Toughie No 1366 by Beam
Separating the Sheep from the Goats
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty **** – Enjoyment ****
As crypticsue emailed me this morning “No-one can say Ray T hasn’t given us ‘innuendo’ in his puzzle today”. This was very enjoyable but I found it (especially the left-hand side) quite tricky. Beam has gone back to no anagrams at all and as usual all his clues are succinct, but he’s possibly becoming a republican because once again there’s no mention of Queen.
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.
7a Carefree young woman coming out gay (8)
DEBONAIR – the abbreviation for ‘young woman coming out’ followed by how you may walk (2,3) if you’re feeling gay or elated.
9a Offends having right to start rows (6)
RANGES – start with a verb meaning offends or riles and move the R(ight) to the start.
10a Dodgy tendency (4)
BENT – double definition, the first an informal adjective meaning dodgy or dishonest.
11a Unequipped to cross frozen water plain (10)
NOTICEABLE – a phrase meaning unequipped or lacking skill (3,4) contains frozen water.
12a Waterlogged pitch following crowd’s return (6)
MARSHY – a verb to pitch (at a coconut, perhaps) follows the reversal of a verb to crowd or press strongly.
14a Slur from boozer, free to embrace sweetheart (8)
INNUENDO – a boozer (the place, not the individual) is followed by a verb to free or loosen containing the letter at the heart of sweet.
15a One sails Channel around Portsmouth — it’s brisk (6)
ABRUPT – an abbreviation for a sailor and a channel or groove containing the opening letter (mouth) of port.
17a Capital of America following that dollar, half-done (6)
ATHENS – string together the single-letter abbreviation for America, an adverb meaning ‘following that’ and a dollar sign without the vertical lines (half-done).
20a Caught over middle, reportedly, for match (8)
COINCIDE – start with the cricket abbreviations for caught and over and add what sounds like a noun meaning middle or interior.
22a Sweat slightly, changing hands at first (6)
LATHER – start with an adverb meaning slightly or to some extent and change the first letter from one hand to the other.
23a Genius of Obama’s term in disarray (10)
MASTERMIND – hidden (of) in the clue.
24a Spymaster’s expression of approval for spy (4)
MOLE – James Bond’s boss followed by a Spaniard’s expression of approval or encouragement.
25a They turn back with gutless lecherous looks (6)
OGLERS – this is a semi-all-in-one where the definition is the whole clue (with ‘turn back’ meaning repel). Reverse (back) a turn (in a board game, say) and add lecherous looks without the central letter (gutless).
26a Public individual giving hint (8)
OVERTONE – charade of an adjective meaning public or obvious and an adjective meaning individual or single.
1d Rum, unusual in a sea rising (8)
DEMERARA – insert an adjective meaning unusual or uncommon between A and the abbreviated name of a specific sea, then reverse it all (rising). A lot of self-kicking took place here because I spent some time trying to make the wordplay work with Red (Sea).
2d Flipping extremely cold bird (4)
COOT – follow an adverb meaning extremely or excessively with C(old) then flip it all around.
3d Fine isn’t commonly collected by vacant dogsbody (6)
DAINTY – a common way of saying isn’t goes inside the outer letters (vacant) of dogsbody.
4d Court page more courteous being raised by court (8)
PRECINCT – start with the abbreviation for page, add the reversal (rising) of a comparative meaning more courteous or kinder and finish with the abbreviation for court.
5d Betrothal half finishes man purchasing a diamond? (10)
ENGAGEMENT – the first half of a verb meaning finishes or terminates is followed by a posh man containing A and what a diamond is an example of.
6d Stripped off for the audience and produced claps (6)
PEALED – this sounds like (for the audience) stripped the outer layer (from an apple, say). The claps could be the sound of bells but I think they’re more likely to be the sounds of thunder.
8d Flog and tie up heartlessly in protest (6)
RETAIL – reverse the word tie without its middle letter and insert it in a verb to protest or criticise.
13d Socialist rabble nagging starts and ends next rally (10)
STRENGTHEN – the first and last letters of the first three words of the clue are followed by an adverb meaning next or afterward (the same word that we used in 17a).
16d Flower border in expert’s estimation’s top (8)
PRIMROSE – put a border inside an expert plus the ‘S and finish with the top letter of estimation.
18d Growth of flowers well in garden (8)
SWELLING – hidden (of) in the clue.
19d Farmer in Oz, penning sheep (6)
MERINO – and another hidden word, this time indicated by penning.
21d Kind of sauce for duck, poured say, over (6)
ORANGE – the definition could just be the first three words but I think that it’s meant to be the whole clue. String together the cricket duck, a verb meaning poured or rushed and the reversal (over) of the abbreviation meaning say or for example.
22d Start to land on snake here? No (6)
LADDER – the starting letter of land followed by a venomous snake.
24d Setter perhaps tense with stomach turning (4)
MUTT – bring together the abbreviation used for tense in grammar and a child’s word for stomach then turn it all upside down.
I liked 7a, 25a and 21d but my favourite clue (for the nice bit of 14a) is 6d. Let us know which one(s) appealed to you.