Toughie 1257

Toughie No 1257 by Beam

Tossin’ and Turnin’

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Much as I like Beam and Ray T, his alter ego, I don’t think even he would have asked for this Toughie to be published on a Friday, the day usually reserved for arch tormentors like Elgar and Notabilis. This puzzle contains most of Beam’s usual signatures like Her Majesty, hidden words and subtle innuendo (but not, this time, a clue where the answer is made up from initial letters).

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

1a    Show presented by stripper for man celebrating (11)
PERFORMANCE: I needed a couple of checking letters before the penny dropped that the answer was hidden inside the clue

10a    Fashionable cooker’s fashionable once more (5)
AGAIN: a “fashionable” range cooker (we’ve got one!) followed by a two-letter word meaning fashionable or current

11a    Coin, surplus say, including one put in tin (9)
SOVEREIGN: an adjective meaning surplus or extra followed by the Latin abbreviation for say or for example around (including) I (one) all inside the chemical symbol for tin

12a    Loyal and ready insurgence with endless murder (9)
PATRIOTIC: a word meaning ready followed by an insurgence or revolt and most of a three-letter verb meaning to murder

13a    Saw cut down chopper getting TT place (5)
AXIOM: this saw or adage is a charade of a chopper without its final letter followed by the abbreviation for the location of the TT races

14a    Limos perhaps following very big ceremony (6)
OSCARS: the kind of vehicles of which limos are examples (perhaps) preceded by a very big clothing size

16a    Period when English Queen’s put in cheap accommodation (8)
STEERAGE: start with a period or section of, say a bike race, and then insert E(nglish) and The Queen’s royal cipher

18a    Ordinary, slightly in drag, having change of heart (8)
HABITUAL: a phrase meaning slightly (1,3) inside a verb meaning to drag which has its middle letters reversed (change of heart)

20a    Exercise pressure preceding spasm of digestion (6)
PEPTIC: some Physical Exercises followed by P(ressure) and a spasm

23a    Island providing short holiday with no outside elements (5)
MALTA: start with a five-letter adjective meaning short and a four-letter word for a holiday and drop the outer letters (elements) from each – [S]MAL[L] [S]TA[Y] for further clarification

24a    Bit of perfect sex takes over missing weekend (9)
SCINTILLA: this bit or trace is derived by reversing (over) a three-letter adjective meaning perfect or entire, a two-letter word for sex and a colloquial verb meaning takes or steals without the K (weeK end)

26a    Ladies trip over to employ single nanny … (9)
NURSEMAID: Reverse (over for the second consecutive time) some ladies and a trip, like one in the car, and then insert (employ) I (one)

27a    … accompanying birth, bearing a giant almost (5)
NATAL: a compass bearing followed by the A from the clue and most of an adjective meaning giant or lofty

28a    Party‘s voting — Conservative’s sent to start hugging supporter (11)
CELEBRATION: start with some voting, move the C(onservative) to the front (start) and then insert (hugging) not a hoodie but a female support garment

Down

2d    Sanction seeing birch raised over student’s bottom (5)
ENACT: reverse a birch or rod and follow it with the final letter (bottom in a down clue) of [student]T

3d    More exotic groupie, occasionally active redhead (7)
FANCIER: a groupie or devotee followed by the even letters (occasionally) of [a]C[t]I[v]E and the initial letter (head) of R[ed]

4d    Place elsewhere to speak to the audience (2-4)
RE-SITE: sounds like (to the audience) a verb meaning to speak or narrate

5d    ‘Champion‘ saddled evenly carrying very old guy (8)
ADVOCATE: to get this verb meaning to champion put the even letters of [s]A[d]D[l]E[d] around V(ery) O)ld) and an out-dated slang word for a guy

6d    Surprised expression over droop on sweetheart’s bodice (7)
CORSAGE: a three-letter interjection indicating surprise followed by a verb meaning to droop and the middle letter (heart) of [sw]E[et]

7d    Softening blow for Bond, cradling hero’s head (13)
RAPPROCHEMENT: a blow followed by a word meaning for and a verb meaning to bond, the latter around (cradling) the initial letter (head) of H[ero]

8d    Fighting odds of mail worker fired for collecting (8)
MILITANT: to get this adjective meaning fighting or belligerent start with the odd letters of M[a]I[l] and a worker insect and then insert (for collecting) a verb meaning fired or ignited

9d    Almost without turning, beauty’s fit and perfect (13)
UNIMPEACHABLE: the reversal (turning) of most of a word meaning without followed by a beauty or belle and an adjective meaning fit or competent

15d    At last, the right men for the job? (8)
COBBLERS: a cryptic definition of craftsmen who work at a last

17d    Disgust of ocean in half oceanic ocean centre (8)
NAUSEATE: to get this verb meaning to disgust put a three-letter word for an ocean inside the first half of an adjective meaning oceanic and then add the middle letter (centre) of [oc]E[an]

19d    Swing from section, turning with dexterity in articulation (7)
TRAPEZE: reverse (turning – again!) a section and add what sounds like (in articulation) a word meaning dexterity or effortlessness

21d    Old former wife can cheat heartlessly (7)
EXTINCT: the usual former wife/partner followed by a can (of beans?) and the C[hea]T without its inner letters (heartlessly)

22d    Laugh in derision comprehending stunt (6)
HINDER: hidden (comprehending) inside the clue

25d    A game of chance is million against (5)
LOTTO: a million or very large number followed by an adverb meaning against or touching

One minor criticism – several indicators, like over, head and turning, were used more than once.

The music that inspired my sub-heading!

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17 Comments

  1. Pegasus
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Fairly gentle for a Friday, favourites 1a and 15d thanks to Beam and Big Dave for the comments.

  2. stanXYZ
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I know that Beam sets his puzzles to very strict rules … no anagrams, all clues having 8 or less words .,,, but it does become somewhat boring after a while. A bit more variety would be most welcome!

    However, I thought 1a was brilliant!

    • Kath
      Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think it gets boring and anyway how would we know who the setter was without his very characteristic clues?

      • stanXYZ
        Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        “Toughie No 1257 by Beam”

        • Expat Chris
          Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          It might give the name in the newspaper version but it doesn’t in the on-line version (which I use). It can be found, but it takes several steps…The Knowledge >Inside Puzzles > Telegraph Toughie Compiler > then open the list that contains the puzzle number and scroll down to the bottom. I certainly can’t be bothered to do that so I appreciate the heads-up we get on this blog.

        • Kath
          Posted September 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          I meant the back page crosswords.

  3. Expat Chris
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Tackled this before the cryptic, a habit I’ve got into over the last couple of weeks. Not quite so gentle for me. I “saw” three of the long words then worked out why. I did resort to crossword solver for 17D and 9D (shame on me), which enabled be to get, though not parse, 24A. And I definitely needed the hints to understand my answer for 23A as well. Really liked 7D and 25D. But I’m pleased with my effort all in all. Thanks to Beam for nice end to the week and to BD for the very helpful review.

  4. Jezza
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    A surprisingly gentle, but pleasant puzzle from Beam. Thanks to him, and to BD for the review.

  5. Kath
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    That was more than difficult enough for me.
    I missed 1a for a ridiculously long time and 22d was my last answer – I’m not getting any better at these!
    I needed the hints to explain several of my answers, 23 and 24a particularly, and had to read the hint for 26a several times before I understood.
    My favourite was either 10a or 6d but I can’t quite make up my mind . . .
    With thanks to Beam and to BD for the very necessary hints.

  6. Dutch
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Not that easy for me, i find elaborate patchwork clues with unusual synonyms hard work. Thanks to the review for explaining how to parse the island (23a) and in 18a I got stuck looking to change a single central letter rather than to exchange the central two, don’t know why. Favourites are 14a, 10a and 21d – these had a simple elegance with good surface. I also really liked the ocean one, though hardly because of the surface.

    Many thanks Beam and BD for the review

  7. crypticsue
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Solved in a shorter time than I usually take for a Ray T back pager, but I did enjoy myself – thank you Beam and BD too.

    There used to be a movement on this blog called ‘A Toughie on Monday’ – I’m thinking of starting one for those weeks when we don’t have Elgar and Notabilis called ‘A Toughie on Friday, please’.

  8. BigBoab
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Beam for a thoroughly enjoyable if not overly difficult toughie and to BD for a super review.

  9. RayT
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Very many thanks to BD for the dissection and to all who left a comment. Much appreciated.

    RayT

  10. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Well we did not find this one easy. In fact we were totally beaten ( we could say Kath-ed) by 22d as we failed to see the hidden word, Still kicking ourselves for missing it. For 23a and 24a we had the correct answers but had not fully worked out the wordplay. Loved the snigger inducing wordplay in clues like 6d and 24a. Yes we did check the word count and are prepared to overlook the hyphen in 4d. Good fun puzzle that we enjoyed working on.
    Thanks Beam and BD.

  11. Werm
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Well i finished without any hints but i had to come here to find out why 24a was what it was . This puzzle took me twice as long as the back pager and I would say is on the edge of my limits as a solver. I did get a great sense of satisfaction when i finished it though. I am sure all the experts missed their Friday ultra toughie but i enjoyed it.
    Thanks very much to Ray T and to BD for the breakdown.
    Good weekend all

  12. andy
    Posted September 12, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Took me ages to parse 23a, my 2* solving time for completing the grid easily went into 4* time for parsing a few others as well. Thanks Beam and BD

  13. Jane
    Posted September 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    First time I’ve managed to get a little over 3/4 of the way through a Toughie, so expected all the comments to be along the lines of ‘easy peasy’. Ridiculously delighted to discover that not everyone found it to be so. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif