Toughie 1471

Toughie No 1471 by Beam

No, not those kind of butts!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I found this Ray T (as Beam) puzzle to be easier than some of his back-page offerings. The usual mix of innuendo, Her Majesty and definitions that make you think.

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    Catches evenly fair breaks (7)
ARRESTS: the even letters of [f]A[i]R followed by some breaks or pauses

5a    Denies possessing fellow feelings (7)
BELIEFS: a verb meaning denies around (possessing) F(ellow)

9a    Fall about, died, put in casket (7)
CASCADE: the two-letter Latin abbreviation for about and D(ied) inside a casket


10a    Get a bit cheerful (7)
WINSOME: a verb meaning to get or attain followed by a bit or small amount

11a    Bounder we arrested taking lingerie (9)
UNDERWEAR: hidden (taking) inside the clue

12a    Broke surface with time to finish (5)
SKINT: this adjective meaning broke or destitute is derived from a surface or covering followed by T(ime)

13a    Insect’s about circling with whining sound (5)
TWANG: The reversal (about) of an insect around (circling) W(ith)

15a    Persistent smell returns, say, catching current (9)
OBSTINATE: the reversal (returns) of a two-letter smell followed by a verb meaning to say around (catching) an adjective meaning current or up-to-date

17a    Force people to share mass in convened ritual … (9)
SACRAMENT: a verb meaning to force or compress and some people share the letter M(ass) and are then inserted into a three-letter verb meaning convened

19a    … praise former gathering rejected (5)
EXTOL: former, as in a former partner, followed by the reversal (rejected) of a gathering or group

22a    Rule’s no soccer kick-offs on these? (5)
LAWNS: a legal rule followed by the initial letters (kick-offs) of two words in the clue

23a    Fabulous bird’s sent over second cry for bird (9)
CORMORANT: the reversal (sent over) of a fabulous bird is followed by a second or brief period of time and a verb meaning to cry or shout

25a    Unfeeling and cold, completely zero value practically (7)
CALLOUS: a charade of C(old), a three-letter word meaning completely, O (zero) and most of (practically) a word meaning value or worth

26a    Losing heart, live in past still (7)
SILENCE: L[iv]E without its inner letters (losing heart) inside an adverb meaning past or ago

27a    Some vessel potter’s turned revealing bust (7)
TOPLESS: hidden (Some) and reversed (turned) inside the clue

28a    Misery of soldiers’ last post when retreating (7)
SADNESS: the final letter (last) of [soldier]s, a verb meaning to post or mail and a two-letter conjunction meaning when, all reversed (retreating)


1d    Made of tobacco, untipped tab (7)
ACCOUNT: hidden (made of) inside the clue is a tab or bill

2d    What remains of car’s exterior ends overturned (7)
RESIDUA: a German car, the S from ‘S and the end letters of E[xterio]R, all reversed (overturned)

3d    Steps from dancer with no limits (5)
STAIR: these steps go from one floor to another and are derived by dropping the outer letters (with no limits) from the surname of a famous dancer from the silver screen

4d    Regularly heavier day in hold for worker (9)
STEVEDORE: the even letters (regularly) of [h]E[a]V[i]E[r] and D(ay) inside a hold or compartment for keeping cargo

5d    One inclined to make retreat? (5)
BOWER: two definitions – someone who inclines as a form of respect and a retreat or shady recess in a garden

6d    Political triumph of left with Liberal in party (9)
LANDSLIDE: L(eft) followed by a three-letter word meaning with then L(iberal) inside a party or faction

7d    Adult literature ripped up in charge of adult (7)
EROTICA: the reversal (up in a down clue) of a verb meaning ripped followed by the abbreviations for I(n) C(harge) and A(dult)

8d    Queen with tense muscles raised royal staff (7)
SCEPTRE: the Queen’s regnal cipher followed by T(ense) and some muscles, all reversed (raised)

14d    Good boys’ school, English for last Prime Minister (9)
GLADSTONE: G(ood) followed by some boys and a school (for posh boys who don’t know the price of milk) with the initial E(nglish) moved to the end (last)

16d    Takes off asphalt’s top in street flags (9)
SATIRISES: the initial letter (top) of A[sphalt] inside ST(reet) and followed by some flowers also known as flags

17d    Petition thus given legal support (7)
SOLICIT: a two-letter word meaning thus followed by (given … support in a down clue) an adjective meaning legal

18d    Flower cut around plant top to bottom (7)
COWSLIP: a verb meaning to cut or trim around a verb meaning to plant with its initial letter (top) moved to the end (bottom)

20d    Learner drove swiping mid-air in driving area (7)
TRAINEE: a verb meaning drove or conveyed around (swiping) the middle letter of [a]I[r], all inside the area, on a golf course, for driving

21d    Culture found in V&A? (7)
LETTERS: V and A are two of twenty-six!

23d    On front of calendar pose with small butts (5)
CASKS: the initial letter (from) of C[alendar] followed by a verb meaning to pose, as in to pose a question, and S(mall)

24d    Drunk that is occasionally caught by pedestrian (5)
OILED: the Latin abbreviation for “that is” inserted separately (occasionally) inside an adjective meaning pedestrian or hackneyed

Bufo should return next week.


  1. dutch
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Glad we had 10a following 9a.

    managed both toughie and back pager before the school run today – that doesn’t happen very often..

    The clue that stood out for me was the delightful 27a (Some vessel potter’s turned…). Many other fine clues, e.g. 23d (BD’s sub-bannered clue)

    Thanks beam and BD for review

  2. Shropshirelad
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable puzzle from Beam with his usual trademarks aplenty. Not overly difficult, but there were a few head scratching moments. SE corner was the last bit to fall but was completed in the time range of a back pager. My favourite of the day has to be 27a (wonder if Kath will see it). I do hope setters will now dispense with the overly used German car in the light of VW’s skulduggery.

    Thanks to Beam for the puzzle and BD for his review.

  3. jean-luc cheval
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Very quiet around here today.
    My excuse is that our dear friend Elgar made an appearance in the other paper.
    That required my undivided attention.
    Unlike this offering from Beam which was pretty straightforward to solve.
    Favourite is 14d.
    Thanks to Beam and to BD for the review.

  4. crypticsue
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Notabilis tomorrow

    • andy
      Posted September 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      whoop whoop

  5. Posted September 24, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    We have finished, but not found it quite so easy as others have.
    Why does a compiler need 2 different names?

  6. Una
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Delightful, and who expects it to be easy ?Not me , anyway.
    I agree that 27a stands out as a terrific clue, for its smooth and witty surface .10a is another great clue, along with 25a, 14d, 21a (my last one in ).
    I needed a few hints to finish , 5a and 20d in particular.
    With thanks to Beam and Toro.

  7. KiwiColin
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I struggled a bit in the NE as I initially had the wrong first letter for 5d which made 5a impossible. (I had a C which seemed to sort of fit). Eventually sorted. All the usual Beam trademarks including no anagrams in a Toughie, and of course I checked the clue word count too. A quality puzzle much enjoyed.
    Thanks Beam and BD.

  8. RayT
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Evening all. Very many thanks to BD for his analysis and to all for the comments.


    • Jane
      Posted September 24, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mr. T – just checking in on behalf of Kath and myself. Kath is off helping her elder daughter and I’ve just got in from a very long day. Rest assured that we will both take on today’s challenge asap.
      Goes without saying that we both adore you!

  9. Expat Chris
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Two weeks of virtually crossword-free vacation and I definitely feel way out of practice. I struggled in the NE corner and needed some hints. I would never have parsed 2D. Still, it was certainly enjoyable. Thanks Ray T. and BD.

    • Jane
      Posted September 24, 2015 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi Chris,
      Good to have you back – I’ve missed our late-nighters! Hope you had a good time back in the old country and didn’t feel too cold. We all got to see the photo’s of your meeting with BD, something I have yet to achieve!

      • Posted September 24, 2015 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        It’s more of an ordeal than an achievement!

        • Expat Chris
          Posted September 24, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          Ah, go on with you! You’re a teddy bear really. And Mrs. BD is a joy.

      • Expat Chris
        Posted September 24, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        It was freezing! Maybe not for those who live there, but I certainly felt it. Packed all the wrong clothes, of course. We had a great time. Lots of country pub visits and late night carousing and meeting up with family and friends. Magic. And meeting up with Big Dave was a special treat.

  10. andy
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Blimey, I seem to be in a minority. Three glances at clues led to that many answers. Got there in the end resorting to two hints , wavelength obviously and mea culpa. Might be due to being ever so tired, David Gilmour at the Royal Albert Hall last night, wow wow wow. Cheers to Beam and BD

  11. Hanni
    Posted September 24, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Well I yielded to temptation. Glad I did. Not as difficult as the last Beam but certainly not as easy as some found it.

    Got into a real mess with NW corner. Put ‘residue’ in for 2d. That left me with T_E_G for 13a. I’m not sure there is even a word that fits that. Needed the blog to sort it out.

    The rest was slow and steady. Great puzzle. 27a is just lovely.

    Many thanks to Beam and to BD for blogging. Needed your help. Despite what Chris says…I still find you a bit scary.

  12. Jane
    Posted September 25, 2015 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Out on my feet, but just couldn’t leave it unfinished.
    Like Hanni, I stared for ages at T E G, but did finally sort out the ending for 2a (that will teach me not to parse correctly!).
    NE corner was the last to fall – 5d being the sticking point.
    Plenty for the podium – particular mention for 9,12&27a plus 16,17&21d.

    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to BD for making it all sound so easy!

  13. Kitty
    Posted September 25, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Woohoo! I did a Beam Toughie all by myself. My favourites were all the trademark Ray-type clues. Off to bed now to get some much needed zzz’s before a weekend of partying, but just had to log the success here.

    Thanks to BD for the blog and to RayT for a puzzle which was gentle enough that I didn’t need it, and also – and most importantly – lots of fun.

    • Jane
      Posted September 25, 2015 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

      Well done, Kitty! Now then, if you can just be as successful with your driving tomorrow……..

  14. Heno
    Posted September 26, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Beam and to Big Dave for the review and hints. I’ve been plugging away at this since Thursday. Finally finished without the hints, a first ever Beam completion. Only because it was a 2* difficulty, but I’m still over the moon. The SE Corner was the last to fall. Last in was 26a. Favourite was 22a. Was 3*/3* for me.