Toughie 2034 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2034

Toughie No 2034 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Another Thursday and another expedition into Toughieland. This time the going never seemed to be all that tough so I was surprised to find that it had taken me an above average time. It was a trademark Beam puzzle and a joy to solve

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Appetisers requiring more cutting on board (8)
STARTERS: ‘More cutting or sharper in taste’ inside a steamship

5a    Stand male up, accepting wedding vow is rejected (6)
PODIUM: A reversal of M (male) and UP round a vow made at a wedding

9a    Saw house through an optical device (8)
APHORISM: A saw or brief pithy saying = an abbreviation for ‘house’ in A and a device for resolving light into separate colours

10a    They believe in first dividing from the French (6)
DEISTS: Believers in the existence of God = three letters that can represent ‘first’ inside a French word for ‘from the’

12a    In time sweetheart’s performed blue jokes for change (9)
TRANSMUTE: T (time) and E (the middle letter of SWEET) round ‘performed’ and mildly obscene material (e.g. blue jokes)

13a    Follow on, follow around man endlessly (5)
SEGUE: A musical term meaning ‘to follow on’ = ‘to follow or understand’ round a man with the last letter removed

14a    Support died for actor (4)
BRAD: A support for part of the female anatomy + D (died) = the first name of the actor Mr Pitt

16a    Go west in latitude, going west, getting darker (7)
MOODIER: ‘Go west’ inside a reversal (going west) of latitude or scope = ‘darker’ or ‘more sullen’

19a    Prince formerly with his purple stuff? That’s right (7)
RAINIER: A former prince of Monaco = something described as purple in a title of a hit song by Prince + ‘that is’ + R (right)

21a    Quarrel beginning to end in slaps (4)
PATS: Take a four-letter word for a quarrel and move the first letter to the end

24a    Apprehends, reportedly making arrest (5)
SEIZE: A homophone of ‘apprehends’ or ‘understands’ = ‘to arrest’

25a    Small enclosure holds ring before mass brawl (9)
SCRIMMAGE: S (small) and an enclosure for animals or birds goes round the outermost circular part of a wheel and M (mass). I hope no-one bunged in the wrong variation of the answer

27a    Runs from former wife’s threats, oddly (6)
EXTRAS: Runs in cricket that are not credited to a batsman = a former wife + the odd-positiones letters of THREATS

28a    Literal race on motorway (8)
MISPRINT: A literal = the motorway from London to Leeds + ‘race at full speed’

29a    Trend to consume edible less filling dish (6)
TUREEN: ‘To trend’ round the first and last letters of EDIBLE = a large dish

30a    Catch holding saw with its centre splitting mitre? (8)
HEADGEAR: ‘To catch’ round a saw or saying with its middle letter removed = an item of clothing such as a mitre


1d    Poor hovel’s not hot but cold (6)
SCANTY: Take a word for a hovel or roughly built hut and change H (hot) to C (cold)

2d    Retreat from remains on capsized wreck (6)
ASHRAM: A retreat for a religious community in India = the remains from a fire + a reversal of ‘to wreck’

3d    Circles tortuous unknown roads, not seeing openings (5)

4d    Extricated snooker ball, gripping top of ‘snooker stick’ (7)
RESCUED: A snooker ball worth one point goes round S (first letter of SNOOKER) and the stick used for hitting a snooker ball

6d    Topless partners scream and go too far (9)
OVERSHOOT: Partners in a romantic relationship with the first letter removed + a scream or hilarious performance

7d    In pain GI’s nicely holding up decoration (8)
INSIGNIA: Hidden in reverse in PAIN GI’S NICELY

8d    Shooting deer, shot holding end of rifle (8)
MUSKETRY: A type of deer that yields a perfumery ingredient + a shot or attempt round E (last letter of RIFLE)

11d    Flash live in the morning (4)
BEAM: ‘To live’ and ‘in the morning’. I wonder why our setter chose this word.

15d    Bank raised charge about European state again (9)
REITERATE: A reversal of a bank or level + a charge

17d    Chances secure with odds for the first time (8)
PROSPECT: Chances or outlook = ‘to secure’ with the first letter T (time) replaced by SP (starting price = odds)

18d    Member of clergy one’s found in their workplace? (8)
MINSTER: I (one) inside a large church such as can be found in York, Southwell and Beverley

20d    Promotion of English knight after elevation (4)
RISE: A reversal of E (English) and a knight

21d    Like pig that’s knocked back fruit in ecstasy (7)
PORCINE: A reversal of ‘fruit’ or ‘produce’ + IN + E (ecstasy)

22d    French river carries current leading to sea (6)
MARNE: A river in NW France (the site of two eponymous battles) goes round I (electric current)

23d    One owes money due but with order empty (6)
DEBTOR: The first and last letters of DUE, BUT and ORDER

26d    Vehicle / was blue, perhaps (5)
MOPED: 2 meanings: a lightweight motorcycle/was listless or depressed


28 comments on “Toughie 2034

  1. I found it tough for no particular reason – I must be having one of those days

    Thanks to both the Bs

  2. Many thanks to Beam for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to Bufo for the review.

    Unfortunately as Bufo mentioned above, I did try and justify the wrong answer to 25a. I am however relieved that Ring=Rim and not Rum !

    Answer to 21a has a transposition error.

  3. Enjoyable as ever with Beam and as always posing questions along the lines of “How is x a synonym of y?”, answered a little later by “Ah, that’s how!”.
    Thanks to Beam and Bufo. My ticks went to 16a, 30a and 23d.

  4. Well, that was quite the challenge – the more so, for me at any rate, in that the grid seemed to divide the puzzle into four independent quadrants. Once I had completed one quadrant, I hoped there might be a gentler clue to help me get established in the next one, but there did not appear to be any obvious candidates. I ended with the NE corner with 8d being my last in. (I got it from the definition and checkers – I hadn’t met the deer before). Hard work, but very enjoyable. Many thanks to Beam and Bufo. (Looking ahead to tomorrow, I am thinking it may be a good time for me to take a day off from toughies!)

    1. I agree about the grid. Such designs really up the difficulty, but I always feel this is slightly unfair. Some Toughie grids, I am beginning to notice, are a little strange, offering many an unch, and many an isolated corner! Enjoyed the puzzle nonetheless, so thanks Beam and Bufo.

  5. I usually have no problem at all with Beam, but today for some reason I found this his toughest to date. Perhaps I’m having a bad day, too.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Bufo

  6. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who struggled with this.

    I got held up for a good while in the SE by having put ‘capri’ in for 26d. (Blue Grotto). I only had the ‘p’ from misprint at the time.

    19a made me smile.

    Thanks B & B.

  7. Luverly stuff as ever from 11d but I definitely had to check on a couple of definitions and confess to not knowing the French river.

    Aside from 11d my top two were 6&26d – as usual, it’s the humorous ones that win for me.

    Devotions as always to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Bufo for the blog.

  8. Beam Bam Boom and it was over.
    Never happened to me with this setter before. Had a harder time with the back page.
    Far reaching synonyms, certes, but definitely getting used to it.
    Thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  9. I found that quite difficult too.
    I had three wrong answers – usually I can either do them or I can’t but I don’t often get them wrong.
    All very good fun and I enjoyed it a lot.
    I particularly appreciated 19a and 21d and the surface reading of 27a which made me laugh.
    With thanks to Beam for the Toughie and to Bufo for sorting out my disasters.

    1. Your post on yesterday’s crossword made me smile as your hats turned up on the same day in the toughie (26a).

  10. Tricksy indeed but a lot more fun than the back pager which I unfortunately had to blog.

    3d was favourite.

    Thanks to he two B’s

  11. The “reveal” of 22d is missing the “i”.
    Yes, a puzzle of 4 parts of which I managed 3 and it’s Friday tomorrow!

    1. And it’s Elgar tomorrow.
      Don’t think I I’ll be posting anything until Sunday.

  12. Evening all. Many thanks to Bufo for the decryption and to everyone else for your observations.


    1. Good evening, Mr T. So nice that you always remember to pop in to check up on us.

  13. Just popping in to say that the singer referenced in 19ac would have been 60 today. To those who have emailed me regarding this, I’d love to be able to claim credit for this clue appearing today, but I’m afraid it wasn’t planned.

  14. Quite challenging but all doable for us. Again we had to keep repeating our mantra, “Don’t keep looking for anagrams in a Beam puzzle”. Our last act was sorting out the parsing for 17d. Excellent fun as ever and the clue word count all in order.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  15. I meant to ask earlier on if anyone can please explain to me how in 29a ‘trend’ in the clue becomes the letters ‘t u r n’ in the answer.

    To my mind they aren’t the same thing at all. A trend is something going forwards or onwards in the same sort of direction whereas a turn is a change of direction.

    1. The first definition of ‘trend’ in my (1972) BRB is ‘turn, wind’, so I guess that that is where it comes from.

      1. Thanks, Mac. I should have looked at my BRB instead of using an online dictionary to check my assumption of the meaning. Shows how language can change over time.

  16. :phew:
    That was a tough Toughie, but very enjoyable and very well worth the effort with all .Mr T’s trademarks in evidence

    Many thanks to him and to Bufo.

  17. An intermittent solve today. Started at,The Idle Rocks over mid morning tea. Interrupted by family. Continued at the park. Interrupted by family. Continued briefly over lunch at The Nare, impossible! Looked at back at the holiday home. Also impossible. Both grandchildren now in bed and beer is calling. Eight still to get. Those solved were very entertaining and just what I expect a beam puzzle to be. Thanks to Mr Terrell and thanks to the unread Bufo.

  18. Yes, a very tough Toughie. Not helped by Mr Grumpy Grid at all.

    For some reason I’m rather taken with the blue bike due to the pronunciation difference.

    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  19. The top half of the puzzle bar 8d fairly flew by, but the rest… As difficult as they get here. :-) Thanks for the challenge, and the hints!

  20. Just did this, on Friday… Cos it’s Elgar, and I can never finish in the time allotted, so catch up on Thursday’s

    Great crossy, really enjoyable, had to come on here to see how hard it had been rated afterwards. Thanks

Comments are closed.