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Toughie 1072

Toughie No 1072 by Beam

Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Bufo is away this week (and next week). I’ve given this puzzle a well-deserved 5 stars for enjoyment.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Animal trapping bug rolled in syrup (7)
{PERIWIG} – a farm animal around the reversal (rolled) of a bug or hidden microphone gives something for which syrup is Cockney rhyming slang {syrup of figs / wig}

5a    Sidelines half of side caught by protests (7)
{DEMOTES} – the first half of a side, as in a football side, inside (caught by) some protests

9a    Return of Queen creates art in charts again (7)
{REDRAWS} – reverse (return) the Queen’s regnal cipher and follow it with a verb meaning creates art with a pencil or crayon

10a    Start to saw logs? (7)
{SLUMBER} – the initial letter (start) of Saw followed by some logs gives a word defined by the whole clue – to saw logs is to breathe noisily during one’s sleep

11a    Blocked by colour after swerve ends round hole (9)
{SNOOKERED} – a colour follows the outer letters (ends) of SwervE around a hole or recess

12a    Better English law’s overturned, Conservative’s admitted (5)
{EXCEL} – E(nglish) followed by the reversal (overturned) of the Latin for law around (admitted) C(onservative)

13a    Tree ring circling heart of fir all over (5)
{LILAC} – a verb meaning to ring on the telephone around the middle letter (heart) of fIr, all reversed (over)

15a    Bust out of prison facing questioning, not caught (9)
{PENURIOUS} – this word meaning bust or impoverished is derived from the three-letter American word for a prison followed by an adjective meaning questioning or inquisitive without (not) the initial C(aught)

17a    Port and crackers passed left by so-and-so (9)
{ROTTERDAM} – a three-letter word meaning crackers or crazy is reversed (passed left in an across clue) after a so-and-so or scoundrel

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19a    Dish done by middle Italy (5)
{PASTA} – an adjective meaning done or finished followed by the middle letter of ItAly

22a    Bambi running across Thumper’s first put off (5)
{DETER} – put the type of animal of which Bambi is an example around the initial letter (first) of Thumper – does a “definition by example” need to be indicated when part of the wordplay?

23a    Holmes, perhaps imperfect, having time for female (9)
{DETECTIVE} – Sherlock Holmes is an example (indicated this time by perhaps) of this – start with an adjective meaning imperfect and insert a T(ime) in place of the F(emale)

25a    Officer‘s some guts approaching centre of enemy line (7)
{COLONEL} – a lower part of the alimentary canal (some guts) followed by (approaching) the middle letter (centre) of enEmy and L(ine)

26a    Swallow medicine taking a shot off and on (7)
{DRAUGHT} – a swallow or gulp is derived from a four-letter word for a medicine around the A from the clue and followed by the even letters (off and on) of sHoT

27a    Crime of non-clergy holding service around church (7)
{LARCENY} – a three-letter word meaning those in a church who are not part of the clergy around the abbreviation for the senior military service itself around the Church of England

28a    Expel and audibly cough up with impediment? (7)
{SUSPEND} – this could be how someone who stutters says (audibly … with impediment) a verb meaning to cough up or fork out


1d    ‘The Lady’s not for Burning’, one’s opening shows? (7)
{PARASOL} – a cryptic definition of an item that is opened to shield “the Lady” from the sun – nothing to do with the drama by Christopher Fry that I painfully endured when presented as the School Play

2d    Avian pet, upset without a perch, sounded out (7)
{REDPOLL} – a word meaning pet or beloved is reversed without the A and followed by what sounds like a unit of measure of 5½ yards, also known as a perch or rod

3d    Hit with right going in for hard torture (5)
{WRACK} – start with a word meaning hit and insert R(ight) in place of the H(ard)

4d    Snail and rabbit, too French, bizarre almost (9)
{GASTROPOD} – a charade of a three-letter verb meaning to rabbit followed by the French for too and most of a word meaning bizarre

5d    Drops tend oddly to get prescribed (5)
{DOSED} – the odd letters of the first two words in the clue

6d    Grimace, eating small slice — flipping cheese! (9)
{MOUSETRAP} – a word, originally French, meaning a grimace of discontent around (eating) S(mall) and followed by the reversal (flipping) of a slice or section gives a cheese of indifferent quality, fit only for use as bait

7d    Leaves for a calming break? (7)
{TOBACCO} – a cryptic definition of leaves that have a calming effect when smoked

8d    Eat noisily, left to finish American excess (7)
{SURPLUS} – start with a verb meaning to eat noisily, move the L(eft) to the end of the word and follow it with the two-letter abbreviation for American

14d    Removal of mad King in endless abandon (9)
{CLEARANCE} – the name of Shakespeare’s mad King inside most of (endless) a verb meaning to abandon

16d    Possibly worms pet coming up in lumps (9)
{NEMATODES} – an adjective meaning pet or domesticated reversed (coming up in a down clue) inside some lumps or protuberances

17d    Original artist bedridden, possibly catching cold (7)
{RADICAL} – start with the usual two-letter abbreviation for an artist then take a phrasal adjective meaning bedridden (4,2) and use the second word as an instruction to reverse the first and finally insert (catching) C(old)

18d    Puppet bird replacing ‘American Dad!’ in household (7)
{TITULAR} – to get this adjective meaning puppet or nominal, start with an adjective meaning household or generally recognized and replace the first three letters, an American word for dad, with a three-letter bird

20d    Turn restricting learner following Scrabble’s opening tile (7)
{SHINGLE} – a verb meaning to turn or pivot around L(earner) and preceded by the initial letter of Scrabble

21d    Helped President Kennedy to hold seat finally (7)
{ABETTED} – the abbreviated first name of a 19th century US President and the abbreviated first name of the youngest of the Kennedy brothers around the final letter of seaT

23d    ‘Carry on Dick’ initially with team up (5)
{DALLY} – the initial letter of Dick followed by a verb meaning to team up

24d    Dresses boy in free clothes (5)
{CLADS} – a young boy inside CS (clothes after freeing the inner letters)

Now that’s what I call a Toughie!

18 comments on “Toughie 1072

  1. A proper Thursday toughie, hard but do-able, I confess to needing explanations for 28 ac (doh) and 17 dn (bah), thanks to BD for the answers and to Beam for the workout. Roll on Friday.

  2. The toughest toughie for some considerable while. 5*+ for me. I had an easier time on Saturday and that’s saying something!

    Thanks to Ray and BD too. I particularly liked 4d and 10a.

  3. I’ve discovered that a cryptic Ray T on the back page is about my limit. My chapeau is well & truly doffed to those who have managed to solve this without recourse to BD’s excellent view. Thanks to he & to Ray.

  4. Yet again an anagram free zone and probably the toughest puzzle from this setter, favourites were 1d 15a and 17d thanks to Beam and to Big Dave for the dissection.

    1. To paraphrase Blackadder:
      “Probably the toughest toughie in the history of tough toughies.”

  5. Surprisingly I did better with this than I normally do with Toughies. I rarely manage much more than half an average Toughie – today I finished it apart from three answers. I think bloody minded determination has something to do with it!
    I loved 4 and 6d.
    With thanks to Beam and BD.

  6. Definitely the trickiest from Beam that I can remember, but not insurmountable. Many thanks to him for keeping me busy and happy at the same time, and to BD for the write-up.

  7. At last a Beamer to get my teeth into. Great contest as usual when Ray puts his Beam hat on. Many good clues, 1a 1d 4 10 15 23 – the list goes on. Brilliant!

  8. Setter here with the usual many thanks to BD for the analysis, and to all who left a comment.


  9. Was not sure how to judge the difficulty as I did this one alone instead of our team of two. Got everything apart from fully parsing 1d. Even picked the Cockney slang in 1a which often confuses us. It did take all the available time between Thursday golf and Thursday Bridge though. A great challenge and great fun.
    Thanks Beam and BD.

  10. I have some rush editing to do today so haven’t been able to spend any time on it since 7 am. I’m a bit less than half way through and will tackle it again after hours. Let’ hope the half I’ve done wasn’t the less difficult half!

  11. Got to the crosswords late today but wasn’t this worth the wait, best toughie of the week, thanks to RayT and to BD for the review, terrific!

  12. Cracking puzzle which took me an age ,but very enjoyable with too many favourites .
    Thanks to RayT and of course BD.

  13. Some lovely clues here – 10a, 4d, 17d, 21d all very clever. But not convinced by free clothes [24d] and 9a is a bit feeble. But great fun and pretty tough for Thursday.
    Thanks to Beam and BD.

  14. In the end, defeated by 1A, 2D and 11A but still feeling pretty good about working out the rest, although it was a slog for me. Loved 10A and 17D. Many thanks to Beam. and to BD.

  15. Persevated & got there this morning after a bit of help from BD’s hints. As a matter of interest there were 13 clues that I ringed as not fully understanding the answer. That’s 25% of all the clues & a new record for me!

  16. This was very difficult but most enjoyable. :grin: It took a very long time. In the end, I managed all but one — 2d defeated me. I am most appreciative of Big Dave’s hints. I needed the explanation for 1a. I didn’t know that ‘to saw logs is to breathe heavily during one’s sleep’ (10a). I also needed enlightening re 16a, 28a, and 17d. I ended up doing much better than I thought I would, so am well pleased.
    Very big thanks both to Beam/RayT and Big Dave. :smile: :smile:

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