Toughie 1722 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1722

Toughie No 1722 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I made very heavy weather of this and I’m not sure why because there’s nothing particularly obscure in it. Maybe I’m having a bad day because my routine has been disrupted by the presence of workmen replacing a door and a window. But it was enjoyable and I could appreciate it all the more when writing the review

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Answer supporters with ‘This compiler’s harsh‘ (8)
ABRASIVE: A (answer) + the usual supporters of parts of the female anatomy + ‘this compiler has’

5a    About to flip in circuit going very fast (6)
RACING: A reversal of a 2-letter abbreviation denoting ‘about’ inside a circuit

9a    Range of opinion on dais occasionally (8)
DISTANCE: Alternate letters of DaIs + an opinion

10a    Initially walk as ducks do, leaning excessively (6)
WADDLE: Initial letters of Walk As Ducks Do, Leaning Excessively

12a    Held crop up, it’s heard, producing burn (9)
CAUTERISE: I had difficulty with this one because ‘burn’ looks more like ‘bum’ on my printout and I couldn’t find any answer that meant bum. It’s a homophone of ‘held’ (6) and ‘crop up’ (5) and it means ‘burn with a caustic substance’

13a    Money owed to cover University entrance (5)
DEBUT: ‘Money owed’ round U (University)

14a    For section of Church sin’s not large (4)
APSE: A recess in a church is obtained by removing L (large) from ‘sin’

16a    Keep manure working round top of earth (7)
DUNGEON: A keep (part of a castle) = manure + ‘working’ round the first letter of Earth

19a    Snob tipping hat first (7)
ELITIST: A reversal of a slang word for a hat + 3 letters that can indicate ‘first’

21a    Pop, therefore pop? (4)
SODA: Pop (fizzy drink) = ‘therefore’ + pop (father)

24a    Direct back over posh beach (5)
DUNES: A reversal of ‘to direct’ round U (posh) = hills of sand on the seashore

25a    Keeper for a team trapping pass through hole (9)
PERFORATE: Hidden in keePER FOR A TEam

27a    Heart is heavier missing husband (6)
TICKER: A slang word for the heart is obtained by removing H (Husband) from ‘heavier’

28a    Home provided in retirement lodge (8)
FIRESIDE: A reversal (in retirement) of ‘provided’ (2) + ‘to lodge’ (6)

29a    Stops rites regularly following prayer (6)
AVERTS: A prayer (to the Virgin Mary) + alternate letters of RiTes

30a    Party reversed decline in influence (8)
LEVERAGE: A reversal of a party + ‘to decline’


1d    Put in chapter adopted by technology user (6)
ADDICT: ‘To put in’ + C (chapter) inside an abbreviation for a form of technology = a drug user

2d    Part in affair is questionably improper (6)
RISQUE: Hidden in affaiR IS QUEstionably

3d    Barber cut back around crown of head (5)
SHAVE: ‘To barber’ = ‘to cut back’ round the first letter of Head

4d    Protection against a cold reportedly identified (7)
VACCINE: A one-letter abbreviation denoting ‘against’ + A + C (cold) + a homophone of ‘identified’

6d    Left a party with single daughter (9)
ABANDONED: A + a party (body of people) + ‘single’ + D (daughter)

7d    Grateful Iron Duke with bravest ended losing heart (8)
INDEBTED: First and last letters of IroN DukE BravesT EndeD

8d    Goods host always served up — money welcome (8)
GREETING: G (good) and G (good) go round a reversal of ‘always’ and money

11d    Rose say, to get examined (4)
READ: A homophone of the colour of which rose is a shade

15d    Most prudish minister accepts one’s heartless sins (9)
PRISSIEST: A minister (6) round I (one) and the first and last letters of SinS

17d    Batted, never getting upset about rivalry (8)
VENDETTA: Hidden in reverse in BATTED NEVer

18d    Compass location of container with salt heading east (8)
BINNACLE: A Casing for a ship’s compass= a container + the chemical formula for common salt + E (east)

20d    Record hit, essence of Queen (4)
TAPE: ‘To record (e.g. on a cassette recorder)’ + ‘hit’ + the middle letter of QuEen

21d    Suspect‘s escape curtailed in secure surroundings (7)
SURMISE: ‘To suspect’ = ‘to escape’ with the last letter removed inside ‘secure’. I’m not convinced by the ‘escape’ in this clue

22d    Chicken possibly raised as layer (6)
LAMINA: A reversal of any organism having life, sensation and voluntary motion (such as a chicken) = a thin plate or layer

23d    Calm extremes of savage rage and noise (6)
SERENE: First and last letters of SavagE RagE and NoisE

26d    Overweight live in very big house finally (5)
OBESE: ‘To live’ in ‘very big’ + the last letter of housE

Another non-grumpy Thursday

16 comments on “Toughie 1722

  1. Am I the only one to think that the part of the hints with red letters is going a little too far. They actually give the answer away. The phrase ‘a lurker’ would be enough for me to work it out for myself. But I still need your help. Thank you for all you do for my sanity.

  2. A properly Tough Toughie thank you Beam. My struggles with the SE corner mean that I have to award it 5* for difficulty, but definitely 4* for entertainment. My favourite is 10a mainly because I loved the image created of ducks going along leaning excessively! Thanks to Bufo too.

    And RB-D – yes probably.

  3. Oh good – if CS calls it a ‘properly Tough Toughie’ then I’ll forgive myself for finding it very difficult and taking a long time to do it.
    I wasn’t very happy about my 21d and failed to get 30a which was silly.
    I ‘found’ 2 and17d without too much trouble but it was a pity about 25a. :roll:
    7d was much easier once I stopped trying to make it start with ‘FE’.
    I liked 12 and 16a and 4d. My favourite was either the leaning ducks or 15d.
    With thanks to Beam for such a good Toughie and to Bufo for the hints.

  4. I found this difficult, and wouldn’t have completed it without your hints. I agree with R. Burgess-Dawson about the red letters – it IS a bit too much!

  5. Probably the first time that I experience a smooth solve for a Beam crossword.
    Knew exactly where he was leading me and found it extremely enjoyable.
    1a was a write in and made me think of CS straight away with her dreaded supporters. I think I even heard the groan from where I m standing.
    Wasn’t too keen on beach = dunes in 24a.
    Loved the lurkers and the duck walk in 10a but favourite is 22d.
    Thanks to Beam and to Bufo.
    Always thought that cauterise means to burn a scar with a red poker or such like.

  6. We were sailing along smoothly until we came to the SE corner. We worked on 25a for ages trying all manner of wordplay combinations until the penny dropped with an almighty thud. Why on Earth did it take us so long to spot it! Once that was done it became possible to work out the ‘secure’ part of 21d where we had been exploring other options and get a satisfying conclusion. A good level of challenge and very good fun. The clue word count is correct too.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  7. Pretty tricky stuff but very enjoyable. I needed the hints to fully justify a couple of Bung-ins, but missed the reverse lurker – I thought it was very well disguised (as was the indicator..)

    Thanks to Bufo and RayT.

  8. What a great day – a Shamus back pager, a good Varsity match at Twickenham (well done Cambridge) and a super Toughie from Beam. The top half went in relatively smoothly but the bottom corners were extremely reluctant to cough up there answers – especially the SE corner. Got there in the end and the time taken to finish it did not detract from the enjoyment.

    So, thanks to Beam for the puzzle and to Bufo for his review.

    1. Even later than your good self, Mr. T but nice to ‘see’ you.
      Managed half of this before friends arrived for lunch. They came at 12.30 and left at 8.30pm. All bottles now safely stowed in the relevant recycling containers – rest of the puzzle could take a while……….!

      You will probably have noticed that the next birthday bash has now been arranged – PLEASE will you say you’ll attend this time?
      Bribes offered previously have obviously not moved you – give us a clue?

      1. I would repeat what I posted on the back page blog – if I could remember what I posted that is :) It is always a delight to see the setter pop in and say hello…… Thanks Beam.

  9. Like the 2 Kiwis, I was laid low by the SE corner and in the end resorted to 4 of the above hints in order to complete. Certainly 4* difficulty – perhaps a bit more – but very satisfying to solve (4* for that too). 7d and 8d were nice, but 19a was my favourite. Thanks to RayT in his Beam hat, and to Bufo.

  10. I threw the towel in on this at about 21:00 last night then returned afresh to it this morning with a mug of Yorkshire gold tea & lo – The final clues gave themselves up and I sat there for a full 5 minutes in smug mode.
    Thanks to RayT & to Bufo.

  11. Wow – the bottom half of this one certainly took some time, mostly down to a couple of synonyms I wasn’t really happy with (dunes & miss), a new word at 22d (although of course I did know ‘laminate!) and a forgotten location at 18d.

    The ducks get the honours from amongst several contenders.
    Devotions to Mr. T as ever and many thanks to Bufo for confirming the parsing.

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