but I stuck my neck out and posted the studio version of ‘The Rain Song’ as well. Well worth a listen!

      1. It seemed to happen when you added 10d – which looks like a different font.

        1. It was a different font, Jezza. Hopefully all is well now and I wuill add some illustrations as BD is busy at home. The cut and paste on WordPress can be a bit tricky as you can vary between a ‘proper’ view and the HTML.

  8. I must confess, knowing that this was a RayT, that I initially put COCKY in at 17d although in retrospect I was a bit foolish!. If birds were there it might have been a different story!.

  9. Learned a new word in 7d and LOVE IT!!!! will be using it at least once in everyday conversation!

  10. Thanks to BD and to everybody else for the comments. The feedback is always interesting to read.


  11. Really enjoyed this. Like several others, I loved 7d. New to me.
    My only failure was 20d Got the answer but couldn’t explain it. Let’s hope tomorrow’s toughie is as entertaining.

  12. Beam at his best. Full of great clues but favourite by a mile was 26. Also enjoyed 7 which was new to me but easily worked out., and both 19s.

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