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Toughie 1962

Toughie No 1962 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Last time I did a Beam puzzle I commented that I must have got used to his style because I was finding them easier that I used to find them. I might take that comment back after today’s puzzle because I really had to think about a lot of the clues. Or maybe my brain’s still addled from last Saturday.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Description of characters from film but not stage (12)
ALPHABETICAL: The letters F, I, L, M are in this kind of order whereas the letters in S, T, A, G, E are not

9a    Iberian tip as tomato covers tapas (9)

10a    Plato, finally colossal Greek character (5)
OMEGA: The last letter of PLATO + ‘colossal’ = a letter of the Greek alphabet

11a    Army doctor keeping cheerful in retreat (6)
MYRIAD: An army or an immense number = an abbreviation denoting a Doctor of Medicine round a reversal of ‘cheerful’ or ‘sprightly’

12a    Fruit having a dull all over skin (8)
TAMARIND: A reversal of A and ‘having a dull surface’ + ‘skin’ or ‘peel’

13a    Vulgar people who row in church (6)
COARSE: People who row boats inside the Church of England

15a    Turned in bulletin if editor’s certain (8)

18a    Cunning shot bagging bird before opening of Twelfth (8)
STEALTHY: A shot or an attempt goes round a small duck and T (first letter of TWELFTH)

19a    Goaded to employ new expletive (6)
DARNED: ‘Goaded’ or ‘challenged’ goes round N (new) to give a mild expletive

21a    Sex following diet’s end of missionary position (8)
LOCALITY: ‘Diet’ (i.e. containing less sugar than the standard version) (2-3) + sex (2) + the last letter of MISSIONARY

23a    Low bone exposed dislodging middle of tibia (6)
RIBALD: ‘Low’ or ‘base’ = a bone + ‘exposed’ with one occurrence of the letter B (middle letter of TIBIA) removed

26a    Deprived one fed by skipping starters (5)
NEEDY: Remove the first letters from ONE, FED and BY

27a    Risk is reduced taking horse and carriage (9)
CHARABANC: ‘Risk’ with the last letter removed goes round a type of horse noted for its grace and speed to give a coach that tourists travel on

28a    Foolish French writer almost accepts European bill (12)
PREPOSTEROUS: The surname of the French writer Marcel with the last letter removed goes round A and a large printed bill


1d    Intelligence agency backtracking about turning nasty and weak (7)
ANAEMIC: A reversal of a US intelligence agency round a reversal of ‘nasty’ or ‘base’

2d    Father of Apollo? (5)
PATER: Apollo was a Roman god and the ancient Romans spoke Latin so the answer is the Latin word for ‘father’

3d    Opinion of cut bouquet with a china container (9)
APPRAISAL: A bouquet or compliment with the last letter removed goes inside A and a china plate or mate

4d    Language is abrupt losing head (4)
ERSE: A Gaelic language is ‘abrupt’ with the first letter removed

5d    Lonely single proposed to go without love (8)
ISOLATED: I (one or single) + ‘proposed’ or ‘scheduled’ round O (love)

6d    Square described by Euclid? (5)
AGORA: Euclid was an ancient Greek and the answer is a square or meeting place in ancient Greece

7d    State possibly embraces oddly laic faith (8)
RELIGION: An area or district (which may possibly be a state) goes round the odd-positioned letters of LAIC

8d    Light touch changing hot to cold (6)
CANDLE: A light of burning wax = ‘to touch’ with H (hot) changed to C (cold)

14d    Means to get inscribed occasionally in Times (8)
AGENCIES: Alternate letters of INSCRIBED inside long periods of time. I was convinced for some time that the answer was going to be AVERAGES (means) but I never quite managed to justify it

16d    Dead foolish to stifle the setter’s twisted cheers (9)
INANIMATE: ‘Foolish’ (5) goes round ‘the setter is’ and a reversal of ‘Cheers!’

17d    Bird with rising speed catches bat (8)
WHITECAP: W (with) and a reversal of ‘speed’ round ‘to bat’

18d    Briny empty ocean covers fleet (6)
SALINE: ‘Briny’ or ‘containing salt’ = a 3-letter word for ocean with the middle letter removed + a line or service of ships

20d    Outskirts of Dungeness skirting English Channel docks (7)
DEDUCTS: The first and last letters of DUNGENESS round E (English) and a channel

22d    Hen party’s finale in physical upset (5)
LAYER: A word that describes a hen that produces eggs = the last letter of PARTY in a reversal of ‘physical’

24d    Battle leaders of army lost against Mexico originally (5)

25d    Pubs supporters getting stood up inside (4)
BARS: Reverse the middle two letters of ‘supporters’

Thanks to Beam for an enjoyable and worthwhile challenge.

19 comments on “Toughie 1962

  1. I think this is a Beam in the right envelope, nothing to do with anything that might or might not have been imbibed on Saturday.

    I’d agree with ‘enjoyable challenge’ so thank you to the two Bs

  2. My goodness that was tough but I have to say well worth the effort. Parsing 5d needed a trip to my BRB as I wasn’t aware that part of the answer can be synonymous with “proposed”.

    1a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Beam & Bufo.

    1. As in ‘included in a list of political candidates’. A new one on me. I wonder if the setter new that meaning before he wrote the clue, or did he find it in the BRB, and think ‘that will get em chewing their pencils?

  3. Most of this went in without too much difficulty, however my last couple in the bottom left took me into 3* time.

    As did Bufo, I also tried to justify “averages” for 14d.

    Many thanks to Beam, and to Bufo.

  4. Phew, that took me a while but got there in the end. I did Apollo explained the Latin, not unlike Euclid, but decided it was weak and went looking for another explanation involving space craft – in vain, of course.

    I needed the brb.

    I also entered AVERAGED but couldn’t justify, and it had made a mess of the crosser.

    I liked the hidden, I preferred Euclid to Apollo, but my favourite i think was 1a.

    Many thanks Bufo and Beam

  5. Good puzzle – thanks to Beam and Bufo. I thought that 2d and 6d were a bit ‘samey’. I liked 1a, 21a and 27a.

  6. Sheer bloody mindedness got me through – I will not let Mr T beat me!
    I did have to ask Mr Google about 6d and spent a while trying to make a slightly different expletive work for 19a but everything else just demanded time and concentration.

    I liked 27a simply because it’s a word that conjures up images of all manner of somewhat rickety transportation and the winner’s place goes to 1a for the positive delight when I finally realised why the answer fitted the clue.

    Devotions to Mr T as always and many thanks to Bufo for the blog and the admission that even he didn’t find this a stroll in the park!

  7. Blimey – that was tough! It’s taken me ages, not that it matters, and I’m really glad to find that everyone thought it was difficult.
    I ended up needing Bufo’s hints to explain three of my answers – 3d which I just couldn’t sort out at all, 21a as I always forget that kind of diet stuff and 25a as I was too dim to swap the middle letters around.
    I think my favourite was 1a but I also appreciated 12 and 18a.
    Thanks to Beam for such a good crossword and to Bufo for all the untangling.

  8. I enjoyed this very much. I was fortunate to get 1a relatively early on which was a great help. Like Dutch, I was AVERAGED for a while until the checkers helped to lead me in the right direction. The NE corner put up the greatest resistance with 6d being my last in. (Cryptic clues are tricky if you haven’t heard of the word or term in question!) However, I was very pleased to have been able to finish with only minimal Google assistance. Many thanks to Beam and Bufo for the review.

  9. I do like a good Mr T and thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. My only real problem was thinking that 27a ended with a G. Lots to like but 25d wins as it made smile with 26a a close second.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Bufo.

  10. Did you realise there were at least 6 clues which involved removing a letter from the initial answer? ( 26a;27a;28a;3D;4d; and 18d.) A trifle excessive wouldn’t you say?
    Far and away favourite is 21a.

  11. That was tough and I was finally beaten by 11a. Neither the synonym for ARMY nor the one for CHEERFUL would come to mind. Had a bit of trouble justifying 2d and a bit of Googling found a Walter Pater and ‘Apollo in Picardy’ but guess that is a little abstruse to be relevant. I have been known to state the opinion that the only difference between a Beam and a RayT is the lack of anagrams. I’ll have to change that as this one was a whole step harder. However, I enjoyed the tussle and a real penny-drop moment when I twigged the wordplay in 1a.
    Checked the word count of course.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  12. I could simply copy and paste Bufo’s introductory comments into this box and be speaking true. Got there in the end, and very satisfying it was too.

    Funny, given the similarity in construction, but I had similar feelings to Dutch re Apollo’s father and Euclid’s square – the latter was just so nice. Maybe it’s just that I’d already decided the latter was a favourite before I’d solved it. Great surface.

    Nice to see some birds included for Jane (18a/17d).

    I’ll go with the popular vote for favourite: 1a.

    Thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  13. Bit late now, but I’ll comment anyway. Tough indeed, but I worried at it and almost got there, with just 23A eluding me. I will buck the trend towards 1A (though I liked that too) and nominate 6A as my favorite. Thanks to Beam for the workout and Bufo for the blog.

  14. I made heavy weather of this and did not finish it until this morning. Still, I got there in the end. I think that the letter in 28a should be E, not A, but I expect that everyone had noticed that anyway.

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