Toughie 1031 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1031

Toughie No 1031 by Beam

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A competent puzzle from Beam, but certainly not one of my favourites.

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1a    Boxers giving jabs around beginning of round (6)
{SHORTS} – not pugilists, but underwear – jabs with a needle around the initial letter () of Round

4a    Gleaming Gents finally with no bowl? (8)
{SPOTLESS] – the final letter 0f gentS followed by a word meaning without a bowl

9a    Superior  person punting? (6)
{BETTER} – two definitions – the second one being a gambler not someone on the River Cam!

10a    Gesso covers top of Ionic column (8)
{PILASTER] – some gesso around the initial letter (top) of Ionic

11a    Means for majestic Queen to return (6)
{RECIPE] – this word meaning means as in method comes from the reversal (return) of an adjective meaning majestic and our Queen’s regnal cipher

12a    Home of tree lodge overlooking river (8)
{FIRESIDE] – a coniferous tree followed by a verb meaning to lodge or dwell without (overlooking) the initial R(iver)

14a    Reportedly dream French footballer comes to pass (10)
{TRANSPIRES} – a homophone (reportedly, but it doesn’t work for everyone) of a dream followed by the surname of a former French international footballer who used to play for the second-best team in North London

18a    OK Sauce evenly accompanying mushroom food (10)
{ACCEPTABLE} – the even letters of sAuCe followed by a three-letter mushroom and a supply of food

22a    Drug left over stopping boundless hurt (8)
{ATROPINE} – the nautical term for left is reversed (over) inside (stopping) an adjective meaning hurt without its outer letters (boundless)

23a    Start to irrigate blood surrounding new cut (6)
{IGNORE} – the initial letter (start) of Irrigate followed by some blood around (surrounding) N(ew) gives a verb meaning to cut or snub

24a    Prayers producing sign by god without foundation (8)
{ROSARIES} – this series of prayers comes from a sign of the zodiac preceded by the Greek god of love without his initial letter (foundation)

25a    Bowled over following look from pavilion (6)
{GAZEBO} – B(owled) and O(ver) following a long steady look

26a    Back in toilet, sat sideways, showing revulsion (8)
{DISTASTE} – hidden (in) and reversed (back) inside the clue

27a    Lush, oddly, always found inside bars… (6)
{LEVERS} – the odd letters of LuSh around (found inside) a word meaning always


1d    …classy bar, it exists to trap sensualist (8)
{SYBARITE} – the initial ellipsis seems odd until you see that this clue follows the final across one – hidden (to trap) inside the clue

2d    One improves view of work by artist reportedly (8)
{OPTICIAN} – the two-letter abbreviation for a musical work followed by what sounds like (reportedly) the name of a famous Italian artist – did he go to Specsavers?

3d    In Paris very old hat, virtually wrong (8)
{TRESPASS} – the French (in Paris) for very followed by an adjective meaning old hat or no longer fashionable without its final letter (virtually)

5d    Upper-class degenerate, say, rolling in endless sin (10)
{PRIVILEGED} – a four-letter adjective meaning degenerate followed by the reversal (rolling) of the Latin abbreviation of say or for example all inside most of (endless) one of the seven deadly sins

6d    Backward, took test again tackling English problem (6)
{TEASER] – reverse (backward) a verb meaning took a test again around (tackling) E(nglish)

7d    Produce the Italian volcano’s first interior upset (6)
{ENTAIL} – this verb meaning to produce or bring about comes from the Italian definite article preceded by a volcano with the middle two letters reversed (upset in a down clue)

8d    Shelter for American Indian in daylight ends (6)
{SCREEN} – an American Indian inside the outer letters (ends) of the source of daylight

13d    Company shared in club entertainment creates shock (10)
{DISCONCERT} – the end of a night club and the start of an entertainment share the letters CO(mpany)

15d    Idle horse, first to last in National (8)
{STAGNATE} – start with a three-letter word for a horse, move the first letter to the end and put the result inside an adjective meaning National

16d    Dead smell turning fish terrine case (8)
{OBSOLETE} – reverse (turning a two-letter abbreviation for a smell and follow it with a flat fish and the outer letters (case) of TerrinE

17d    Ample sort embracing topless celebrity (8)
{GENEROUS} – a sort or taxonomic group around (embracing) a celebrity or champion without his initial letter (topless)

19d    Shakespeare in speech is restrained (6)
{BARRED} – sounds like the nickname often given to William Shakespeare

20d    Lives and lives again under credit crunch (6)
{CRISIS} – a two-letter verb meaning lives followed by the same verb (again) and preceded by CR(edit)

21d    Greek city overturned Athens initially with ruses (6)
{SPARTA} – the reversal of the initial letter of Athens and some ruses or pitfalls

Thanks once again to Gazza for covering yesterday’s Toughie for me.

11 comments on “Toughie 1031

  1. 2* difficulty and 3* enjoyment for me, – I see setters’ word of the month is back in 10a!

    Thanks to Beam and BD.

  2. I found this quite entertaining today. 3*/4* for me. I spent far too much time trying to make the homophone at 14a work, and had a particularly dull moment at 24a, convinced that ‘without foundation’ implied missing the last letter; not surprisingly i couldn’t find a Greek or Egyptian god ROS?.
    Many thanks to Beam, and to BD.

  3. A bit on the gentle side I thought and as is becoming the norm with Ray T we have an anagram free zone, favourites for me were 12a 13d and 26a thanks to Beam and Big Dave.

  4. Thanks to Beam and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I had some success in the NW corner where I actually solved 4 clues. Also got 27a, but this was as good as it got. Then I underlined the definitions from the hints, but that didn’t yield much, so I read the hints and got some checkers. Then I was able to solve another 6. Also got another 6 from the hints, but had to look up another 10. I only have two questions about 14a. How is “trans” a homophone of dream, and surel yyou meant the best team in North London :-) It amazes me that some people found this on the easy side. I’ve obviously got a lot to learn. Favourites 10a & 2d. I can’t really rate this puzzle, but at least I’ve had a good look at it.

  5. Evening all…

    Many thanks as ever to BD for the analysis and to everybody who left a comment.


  6. We totally failed to parse the drug in 22a. Can’t think why, it is so obvious this morning. Winced mightily at the homophone in 14a. It is certainly not a homophone in Kiwi-speak, but still gettable. Despite that, a good fun puzzle that we appreciated very much.
    Thanks Beam and BD.

  7. couldn’t parse the 22a clue as thought pain not pained, dearie me.and like others the homophone in 14a doesn’t work for me. Only until Gazza and I had a “conversation” last week on this blog, did I appreciate just how accents and dialects can be so important. Thanks Beam and and BD

  8. I am not sure about the grid for this puzzle – in some ways it almost felt like 4 separate ones. Still, it was a a challenge & I’m now kicking myself for not getting 12a at all despite having the crossing letters & Mr Seiko’s magic machine giving me the answer!

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