Toughie 1235 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1235

Toughie No 1235 by Beam

Don’t Mention Brazil

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

Beam, as always in anagram-free mode, provides his usual ration of chuckles. A fair bit of thinking outside the box is needed to match up some bits of the answers to what’s in the clue – but that’s why it’s a Toughie.

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.

Across Clues

1a Wealthy puritan concealing repulsive ends, oddly (10)
PRIVILEGED – a puritan or self-righteous person contains an adjective meaning repulsive or nasty. To finish off we need the odd letters of ‘ends’.

6a Virtually junk  food? (4)
SPAM – double definition, the first being junk in the virtual world of cyberspace.

9a Sensible being held back by ridicule (5)
LUCID – hidden and reversed in the clue.

10a Fate of single Communist leader ousted in torment (9)
PREORDAIN – put what a single is in vinyl without the leading letter of Communist inside torment or agony. The definition (fate) has to be a verb here and my edition of the BRB doesn’t give it as a verb though its existence can be deduced from its past participle (fated).

12a Middle of Cyprus with say, open plain (7)
PRAIRIE – the middle two letters of Cyprus followed by what sounds like an adjective meaning open to the elements or spacious.

13a Grind first in set, putting in new teeth (5)
FANGS – a grind or chore is followed by the first letter of set, then we have to insert N(ew).

15a Reverberation of gong echoed inside head then died (7)
REBOUND – reverse (echoed) one of the gongs handed out twice a year inside a verb to head or direct one’s course towards. Finish with D(ied).

17a Foreign port providing extra tart (7)
TANGIER – double definition – tart is not what the surface is inviting you to think of but an adjective meaning having a sharp taste.

19a Heartless proposal limits vows (7)
PLEDGES – the outer letters of proposal followed by limits or peripheries.

21a Jack in sailor’s vessel going around area (7)
ABSTAIN – an abbreviation for sailor plus the ‘S precedes a metal vessel holding A(rea).

22a Yale’s leading European philosopher (5)
LOCKE – what a Yale is a trademarked name for in the area of security is followed by E(uropean). I would have expected some indication here that Yale is being used as an example.

24a Sort of painting I think is about done (7)
IMPASTO – the 3-letter abbreviation used in informal communications to mean ‘I think’ (often expanded to four letters if you’re feeling particularly humble) goes round an adverb meaning done or over.

27a Playboy‘s admired until the rapture ends, right? (9)
ADULTERER – the ends (start and finish letters) of four consecutive words in the clue followed by R(ight).

28a Control cat perhaps, grabbing one’s tail (5)
LEASH – what cat (not a feline) is an example of contains the tail letter of (on)E.

29a Precious little time to start (4)
TWEE – an adjective meaning little with T(ime) in front of it.

30a See almost heroic astronaut’s outside in orbit (10)
EPISCOPATE – start with an adjective meaning heroic or grand in scale without its final letter (almost) then insert the outside letters of astronaut in an orbit or compass.

Down Clues

1d Rod‘s sweetheart cut up (4)
POLE – the heart (middle letter) of sweet is followed by a verb to cut or prune then it all gets reversed (up).

2d Smart guy holding old man powerless (9)
INCAPABLE – start with an adverb meaning smart or trendy and add a guy (the sort you might use to hold your tent up) containing an affectionate term for old man.

3d I broadcast on the radio (5)
INDIA – … using the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

4d English team embarrassed about flop finally departed (7)
EXPIRED – from Rio perhaps? String together E(nglish), the Roman numeral for the number of footballers in a team and the colour of embarrassment then insert the final letter of flop.

5d He or I could be one (7)
ELEMENT – clever because pronoun fits but here He is helium and I is iodine.

7d Empty pot catching fresh seafood (5)
PRAWN – a pot (the sort you’d put on the hob) without its middle letter (empty) contains an adjective meaning fresh or unprocessed.

8d Stock’s recipe contained in quality soup (10)
MINESTRONE – start with a stock (the word that Big Dave uses for his wealth of useful information), add the ‘S and a word meaning quality or character, then insert R(ecipe).

11d Polishes some lederhosen if erroneously held up (7)
REFINES – hidden (held) and reversed (up).

14d Fuel runs German car in works (10)
PROPELLANT – the cricket abbreviation for runs is followed by a car from a German-based subsidiary of General Motors. That goes inside a works or factory.

16d A French monsieur purchasing exclusive cream (7)
UNGUENT – a French indefinite article and the English equivalent of monsieur bringing in (purchasing) the abbreviation used to mean exclusive or upper-class.

18d Great aroma nicely coming over covers lover (9)
INAMORATA – hidden (covers) and reversed (coming over).

20d Support for spur round horse’s middle (7)
STIRRUP – the definition is the whole clue so this is a semi-all-in-one. A phrasal verb (4,2) to spur or incite goes round the middle letter of horse.

21d Hopes a good endless sleep includes dreams’ ending (7)
ASPIRES – string together A, an abbreviated adjective meaning holy or holier-than-thou and a sleep without its final T (endless). Now insert the end letter of dreams.

23d Rapid fire reported (5)
CHUTE – rapid here is a fast-flowing and turbulent part of a river. We want another word for the same thing which sounds like (reported) a verb to fire a gun.

25d Volley from cricket ground’s lofted, left to fall (5)
SALVO – a cricket ground in London, plus the ‘S, gets reversed (lofted) but we have to let the L(eft) drop down a bit.

26d Haggard woman embracing old loafer (4)
SHOE – the woman referred to in the title of H Rider Haggard’s adventure story contains O(ld).

I particularly enjoyed 17a (for the double-entendre), 27a (for its cleverness), 4d (for the very topical and amusing surface) and 20d. Let us know which one(s) you liked.

24 comments on “Toughie 1235

  1. I got 8d for what other soup, except for mulligatawny starts with “m”? However, the wordplay lost me. Despite Gazza’s eloquence, I’m still not completely convinced! Not to worry, the puzzle is finished and I’m off to look at the cryptic which yesterday was far harder.

  2. Good puzzle and most enjoyable, favourites were 5d 15a and 27a thanks to Beam and to Gazza for the comments.

  3. No idea how long this took as my ‘helper’ kept taking the pen and scribbling on the piece of paper. We both enjoyed ourselves though so thank you to Beam and Gazza too.

  4. I found this one particularly hard. In fact for me it was too hard. Took me ages to complete. 5D was my favourite doh moment

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s solve although like Jotar above, 5d was a doh moment! Favourites 5d and 20d. Thanks to Beam and to Gazza for the explanation of 10a.

  6. I’m not certain if I like crosswords without anagrams … but I enjoyed today’s offering from Beam.

    Thanks to gazza for explaining the wordplay in 10a & 27a – would never have understood them without your help.

  7. Splendid stuff so thanks to Beam.

    No stand-out favourite but I was sort of expecting a Monty Python clip to accompany 6a. Can’t believe how long it took to twig 14d – my car is an Opel Astra, d’oh!

    Thanks to Gazza too.

    1. I got the answer in the end, but I must have tried every German make of car except Opel

      1. Having a P and an L already in I managed to convince myself that it had to be a Polo – not terribly helpful.

  8. Thanks to Beam and to Gazza for the review and hints. I like anagrams, but I also liked this puzzle. Great fun, needed 4 hints and 1 look up to finish. Favourite was 17a. Was 4*/4* for me. I suspect my solving skills have gone up a microtad. Thanks to all on the Blog, commenters & contributors alike, I’m inspired

  9. The Toughie won today – please don’t anyone say that it wasn’t a Toughie.
    I had three complete gaps which I needed the hints for. I also needed them to explain several of my answers.
    I liked 27a and 3, 5 and 20d.
    With thanks to Beam for the crossword and to gazza for all the unravelling.

  10. at last.
    Favourite 5d.I still can’t figure out 10a, despite Gazza’much appreciated hints.Thanks Beam for the stretch.

  11. Apologies for the late appearance and many thanks to Gazza for the decryption. Thanks also to all for your comments.


  12. Lovely stuff which we thoroughly enjoyed. It all fell into place smoothly but not rapidly. We remember seeing clues like 5a before, but it still kept us head-scratching for some time. Word count on the clues checked and all in order once again.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

  13. Having found I’d wrote 22a in from checking letters and knowing the philosopher I should have actually read the clue properly. Gazzas note is spot on. A lot to like here nevertheless. Thanks to Beam and Gazza as always

  14. This was way, way too hard for junior solvers – but there were several excellent clues. Thought 5d was brilliant. Many thanks to all the brainboxes concerned. Sh-Shoney

  15. My enjoyment of this Beam Toughie — **** — was enhanced by being able to complete it after needing only one hint (10a). I liked 22a, 27a, 18d and 26d among the rich variety of clues.

    Appreciate being able to go through the review now as I didn’t know how to parse 8d and 21d. I also didn’t realise that 20d was a semi all-in-one.

    Many thanks to Beam for a lovely crossword and to Gazza for the invauable enlightenment.

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