Toughie No 1326 by Beam
The Die is Cast
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
After a couple of flirtations with a single anagram Beam has given himself a good talking to, pulled himself together and returned to austerity with his latest Toughie. All the usual Beam characteristics are there including a spot of innuendo at 9a. I enjoyed unravelling the wordplay.
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1a Neat catching Queen appearance by chance (12)
PERADVENTURE – an adjective meaning neat (like whisky) or unadulterated contains the Queen’s regnal cipher and an appearance or arrival.
8a Order from Churchill to Potsdam summit (7)
HILLTOP – hidden (order from) in the clue.
9a Endowed? Not so much in sack (7)
BLESSED – a word meaning ‘not so much’ is put inside what sack is an informal word for.
11a Take damage going over barricade (7)
RAMPART – a charade of a verb to take or capture and a verb to damage or spoil, with the whole lot reversed (going over).
12a Back case for doctors accepting time slows down (7)
RETARDS – a back or hind part is followed by the outer letters (case) of doctors with T(ime) getting inserted.
13a Rough and vulgar, practically without love (5)
UNCUT – start with an adjective meaning vulgar or unrefined, drop its final letter (practically) and also take away the letter that resembles zero.
14a Shoots soldier after order’s official (9)
OMBUDSMAN – shoots (as found on plants) and an ordinary soldier follow the abbreviation for an order awarded by the sovereign.
16a Warning bitter’s cut short by boozer (9)
HARBINGER – an adjective meaning bitter or harsh loses its final letter and that’s followed by an informal word for a boozer (the person, not the place).
19a Crack visibly opening in bottom of shoe (5)
SOLVE – the opening letter of visibly is inserted into the bottom part of a shoe.
21a After cake turnover nibbled small waffles (7)
RABBITS – string together the reversal (turnover) of a cake (of soap), a verb meaning nibbled and S(mall).
23a Probe planet with craft missing outside of Sol (7)
MARINER – bring together one of the planets of our solar system and a passenger craft then take away the outside letters of Sol.
24a Spout of half dead sea creature swallowing one (7)
DECLAIM – half of the word dead is followed by a marine mollusc containing the Roman numeral for one.
25a Circle Line? (7)
TANGENT – cryptic definition of a straight line which just touches a circle without entering it.
26a Cleared of stink, rogue scoundrel let out whiff (12)
UNDERCURRENT – start with an old-fashioned word for a rogue or scoundrel and drop its first two letters (which are an abbreviation for stink or a deficiency in personal hygiene). Now add another word for a scoundrel and a verb to let out (a property, say).
1d Hostile argument from boom with sound equipment (7)
POLEMIC – a charade of what a boom on a yacht is and the abbreviation for an item of equipment used to convert sound waves into a form suitable for broadcasting.
2d Reverse backwards in dustcart erratically (7)
RETRACT – hidden (in) and reversed (backwards).
3d What’s common sounding in ‘How now brown cow’? (9)
DIPHTHONG – this is a word (tricky to spell) for the ‘ow’ sound common to all four words in the phrase used to teach elocution. I’m probably missing something but I can’t see that this is very cryptic.
4d Hot piece Parliamentarian male’s got cut off (5)
EMBER – cut off the (first) M(ale) from someone elected to Parliament.
5d Made a posting and affected trend oddly (7)
TWEETED – an adjective meaning affected or precious is followed by the odd letters of trend. A very neat surface.
6d Stage performer’s about right with guitar ending raised (7)
ROSTRUM – a slang word for a professional musician contains the two-letter abbreviation for right. Finish with the end letter of guitar then reverse it all (raised).
7d Pedigree during race almost turned outside ring (12)
THOROUGHBRED – a preposition meaning during is followed by the reversal (turned) of a classic race run at Epsom without its last letter (almost). Finally we have to insert the letter that looks like a ring.
10d Around top of grave unearth corroded decay (12)
DISINTEGRATE – a verb to unearth or exhume goes round the top letter of G(rave). After that there’s a verb meaning corroded or gnawed away.
15d Traffic circling capital dropping initial indicator (9)
BAROMETER – a verb to traffic or wheel and deal contains a European capital city without its initial letter.
17d Figure following stroke on river (7)
RUBICON – a figure or image follows a verb to stroke or massage to make the name of the river in north-east Italy which defined the point of no return for Julius Caesar’s army.
18d Fake sex accepted by single partner (7)
IMITATE – an informal word for sex goes inside one (single) and a partner.
19d Surreal, say, painting’s put up round nail head (7)
STRANGE – string together the abbreviation for ‘say’ and a general word for painting plus the ‘S. Now reverse (put up) all that and insert the top letter of nail.
20d Unevenly lie on linen, not soft (7)
LENIENT – remove the even letters from four words to leave the answer.
22d Tree starts to shoot up magically after cow (5)
SUMAC – the starting letters of five words in the clue. ‘After cow did what?’ I hear you cry.
9a made me laugh but my favourite clue today was 5d. Let us know what you liked.