Toughie 1415 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1415

Toughie No 1415 by Beam

Hitns and tpis by Bfuo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I’ve now got used to Beam’s puzzles with the short clues, single-word answers and lack of anagrams and this one yielded fairly quickly. In fact it was only a slight hold-up at the top of the diagram that pushed me into 3* difficulty territory. I totally missed the error in the clue to 26 across until Gazza pointed it out. I can’t be grumpy today because I’m celebrating. My daughter has got the key to her new house today thus bringing to an end the three month period in which she, husband, child, dog and guinea pigs have been living with us. It’s been lovely having them but…..

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.


1a    Suggestive rogue ends trail chasing skirt (11)
REMINISCENT: The first and last letters (ends) of RoguE + a short skirt + a trail

9a    State of organ after tip’s cut (7)
ENGLAND: A state (country) = an organ (5) following a tip (3) with the last letter removed

10a    Lives and dies clutching head of sword (6)
EXISTS: ‘Dies’ round S (first letter of sword)

12a    Combining tart with sugar coating removing top (7)
PIECING: A tart + a sugar coating on a cake with the first letter removed

13a    Plaster I levelled inside is dry (7)
STERILE: Hidden in plaSTER I LEvelled

14a    Raised section of arch not opening (5)
RIDGE: Remove the first letter from an arch

15a    Advanced right — then turn left, or port (9)
ARCHANGEL: A (advanced) + R (right) = ‘to turn’ + L (left) = a Russian Arctic port

17a    Following tip, wins match leaving men on board (9)
MESSMATES: A tip (untidy place) + ‘wins a chess match’

20a    Obscure band ends festival of Glastonbury initially (5)
BEFOG: First letters of Band Ends Festival Of Glastonbury

22a    They’re useless without a sharp tip (7)
NEEDLES: Take a word meaning ‘useless’ and remove the letter S (first letter or tip of Sharp). The whole clue provides the definition

24a    His heart’s more robust adopting new medical device (7)
INHALER: The middle letter or heart of hIs and ‘more robust’ round N (new)

25a    Cleric beginning to preach inflammatory activity (6)
PARSON: The first letter of Preach + the crime of setting fire to something

26a    Something I learnt holding back side again (7)
REALIGN: Hidden in reverse in SomethiNG I LEARnt. Except that it isn’t quite. A representative of Telegraph Towers has acknowledged the error. Stop Press: Gazza tells me that a revised clue has now appeared online and that Beam has had to resort to an anagram. I don’t want to see it
But here it is anyway: Turn backwards perhaps, mistakenly — learning (to avoid repetitions!) (7)
An anagram (
mistakenly) of LEARNING without one of the Ns (to avoid repetitions)  BD

27a    Glorious Queen in comeback finished gripping large finale (11)
RESPLENDENT: A reversal of the 2-letter abbreviation denoting our Queen + ‘finished’ round L (large) and a finale


2d    Probe with tool over excavation (7)
EXAMINE: A reversal of a cutting tool + an excavation

3d    Hot worker supporting bar around plough (9)
INDIGNANT: A bar (pub) round ‘to plough’ + worker (insect)

4d    Types dropping line giving opinions (5)
IDEAS: Remove L (line) from types. I can’t say that I’m altogether happy with this one

5d    Greek character, almost simple, meeting a monster (7)
CHIMERA: A letter of the Greek alphabet + ‘simple’ with the last letter removed + A =a fabled fire-spouting monster

6d    Witnessing that husband gets caught in zip (7)
NOTHING: ‘Witnessing’ goes round H (husband) to give zip or zilch

7d    Secretary two-times, embracing blokes, showing spirit (11)
TEMPERAMENT: A non-permanent secretary + a long time + T (time) round blokes

8d    Adam’s original sin was consistent (6)
AGREED: A (first letter of Adam) + a deadly sin

11d    Pugnacious one, chap boxing about after gong (11)
BELLIGERENT: A gong + I (one) + a chap round ‘about’

16d    Scoundrel hugging more bashful sweetheart is dismissed (9)
CASHIERED: A scoundrel goes round ‘more bashful’ and E (middle letter of sweet)

18d    End of pipe opens up containing energy leak (7)
SEEPAGE: A reversal of E (last letter of pipe) and ‘opens’ round E (energy)

19d    Male type exceedingly soft? (7)
MILKSOP: M (male) + a type or kind + ‘exceedingly’ + P (soft). The whole clue provides the definition

20d    Country dance half finished by hard deluge (7)
BAHRAIN: The first 2 letters of a 4-letter word meaning ‘dance’ + H (hard) + deluge

21d    Tablet provided elevated stimulation (6)
FILLIP: A reversal of a tablet and ‘provided’

23d    Immorality supported by Church’s following (5)
SINCE: Immorality + one of the usual 2-letter abbreviations denoting ‘Church’

I’ll be with you next week from an empty and tidy(ish) house.


20 comments on “Toughie 1415

  1. There are no comments visible but by the time I have finished typing with two fingers , I will probably be the fifth comment.
    I managed to finish without hints so I am a little surprised to see a 3 star difficulty.
    The best clues were 6d and 19d.But there were lots of great clues , such as 8d , 14d.
    Thanks for explaining 17 a, which I got but couldn’t parse.
    Thanks Bufo and Beam.

  2. Oops! Though in defence of 26a it’s still eminently solvable and needn’t detract from an otherwise excellent and highly amusing puzzle. Very Ray T with the usual smutty innuendo that we know and love – in fact he’s gone to town this time. I chuckled at 9a [ouch] 6d [ouch] and is 21d perchance a reference to a certain blue pill?

    Many thanks to Beam and to Bufo for the blog.

  3. I had ‘peeling’ for 12A. No wonder I couldn’t parse it! Agree that 4D was less than ideal. I didn’t notice the error in 26A. I just “saw” the answer and didn’t look further at the letter order. Lots to like, though. Favorite is 19D. Thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  4. I loved it but then no-one would expect me to say anything different, would they?
    I wasn’t very happy about 4d but it couldn’t have been anything else.
    Also not terribly happy about 9a – just to be really picky I don’t think a gland is an organ.
    I didn’t notice the 26a boob – isn’t it enough that I managed to find a hidden and reversed answer (even if it wasn’t quite.)
    It took me for ever to realise what kind of tip we were talking about with 17a.
    I liked 20a and 6 and 19d.
    With thanks to Beam and to Bufo.

  5. I completely missed the 26a error – how strange, perhaps I’m only dyslexic reading backwards

    great puzzle by beam as always, last one in was 8d (adam’s original sin) since it was waiting for 9a (state of organ) – both greta clues. Took me a while to get 17a (men on board), hadn’t come across that term but soon verified.

    I really like the nice &lit in 19d (male type), 6d witnessing that husband…) is a brilliant clue though it leaves one with an uncomfortable feeling to say the least, My favourite has to be 25a (cleric beginning to preach) for surface, I also like 24a (his heart’s more robust), 20d (country dance) and 23d (immorality..)

    Many thanks Beam and Bufo

  6. I seem to be in sync with Beam as I didn’t have any problems with his clues.
    Didn’t even notice the mistake in 26a until I read the blog.
    Thanks to Beam and Bufo for the review.

  7. Did much better today with relatively little trouble. I also didn’t notice the boob in 26a – it’s amazing what your brain interprets when you know what the answer should be (Bfuo – I take it that the typo is meant)

    Going for 19d as my favourite today.

    Many thanks to Beam for the puzzle and Bfuo for the review.

    1. Forget the typo comment, I only saw Bfuo – didn’t even notice the ‘hints and tips, pun D’oh!

  8. Many thanks to Bufo for the decryption and to all for your comments. Also, concerning 26a, please accept my hublem apogolies…


  9. Loved it as we always do with Beam puzzles. We did notice the error in 26a but it did not cause a problem. And Ray’s comment above gave us an extra chuckle as well in compensation. Too many great clues to select a favourite.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  10. I went awry in the NW corner and couldn’t recover the initiative, so at least 3*. I liked 6d and 19d, among others. Ta to Ray T/Beam, and to Bufo for putting me back on track.

  11. Penny drop moment 17a (last in ) ,favourite 19d ,too thick to spot the 26a “error”
    Thanks Ray and of course Bufo

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