Toughie 747 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 747

Toughie No 747 by Beam

A Ray of Sunshine on an Otherwise Gloomy Day

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Another fine puzzle from Ray T’s alter ego.

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1a    Despotism of Castro hit badly in decline (12)
{DICTATORSHIP} – to get this despotism put an anagram (badly) of CASTRO HIT inside a decline

9a    Lingo some butchered for blog, say (9)
{NEOLOGISM} – an anagram (butchered) of LINGO SOME gives a name for a new word like (say) blog

10a    Smuggled diamonds back pocketing international currency (5)
{DINAR} – reverse (back) a verb meaning smuggled and D(iamonds) then insert (pocketing) I(nternational) to get a currency

11a    Worn out embracing sweetheart having rows (6)
{TIERED} – put a word meaning worn out around (embracing) the middle letter (heart) of swEet to get an adjective meaning having rows or levels

12a    Jesting about golf score before start of hole (8)
{REPARTEE} – this jesting is a charade of a two-letter word meaning about, a golf score that equals the number of strokes that should be taken by good play and the start of a hole in golf

13a    Reflections of English elected socialist leader moving right (6)
{ECHOES} – these reflections are derived from E(nglish) and a verb meaning elected in which the S (Socialist leader) is moved to the right

15a    Pert, oddly ugly woman makes advance (8)
{PROGRESS} – start with the odd letters of PeRt and then add an ugly woman to get a word meaning makes advance

18a    Back in University, get art studies programme (8)
{STRATEGY} – hidden and reversed (back) in the clue is a programme or policy

19a    One taking enormous interest? (6)
{USURER} – a cryptic definition of a moneylender who charges excessive rates of interest

21a    Forgetting old boy’s surviving, almost eating nothing (8)
{OBLIVION} – this state of being forgotten is derived from the abbreviation of Old Boy followed by most of (almost) a word meaning surviving around (eating) O (nothing)

23a    Amorous heart flipped about sex (6)
{EROTIC} – this adjective meaning amorous is created by reversing (flipped) a heart or nucleus around the two-letter word for sex

26a    What one shouldn’t be after doctor’s procedure! (5)
{DRILL} – put a word meaning unwell (what one shouldn’t be)after the abbreviation of doctor to get a procedure

27a    A tower, round, with collection inside? (9)
{ACROPOLIS} – start with the A from the clue, add the reversal (round) of a tower for storing grain and put a selection inside to get a citadel defined by the whole clue

28a    If holed, say, gets to ship’s windward (12)
{WEATHERBOARD} – what sounds like (say) if and holed is actually the windward side of a ship


1d    Empty table after noon in fast food place (7)
{DINETTE} – put T(abl)E without its internal letters (empty) after N(oon) inside a fast to get this small place for eating food

2d    Chopped spice (5)
{CLOVE} – a double definition

3d    Last word about character, time to make amends (9)
{ATONEMENT} – put the last word (the Latin for “so be it”) around character, particularly of sound, and add T(ime) to get amends or reparation

4d    Provided concealment for controversial writer (4)
{OVID} – hidden inside (concealment) the first word of the clue is a Greek writer who was banished by the Emperor Augustus

5d    Second shot getting award, rising for balance (8)
{SYMMETRY} – put S(econd) and a shot or attempt around the reversal (rising in a down clue) of a television entertainment award to get balance or correspondence

6d    I communicated on air (5)
{INDIA} – the entry in the NATO phonetic alphabet for the letter I

7d    Some clothing Navy in uniform on river (8)
{KNITWEAR} – this type of clothing is generated by putting N(avy) inside a uniform or outfit and adding a river in North East England

8d    Pants, breathing rapidly in extremely fast sprint initially (6)
{BRIEFS} – These pants come from the initial letters of six of the words in the clue

14d    Describing sinister bar or… (8)
{HERALDIC} – this adjective describes terms like sinister, bar, or etc. – my Mine entry is progressing slowly but surely!

16d    …bar, and land up taking posh drinks here? (9)
{GASTROPUB} – this type of bar is derived from a verb meaning to land or catch around the single letter for posh and some drinks then reverse the lot – I’m not sure that the reversal of the contents is indicated

17d    Topless suggestion, otherwise worker’s rude (8)
{IGNORANT} – a charade of a suggestion or hint without its initial letter (topless), a word meaning otherwise and a worker insect gives an adjective meaning rude or discourteous

18d    Like trash, not even having modest exterior (6)
{SHODDY] – this adjective meaning like trash is created from a word meaning not even with an adjective meaning modest around (exterior)

20d    Grass accepting copper’s removed from case (7)
{RECUSED} – put some grass around the chemical symbol for copper and the S from ‘S to get a verb meaning removed from a court case

22d    Toilet turned over, stripped to find ballcock (5)
{VALVE} – reverse (turned) a short word for a toilet and add (o)VE(r) without its outside letters (stripped) to get a device that regulates flow like a ballcock

24d    Type of shirt, ‘Large’ in American city (5)
{TULSA} – start with a type of shirt and then add L(arge) inside American to get a city which Gene Pitney got within a day of reaching

25d    Scottish bank’s support over end of debacle (4)
{BRAE} – this Scottish word for a bank is derived from a female support garment and the final letter (end) of debaclE

The innuendo count is low today!

24 comments on “Toughie 747

  1. This was pretty much perfect for me today; not too gentle, not too tough, and very pleasing to solve.
    Copious thanks to Beam, and to BD too.

  2. Good start to Toughie week, favourites were 5d 18a and 27a thanks to Beam and to Big Dave for the review.

  3. It may have only 2* for difficulty – I don’t care – I’ve finally finished a toughie all on my own! I don’t think that I’ve ever managed that before so feeling a bit smug! I needed the hints to explain a couple of them – 14a – I knew that “sinister” is a heraldic term but not that “bar ” is too. Also 16d – even having read the hint I STILL can’t quite sort that one out – will read the hint again. I enjoyed this very much – favourites include 21 and 28a and 8, 18 and 22d. With thanks to Beam and BD.
    Where’s “Queen” or does that trademark of his not appear in toughies?

    1. PS Forget the bit about STILL not understanding 16d – have just read the hint again – the light has finally dawned.

      1. Thanks – as I’ve already said, really feeling quite pleased with myself – and it’s allowed me to put off cleaning windows for a bit longer …

        1. Kath,
          Congratulations from me too – thats impressive stuff.
          Now when you complete one of the Friday Toughies, thats when we ask you to start blogging :-)

    2. Thanks very much to all of you for your encouragement. :grin:
      Libellule – it could be some time before I even LOOK at a Friday toughie!!

        1. … might have a go!! By the way what was the answer to the clue you told me about in last Thursday’s (I think) Guardian? I couldn’t do it and it drove me mad until the NTSPP took over doing that!!

          1. Was it ” Pregnant warbler? It’s the sound of spring! (5)”?

            The answer is BOING – O (egg) inside BING (Crosby / warbler)

          2. The clue from Paul/Dada was:
            Designated partners primarily desperate for a quickie potential romance? (5,6)
            It’s an anagram (desperate) of DESIGNATED + P(artners) giving SPEED DATING.

            1. Thanks gazza – yes, that was the one! I totally missed the anagram indicator. Another good one, along with BD’s and “slap happy”!

    3. Well done you, I got there eventually but made heavy weather in the SW and for no obvious reason. Great stuff as ever from Beam / Mr T. And BD

    4. Well done Kath, I’ve only ever finished one Toughie unaided, but it was a one star. You did great to do this one, I could only do half.

  4. Thanks again to BD for the dissection, and thanks to all who left a comment. Apologies for the ‘innuendo count’ being low today – I’ll try to get it up next time…


  5. I nearly missed this one today due to gardening in gorgeous weather. There it was – a Beam at last. As usual some very nice clues with a good range of different solves. Favourite was 12 for great misdirection and also liked 1a 2 3 8 14 and 16. 13a was last in with a large guffaw. He is becoming very straitlaced these days, isn’t he? What has happened to the nudge nudge? Thanks again, Ray.

  6. Thanks to Beam & Big Dave for the review & hints. Quite enjoyed it, but was too difficult for me. Did about half, NW & SE corners. Then enjoyed reading BD’s excellent hints. There were a few I should have got, if I’d applied my brain properly! Great stuff from the Maestro.

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