Toughie 934 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 934

Toughie No 934 by Beam

Nymphs but no Shepherds

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Once again Beam provides us with an excellent puzzle.

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1a    Good looks of workman with quite a head (12)
{HANDSOMENESS} – a workman followed by a word meaning quite and a headland

9a    Trembling creature embraces hag sharing husband (9)
{TWITCHING} – a creature around a hag with the H(usband) shared

10a    Master lesson in English, getting educated initially (5)
{LIEGE} – the initial letters of five words in the clue

11a    Spins ends of cribbage board with pegs out (6)
{EDDIES} – the final letters (ends) of cribbagE and boarD followed by a verb meaning pegs out or kicks the bucket

12a    Player pulling out all the stops? (8)
{ORGANIST} – a cryptic definition of someone who plays a musical instrument on which stops can be pulled out

13a    Manoeuvre whip, drawn back with jerk (6)
{TACTIC} – reverse a whip or scourge and follow it with a jerk or spasm

15a    Tick two answers, about right, put in exercise (8)
{PARASITE} – two A(nswer)S around R(ight) followed by a verb meaning to put or place inside some Physical Exercises

18a    Beetle, with another insect seizing end of horn, not moving (8)
{STAGNANT} – a type of beetle and another insect around (seizing) the final letter (end) of horN

19a    Go back taking first right for exit (6)
{EGRESS} – a verb meaning to go back without the first R(ight)

21a    Ending record, single record by Posh Spice finally (8)
{EPILOGUE} – a charade of a type of vinyl record, I (single), a record of events, the single-letter word for posh and the final letter of spicE

23a    Spectacle on the wagon in army spectacles (6)
{TATTOO} – a two-letter abbreviation for on the wagon or abstaining from alcohol inside the volunteer army and the visual representation of a pair of spectacles

26a    Woo time after time without love (5)
{TEMPT} – T(ime) after time or rhythm without the final O (love)

27a    Ace talent penning old hit in comeback’s unusual (9)
{ANOMALOUS} – A(ce) followed by talent or xxx around O(ld) and the reversal (comeback) of a verb meaning to hit

28a    In printer’s, tell arbitrarily between Sun and Star? (12)
{INTERSTELLAR} – hidden inside the clue


1d    Throat intermittently before examination is most inflamed (7)
{HOTTEST} – the evn letters (intermittently) of tHrOaT followed by an examination

2d    Desperate man rises, hugging fine fantastic girl (5)
{NAIAD} – the name of The Dandy’s desperate pie-eater reversed (rises) around (hugging) an abbreviation meaning fine or very good

3d    Return of Queen, portion’s included for release (9)
{SECRETION} – the usual abbreviation for the Queen reversed (return) inside (‘S / has) a portion

4d    Au pair‘s modelled for the audience (4)
{MAID} – sounds like (for the audience) a verb meaning modelled

5d    National from Ireland downing one after drink’s raised (8)
{NIGERIAN} – this national from an African country is derived from a literary name for Ireland around (downing) A (one) after the reversal (raised) of an alcoholic drink

6d    A girl up with top down for dance (5)
{SALSA} – reverse (up) the A from the clue and a girl then drop the initial (top) letter three positions

7d    Iron dress and almost finish up like a girl (8)
{FEMININE} – the chemical symbol for iron followed by a short dress and the reversal (up) of almost all of a verb meaning to finish

8d    Plant  bug? (6)
{NETTLE} – a double definition – a stinging pland and a verb meaning to bug or annoy

14d    Breathes in allure with a personal appeal (8)
{CHARISMA} – a verb meaning breathes or exists inside allure and followed by the A from the clue

16d    Silver jar containing a vicar’s first incense (9)
{AGGRAVATE} – the chemical symbol for silver and a verb meaning to jar around (containing) the A from the clue and the initial letter (first) of Vicar

17d    Heartless to bury without ‘Amen’, heartless (8)
{INHUMANE} – a verb meaning to bury around (without) A(me)N without its inner letters (heartless) – time once again to register my protest that “without” in this context means outside the limits of but not surrounding, like the green hill far away that is without the city wall

18d    Detective‘s hard behind tramp possessing Ecstasy (6)
{SLEUTH} – H(ard) follows a tramp or loose woman around (possessing) E(cstasy)

20d    One backing track’s ringing hollow notes (7)
{SPONSOR} – a track or trail around (ringing) N(ote)S without its inner letters (hollow)

22d    Repeatedly showing temper, having lost head (5)
{OFTEN} – drop the initial letter S (having lost head) of a verb meaning to temper or moderate

24d    Internet worm? (5)
{TROLL} – a cryptic definition of an internet pest who deliberately makes comments which are intended to incite an angry response

25d    Smell starts to spread stemming from big cheese (4)
{BOSS} – an unpleasant smell followed by the initial letters of (starts to) two words in the clue give an important person, not a dairy product

A good start to the week, let’s hope it continues.

23 comments on “Toughie 934

  1. The only one I was not sure about was 24d; I guessed the right answer, but I’d never heard of that definition before.
    One of the most enjoyable Beam puzzles for a while. Thanks to him, and to BD for the notes.

  2. Bingo. the cryptic and the toughie both completed without help ( I refuse help ) and lots of jobs done too. The SE corner was the last to fall. Thanks to BEAM whosoever you are and thanks to the hint and tips writer and founder of this blog – Big Dave.

  3. Well, this was a fine start to the morning.
    Agree with BD about the meaning of ‘without’ but I’ve got so used to the mis-use in crosswords that it would probably fox me completely should it ever be used properly!

    I found the bottom half took a bit longer than the top but have no idea why that was!

    Thanks to Beam and BD.

    1. I simply don’t have a problem with the ‘without’, if its good enough for Bill Shakespeare its OK for me. Also Terry Pratchett likened “A knocking without the door” to “Is that some kind of Zen, then?”. Nanny Ogg replied “Dunno, I’ve never seen one”.
      As you were all….

  4. Most enjoyable start to the Toughie week, favourites for me were 15a 18d and 23a thanks to Beam and to Big Dave for the comments.

  5. Is Beam perhaps my favourite Ray T, as I always enjoy his puzzles and seem to be on the right wavelength? An absolute pleasure. Many thanks to setter and BD.

  6. All 3 crosswords completed by tea-time!
    Can now “enjoy” the Parish Council meeting without (OK Big Dave?) having to hide my paper inside the minutes!
    Thanks to Ray T for a soft Toughie.

      1. Not yet – I always do the Quickie first as a warm-up exercise (also a pangram today).
        I suppose it’s 4 if one includes the Codeword, but it doesn’t really count.

  7. Standard fare from Beam today, no difficulty but lots of enjoyment, thanks to him and to BD for the review/hints.

  8. A lovely Tuesday Toughie, thank you Ray. and BD too

    Micawber tomorrow ( :) ) so it looks like we might be on for a good Toughie week.

  9. A chuckle all the way through puzzle from a much appreciated setter. Held up a little parsing 20d and 27a, but otherwise, all smooth going.
    Thanks Beam and BD.

  10. I was so pleased to see a Beamer that I decided to do that first as I always enjoy this setter. it was a real treat as usual using the whole gamut of clues except the overused anagram. Favourite and last in was 15 which took a bit of working out. All the rest were so good that I can’t pick any out. Thanks a lot Ray – you have made a cold day a bit warmer!

  11. A nice enjoyable puzzle with the last 5 or so being finished off on the train home. Thanks as every to Beam and to BD for the review.
    Slight trouble on the insects as I was looking at GNA(N)T and couldn’t think of the STA beetle!. Deary me!

  12. What a delight! My thanks to RayT and BD both.

    I only get to the Toughies late at night or at the weekend, as the working day and early evening permit (at best) only the Quickie and the Cryptic. Hence the late hour…

    Some random-ish musings…

    BD, do you have a typo in 25d? Didn’t you mean “person” rather than “purpose”?

    Re 6D. Rather than moving a block of letters, isn’t it easier to see it as
    (a) take a charade of “A” and a (Northern?) word for a girl
    (b) reverse it
    (c) move the first letter down to become the fourth letter

    19A. I can never see this without thinking of Barnum’s sign “This way to the ******” :-)

    8D. Is this appearing in EVERY crossword at the moment ???

    And finally… I’m still waiting for some setter to use the fact that a certain Princess is an anagram of 2D !

    BD, another reason to thank you. I have finally got around to treating myself to the de-luxe, all-inclusive version of WordWeb Pro, and very good it is too. You recommended it to me several months ago, but the need just before Christmas to treat myself to a rather nice torque wrench delayed the purchase somewhat…

  13. The only thing I noticed yesterday was the minor error in the hint to 2d. When I grew up, you were either Dandy or Beano, and I was firmly in the former camp.

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