Toughie 1826 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1826

Toughie No 1826 by Beam

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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

Bufo is away this week. Apologies for the blog being a little late, this was down to a bit of a mix-up.

A typical Beam puzzle – innuendo, Her Majesty, initial letters forming an all-in-one clue, lurkers and one-word answers – they’re all here.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    A French king forced to keep English free (12)
UNRESTRAINED: the French indefinite article followed by the Latin abbreviation for king and a verb meaning forced around E(nglish)

9a    Grew, like some churches, welcoming everybody (9)
SPIRALLED: an adjective describing some churches around the three-letter word meaning everybody

10a    Stood with person admitted to hospital department (5)
ABODE: a colloquial word for a person inside one of the departments of a hospital

11a    By some means we reach this? (6)
ANSWER: hidden (some) inside the clue

12a    Mug shot’s first held by ruddy flipping judge! (8)
ASSESSOR: a mug or fool followed by the initial letter (first) of S[hot] inside (held by) the reversal (flipping) of a word meaning ruddy or reddish

13a    Express disapproval about embracing East German (6)
TEUTON: a verb meaning to gently express disapproval and a two-letter word meaning about (no, not that one!) around (embracing) E(ast)

15a    Continue to find monsters in Paris, occasionally (8)
PROGRESS: some monsters inside the odd letters (occasionally) of a word in the clue

18a    Feline pinching old feline’s place (8)
LOCATION: a large feline around O(ld) and a smaller feline

Guess to whom this picture is dedicated!

19a    Alleged region Ark rested, around Turkey initially (6)
ARARAT: the initial letters of the first six words give this clever all-in-one clue


21a    News follows Sun’s decline (8)
SLOWDOWN: some news preceded by S(un)

23a    Get over battalion losing regulars (6)
OBTAIN: O(ver) followed by the odd letters (losing regulars) of a word in the clue

26a    Additional worry getting bowled out (5)
OTHER: a verb meaning to worry from which the initial B(owled) has been dropped (out)

27a    Horrid, almost feverish throb with intravenous injection (9)
REPULSIVE: most of the colour associated with being feverish followed by a verb meaning to throb around (with … injection) the abbreviation for intravenous

28a    Feeling tender, one’s going to specialist medical centre (12)
PRESENTIMENT: a verb meaning to ender followed by the abbreviated form of “one is” and a specialist hospital department (medical centre)


1d    Social climber drinks head-free bitter (7)
UPSTART: A verb meaning drinks without its initial letter (head-free) followed by an adjective meaning bitter-tasting

2d    Government’s abolishing good checks (5)
REINS: start with a word meaning government or rule, include the S from ‘S and drop (abolishing) the G(ood)

3d    Some heartlessly taking cover over attack victim (9)
SCAPEGOAT: drop the middle letters (heartlessly) from S[om]E, put what remains around (taking) a three-letter cover for a bottle or the head and add a phrasal verb meaning to attack (2,2)

4d    Bank actually deducting a pound (4)
RELY: to get this verb meaning to bank or depend, start with an adverb meaning actually and drop the A and an L (symbol for a pound / libra)

5d    Business that’s fashionable right to use old-fashioned wrapping (8)
INDUSTRY: a two-letter word meaning fashionable then R(ight) inside (use … wrapping) an adjective meaning old-fashioned

6d    Cheer seeing sweetheart’s lie, uplifted (5)
ELATE: the middle letter (heart) of [sw]E[et] and a lie all reversed (uplifted in a down clue)

7d    Abandon clothes after flourish, oddly (8)
FORSWEAR: some clothes follow (after) the odd letters of a word in the clue

8d    Refuse to overturn plot — knight upset (6)
DEBRIS: here refuse is a noun – the reversal (overturn) of a garden plot is followed by the reversal (upset) of the form of address for a knight of the realm

14d    Relative touring exotic hot strip (8)
UNCLOTHE: put a male relative around (touring) an anagram (exotic) of HOT

16d    Rude being seen in grand knockout blouse (9)
GARIBALDI: an adjective meaning rude inside (being seen in) G(rand) and a two-letter word meaning knockout or excellent

17d    Strikers crossing balls finally carrying contest (8)
FORWARDS: these footballers are often known as strikers – a water crossing, often only used when flooding has occurred, and the final letter of [ball]S around a contest or major conflict

18d    Catches girl with very big bottom (6)
LASSOS: a young girl with a very big size at the end (bottom)

20d    Tungsten’s estimated to keep most rigid (7)
TENSEST: often Tungsten can represent W (Wolfram), its chemical symbol, but here it is just part of a hidden (to keep) word

22d    Painter of the French Revolution’s first Queen (5)
DURER: one of the French words for “of” is followed by the initial letter (first) of R[evolution] and our Queen’s royal cipher

24d    A wrong righted in operation (5)
ALIVE: the A from the clue followed by the reversal (righted in a down clue) of a wrong

25d    Performing captivating exercise topless (4)
OPEN: a two-letter word meaning performing around (captivating) some Physical Exercise

  Not this kind of topless … but this kind

Please don’t add political comments, but If you want to know the result of today’s general election, just remember the adage “It’s the economy, stupid”!

19 comments on “Toughie 1826

  1. As enjoyable as ever – thanks to Beam and BD. I was a bit surprised to find a little anagram – what is Beam coming to? I liked 18d and 25d but my favourite (and last one in, because it took me a long time to twig the meaning of ‘stood’ here) is 10a.

    1. Some lovely surface readings provided by Beam – especially the French ones.

      My only problem was with 14d – so that’s why I couldn’t parse it – a bloody anagram!

  2. Another first class display of Mr. T’s trademarks – 19a in particular showing such a clever use of his art.
    11a amused me – made me think of all the various ‘means’ some of us employ when faced with a ‘toughie’!
    18a took the honours for the image it conjured up – loved the pic for that, BD. I noticed that the big fella had a distinct patch of red on his nose and muzzle – does that indicate that he had just made a kill and the little chap was therefore safe for the time being?!!
    I can easily imagine what the caption read, but won’t mention it at this early stage of the blog.

    Devotions as always to the Beaming Mr. T and many thanks to BD for yet more overtime.

    By the way – without making any political comment, I have to say that our polling station (which serves a very small area) was full to bursting when I went down this morning. If that trend is repeated nationwide, there’s going to be a high turn-out for this election.

  3. Very nice indeed, 3*/3*. Our favourite was 18a – we wondered how many times setters have had location as an answer and not realised that the word has two cats in it?

    We haven’t seen that use of the past tense as used in 10a, but it had to be.

    Thanks to BD and Ray T.

  4. Great offering from Beam as always. I slowed down in SE until I noticed I had a G in the wrong place in 15a, seems to happen a lot with me when I solve online.

    I liked the clever 11a, 1d (drink head-free bitter), the nice first letter clue (19a) which took me a while to realise they are all first letters, 14d, and 20d where I was first trying to use W or Wolfram for tungsten.

    Many thanks Beam and BD

    I hope a high voting turnout translates into my preferred result. I don’t have a vote.

    1. 20d was obviously one of those rare occasions when having a none-scientific background came in useful!

      By the way – hadn’t realised that you don’t have a vote. I will say no more because being ‘redacted’ sounds extremely painful…..

  5. As BD say in the preamble – ‘they’re all here’ in another fine puzzle from Mr T. All good so I’ll pluck 3d out of nowhere. 9a is familiar.
    Thanks as always to both Beam and BD. ***/**** – a good day in crosswordland.

  6. Apologies from me, I was involved in the mixup and thanks to BD for stepping in.

    Enjoyable stuff, up to usual Ray T standard.

  7. Very tough and I needed some hints.
    I liked 13a,14a, 15a, 18a and 21a.
    Thanks to Beam and BD.
    I hope you all voted “early and often ” as we say here.

  8. Since when has 10a been the past of “stand”?

    Greetings Dutch, your countrymen have always impressed me with their command of the English language. What a pity the BBC website chose today to remind we Kentish men and women of the Battle of Medway!!

    I forgive you.

  9. A strange day. This gave me considerably less trouble than Beam usually does, while the back page gave me more.

    I don’t suppose there is any need to tell you what my favourite was …

    Many thanks to the setter for the Beaming Smiles and to BD for the review – and my picture. :)

  10. Evening all. Many thanks to Big Dave for the decryption and, as always, to everyone else for your observations.


    1. Hi Mr. T – nice to see you’re keeping an eye on us as usual. 19a was a classic – extremely well executed!

  11. A very enjoyable puzzle: a high 2* difficulty, and 4* for enjoyment. Lots of good clues to choose from, but my favourite was 10a. Many thanks to Ray T in his Beam hat, and to BD.

  12. Just me, then, who had arose for 10a and couldn’t parse it. I did enjoy the puzzle, so thanks to all concerned.

    1. No – not just you. That’s what I had for 10a too and I did parse it so didn’t doubt it although I didn’t think it ‘felt’ quite right. My ‘person’ was a short form of a girl’s first name.

  13. A lovely Beam Toughie which caused less trouble than the back page cryptic, to me anyway.
    I had 10a wrong but it didn’t affect other answers so it didn’t occur to me to doubt it – a bit like 1a in the back pager – for the second time today :oops:
    Missed 20d but nothing new there.
    I liked most of it but who would expect me to say anything different.
    I think my favourite might just be 16d.
    Thanks to Beam and to BD for the hints – I confess to needing a couple of them.

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