Toughie 1307 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1307

Toughie No 1307 by Beam

Beam me up, Scotty

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

So surprised was Bufo at finding an anagram in a Beam Toughie last month that he asked “What’s the world coming to?” Well, we’ve got a single anagram again so perhaps this is the new norm. I thought that this was a pleasant puzzle but on the easy side for a Wednesday Toughie. There did seem to be lots of clues where we had to add or subtract single 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 Clues

1a Feeling current bird’s sharing tips about blokes (12)
PRESENTIMENT – put together an adjective meaning current or existing and a small songbird. The same consonant ends the first and starts the second but we’re told to share tips so one of the two is for the chop. Finally, insert blokes.

9a Study missing one old head teacher (9)
GOVERNESS – a phrasal verb to study or revise (2,4) without one of the abbreviations for O(ld) is followed by a head or promontory.

10a Transport operated around Italy on time (5)
TRAIN – a verb meaning operated or managed containing the IVR code for Italy is put after (on) T(ime).

11a Set about drinking session, losing head (6)
ASSAIL – a drinking session (especially one at this time of year) without its first letter.

12a Plant with guitar oddly getting almost intense inside (8)
GARDENIA – the odd letters of guitar contain all but the last letter of an adjective meaning intense or passionate.

13a One supplying ‘Flash’ backing by Queen (6)
TRADER – a verb to flash or move rapidly is reversed (backing) and followed by the Queen’s regnal cipher.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

15a Get on heartless creature, steer perhaps? (8)
BESTRIDE – a creature or animal without its central letter is followed by a verb to steer (a horse, for example).

18a Front of safe having locks keyed (8)
STRESSED – keyed here means in a state of tension. The first letter of S(afe) is followed by ‘having locks’.

19a Moves seeing bird’s not single (6)
BUDGES – the familiar name for a cage-bird plus the ‘S but without the letter used for one or a single.

21a Lordship needs cook and lackey (8)
DOMINION – a verb to cook or prepare is followed by a lackey or underling.

23a Lacking muscle nearer biceps, all stripped (6)
SCARCE – three consecutive words of the clue are all stripped of everything except their central letters.

26a Given birch roughly facing study, bent over (5)
CANED – a 2-letter abbreviation meaning roughly or approximately is followed by the reversal (bent over) of a study.

27a Awkward current sweetheart bent to grip garter top (9)
INELEGANT – string together an adverb meaning current or popular, the letter at the heart of sweet and a past participle meaning bent or inclined containing the top letter of garter.

28a Victorian old chap conversely including one’s forefather (12)
PRIMOGENITOR – an adjective meaning Victorian or prudish is followed by O(ld), a chap and a conjunction meaning conversely or on the other hand. Finally, insert the Roman numeral for one.

Down Clues

1d Gasp taking in bottomless clothes show (7)
PAGEANT – a verb to gasp or wheeze contains an informal word for clothes without its final R (bottomless).

2d Little people with egos, not small at first (5)
ELVES – a word for egos or personas without the first letter of S(mall).

3d Wear lines somewhat showing prematurity (9)
EARLINESS – hidden (showing) in the clue.

4d Turning round Enterprise, Kirk starts journey (4)
TREK – the starting letters of four words from the clue.

5d Faulty judgement practically accepting bet (8)
MISTAKEN – a word for judgement or mental faculties without its final letter (practically) contains a bet or sum wagered.

6d Eminent Parisian of fashionable society to be elevated (5)
NOTED – a charade of the French word for ‘of’ and a word (also of French origin) for people of fashion, with the whole lot being reversed (to be elevated).

7d Picture isn’t commonly secured by nail gun initially (8)
PAINTING – an informal way of saying “isn’t” is contained inside a verb to nail or fasten and the initial letter of gun.

8d Deranged, hospitalised, on medicine finally (6)
INSANE – hospitalised (2,3) precedes the final letter of medicine.

14d Ex’s maintenance without line for credit creates rancour (8)
ACRIMONY – start with the maintenance payment to an ex-spouse and replace the abbreviation for line with the abbreviation for credit. I’m not convinced that ‘without line for credit’ really means replace the first with the second.

16d Staff manage clubs in tough surroundings before time (9)
TRUNCHEON – a verb to manage and the abbreviation for the card suit clubs go inside the outer letters of tough. To finish we need a word for a long period of time.

17d Gratification of ‘The Don’ is murder (8)
HEDONISM – hidden (of) in the clue.

18d Allure of speed, quicker on and off (6)
SEDUCE – in the surface allure is a noun but as the definition it has to be a verb. We need just the odd letters (on and off) of speed quicker.

20d Get hot in pullover left to replace article (7)
SWELTER – a type of pullover with L(eft) replacing the indefinite article.

22d ‘King and I’ recast before providing all-time low (5)
NADIR – a single-letter abbreviation for king is preceded by an anagram (yes, really) indicated by recast of AND I.

24d Bake crumble containing cored apples (5)
ROAST – a verb to crumble or perish contains the outer letters of apples. I don’t think that ‘cored’ works here – if you core an apple you just take out the middle bit, you don’t remove everything except the skin.

25d Big hunk, in the main? (4)
BERG – gentle cryptic definition of what did for the Titanic, for example.

My top clues today were 23a, 26a and 4d. Let us know which one(s) raised a titter with you.

21 comments on “Toughie 1307

  1. First time in six days I’ve had a block of time to spend on the puzzles and I finished in good time and without hints, so I liked this one just for that. I did enjoy it very much for content as well, and checked 11A and 23A as being my front runners. Thanks Beam and Gazza. Back to invalid duty now.

  2. I first thought 17d was an anagram of ” the don is” so ended up with a T at the end of the word. Realised my mistake once I found the synonym of Victorian in my thesaurus. 5d and 15a took the longest as I could not explain the MIN and the RIDE respectively. The blog was very helpful to solve 11a as there was much talk about it the other day. I really start to get used to those missing or exchanged letters and therefore my favourites today are 14d 20d and 19a. Thanks to Gazza for the review and to Beam although I prefer Captain Jean-Luc Picard from the Enterprise.

  3. Like Expat Chris, had a bit of spare time, checked Gazza’s rating and saw ** so toughie it was-can’t quibble on an overall **/***,logical clues and no obscure words. I thought 24d worked fine, as the entire middle or core of the WORD apples was removed ,leaving just the ‘as’, last in was 23a,needed the hints to see why-thanks Gazza, Long time since Jimmy Edwards appeared.

  4. reasonably challenging puzzle i thought, thanks gazza for the parsing of 1a (feeling) which had eluded me. I like the trekkie clue (4d), and the giving birch (26a) where the whole clue could also be the definition. In 16d I like the “in tough surroundings”.

    Last ones in were 5d and 15a.

    I also though “without line for credit” didn’t read right, I would have expected something like “with credit for line” somehow adapted to the surface (14d)

    many thanks gazza and Beam

  5. I seem to get to do the Toughies alone on days that we do the blog so appreciate them not too tough. This one fitted the bill perfectly. When the clues are printed out they do not look particularly brief but a word count confirms that the ‘No more than 8 words’ convention has been observed. Good fun.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

  6. Thanks to RayT for a great puzzle. I only found it after finishing the inside backie but i found it much more enjoyable. Favourites were 3 15 17 and 23. Hidden words again, but so difficult to find and thankfully only one anagram. Great!

  7. I galloped through the top half, but struggled to get a foothold south of the equator. On balance, then, 2.5*/3* for me. 12a was my favourite, but there were plenty of contenders. Many thanks Beam/Ray T, and Gazza for the (nicely illustrated!) review.

  8. I did finish it eventually but found it a great deal harder than the sort of back page puzzles that get rated around the 2* mark, so please may I ask – do people use the same criteria, or are Toughies estimated differently, ie in relation to other Toughies rather than other crosswords in general? I’ve often wondered.
    4*/4* for me, thanks to Gazza and RayT.

    1. I believe that most of us rank Toughies on a different scale. For me, a 3-star Toughie is roughly equivalent to a 4-star back-page puzzle,

    2. Speaking personally I rate Toughies 1 or 2* less than if the same puzzle had appeared on the back page. So, if today’s Toughie had been on the back page I’d have given it 3 or 4* for difficulty.

  9. Miffypops says: A lovely challenge and only solved with the wonderful help of Ginny after I had almost given up less than halfway through. We needed the review for 19ac only. I loved the fact that hedonism was hidden in the clue yet the answer was an anagram. Very clever. Thanks to Ginny and her friend Rob and also to Saint Sharon for the last letter of 17d.
    Ginny says: lots of fun and don’t be misled that Miffypops had anywhere near given up. I learned lots…

  10. So close to a second successive unaided Toughie completion, but sadly I just fell short. I didn’t know the word at 28a and had to check the hint for 15a as I had parsed it incorrectly so was looking for the wrong definition. I would agree with Gazza’s observations on both 14d and 24d, both of which occured to me as I was solving and, in my defence for 15a, I’d humbly suggest that Steer (which suggests direction) is a little too far removed from Ride (which does not).
    I’m certainly enjoying this week’s toughie challenges though, and learning too, so it’s all good.
    Thank you Ray T and also Gazza.

  11. Mangled this before work and had no time to comment or I’d have missed my train. Loved this one and finished in 2* Toughie time. I’d give it 4* for enhancing my morning! though.

  12. This was a very enjoyable Beam Toughie. The clues I liked most were 28a, 2d and 17d.

    I needed the answer to 23a, for which I’m very grateful to you, Gazza.

    Thanks and appreciation to Beam for the lovely puzzle and to Gazza for the excellent review.

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