Toughie 1810 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1810

Toughie No 1810 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I’m back this week after last week’s misfortune when I switched the computer off before my email to Big Dave had begun its journey. All went smoothly with today’s puzzle until I came to a halt with just the NE corner unfinished. It was some time before I kicked myself for not seeing the lurker at 4 down after which the rest went in quickly. Why do I often find it difficult to spot Beam’s lurkers and rekruls?

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Tense, the compiler flipped, quietly spoken and profane (8)
TEMPORAL: T (tense) + a reversal of a pronoun describing the compiler + a one-letter abbreviation denoting ‘quietly’ + ‘spoken’

9a    Incentive to fix corrosion on motor (6)
CARROT: A motor + corrosion

10a    Stop air unevenly producing lift (4)
SOAR: The odd-positioned letters of STOP AIR

11a    Suited to wit, nun’s last to enter nunnery (10)
CONVENIENT: A two-letter abbreviation denoting ‘to wit’ or ‘that is’ and The last letter of NUN inside a nunnery

12a    Possibly drill bit tackles resistance (6)
PIERCE: A bit or part or portion round R (resistance)

14a    Former boyfriend’s reportedly more blubbery covering (8)
EXTERIOR: A former boyfriend + a homophone of ‘more blubbery’ where ‘to blubber’ = ‘to weep’

15a    Make extremely nasty advances, creating edginess initially (6)
MENACE: The first and last letters of MAKE = the first letters of NASTY ADVANCES CREATING EDGINESS. The whole clue provides the definition

17a    Inconsistent sleeper wraps up too much (6)
SPOTTY: A sleeper (agent) round a three-letter abbreviation denoting ‘too much’

20a    Standard leader’s abandoned when following the French language (8)
PARLANCE: A standard + a French word for ‘the’ + ‘when’ with the first letter removed. I think that’s how it works but I’m not totally convinced

22a    Bird stripped in publication’s English fantasy (6)
MIRAGE: The middle two letters of BIRD inside a publication + E (English)

23a    Bond snatching a kiss for fun (10)
RELAXATION: A bond round A and a letter that denotes a kiss

24a    Snake trailing Queen produces unpleasant noise (4)
RASP: A one-letter abbreviation denoting ‘Queen’ + a snake

25a    Orator with endless boast keeping cool (6)
CICERO: A Roman orator = ‘to boast’ with the last letter removed round ‘to cool’

26a    Genuine old gear nearly completely ‘post-fashionable’ (8)
ORIGINAL: O (old) + ‘gear’ + ‘fashionable’ + ‘completely’ with the last letter removed


1d    Male model uncovered rising bias (8)
NEPOTISM: A reversal of M (male), ‘to model’ and ‘uncovered’ = bias in favour of family or friends

2d    Prompt betting on middle of course (4)
SPUR: The betting odds on a horse when the race begins + the middle two letters of SPUR

3d    Authority of vacuous older academic and laureate (6)
ORACLE: The first and last letters of OLDER, ACADEMIC and LAUREATE

4d    Ship’s crew to pillage revealing kind of bottle (8)

5d    Supporter’s over grass — one goes to top referee (10)
ARBITRATOR: A reversal of Cryptic Sue’s favourite (or least favourite) supporter + ‘a grass’ with the letter I (one) moved to the front

6d    Transported over island (6)
BORNEO: ‘Transported’ + O (over)

8d    Stabs organ over extremities, gutted (6)
LUNGES: A respiratory organ + the first and last letters of EXTREMITIES

13d    Brains of university lecturer catching fire? Not quite! (10)
RINGLEADER: The brains (behind mischief or trouble) = a university lecturer round a fire or fireplace with the last letter removed

16d    New chap almost sweet about purchasing Old Spice (8)
CINNAMON: A reversal (about) of N (new), a chap, and ‘sweet’ with the last letter removed around (purchasing) O(ld)

18d    Raised in Kiev, also, guy’s former national (8)
YUGOSLAV: Hidden in reverse in KIEV ALSO GUY’S

19d    Farmer in outbuilding pens sheep (6)

21d    Call about to turn sour (6)
ACETIC: A reversal of ‘to call’ and an abbreviation denoting ‘about’ or ‘approximately’

22d    Insect against being consumed by completely heartless missus? (6)
MANTIS: ‘Against’ inside the first and last letters of ‘missus’

24d    Check head of government’s out of power (4)
REIN: Remove G (the first letter of Government) from ‘power’

I’ll be taking the tram into Nottingham on Saturday for the S&B meeting. I may see one or two of you there

15 comments on “Toughie 1810

  1. I found this very enjoyable, and fairly straightforward. The only one that took me a while to explain to myself was 20a (which I understood the same way as did Bufo).

    Many thanks to Beam, and to Bufo. 2*/4*

  2. ….Jolly difficult, perhaps it’s just me , especially the SW . I suppose I was bound to have a hard time when I decided (for no apparent reason )that there was a hitherto undiscovered organ called a “lanc ” or possibly a “cnal” – see 8d
    Thanks for putting me right.

    1. I too invented a lanc so many thanks, Bufo for putting me straight. Just got up from the good kicking I gave myself! Hope you have also recovered, Dave!

      Like Bufo, I have a problem with the last part of the parsing of 20.

      Thanks to Beam for a really good fun puzzle.

  3. 3*/4*. A second terrific puzzle for today. This one included two perfect lurkers in 4d (my favourite) & 18d and a perfect homophone in 14a. I found the SW the hardest to complete and I needed Bufo’s help to explain the parsing of 16d.

    Many thanks to the 2Bs.

  4. I found this more of a Ray T than a Beam but I enjoyed the solve. One of those four crosswords in one grid days or was that just me that found it that way?

    Thanks to Mr T and Mr B – Have fun in Nottingham – are you coming to that London on Tuesday??

  5. We have indeed been spoiled today – two exceptionally good puzzles.

    The 4d ‘hidden’ remained stubbornly so for quite a while here, as it seems to have done for Bufo, but otherwise it was the SW corner that caused most of my problems. 20a & 13d were the last ones to fall and the parsing of 16d got me quite discombobulated.
    So many contenders for the top slot but I gave the honours to 9a for its humour – even though it may well be an old chestnut!

    Devotions as ever to Mr. T/Beam and many thanks to Bufo for the blog. Hope that everyone going to Nottingham enjoys themselves.

  6. Our last few in were 13d and then 12a and 20a. As is often the case with Beam puzzles for us, it starts off looking impossible and then slowly and surely the clues give up their secrets. Very satisfying and enjoyable to solve.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  7. The easiest ride I have ever had with a Beam, so I’m the kitty that got the cream today.

    For me the corner that was last to yield was the SW, with 20a my last in – and I had the same thoughts about that as Bufo. I parsed 15a the simple way (makes a change: normally if there’s an easy and a hard way to do something I’ll make things hard for myself every time): just the initial letters of the first six words of the clue.

    My favourite is 23a for reasons I can’t go into on the blog.

    Many thanks to Bufo and to the Beamish boy.

  8. We had a lot of jottings, not being quite convinced our constructed answers met the definition. But there comes a point when things have to go in. Last hour (when we were chatting in pub) we sat with 13d unsolved, but got it now. Thanks Beam and Bufo.
    G: My name is G and I’m an addict I have subscribed to Telegraph Puzzles and am doing the toughies from the beginning.
    Ps I also love beer 😈
    J: When did Big Dave’s hints start?

  9. Like others, I found SW the hardest.

    the hint for 16d needs to include the O[ld], i’m sure most people realise that anyway.

    My favourite is the brilliant hidden in 19d

    a very enjoyable puzzle

    many thanks Bufo and Beam

  10. Evening all. Many thanks to Bufo for the decryption and to everybody else for your comments.


    1. Thank you for popping in, Mr. T. Looking forward to seeing you on the back page again as well!

  11. Lovely jubbly, classic Mr T. Hard to pick a fave; different clues for different reasons – at a push I suppose 14a was the biggest smiler…
    Many thanks to Ray and to Bufo for explaining a couple of parses.

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