Toughie 1606 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1606

Toughie No 1606 by Beam

Hints and tips by Toro

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***

Afternoon, all. Toro here standing in for Bufo. I’m not sure I’ve done a Beam before (wot, no anagrams?!), so I’ll leave it to you regulars to compare it with his usual work, but I found it a fairly steady and certainly satisfying solve.

1a Show no respect employing bodies for strip (10)
DISPOSSESS Street slang for show no respect (to) around bodies or groups (of men gathered together by a US sheriff).

6a Kills aristocrats? Not at first (4)
OFFS Aristocrats or posh folk, minus the first letter.

9a Far-out to have insiders cycling on drugs (5)
WIRED Far-out or freaky, with the first of the inner letters cycled to the back of the queue to become the penultimate letter in the solution.

10a Outcast Foreign Office flunkey’s no ruler (9)
FOUNDLING F(oreign) O(ffice) + a junior or subordinate, minus the Queen’s initials.

12a Get hard criminal offender back taking Ecstasy (7)
CONGEAL Two slang words for a convicted criminal, the second reversed around E(cstasy).

13a Drink tea, it’s said, in previous container (5)
LATTE The letter pronounced as “tea” inside previous, sometime or erstwhile.

15a Such as snips and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails? (7)
PLURALS Cryptic definition of what these three nouns are examples of grammatically.

17a Tile possibly covers a small home (7)
HABITAT An item of garb of which a tile is an example goes round a (1,3) phrase meaning a little or a small amount/to a small extent. (Shouldn’t this clue read “a little home” or is there another explanation that I’ve missed?)   

19a Bone in back’s reportedly senseless (7)
STERNUM Soundalike of (both) back or rear part (of a ship especially) + senseless or insensible.

21a Dish remains lavish in Italian capital, half cut (7)
RISOTTO A (2,3) way of saying remains lavish or goes overboard, inside one half of the name of the Italian capital.

22a Strangely religious, not starting to accept God (5)
ODDLY A 5-letter word for religious (not a 4-letter one as I originally read it!) minus the first letter, into which is inserted a single-letter abbreviation for God in Latin.

24a Bizarre burn-out’s curable now and then (7)

27a Ace team playing with England’s outside left (9)
ABANDONED A(ce) + a team or group + playing or performing + E(nglan)D.

28a Crop that’s good to destroy (5)
GRAZE G(ood) + to destroy, level or flatten.

29a Bird trapped in tavern escaped (4)

30a Youthful adult practically elderly in decline (10)
ADOLESCENT A(dult), then elderly minus last letter inside a decline or deterioration.


1d Silky hair to the ground (4)
DOWN Double definition: soft fine fair, e.g. on a child’s or woman’s face, and to the ground or onto the floor.

2d Chassis of lorry almost tons with solid exterior (9)
STRUCTURE US word for lorry minus last letter + T(ons), all inside solid or reliable.

3d Look up and study antique (5)
OLDEN Imperative meaning look or behold, reversed + a study or work area.

4d Cushions regularly needed on board ship (7)
SOFTENS Regularly or frequently inside an abbreviation for a steamship.

5d Sneak before church avoiding a crush (7)
SQUELCH A sneak or tale-teller + abbreviation for church, then delete the A.

7d Stone following dressing (5)
FLINT F(ollowing) + a dressing or type of fabric applied to a wound.

8d Bit eaten up in tortano, it’s egg usually (10)
SUGGESTION …a bit, hint or soupcon. Reversed inside TORTANOITSEGGUSUALLY.

11d Composer of the French swallows rising spleen (7)
DELIBES French for ‘of the (plural)’ around a word for spleen or anger (which comes from a different organ than the spleen!).

14d See son wearing majestic old crown (10)
EPISCOPATE …a see or bishopric. S(on) inside a word for majestic or grand, then O(ld) + crown or top of the head.

16d A mid-evening nap keeps the old getting upset (7)
ANNOYED A + (eve)N(ing) + to nap or doze around the old printed spelling of ‘the’.

18d Thrill seeing one work in gallery (9)
TITILLATE Roman numeral one + to work (land), all inside the name of an art gallery with several UK locations.

20d Regretted being cut holding vase for wife (7)
MOURNED Cut or trimmed (grass) with W(ife) replaced by a word for a vase.

21d Circle both hands, cupping over and beneath cut (7)
ROUNDEL The two hands or sides of the body going round O(ver) and a word for beneath minus the final letter.

23d Even new district’s on the up (5)
DRAWN ….as in a sporting scoreline. N(ew) + an electoral district, reversed.

25d Amateur gesture suppresses desires (5)

26d Advanced producing fast time (4)
LENT Advanced or loaned, and a time of fasting.

I liked the simple and elegant 1d.

43 comments on “Toughie 1606

  1. This started off a steady (but not fast) solve up until the point where everything to the right of the / diagonal and a few others were in. Then I came up against a big block. Finally got over that hump (it was arriving at the right sense of the 12a definition that did it), and having got going again allowed myself to get excited at the prospect of finishing on my own. In the end, I was left with three. So – close, but no cigar.

    The frustrating trio were 15a, 2d and 14d. Grr! My favourite could be almost any clue other than one of those.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Toro. Great to see you. :)

    1. I thought you might struggle with 12a, Kitty, because Beam has cleverly used a misleading definition that can also mean “to become difficult”. You need to let your mind wander more and be alert to possible alternative meanings.

  2. Thanks to Beam and Toro (good to see you back on blogging duty). I think that you need to revisit the hint for 4d.
    In 17a I reckon that small can mean bit in ‘a bit part’.

    1. Sorry, did the write-up in a dreadful hurry and went into autopilot on seeing ‘ regularly’.

      Yes, that example would work as a justification for small=bit. Alternatively, BRB also gives small as a noun meaning “a small thing, portion or piece” – though I can’t think of an example of that use.

      Thanks Gazza.

  3. Nice to have you back Toro

    And you’ve thrown in an intentional error in 4d just to see if we’re really reading the review.

    I found the top half slow going, then the bottom half speeded up until I got to 14d and 22a. In 22a I went back and forth between the 4 & 5 letter definition for religious, seems DD is an abbreviation for ‘gave to God’ which wasn’t optimal, and I didn’t find the single letter abbreviation which works much better.

    Some nicely disguised definitions.

    I liked 15a, 24a, 8d and 20d, but there were many more great clues.

    Many thanks Beam and thank you Toro – are you coming to Derby and/or London?

  4. OK – I’ve got more ‘ticks’ than not, so won’t bore you all with a list!
    For once, I managed the ‘cycling’ thing but admit to missing the ‘D’ for God in the parsing of 22a – thank you, Toro.
    15a made me laugh – I was worried for a while about the absence of ‘slugs’!
    Think perhaps it’s only the ‘A’ for adult in 30a?

    Devotions to Mr. T/Beam and many thanks to Toro for the review. If you check out the back-page blog, I commented earlier on today that I was sorry that you’d been AWOL for so long. Any sign yet of that long-awaited next puzzle from you?

      1. It was slugs when we sang it at my London primary school – I’d never heard snips. It seems from Googling around that there are quite a few variants.

    1. Hi Jane. Kind of you to remember me – and to liken me to Gary Kasparov, though he’s a bit svelter than me and probably better at chess. No, I haven’t got down to doing any setting I’m afraid.

      1. That’s the spirit re setting Toro! Hope the new season is going well? That blog you wrote last year re playing in everyone else’s kit was funny. At least I think that’s what happened.

  5. Pretty much what you can expect from Beam in ‘Toughie’ mode – super clueing and a good bit of fun. Very enjoyable :smile:

    Lots of ticks (not the bloodsuckers) beside too many clues so I can’t single out just one. I’ll just say thanks to Mr T for a very enjoyable romp in crosswordland (Ooo-er missus) and a welcome back to the ‘Toughie blogging chair shirker’ known as ‘Toro’ :whistle:

    Where have you been mate – answers on an email before I go to the Derby bash. Are you attending this Saturday?

    1. Derby is nearby but I have cricket at weekends so I’ll take a raincheck. If it rains, I’ll come!

      1. It would be great if you could come along – we’ll just have to wait and see what the weather is like. Nice to see you back in the chair :smile:

  6. Thanks to Beam and to Toro for the review and hints. I really enjoyed this one, but I ran out of steam at the end. Needed 7 hints to finish.

  7. Hesitated too between godly and holy in 22a.
    The rest was easily parsed.
    16d ( a mid evening nap) made me laugh.
    Thanks to Beam for the fun and great to see Toro on the blog again.

  8. A lovely crossword – what else would we expect.
    I’ve certainly done – well, attempted to do – more difficult Beam Toughies than this.
    Needed the hints to understand 9a and 14d
    My favourite was 15a.
    With thanks to Beam and to Toro.

  9. I never find Beam easy and this was no exception but so good. Far too many clues to name all of them but for a favourite I will go with 1d. As Toro said, simple and elegant.

    I was also confused about the ‘snips’ in 15a!

    Many thanks to Beam and to Toro for a great blog.

    Cold and raining in the moors so the briefest of rides..but lovely.

    1. We could do with some proper rain.
      People are talking about a drought already. Supply as low as the beginning of August usually.

      1. You can have as much of my Shropshire rain as you want JL. With very warm and sunny weather, interspersed with heavy rain, everything in our garden has gone mad, especially my Virginia Creeper. It’s lovely, but it’s behaving like a Triffid – I may be eaten.

      2. You are welcome to mine J-L.

        That’s quite worrying! Hopefully some for you soon, especially for those giant bulb things that you bought and those amazing honey trees. I take it you have a lot of plants/flowers around Le Jardin?

        1. None of our plants and flowers need intensive watering. They’re pretty much self sufficient. Only the strong ones shall survive. :smile:

  10. A slowish solve but completed all by my own self, so I’m happy. Lots of ticks on my printout, but I’m going for 15A and 20D to occupy my top spots. Thanks Beam and Toro.

  11. Evening all. Many thanks to Toro for the decryption and to all for your comments.


    1. You’re welcome, Mr T, and apologies for the blog being unadorned. Thank you for an excellent puzzle.

    2. Lovely, as always, to see you drop in Beam – thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle. Hope you have a great weekend.

  12. Excellent stuff that had us head scratching on quite a few. Real penny-drop moment when we got 15a and clues like 20d where three letters replace one always seem to delay us. Much appreciated and enjoyed and the word count checked and found to be in order.
    Thanks Beam and Toro.

  13. Splendid crossword – plenty of work for the little grey cells, but a nice warm glow from successful completion. Call it 3*/4*. 6a amused me no end, but I swear I’ve only ever come across this expression in crosswords. Lots of contenders for favourite clue status, but my choice is 21d. Thanks to Beam for the workout and Toro for the review.

  14. Amusing, thanks to all.

    Now then, back to working on ProXimal’s 1603..!

    I still only have four answers, but I refuse to be beaten by a crossword even if it has taken me ten days so far.

    Thanks again to all concerned.

  15. Sorry, taken a week to get round to the crossword, so I doubt anyone will see this comment.

    For me, 19a doesn’t quite work. Back = STERN, homophone of senseless = NUM. Put them together and you get STERNNUM. The homophone indicator is positioned such that it can’t be referring to both elements, in my opinion.

    An enjoyable puzzle, with 14d and 15a putting up most resistance.

    1. Always someone around and the blogger gets an email of your comment.

      It works for me. As you say back = STERN and then you need NUMB for senseless so you get STERNUMB but it’s only the NUMB bit that’s indicated as the homophone.

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