Toughie 1946 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 1946

Toughie No 1946 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Are Beam puzzles getting easier or have I just got used to the style of them. Certainly I don’t find them anywhere near as tricky as I used to. This one was a fairly straightforward puzzle with all the usual Beam characteristics including the usual couple of well-disguised lurkers (which I now look out for as a matter of routine).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Think about old barrier about sex (8)
COGITATE: A one-letter abbreviation for ‘about’ + O (old) + a barrier round ‘sex’

9a    Excellent chapter about retiring lawyers in foreign language (6)
ARABIC: A two-letter rating of excellent and C(hapter) around the reversal (retiring) of a group of lawyers

10a   Debut of lady wearing favourite fur (4)
PELT: The initial letter (debut) of L[ady] inside (wearing) a favourite

11a    Cross lines after locomotive’s dropped one off (10)
TRANSVERSE: ‘Locomotive’s’ with the letter I (one) removed + lines of poetry

12a    Go chasing something to cook with here? (6)
PANTRY: A cooking utensil + a go or an attempt = a room where food is stored

14a    Viciousness or callousness holding back game (8)

15a    Old country people by outskirts of Tamworth (6)
THRACE: A region in southeast Europe which was a country in ancient times = The first and last letters of TAMWORTH + people

17a    Dope exists round University faculty (6)
GENIUS: Dope or information + ‘exists’ round U (University)

20a    Spinneret here always contains gossamer (8)

22a    State of Ohio state lacking interstate (6)
OREGON: A US state = a one-letter abbreviation of ‘Ohio’ + a state or area of a country with the letter I (interstate) removed

23a    Island dweller dresses in this, oddly, showing enterprise (10)
INITIATIVE: I (Island) + a dweller or resident round the odd-positioned letters of IN THIS

24a    Ray makes you smile (4)
BEAM: 2 meanings: a ray/smile. Also our esteemed setter

25a    Pin back, for example, climbing plants (6)
LIANAS: A reversal of a pin or a metal spike for fastening wood + ‘for example’ = climbing plants, especially of a twisted woody kind festooning tropical forest. This is one of those words that we only know because it regularly appears in crosswords

26a    Troubles over collecting fine around Virginia state (8)
SLOVAKIA: Put ‘fine’ round the 2-letter abbreviation for the state of Virginia. Then put the resulting 4 letters inside a reversal of ‘troubles’. That gives you a state or country in central Europe


1d    Expect California to be consumed by woods (8)
FORECAST: The 2-letter abbreviation for California inside a wooded area

2d    Take liberal Independent over another paper (4)
LIFT: ‘To take’ or ‘to steal’ = L (liberal) + I (Independent) + a newspaper printed on pink paper

3d    Moderately do without last of alcohol (6)
PARTLY: A do (social occasion) round the last letter of ALCOHOL

4d    Butcher old lady’s practically divine (8)
MASSACRE: ‘To butcher’ = ‘old lady’s’ or ‘mother’s’ + ‘divine’ with the last letter removed

5d    Moggie’s selfishness issue displaying class (10)
CATEGORISE: A moggie + selfishness + ‘to issue’ = ‘to class’ or ‘to classify’

6d    Girls missing male after grand caresses (6)
KISSES: A letter denoting a grand (1000) + ‘girls’ with the letter M (male) removed

8d    Authorise English cop with blue occasionally (6)
ENABLE: E (English) + ‘to cop’ + alternate letters of BLUE

13d    Routine upset restricted sweetheart getting thinner (10)
TURPENTINE: A reversal of ‘routine’ + ‘restricted’ (4,2) + the middle letter (heart) of SWEET = a thinner for paint

16d    First Lady accepts idiot supporting credit gap (8)
CREVASSE: An abbreviation for ‘credit’ + the first woman round an idiot

18d    Random odds on endlessly moral detectives flipping (8)
SPORADIC: Betting odds + MORAL with the first and last letters removed + a reversal of that branch of the Police Force to which detectives belong

19d    Flats stayed in press having vacancy (6)
PLAINS: Flats (areas of level ground) = ‘Stayed’ inside PRESS with the middle letters removed

21d    Shot’s clear overturning skittle (6)
TENPIN: A reversal of a shot (of spirits) and ‘clear’ = a skittle used in a bowling alley

22d    Cat previously expelling new pile (6)
OCELOT: ‘Previously’ with the letter N (new) removed + a pile (large quantity)

24d    Like an ass, bellow ‘Starter of battered fish!’ (4)
BRAY: To make a sound like an ass = the first letter of BATTERED + a fish

That’s the first Thursday puzzle of the year sorted. Just another 51 to go.


17 comments on “Toughie 1946

  1. I’ll definitely forgive this one for being in the wrong envelope as it was a very enjoyable solve. I particularly liked 24a as today it was definitely true.

    Thanks to the two Bs

  2. 9a omitted – excellent AI around a group of lawyers in reverse and c for chapter
    10a usual favourite around l(ady)

  3. thanks bufo.

    i liked 24a/24d both involving the setter.

    last one in was state of ohio state without interstate…

    forgot gossamer can be an adjective…

    22a I spent to long trying to “expel” PILE from PREVIOUSLY, thankfully I found a checker telling me to stop trying.

    Many thanks Beam and Bufo

  4. I agree this was easy compared to earlier Beams. A couple of these really stretch definitions in order to give good surfaces, though, and I wasn’t too keen on those. For my money, class only = classify in lazy dialect. And how does “i” uncapitalised = Interstate? Just call me a pedant!

    Still lots to like though. A fun solve.

    Thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  5. Not very tough but very enjoyable indeed.

    Fortunately for me, my cousin’s granddaughter is called a singular 25a.

    Many thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  6. Luverly stuff again from Mr T and no problems to report beyond taking a little while to spot the clever hidden in 14a and to sort out the parsing of 13d.

    Liked so many – 7a gets a special mention because I love the image conjured up by the sound of the word but, of course, my absolute favourite is 24a – so very true!

    Devotions to Mr T wearing his Beam hat and to Bufo for the blog.

  7. Fab – I found it a tad more difficult than ** but that suits me fine. I had nearly forgotten 15a and 25a. Top place has to go to 24a, 22d not far behind.
    Thank you Mr T and Bufo

  8. I enjoyed this very much, although I found it a lot tougher than others seem to have. This was no wrong-envelope day for me. My last in was 22a – a one-letter abbreviation for a US state really doesn’t work for me – made even more tricky as 26a uses the norm of the two letter abbreviation for another US state. Many thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  9. It is not often we get a puzzle where the setter has signed his work not once but twice in the bottom right corner but he can justifiably be proud of this one we thought. Good fun all the way through. Of course we remembered to check the clue word count too.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  10. Evening all. Setter here, with thanks to Bufo for the review and to all for your comments. I hope you all have a good year.


  11. Thank you, Mr T – all good wishes to you and yours as well. Hope to see plenty more of you in 2018.

  12. Solved late while extremely tired but still solved in about *** time, so I suspect it was on the easy side. :-) Last in the NW corner, and 1d in particular, where I got too hung up on a longer abbreviation for the state. Much to enjoy, much to appreciate as ever.

  13. This was excellent from Beam – a good, tough challenge but fair and very enjoyable. I’d rate it as equivalent to one of his toughest back-pagers, where I’d score it as 4.5* / 5*.

  14. Held this one back for “Toughie-free-Monday” but 25a beat me as I’d never heard of them.

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