Toughie 1366

Toughie No 1366 by Beam

Separating the Sheep from the Goats

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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.

Across Clues

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.

Down Clues

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.

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25 Comments

  1. crypticsue
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I found the top a lot trickier than the bottom – my favourite clue (for the reasons outlined in the prologue) is 14a. Thanks to Ray and Gazza.

  2. Pegasus
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I found this a bit on the gentle side for this setter but I did enjoy it, favourites were 12a and 14a thanks to Beam and to Gazza for the comments.

  3. Expat Chris
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Hooray! (or should I say hoo-ray!). Completed without hints in decent time. I did need the review to fully understand the parsing for 5D, 25D and 17A. No particular favorite. I just loved all of it. Thanks Beam and Gazza.

  4. pommers
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    On first pass I had a bit of a hold up with 23a where I thought the genius was going to be an anagram (in disarray) of OBAMAS TERM but a couple of checkers eventually showed the error of my ways and then suddenly the answer revealed itself. I think that makes it my fav out of a lot of very good stuff.

    Thanks to Beam and Gazza

    • dutch
      Posted March 25, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      23a: I really like use of “in disarray” here – very misleading

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 25, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you pommers on 23a but that was soon shot down in flames when the checkers revealed all.,

  5. halcyon
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    It was the SW corner that held me up; 21d and 25a were last in.
    An enjoyable puzzle but is Beam turning into Virgillius? No Queen but no less than 3 hidden clues and another clue [13d] from Mr Greer’s style book.
    Favourites were 17a [dollar half done] 25a [excellent all round] 13d and22d.

    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza

  6. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Got there in the end.
    The last ones in for me were 9a as I couldn’t decide whether to look for offends or rows, and 12a for which I had the second half but not the first.
    My first solve was 4d and remains my favourite. Such a good example of gobbledygook. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
    Thanks to Gazza for explaining 5d and the rest of course, and to Beam for the puzzle.

  7. dutch
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    great puzzle and not too hard.

    I though “dollar half-done” was interesting (17d)

    I like the semi&lit in 25a (gutless lecherous looks) – I guess the “they” makes it a semi&lit, it is almost an &lit.

    I like the semi&lit in 21d (kind of sauce) – here we have a clear definition an wordplay, but the definition can be extended to include the wordplay. Given a single reversicator (over), I did think the clue would read better cryptically and in surface by swapping two words: “Kind of sauce for duck, say, poured over”.

    I also liked “rum unusual” in1d and “farmer in oz” in 19d, as well as 5d (betrothal…)

    many thanks beam and gazza

    • gazza
      Posted March 25, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Dutch, I don’t think your revised clue works. It’s only the ‘say’ that has to be reversed but your clue requires both say and poured to be reversed.

      • dutch
        Posted March 25, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        right you are, thanks – i had it in my head both were reversed, lord knows why

  8. Shropshirelad
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had a really enjoyable day, what with a good ‘back pager’ from Jay and a super ‘Toughie’ from Beam. Lots of well crafted clues and some super hidden answers. With that in mind I will go for 23a as my favourite for the day.

    Thanks to Beam for the puzzle and Gazza for the review.

  9. upthecreek
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant puzzle from Beam as usual. I think he put 14 in with tongue in cheek as this is his forte. Also no anagrams – great! Favourite has to be 14 and also enjoyed 7 6 9 19 23 [clever] and 25. Thanks to RayT for a great workout.

  10. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Parsing 25a was our stumbling block in this delightful puzzle and we even started looking for alternative answers to get it to work. Thanks for explaining it Gazza. Lots of good stuff that kept us smiling. We checked the word count of course and all in order.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

  11. gazza
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Kcit tomorrow.

  12. RayT
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Gazza for his analysis and to everyone else for your comments.

    RayT

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 25, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      You’re welcome RayT – nice to see you dropping in. Have you become a Republican?

    • Jane
      Posted March 25, 2015 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mr. T. Haven’t had chance to tackle ‘Beam’ yet but I certainly will. Sorry to learn that HM is absent again – please put her back in, somehow your puzzles seem bereft without her!

      • Hanni
        Posted March 25, 2015 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        I’ve just remembered it’s a Beam day! Hooray. Haven’t had chance to do it but something to look forward too. It’s so hard not to read all the comments though.

  13. Wolfson Bear
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    A very nice puzzle which I found a little bit easier than his back-pager last Thursday. I was surprised by the 4* rating – when I foolishly make such statements the next Toughie tends to bite back! I do enjoy RayT puzzles even if the queen seems to have abdicated. Perhaps he has a new favourite band

    • Kath
      Posted March 25, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Maybe the new favourite band is REM – it should be possible to fit that into a few clues.

    • Expat Chris
      Posted March 25, 2015 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Her Maj is a Ray T. feature, but does that apply to his alter ego?

  14. Kath
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I found this very tricky but as enjoyable as RayT/Beams’s crosswords always are.
    Almost finished it but came to grief in the bottom left corner – I needed several hints, and a couple of answers too.
    I should have remembered that Beam doesn’t do anagrams – it would have made 23a much easier. It was also, of course, one of the ones that I always miss but did, eventually, see it.
    My favourite was 14a – it’s so much part of Beam’s puzzles. I liked lots of others too – 23a (has there ever been a better hidden answer?), and 25a and 22d.
    With thanks to Beam and to gazza for picking up the pieces.

  15. Expat Chris
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I must say that 23A amused me greatly. Nothing to do with the clever misdirection and everything to do with the political status quo over here.

  16. Salty Dog
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Tough but satisfying: 4*/4*. I think 13d is splendid. Thanks, Mr T, for the brain-cudgelling, and to Gazza for the review.