Toughie 872 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 872

Toughie No 872 by Beam

Nudge nudge, wink wink. Say no more.

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Beam is on form in the ‘nudge, nudge’ department today with an entertaining but not overly difficult puzzle.
How was it for you?

Across Clues

1a  Satan’s opening his place for ghosts (6)
{SHADES} – The opening letter of S(atan) followed by where he lives.

5a  One’s dug Queen platter! (8)
{TRENCHER} – something long and narrow that’s dug followed by the usual identifier for our Queen. Platter is a gramophone record in the surface but as the definition it’s something that you’d eat your dinner off.

9a  Twitter about return of dismal Oscar broadcast (10)
{PROMULGATE} – a verb meaning to twitter or talk foolishly contains the reversal (return) of a synonym for dismal and the letter for which Oscar is substituted in the Nato Alphabet.

10a  Old age doesn’t end flipping neglect! (4)
{OMIT} – O(ld) followed by a period or age without its final letter and reversed (flipping).

11a  Covers heartless judges after cat’s brought back (8)
{SMOTHERS} – a verb meaning judges loses its central A (heartless) and that goes after the reversal (brought back) of a male cat and the ‘S.

12a  Lover suspiciously caught playing (6)
{VERSUS} – hidden (caught) in the clue.

13a  Characters virtually shouting? (4)
{CAPS} – cryptic definition of the letters that you might use, in an email for example, to simulate shouting (or it could be that you don’t mean to shout but just can’t find the shift key).

15a  Gatecrasher from pub say, tense and more violent (8)
{INTRUDER} – a word that sounds (say) like a pub is followed by T(ense) and a comparative meaning rougher or more violent.

18a  Friendless look around singles club losing heart (8)
{LONESOME} – a two-letter exclamation meaning look goes round a word meaning singles (single runs in cricket, perhaps). To end we need a ceremonial club without its middle two letters (losing heart).

19a  Manure‘s forked around end of garden (4)
{DUNG} – a verb meaning used a fork (or spade) contains the end letter of (garde)N.

21a  Tries to secure top of trouser suit (6)
{HEARTS} – a verb meaning tries, in the judicial sense, contains the top letter of T(rouser).

23a  Faithfulness of deacon’s core religious position (8)
{ACCURACY} – the two core letters of deacon are followed by the office of a junior member of the clergy.

25a  Strip putting old heart in flutter (4)
{BELT} – the central (heart) letter of (o)L(d) goes inside the sort of flutter you might have on a racecourse.

26a  Wild, like animals in a compound? (10)
{CHIMERICAL} – I spent time trying to find some complicated wordplay here but came to the conclusion that it’s just a double definition. This adjective means wildly fanciful but it can also describe animals which are (according to the BRB) made up of, or created by combining, genetic material from two distinct species.

27a  Spur on back of stone fish (8)
{STURGEON} – a phrasal verb (4,2) meaning to spur or encourage goes after (on back of) the abbreviation for a stone in weight.

28a  Refusal to stand for elderly people? (6)
{AGEISM} – cryptic definition of a prejudice.

Down Clues

2d  Place for male after quick one? (5)
{HAREM} – LOL!  a very amusing semi-all-in-one. M(ale) follows a speedy animal.

3d  Pour out mug inside of French coffee (9)
{DEMITASSE} – this is a word, from French, for a small cup of coffee. Insert a verb to pour out or discharge and a synonym for a mug or nitwit inside the two-letter French word meaning of.

4d  Electric current raised in scrap metal (6)
{SILVER} – start with a word for a scrap or small, thin piece and move the letter used as a symbol for electric current one position towards the front (raised, in a down clue).

5d  Converting Sartre into Latin? (15)
{TRANSLITERATION} – I think that this is meant to be an all-in-one but it doesn’t really work for me because this term means the representation of a foreign word in a different alphabet rather than a translation. It’s an anagram (converting) of SARTRE INTO LATIN.

6d  Sap‘s prize with victory going south (8)
{ENERVATE} – a verb meaning to prize or revere has its V(ictory) moved a few places along (going south, in a down clue).

7d  Members of church often in rhythm initially (5)
{CHOIR} – a semi-all-in-one. One of the abbreviations for church is followed by the initial letters of three words in the clue. This is what’s called damning with faint praise.

8d  One likes endless scoff in grand container (9)
{EPICUREAN} – this is another semi-all-in-one with the answer a description of someone who enjoys the finer things of life. A verb to scoff or ingest without its final letter is inserted in an adjective meaning grand or heroic and a container (for ashes, perhaps).

14d  Reconciled male lovers, time to make amends (9)
{ATONEMENT} – a phrase meaning reconciled (2,3) followed by how a woman might refer to her male lovers and T(ime).

16d  Turning in bed, is red nude bottom (9)
{UNDERSIDE} – hidden (in) and reversed (turning) in the clue.

17d  American sucker (8)
{POPSICLE} – cryptic definition of something cold that a North American child might suck.

20d  Map of border in Southern California (6)
{SCHEMA} – a border or fringe goes inside S(outhern) and the two-letter abbreviation for California.

22d  This goes up and down, round and round (5)
{ROTOR} – cryptic definition of what is the same whether read up or down and is, for example, the whirly thing on a helicopter.

24d  Makes barbecued  fish? (5)
{CHARS} – double definition, the first a verb meaning overcooks.

I liked 25a and 7d but the clue that really made me laugh was 2d. Let us know what tickled you.



30 comments on “Toughie 872

  1. This was closer to 4* difficulty for me. The three that caused me the most problems were 3d, 17d, and 26a.
    I also got totally confused trying to parse 16d, where I got to my answer (incorrectly) by making an anagram (bottom) of ‘is red nude’ and tried to make it fit ‘turning in bed’ as the definition, as a noun.
    A good workout for me; many thanks to Beam, and to gazza for the notes.

    1. I did exactly the samewith16d! I would hardly call this gentle….enjoyable though. I too loved 2d.

  2. Very enjoyable if gentle toughie from Beam today, thanks to him and to Gazza for the hints.

  3. 4* tough for me too. A slowly slowly one corner at a time, with multitudinous d’oh moments. 4* entertainment so thank you to Ray and gazza too.

  4. I found this pretty tough the SE putting up the most resistance. Favourites were 2d 3d and 28a thanks to Beam and to Gazza for the comments.

    1. And I reckon a stiff challenge from Petitjean for the other puzzle, however I am nearly always wrong! :)

      1. Don’t even think that ! I’m in the chair tomorrow and last time I had a sort of recycled Toughie from him!

          1. Really like a Petitjean but I just hope he hasn’t put an intended Toughie in the wrong envelope again! Really don’t need that sort of surprise! Won’t be doing it overnight tonight so it’s an 0800CET start tomorrow and you’ll all just have to wait till it’s done – might be some time :grin:

            1. One of the things that Petitjean commented on when Gnomey and I were at his first workshop was the idea that the crosswords were put in the wrong envelope. Interestingly also Micawber mentioned in conversation at Wapping, the difficulty of judging the difficulty of their own puzzles.

              That sounds like I spend all my time in conversation with setters which isn’t the case at all, but I just thought it was interesting to share.

              1. I await tomorrow’s offering with interest! One thing I have noticed, since leaving the relative security of Jay on a Wednesday, is the variability in style and difficulty of the Thursday puzzles – keeps me on my toes and is a lot of fun :grin:

  5. Luckily for us it was neither a golf nor Bridge day so we were able to spend a good chunk of the afternoon on this one. For 18a we had parsed the last two letters as a heartless “mashie” instead of “mace”. Different sort of club but with exactly the same outcome. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience as we always seem to from this setter. Too many good clues to pick a favourite.
    Many thanks Beam and Gazza.

      1. I never thought of mashie, but I’ve just checked with Mrs Bradford and under club she lists both mace and mashie, as well as mere (a Maori war-club). So it probably doesn’t matter much which one you thought of, as long as you thought of one of them.

      2. I had ‘mace’ in mind, but as Gazza says, it doesn’t really matter as long as you got the right answer!


    1. Bridge? You guys tried HELLO as a defence to a 1NT opening? Can’t get my head around it but, on paper, it looks a great system. Spent ages last week trying to remember it – and then we put it into action – fortunately it was pommette who got it wrong which is why I’m not the “late” pommers :grin:

  6. A bit late signing in today, but many thanks to Gazza for the dissection, and to all for your comments.


    1. Sorry Ray, didn’t post earlier but this was one of your best! Worth it if only for 1a and 2d :grin: The rest was entertaining too.

      Many thanks for a lot of fun, and also to Gazza of course.

  7. If pommers is late, i’m not even fashionably late. 4* 4* as ever from RayT, and I too thought 16d an anagram, didn’t really read the clue properly. 2d, vg, thanks to gazza for explaining a couple that I couldn’t parse. Cheers all

    1. Sorry Andy but I must have been doing too many crosswords! When I read “pommers is late” my first thought was “I’m not dead yet!”. :grin:

  8. I have been trying SO hard all day to find the time to get my sticky little paws into this one! Time has defeated me and tomorrow isn’t looking too good either. :sad:
    I love Ray T/Beam puzzles so I haven’t let myself look at any of the hints or comments yet and I’m going to store it up and have it like a little jewel to do (or try to) on Friday.
    Thanks, in anticipation, to Beam and gazza.

  9. Thanks to Beam & Gazza. Quite enjoyed what I could do of it, which wasn’t much :-) Managed to solve 14, had to look up 12, and got 3 from the hints. Still don’t understand 9a. Favourites were 1a &2d, which I actually solved !

    1. 9a is PRATE (twitter) containing the reversal of GLUM (dismal) + O (letter for which the codeword Oscar is used in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet).

  10. I liked this. Not very difficult, but good fun to solve.

    Thursday’s Osmosis Toughie is very nice, and about the same level of difficulty.

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