Toughie 1874 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1874

Toughie No 1874 by Beam

Hints and tips by Mr Kitty

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


Hello, everyone.  Bufo is off for a couple of weeks, so you’re getting me today and Tilsit next Thursday.  I don’t think I could have wished for a better puzzle for my debut Toughie blog than this delight.  Another first for me is meeting a cryptic with no anagrams, which today left plenty of room for some clever insertions and charades.  I’m not calibrated for this side of the blog and this is the first Beam Toughie that I’ve solved, so the difficulty rating is little more than a guess.  No doubts about the enjoyment rating though.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers will be revealed by clicking on the buttons.  Hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture might do something.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Queen in flat opening, occasionally hurried possibly (12)
PERADVENTURE:  We don’t have to wait long today for the expected appearance of Her Majesty.  Start by inserting the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth into a flat that might have accommodated some hippies.  Then append to that letter combination an opening for fresh air and the even letters (occasionally) of hUrRiEd

9a    Suit cut reflecting tailor’s first fit (9)
PINSTRIPE:  Connect together the reversal (reflecting) of a synonym of cut, the first letter of Tailor, and the condition of fruit that’s fit to eat

10a   Gangster seeks to frame brief (5)
TERSE:  The first two words hide (to frame) the answer

11a   Sailor reportedly put off getting rope down (6)
ABSEIL:  A usual sailor and a homophone (reportedly) of what the sailor does when he’s off to sea.  I wasn’t sure if “put off” was a legitimate synonym of the word required here and so, thinking that it was probably an ancient sailing term, I consulted the 1867 edition of Smyth’s “The Sailor’s Word-Book:  An Alphabetical Digest of Nautical Terms”.  There I found the necessary confirmation, shown below, along with a few new and interesting words.  I subsequently discovered that I could have just looked in the BRB, because it’s in there as well.  But no regrets – if I’d gone there first I would never have met those unwarranted puttock-shrouds that are sure to come in useful one day

12a   Dance in buff, facing desperate man before work (8)
FANDANGO:  Concatenate a buff or enthusiast, a desperate male cartoon character, and a synonym of work or function

13a   Hunger filling unfilled sherbet packet (6)
SACHET:  A hunger or desire between (filling) the exterior letters (unfilled) of SherbeT

15a   Certain diets regularly bound to include name (8)
DESTINED:  The odd letters (regularly) of DiEtS, followed by a word for bound (with rope) that contains the abbreviation for name

18a   Break china overturned following cold rhubarb (8)
CLAPTRAP:  Combine break or separate with the usual crossword china.  That object is then reversed (overturned), and placed after the abbreviation for cold

19a   Most naked from club are starkers (6)
BAREST:  The answer is hidden inside (from) the remaining words of the clue

21a   Beam includes more sick banter (8)
RAILLERY:  A beam of light (and the first name of our setter) contains an adjective meaning more sick.  I used the wordplay to construct this unfamiliar word, and then had to verify the definition in the BRB

23a   Man for example, or no man? (6)
ISLAND:  A part-cryptic double definition.  The answer is both something that Man is an example of and, according to John Donne, the equal of “no man”

26a   Excursionist, maybe man entering Truro initially (5)
EMMET:  Take the initial letters (initially) of the first five words in the clue.  The answer is a pejorative nickname for newcomers to Cornwall, so this is an all-in-one clue.  The website referenced below is a hoax directed at 26as

27a   Hedge surrounds united with hedge (9)
STONEWALL:  A five-letter verb meaning hedge or equivocate contains (surrounds) both a numeric synonym of united and the abbreviation for with.  Here’s that number.

28a   Singer with note heard at end of bar (12)
COUNTERTENOR:  A homophone (heard) of the slang term for a denomination of banknote follows (at end of) a bar or table



1d    Part of London with small trees (7)
POPLARS:  Cement together crosswordland’s favourite part of London and the abbreviation for small

2d    Splits from Soviets divided by Stalin’s end (5)
RENDS:  A colourful derogatory word for Soviets is divided by the last letter (..‘s end) of StaliN

3d    Damage almost increased friendliness around border (9)
DETRIMENT:  All but the last letter (almost) of some historical increased friendliness between the US and those Soviets containing (around) a border or edge

4d    Test dropping odds about cricket team’s departure (4)
EXIT:  The even letters (dropping odds) of tEsT contain the Roman representation of the number of players in a cricket team

5d    Complain in support about rearing adolescent (8)
TEENAGER:  Place a three-letter verb meaning complain between a support for a golf ball and the reversal (rearing in a down clue) of the usual word for about or concerning

6d    Half-heartedly grassed being judged (5)
RATED:  A six-letter synonym of grassed or betrayed, minus one of its middle pair of letters (half-heartedly)

7d    Artillery men spin round bottom of cannon (8)
ORDNANCE:  A usual abbreviation for some soldiers is followed by a spin around the floor that contains (round) the last letter of (bottom of in a down clue) cannoN

8d    Flash back (6)
SECOND:  A double definition.  A short time interval is also a verb meaning back or support

14d   One’s covered by appeal? Answer, yes (8)
CHARISMA:  The Roman numeral for one, with the ‘S from the clue, inside (covered by) appeal or allure and the abbreviation for answer.  “yes” indicates that the solution satisfies the question posed in the clue

16d   Short series broadcast one put off (9)
TRANSIENT: Join synonyms of series (5) and of broadcast (4).  Then scoot the I in the first word over a couple of places to the right (one put off) 

17d   Refusal to officer’s taunt uplifted troops (8)
GARRISON:  Combine a (2,3) refusal directed at an officer with taunt or ridicule, and then reverse the lot (uplifted in a down clue)

18d   Smoked sucking tip of snout, blinking (6)
CURSED:  A synonym of smoked (meat, for example) contains (sucking) the first letter of (tip of) Snout

20d   Toper’s opening more rum taking large tot (7)
TODDLER:  Join the first letter of (..’s opening) Toper to an adjective meaning more rum or more strange that encloses (taking) the abbreviation for large

22d   Surprised expression after seeing illuminated print (5)
LITHO:  A surprised expression (that our sailor might preface with “Land”) follows a synonym of illuminated

24d   Fashionable range is first to produce encore (5)
AGAIN:  Crosswordland’s favourite cooking range precedes (is first) crosswordland’s usual word for fashionable

25d   Put up with pain in the neck (4)
BORE:  A double definition.  “Put up with” as in tolerated


Thanks to Beam for a fun solve.  The clues I enjoyed most were those that required work to completely unscramble the word play, particularly 1a, 27a, and 16d.  My favourite was 23a, which I think I met today for the first time.  Which clues topped your list?




19 comments on “Toughie 1874

  1. Much to my surprise I have finished this. I did need explanations for a couple of my “bung ins”. 26a has given a lot of amusement. Thank you Mr Kitty andBeam

  2. Good puzzle – thanks to Beam and to Mr Kitty for the review. Best clues for me were 21a with its relevant surface and 25d.
    Cornish people will be dismayed that Mr Kitty has given publicity to Porthemmet beach – it is the best beach in Cornwall (of course there are better ones in Devon!) but they like to keep its existence a secret so that it doesn’t get overrun by ‘foreigners’. So, any tourist asking a local for directions to the beach is strongly advised to affect a strong Cornish accent otherwise they are likely to be sent in completely the wrong direction.

    1. Yes, I should apologize to any Cornish readers for disclosing the existence of their beloved Porthemmet beach. But there can’t be that many tourists interested in visiting the only beach in the UK that allows topless sunbathing, has world-class surfing, and where beach parties are never visited by the local police? Even if it is an official Site of Amazing Natural Beauty.

      1. Maybe we should organise a late summer S&B Devon: a beach party, at one of those beaches that is better than Porthemmet. :yes:

  3. I enjoyed this very much. A steady solve for me with no real hold-ups. 25d was my last in, but I did need Mr. Kitty’s review to understand the full extent and cleverness of 26a. Many thanks to Beam and Mr. Kitty.

  4. Got held up towards the end with a couple on the right hand side but, as always, thoroughly enjoyed this offering from Mr T in his Beam disguise.
    As luck would have it, I remembered the excursionists from previous puzzles and nailed the London area in 1d courtesy of my avid following of Call the Midwife.
    Seems like a while since that ‘range’ appeared in a clue – used to pop up with great regularity.
    21a made me smile – couldn’t help but think of Brian’s attitude towards Mr T!

    Particularly liked 23a but think 20d takes today’s honours.

    Many thanks to the lovely Mr T/Beam and to Mr K for most ably taking over a Toughie blog – the mind boggles over thoughts as to how ‘puttock-shrouds’ might be clued. Definitely one for Mr T I think!

    1. The 19th century sailor evidently had an impressive vocabulary. The picture shows the Ps ending and Qs beginning on page 551 of Smyth’s book. I think it has about 14,000 entries in all.

  5. Very enjoyable.
    Being a Ray-T production, it was going to be miles over my head (let’s face it, his back-pagers are!!), so I filled in the across clues from Mr.K’s excellent hints and surprised myself by getting quite a few and even being able to parse most of them.
    Thanks Mr.K. and Ray-T.

  6. A brilliant Toughie as always from Beam.
    I liked 1a (which took ages to sort out) and 28a and 22d. I think my favourite was 20d.
    Thanks to Beam and to Mr K for standing in and being brave enough to do so – I’m not!

  7. It sometimes amazes us how much UK trivia we have acquired since doing these puzzles as neither 1d nor 26a caused any problems. Biggest problem was working out the wordplay for 16d. Excellent fun and the word count checked as usual.
    Thanks Beam and Mr Kitty with congratulations on a brilliant maiden Toughie blog.

  8. Evening all. Many thanks to Mr K for the informative review and to all for your comments.


  9. I surprised myself with this one polishing it off quite quickly. I have Toughies by Beam that are months old and still unfinished. Thoroughly enjoyable as always with this setter Thanks to Mr K for the review and thanks to Beam for being Beam.

  10. Mid-range difficulty overall we felt but some lovely clues so 2.5*/3.5*.

    The one dark spot was 1d which we felt was a really poor clue – so out of keeping with the rest. Favourite was 24d.

    Thanks to Mr K and Beam.

  11. I did not finish. My focus today has been on shopping and assembling personal care packs of toiletries for Harvey evacuees. They will going on a tractor-trailer from Southern Maryland, along with a ton of other vital items, to Crosby, Texas very soon. Of the 3/4 of the puzzle that that I completed, 23A is my standout clue. Thank you Beam and Mr. K, and God bless Texas.

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