Toughie 1842 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1842

Toughie No 1842 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A typical Beam puzzle with all his usual trademarks. As usual there were no anagrams but there did seem to be a fair number of reversals. It was a steady and enjoyable solve with no significant hold-ups. The shortest answers were of 6 letters and so there were no 4-letter words to either assist or hinder the solving

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Memorial medal has old man’s spirit reflected within (8)
CENOTAPH: A 2-letter abbreviation of a British honour (medal) goes round a reversal of ‘old man’ (2) and ‘spirit’ (4) to give a monument in honour of people buried elsewhere

5a    Man in kimono and decorative obi initially? (6)
MIKADO: First letters of Man In Kimono And Decorative Obi

9a    Wooden steed, occasionally catching another form of transport (8)
STRAINED: ‘Wooden’ or ‘unnatural’ = alternate letters of STEED round a form of transport

10a    Legendary time in a French street in Paris (6)
UNTRUE: T (time) inside the French indefinite article and the French word for ‘street’

11a    Declaration of marriage following worshipper (8)
IDOLATER: Words spoken during the marriage ceremony (1,2) + ‘following’ (5)

12a    One makes edge of wheel accurate (6)
WRIGHT: The first letter of WHEEL + ‘accurate’

14a    Boot favourably placed before grand score (10)
WELLINGTON: ‘Favourably placed (4,2) + G (grand) + a score of 100

18a    Dressed down, quietly fish in grass (10)
REPROACHED: P (quietly) and a fish inside marsh or water grass

22a    Convergence of pure river carrying gallons (6)
MERGER: ‘Pure’ and R (river) round G (gallons)

23a    Kindling resentment, women consumed by diet (8)
FIREWOOD: ‘Resentment’ (3) and W (women) inside ‘diet’

24a    Place with support for rear? (6)
SETTEE: ‘To place’ + a support for a golf ball

25a    Thick criminal taking that thing back (8)
INTIMATE: ‘Thick’ or ‘very friendly’ = a person confined in a prison round a reversal of ‘that thing’

26a    Small waterproof covers over fish (6)
SPRATS: A reversal of S (small) and waterproof covers

27a    Always tense, Queen returned penning single ‘Get Back‘ (8)
RETRIEVE: A reversal of ‘always’, T (tense) and our Queen round I (single)


1d    Huge company thus pockets millions (6)
COSMIC: The abbreviation for ‘company’ + ‘so’ round M (millions)

2d    Managed to overturn bank limit (6)
NARROW: A reversal of ‘managed’ + ‘bank’

3d    Ethnic dance almost given whirl first, reportedly (6)
TRIBAL: A homophone of a whirl (as in ‘give something a whirl’) + a dance with the last letter removed

4d    Bent coppers belong inside, either way (10)
PREFERENCE: A bent or inclination = coppers (coins) (5) round a palindromic word meaning ‘to belong’ (5)

6d    Rude foreign woman’s topless, not after vacation (8)
IGNORANT: An Italian woman with the first letter removed + The first and last letters of NOT

7d    Revoke sailor’s rank holding voyage up (8)
ABROGATE: A 2-letter abbreviation for a sailor + ‘to rank’ (4) round a reversal of ‘to voyage’ (2)

8d    Suggestion of lover to neck (8)

13d    Union accepting banks in Greece raised duty (10)
ALLEGIANCE: A union goes round a reversal of the first and last letters of GREECE

15d    Forces to accept the compiler mounting arguments! (8)
PREMISES: ‘Forces with a lever’ round a reversal of a personal pronoun denoting the compiler

16d    Mechanic over each area covering rising rust (8)
OPERATOR: O (over) + ‘each’ + A (area) + a reversal of ‘rust’

17d    Mechanism of second hands included in check (8)
MOVEMENT: The mechanism of a clock = a second or very short time + hands (workers) inside ‘to check’

19d    More alluring former wife that’s wearing sister’s skirts (6)
SEXIER: A former wife and ‘that is’ inside the first and last letters of SISTER

20d    After another, nearly drink spirits (6)
MORALE: ‘Another’ with the last letter removed + an alcoholic drink

21d    Stick plug in this position (6)
ADHERE: ‘To stick’ = a plug (giving publicity) + ‘in this position

This time next week I’ll be somewhere in the Outer Hebrides so I’ll be back with you in a fortnight

18 comments on “Toughie 1842

  1. I did sit for a Gnoment or two wondering whether I should send an email asking ‘is it me or is it Beam’ but just the mere thought caused Gnome’s Law to come into play and I finished this enjoyable crossword off in 3* time. Lots to enjoy but I particularly liked 5a

    Thanks to Mr T and Bufo – enjoy your holiday – hope you’ve got your midge repellent.

  2. Enjoyable stuff – thanks to Beam and Bufo. I picked out 24a, 19d and 4d (though I think this one would have read even better without the last two words).

  3. I found this another hugely enjoyable toughie puzzle. The top half went in much more quickly than the bottom half, but in retrospect I am not exactly sure why. Many thanks to to Beam and Bufo.

  4. Last of the four distinct corners to yield was the SW.
    Found it easier than the back page.
    Favourite 20d.
    Thanks to Beam and to Bufo.
    Could do with a break in the Outer Hebrides, it’s been so hot down here, a bit of cold weather would do me good

  5. What marvellous fun. 4*/4*. Excellent surfaces throughout and three all-in-ones to get our heads around. 24a is probably our favourite but 14a comes close.

    We (wrongly, we now see) parsed 18d differently by using the first two and last two letters of sister to go round the former wife!

    Thanks Bufo and Beam.

    1. I think you probably mean 19d – and I did too. I think they both work, or am I being dim again?

  6. Another amusing puzzle from RayT. As usual in his Toughies there are no anagrams but he normally has 2 lurkers and I could only find one. I thought 5 was brilliant and I award it my star for today, Also liked 1a 1d 4 [another great clue] 8 12 19 24 25 26 and 27. Many thanks to Ray for making a hot day bearable.

  7. Either Mr Beam is turning down the dial on his Toughies or I’m getting better at them. Rather hoping it’s the latter of course, but …

    Anyway, I really enjoyed this. I’m finding it too hot to remember which I liked best so will leave it there.

    Many thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  8. I could just say “ditto” to Kitty but when have I ever been so restrained?
    I got into a right royal muddle trying to sort out what had to be the right answer to 1a – dim.
    Also caused trouble for myself by thinking that ‘the compiler’ in 15d was “I’m” and that forces had to be something to do with ‘presses’. Oh dear – even dimmer.
    Whatever – all really good fun as it always is with a Ray T/Beam crossword so thanks to him.
    Thanks also to Bufo.

    1. PS – Whichever way it’s parsed my favourite was 19d.
      I also rather liked the 14a boot and the 26a fish – oh, and 8d even though I missed it for ages.

  9. What an interesting grid. All the answers at least 6 letters long so not bothered with pesky 4 letter answers here. The down-side is that there is very little connection between the four corners so we had the feeling that we had to start all over again a couple of times. A typical Beam puzzle to unpick, where patiently working away at each clue generally yields its aha moment. Very satisfying and enjoyable.
    Clue word count checked of course.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  10. Evening all. Many thanks to Bufo for the review and to all for your comments. Much appreciated.


  11. A cracker of a puzzle! I made this 3*/4*, but it wrinkled the brow a fair bit in the process. Plenty of candidates for favourite clue, but I’ll plump for 4d. Many thanks to Ray T/Beam, and to Bufo.

  12. I don’t do many Toughies, but I acquired this one on Sat morning and, after polishing off the Saturday back-page Cryptic and Quickie, I spent numerous mini-sessions on it and finally finished it in bed at 11. Absolutely loved it! A significant challenge, tough but fair clues and very pleasing. 3.5*/4.5*.

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