Toughie 1794 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1794

Toughie No 1794 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I struggled to get the brain into gear today and spent far longer on this puzzle than I should have done. There was nothing terribly obscure in the puzzle and there were enough gettable clues to get started with. But I had far too many D’oh moments when I finally saw what should have been obvious from the start. I’d like to think that it was Beam’s clever clueing that caused me problems and not my obtuseness.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Wooden ship’s prow heeled over (7)
STILTED: S (the first letter or prow of Ship) + ‘heeled over’

5a    Instrument producing power with final note (7)
FORCEPS: A surgical instrument = ‘power’ + a final note at the end of a letter

9a    Puts out ‘top and tails’ (7)
OFFENDS: ‘Puts out’ or ‘displeases’ = ‘to top (or kill)’ + ‘tails’

10a    Son embarrassed over purchasing new pants (7)
DRAWERS: A reversal (over) of S (son) and ’embarrassed’ (3) goes round ‘new’ or ‘immature’

11a    Chamberlain, perhaps, empty talker clutching half-hearted comfort (9)
TREASURER: The first and last letters of TALKER round an 8-letter word meaning ‘to comfort’ with the double letter in the middle reduced to a single letter

12a    Bird‘s day with ladies’ man (5)
DRAKE: D (day) + a debauched person

13a    Naturists closed unit backing trousers (5)
NUDES: Hidden in reverse in CLOSED UNIT

15a    Separate hollow covers providing iron earth’s core (9)
DIFFERENT: A hollow goes round ‘providing’, the atomic symbol for iron, and the middle letter of EARTH

17a    Spot healed around spot for treatment (9)
BESPATTER: ‘To spot (with dirt)’ = ‘healed’ round an establishment offering health treatments

19a    Inspects container ship’s exterior (5)
SCANS: A container inside an abbreviation denoting a ship

22a    Source of gas market includes hydrogen (5)
SHALE: An increasingly important source of natural gas = a market (or opportunity for selling) round H (hydrogen)

23a    Gripped by desires, is tantalisingly unyielding (9)

25a    Suspicion of stink lingering about (7)

26a    Bestial sounds by criminal circling scaffold (7)
GALLOWS: A reversal of a criminal + sounds made by cattle

27a    Judgement’s not done accepting singular deity (7)
GODDESS: ‘Judgement’ minus the letter U (done) round ‘singular’

28a    King Lear possibly turned grey, overcome by stress (7)
TRAGEDY: ‘Turned grey (through getting old)’ inside ‘to stress’


1d    Reduce time in seaside, heading north (7)
SHORTEN: T (time) in ‘seaside’ + N (north)

2d    Unbeliever died moving down centre of arena (7)
INFIELD: Take a 7-letter word for an unbeliever and move the letter D (died) to the end

3d    Tool often needed grabbing sugar initially (5)
TONGS: Initial letters of Tool Often Needed Grabbing Sugar

4d    Run down, round, then run right (9)
DISCREDIT: A round object + R (run) + ‘to right’

5d    Control for audio device editing recording originally (5)
FADER: Initial letters of For Audio Device Editing Recording

6d    Change ends in intimate apparel getting forward (9)
READDRESS: Take a 4-letter word meaning ‘intimate’ or ‘beloved’ and swap the first and last letters. Put what results before ‘apparel’ to get ‘to forward (a letter that’s been delivered to the wrong place)’

7d    Cheer two-thirds of team getting knocked back (7)
ELEVATE: ‘To cheer’ = the first four letters of a 6-letter word for a soccer or cricket team + ‘knocked back’

8d    Doubt party accepts American president’s inauguration (7)
SUSPECT: ‘To doubt’ = a party round US (American) and P (the first letter of President)

14d    Nearly unclothed dash consumed by endless ‘Drink, drink!’ (9)
SNAKEBITE: ‘Unclothed’ (5) with the last letter removed + a dash or small quantity inside the drink (3) with the last letter removed = a mixture of equal quantities of lager and cider (which sounds a disgusting combination to me)

16d    Planning scrap, boxing over interval, cut (9)
FORESIGHT: A scrap (combat) (5) round O (over) and an interval (4) with the last letter removed

17d    British leader’s useless in providing amusement (7)
BUSKING: B (British) and a leader (ruler) round an abbreviation denoting ‘useless’

18d    Hunted rabbit constrained by speed, occasionally (7)
STALKED: ‘To rabbit’ inside alternate letters of SPEED

20d    Shellfish and sole beneath sailor on sea finally (7)
ABALONE: ‘Sole’ follows an abbreviation denoting ‘sailor’ and A (the last letter of SEA)

21d    Delight, for example, holding fine model up (7)
SATISFY: ‘To delight’ = ‘for example’ (3) round a reversal of F (fine) and ‘to model’ (3)

23d    Teases about sweetheart’s tantrums (5)
RAGES: ‘Teases’ round the middle letter of SWEET:

24d    Sadly upset describing end of morris dance (5)
SALSA: A reversal of ‘Sadly!’ round the last letter of MORRIS

Thanks to Beam for providing a worthwhile and enjoyable challenge

19 comments on “Toughie 1794

  1. Very enjoyable – thanks to Beam and Bufo. We’ve had an excellent Toughie week so far.
    I made a complete dog’s breakfast of the SW corner by writing in ‘Shell’ for 22a (seemed a good idea at the time) which made 14d and 18d impossible until I realised that it must be wrong.
    My candidates for favouritism include 9a, 2d, 6d and 28a.

  2. First run through produced only one answer. Second look did not produce much more. Came back after lunch and suddenly things fell into place. Like Bufo, then could not see what had been the problem. It must be the genius of Beam. Agree with ****/****.
    Thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  3. For some reason I found this almost impossible – have no idea why , must just be a complete off day on my behalf.
    thanks for the hints

  4. That took a while but what an enjoyable tussle. I was very slow to get the parsing of 28a (just being dim as Kath would say) and also to realise that 13a, which had to be what it was, was a reverse lurker.
    10a caught me out – I tried to justify ‘diapers’ which refused to parse. Thought it unlikely that Mr. T would use an Americanism without flagging it up!
    9a made me smile and gets my vote for favourite.

    Devotions as always to Mr. T and many thanks to Bufo for sorting out the ‘pants’!

  5. A proper Toughie, thank you to Mr T. I too was in the ‘shell’ group until I realised that 18d didn’t work

    Thanks to Bufo too

  6. A genuine Toughie for me which needed a lot of persistence but which was nevertheless very enjoyable. I’ll give it 5*/4*.

    28a reminded me of a question in a university English exam which my son sat many years ago, which was “According to the Bee Gees, 28a is when you lose control and you (sic) got no soul. Discuss.”

    Lots and lots of potential favourites here, but I am going to choose the glorious 10a, with 28a & 2d close behind.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Bufo.

  7. The good thing when you get to know a setter is that you can anticipate what to look for.
    Constructions such as 11a, 15a, 17a, 8d, 16d, 18d, 21d and finally 24d didn’t resist for very long. The lurkers and first letter enumeration types clues neither.
    The ones that held me up where 1a and 17d.
    Thanks to Beam and to Bufo.

  8. Thank you Bufo for a superb job. Very short clues, many of which required much thought from this novice solver. No spoilers. Excellent!

  9. A bit too tough for me today – far too many did I bung in without immediately understanding why. Needed a couple of hints too but enjoyed the puzzle.

    Thanks to Bufo and Beam for a stern challenge.

  10. I feel sorry for anyone who has to work tomorrow, as it is probably going to take us all quite a while to solve the Friday Toughie, as the list says it is Elgar.

    1. CS, Thanks for the warning!

      A Good Friday puzzle doesn’t have to be so difficult as this one is certain to be.

  11. Was feeling a tad elated as this seemed to be right up my street and then took ages at my last two in 14 and 27… couldn’t get streak out of the system and missed the synonym for judgement. Good challenge.Thanks to Bufo & Beam
    Day off tomorrow so bring it on Elgar!

  12. We were slow to get started on this one but eventually managed to get a toe hold in the NE and slowly but surely it all came together. A good challenge, good fun and the clue word count checked as usual.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  13. Oh joy! I finished, and on the same day as publication for the first time this week. Tough indeed, and took quite a while, but fun too as answers fell into place one by one. Shell didn’t occur to me for 22A since I think there’s only one station around here but shale came to mind at once since its a hot topic. 14D was my last in and took quite a while to work out. I loved 9A, 11A (I was totally misdirected for a while), 2D and 6D. Thanks Beam and Bufo.

    Girding my loins for tomorrow, not that it will help much!

  14. For some reason Janet was mad for streaking but I managed to talk her out of it 🙄 A great week in toughie land. Looking forward to Elgar 😈
    Thanks to B & B.
    G: More beer?
    J: No, curry
    G: …OK

  15. Evening all, and apologies for my tardiness. Many thanks to Bufo for the review and to all for your comments.


    1. No need to apologise, Mr. T – we’re just pleased that you always take the time to call in.

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