Toughie 836 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 836

Toughie No 836 by Beam

Cuddling Large Models in Flimsy Blouses

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

We have an entertaining puzzle from Beam with several of his usual double-entendres and the obligatory reference to Queen (piece of useless trivia – Freddie Mercury was born on this day in 1946). The mix of clue types is quite odd; there are no anagrams at all but lots and lots of containment-type clues and hidden words.
Let us know what you thought and please click on one of the stars below to record your enjoyment factor.

Across Clues

1a  One entering school tests works fine (12)
{SATISFACTORY} – insert I (one) in the abbreviation for assessment tests in school then add a works.

9a  Belt holder securing many rounds? (9)
{BANDOLIER} – the surface is trying to make you think of boxing but this is actually a cryptic definition of a belt that holds ammunition.

10a  Kid’s programme entertaining child (5)
{SPROG} – hidden (entertaining) is an informal word for a child.

11a  Fancies holding large models (6)
{IDEALS} – fancies or notions contain (holding) L(arge).

12a  Britain and America opposing heretical German (8)
{BAVARIAN} – single-character abbreviations for Britain, America and opposing (in a sporting sense) are followed by an adjective relating to a heretical Christian doctrine.

13a  Quarantine perhaps, for instance with spots returning (6)
{ENCAGE} – reverse (returning) the abbreviation of for instance and teenage spots.

15a  Cuddling young bird (8)
{NESTLING} – double definition.

18a  A container in this way produces plant (8)
{ACANTHUS} – A is followed by a container for liquid and a single word meaning in this way.

19a  Bowled over by view from pavilion (6)
{GAZEBO} – the cricketing abbreviations for bowled and over are appended to (by) a verb meaning to view intently.

21a  Pervert’s in hot water (8)
{IRRIGATE} – a verb meaning to pervert or manipulate fraudulently has to be inserted in an adjective meaning hot or seething.

23a  Regret catching computer key for ‘Save’ (6)
{RESCUE} – a verb meaning to regret contains the key that’s normally found at the top-left of a PC keyboard.

26a  Many a large enclosure for antelope (5)
{NYALA} – a hidden (enclosure) word in the clue.

27a  Submissive with single adult turning to moan (9)
{COMPLAINT} – an adjective meaning submissive or cooperative has the two consecutive letters that are abbreviations for single and adult reversed (turning).

28a  Rook expertly capturing Rook on flank, remarkably (12)
{CONSIDERABLY} – a verb meaning to rook or defraud and an adverb meaning expertly go round (capturing) a R(ook) on the chessboard which itself follows (on) a synonym for flank.

Down Clues

1d  Turn to gas to get high (7)
{SUBLIME} – double definition. The first meaning (as a verb) is to change a solid substance directly into vapour by heating.

2d  XXXX perhaps, and Aussie finally is tight (5)
{TENSE} – XXXX are four **** (in Roman numerals), then add the final letter of (Aussi)E.

3d  Flimsy blouse held up in public eye (9)
{SPOTLIGHT} – an adjective meaning flimsy or delicate contains the reversal (held up) of what a blouse is, i.e. a garment covering the upper part of the body.

4d  Monotonous back-up covering Queen (4)
{ARID} – a word for back-up or assistance contains (covering) a single-character abbreviation for Queen.

5d  Menace subsequently trapping rebel without cause initially (8)
{THREATEN} – an adverb meaning subsequently contains (trapping) a verb to rebel or respond adversely without the initial letter of C(ause).

6d  Rise of an Emperor Haile Selassie follower (5)
{RASTA} – there’s a bit of lifting and separating needed here. Reverse (rise of) an emperor (a Russian one, perhaps).

7d  Smart if I celebrate taking trick (8)
{ARTIFICE} – this is another hidden-word clue (taking).

8d  Moved up, straddling horse announced as punch perhaps (6)
{EGGNOG} – reverse (up, in a down clue) the past participle of a verb meaning to have a turn (moved), in a boardgame perhaps. Now insert (straddling) what sounds like (announced) a child’s horse.

14d  Following check, expose piece, one on board (8)
{CHAIRMAN} – the abbreviation for check, in chess, is followed by a verb to expose or articulate and another word for a piece on a chessboard. After all the chess-related wordplay the ‘board’ in the definition is nothing to do with chess.

16d  The French composer first in twitter ends ‘Gypsy’ (9)
{TRAVELLER} – the French definite article (masculine singular version) has the name of a composer (also French, just to confuse us) placed in front of it (first). Now put all that inside the outer letters (ends) of T(witte)R.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

17d  Young man’s gripping extravagant upturned rump (8)
{BUTTOCKS} – an old word for a lively and energetic young man plus the ‘S contain (gripping) the reversal (upturned) of an abbreviation meaning extravagant or excessive.

18d  Foreigners like to eat right (6)
{ALIENS} – an adverb meaning like or ‘similar to’ contains (to eat) a legal right.

20d  Clearly too tense inside (7)
{OVERTLY} – a synonym for too or excessively has T(ense) inserted.

22d  Stabled by Poseidon, Augeas turned over dung! (5)
{GUANO} – one of the labours of Hercules was to clean out the large stables of Augeas, which apparently contained thirty years’ worth of accumulated dung. Hidden (stabled) and reversed (turned over) in the clue is the word you’re looking for.

24d  Caught member following mount (5)
{CLIMB} – the abbreviation in cricket for caught is followed by a bodily member.

25d  Surrounded by financial support, with millions coming in (4)
{AMID} – a word for financial support (it was back-up in 4d) has M(illions) inserted.

The clues I enjoyed most today were 11a, 21a, 6d and 20d. Let me know your favourites.

27 comments on “Toughie 836

  1. Apart from a couple in the NW corner, for me this was more of a glint than a full Beam, so 2* difficulty for me. Definitely 4* fun – same favourites as gazza. Thanks to Ray for the fun and gazza for the nicely illustrated explanations.

  2. Quite pleased with myself today, managed to correctly solve more than yesterday, although i did use every trick in the book.
    I will consider myself a fully paid-up member of the CC club Thank-you to the setter and to Gazza for his review.

  3. My delay was in getting 1d. Once I had that, the last few fell into place fairly quickly.
    Very enjoyable; 3*/4* for me. Thanks to Beam, and to Gazza.

    1. Ditto, worked upwards and spent longer trying to parse 1d on a train without access to help than the rest put together. Thanks to Beam and Gazza. Loved 22d, one of those moments when you try to convert a laugh into a cough before fellow passengers leave seats. Oh wait, I was standing, I see a plan……

  4. Enjoyed this – amusing as always from The Beamer. Thanks to he & to Gazza for the review.

    Now – it’s either back to working or having another go at that pesky monthly puzzle….no contest really so bugger the bank manager!

      1. …a double entendre and if you don’t know what one of those is then I’ll give you one…fnr, fnr, fnr…

        1. That reminds me of the woman walking past the building site who overheard one of the men looking in her direction and saying, ‘I’d give her one…’
          She went over to the man, glared at him, and said ‘I would not go near you if you were the last man on this planet’.
          He replied ‘Don’t flatter yourself darling, I just said I’d give you 1 out of 10..’

  5. I’d say 2* difficulty apart from the NW corner which was more like 4* so I guess 3* overall is about right. Definitely 4* fun!
    Plenty of good clues but 20d was favourite as it reminded me of pommette who’s under a lot of stress at the moment getting her mum moved :grin:

    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza

  6. I put the alternative spelling for 9a which made 4d impossible until the penny finally dropped, My favourites today were 3d 17d and 21a thanks to Beam and to Gazza for the review.

  7. Phew! Finally finished this – really glad that it got at least 3* for difficulty – was hoping for 4*!! I didn’t know the first meaning of 1d and I needed the hint to explain 8d. It’s taken me ages.
    I liked 10, 21 and 27a and 2, 3, 6 and 17d. Off to lie face down on the sofa now!
    With thanks to Beam and Gazza.

    1. I have to admit to some embarrassment about how long it took me to crack 1d! I was a chemist and used to sublime iodine to purify it before use! D’OH!!!!!

  8. some nice clues,17 down will probably be recycled by cyclops in private eye with a much filthier clue

    1. Appeared earlier in the year in Cyclops 464

      5d, Arse nevertheless half functions as a clock (8)

      very tame clue by his standards!!!

  9. Many thanks to Gazza for the dissection, and to all who left a comment. As ever, all read and appreciated.


  10. Really enjoyed this one which we finished without too much trouble (for a Toughie). Last one is was also 1d. It was not until we read the blog this morning that we realised that Beam is also our favourite Thursday setter. Should have twigged from the queen and style of clues, but you don’t see what you are not looking for. Many thanks Beam and Gazza.

      1. Mine against all the odds is Virgilius because he outfoxes me every time, I love a challenge and whether he is Brendan or whatever one day, one day I will , excuse the internet shouting WILL find his wavelength. I could be hospitalised for the d’oh moments when my forehead smacks the table

      2. I like RayT/Beam too but have to say my two favourite settersat the moment are Arachne and Paul in the Grauniad. Both more risque than RayT and both with a wicked sense of humour! Paul of course is Dada in DT Toughies but unfortunately we don’t get the ‘spider lady’ here. Virgilius fav out of the Telegraph setters.

          1. Try Arachne’s Quiptics. Apparantly they get slowly harder but she runs them by her daughter, and when daughter says “Mum, that’s a bit tricky”, she backs off a bit! Nice lady and a ‘Burnage Girl’ – might mean something to any other Mancs on the blog!

          2. Forgot to say – any woman who can hold the world record for a marathon dressed as a beer bottle must have a sense of humour – not to mention being very fit :grin:

  11. Most enjoyable as usual with RayT. Favourite was 21 but also liked 6 and 20. Noticably no anagrams again. Is this RayT’s new policy?

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