Toughie 1134 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1134

Toughie No 1134 by Beam


+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I thought that a number of the clues in this puzzle were awkwardly but fairly constructed, which accounted for the difficulty level.

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    Fuse board holds little current turning (11)
{CONSOLIDATE} – a board, which could be a dashboard or a keyboard, around (holds) the reversal (turning) of a three-letter word for a little amount and the symbol for electric current

9a    Caught in plane in European theatre? Use this! (7)
{EJECTOR} – C(aught) inside a three-letter word for an aeroplane then inside E(uropean) and the abbreviation for an Operating Room or theatre – I hope I’m right here; I found this abbreviation in the New Oxford American Dictionary but not in Chambers

10a    Wet politician in direction changes returned (6)
(SWAMPY} – the usual politician inside the reversal (returned) of some direction changes or deviations

12a    Q’s successor following top double agent (7)
{OFFICER} – the letter that comes after Q preceded by two (double) three-letter words meaning to top or kill

13a    Weighty Roman emperor restrained by river, almost (7)
{ONEROUS} – a famous Roman emperor inside most of any one of a number of English rivers

14a    Buck sheltered by gazelles or elands (5)
{SOREL} – this alternative spelling of a Shakespearean word for a buck in its third year is hidden (sheltered by) inside the clue

15a    Everything it takes missing grand flipping scrap! (9)
{SCINTILLA} – a three-letter word meaning everything followed by IT and a verb meaning takes or steals without the K (thousand / grand) all reversed (flipping)

17a    Look back to see skirts in heartless survey (9)
{REMINISCE} – some short skirts inside a the military slang for a survey without its middle letter (heartless)

20a    Markets giving small measures (5)
{SELLS} – S(mall) followed by some measures of length used for cloth

22a    ‘Guardian‘ accurately contains most of issue (7)
{TRUSTEE} – an adverb meaning accurately or exactly around most of a verb meaning to issue or originate

24a    Blooming raining around drive home (7)
{INGRAIN} – hidden (around) inside the clue

25a    Gallic belly oddly filled with ease (6)
{GLIBLY} – the odd letters of two words in the clue

26a    Having sex, former wife replaces the woolly! (7)
{INEXACT} – start with a phrase meaning having sex (2,3,3) and insert a former wife or partner instead of THE

27a    Probe to move round planet without star returning (11)
{INVESTIGATE} – a verb meaning to move or incite around a planet without the reversal (returning) of our nearest star


2d    Concerned with view of physical defect seen in gem (7)
{OPTICAL} – a three-letter physical defect inside a gemstone

3d    Betting about game upset, advances and bowls over (9)
{SURPRISES} – a two-letter abbreviation for betting odds around the reversal of a two-letter abbreviation for a team game followed by a verb meaning advances or progresses

4d    Catch girl with nothing on underneath! (5)
{LASSO} – this verb meaning to catch by using a rope comes from a girl followed by O (nothing)

5d    ‘Sick’ perhaps, shocking treatment for slang (7)
{DIALECT} – use the second word of a phrase meaning sick (4,2) to describe what to do with the first and then add a three-letter abbreviation for some treatment using electric shocks

6d    Ground attack’s concealed by work, like a Trojan (7)
{TOPSOIL} – some organised military attacks inside (concealed by) a verb meaning to work like a Trojan

7d    Protest is massive with English leading in charge (11)
{REMONSTRATE} – start with an adjective meaning massive, move the E(English) to the front (leading) and then put all inside a charge or fee

8d    Cow providing silverside end in drove mostly (6)
{HEIFER} – the usual two-letter word meaning provided and the final letter (end) of silversidE inside most of a verb meaning a drove or number of cattle

11d    Top and bottom, sexy, losing head then heart (11)
{ASSASSINATE} – a three-letter word meaning a bottom or backside followed by an adjective meaning sexy from which is removed (losing) first the initial letter (head) and then the middle letter (heart) of what is left

16d    Detailing one soldier joined up admitting crime (9)
{ITEMISING} – I (one) is followed by the reversal (up) of a US soldier and a verb meaning joined and finally a moral crime is inserted (admitting)

18d    Emotional love nearly expected before morning rises … (7)
{MAUDLIN} – a three-letter word for a score of love or zero followed by most of (nearly) a word meaning expected and the abbreviation for morning all reversed (rises)

19d    … someone‘s impotent, possibly (7)
{NOTABLE} – this someone or bigwig could (possibly), if split (3,4), mean impotent

20d    Part in series, e.g. ‘Mentalist’ (7)
{SEGMENT} – hidden (in) inside the clue

21d    Australian, in short, raised animals (6)
{LLAMAS} – A(ustralian) inside the reversal (raised) of an adjective meaning short or little

23d    Country from East, having since gone for torture (5)
{EGYPT} – start with EAST and replace (gone) the AS (since) with +a pain or torture

RIP Shirley Temple (April 23, 1928 – February 10, 2014)
ARVE Error: need id and provider

18 comments on “Toughie 1134

  1. Definitely on the tough side for a Tuesday, favourites were 5d 12a and 26a thanks to Beam and to Big Dave for the comments.

  2. An excellent challenge! I did not realise until reading the blog that my answer to 7d was incorrect (starting with the wrong letter), but that explains why I could not parse it :)
    4*/5* for me. Many thanks to Beam, and to BD.

  3. AN Other and I thought this tricky for a Tuesday. For me it was a brick-wall puzzle – start with a couple at the bottom and then gradually fill in all the way up to the top.

    Thanks to Beam and BD too.

  4. Thanks to Beam and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Way beyond my level, only managed to solve 3 clues.

  5. I looked at the hints and copied the definitions to the puzzle, this yielded 5 more solutions. I managed two more from the hints, but had to look up 14. Totally beyond my understanding. Just like the Guest book, which kept telling me that my email address was too short. Not my day.

  6. Wow! I hope the DT are not planning to give Beam one of he Friday slots if this is what he serves up on a Tuesday. His aversion to anagrams and multi-word answers don’t make matters any easier. Finally finished, still scratching my head over “sick” in 5d. [Doh!]

    Some clever clues here and I particularly liked 12a, 26a, 11d and 23d.

    Many thanks to Beam and to BD for a lucid analysis [I interpreted 9a as you did].

  7. Having only been attempting cryptic crosswords for just over a month, I’ve already made very satisfying progress with the help of the excellent content of this site, with regards to the ‘normal’ DT puzzle.

    However, on looking at this monster, I couldn’t do any of them! I guess I’ll just keep plugging away with the daily puzzles in the hope that one day i’ll be able to tackle something like this.

    Thanks to all involved here for the education.

  8. I managed to fill in all the white squares with the correct letters … but parsing some of the clues was completely beyond me!

    A backwards crossword, in my opinion … find the definition and then work out the wordplay.

  9. Like Cryptic Sue we started at the bottom and slowly, slowly worked our way up. Did find it quite a challenge but all fair and good fun. Interesting to note that Her Majesty seems to have disappeared from the Beam puzzles this year. 2d has sneaked the clue word count up to nine!
    Thanks Beam and BD.

  10. Blimey, this one was hard. Really really enjoyed it even though it took all afternoon on and off. Well it’s been raining so not much else to do.

    Thanks to Ray and also to BD, although I did eventually get there without recourse to the hints.

  11. That was difficult. I managed to complete it but needed BD to explain the parsing for 22d.,5d. and 21a. Firm but fair as they say. Thanks to Beam and to BD.

  12. Well, hats off to Pommers, and anyone else who completed this one unaided! I got slightly more than half, then a few more after dipping in to the blog for a couple of clues, then had to return the the blog to see how it all ended. Many thanks to Beam, who beat me fair and square today, and of course to BD.

  13. Many thanks to RayT and BD for a very enjoyable toughie and review though I didn’t find it as difficult as some have, I thought it was great fun.

  14. Awkward but fair is a good summary ,favourite for me 26a .
    Thanks BD ,I managed t o solve a few solely on definition ,and to Beam for in some ways a refreshing challenge .

  15. This was horribly difficult! It has taken ages, but because I really like RayT crosswords, was determined to struggle on to the end without hints. I managed to get the word play for several of the clues. For others I had to try to work out the parsing from what I thought was a possible answer. Needless to say, I have been in much need of these explanations, and am more than grateful to have them.
    Many thanks to you both, Beam/RayT and Big Dave.

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