Toughie 2050 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2050

Toughie No 2050 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I’m glad that today’s Beam puzzle wasn’t a stinker because I didn’t realise it was Thursday and hence my blogging day until after the morning had gone. But I was able to finish it in time because it wasn’t very taxing although there is one clue I haven’t quite parsed

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Possibly perceived perusing poetry, perhaps? (12)
ALLITERATION: The wording of this clue is an example of such a figure of speech and stylistic literary device. I think that’s all there is to it. I’ve seen a similar clue recently but can’t remember where

9a    Head with turn in exam whipping boy (9)
SCAPEGOAT: A headland and a turn inside a National

10a    Degenerate follows this compiler’s appearance (5)
IMAGE: ‘This compiler is’ + ‘to degenerate’

11a    Perform Shylock for one changing sides to begin (6)
RENDER: Take a word for someone such as Shylock and replace the initial L (left) by R (right)

12a    Show-off‘s end of short cloth dress reflected (8)
BRAGGART: A reversal of the last letter of SHORT, a scrap of cloth and ‘dress’

13a    Man weakened after being distressed? (6)
SAMSON: A cryptic definition for a man who lost his strength after being dis-tressed

15a    Idiot, before engagement, getting quietly taken for stone (8)
SAPPHIRE: An idiot and an engagement round P (quietly) = a precious stone

18a    ‘Science‘ of garden feature incorporating water centrally (8)
ROCKETRY: A garden feature where alpines are grown round the middle letter of WATER

19a    Recall large talent and sex appeal of stars (6)
ASTRAL: A reversal of L (large), talent and sex appeal

21a    Debate of European Union progress set back (8)
DIALOGUE: A reversal of the European Union, ‘to progress’ and ‘set’

23a    Iron, occasionally nicked, sold firstly to them? (6)
FENCES: The atomic symbol for iron + alternate letters of NICKED + the first letter of SOLD. The whole clue provides the definition

26a    Speedy with incredibly fast time initially (5)

27a    Showing potential power, tick over in revolution (9)
PROMISING: P (power) + a reversal of a tick (short time) in a revolution

28a    Great, some inverted navel bared is no crime (12)


1d    Engages sailor on ship circumnavigating globe (7)
ABSORBS: An able-bodied seaman + a steamship round a globe

2d    Get Shakespearean role over McKellen finally (5)
LEARN: A king in a Shakespearean play + the last letter of MCKELLEN

3d    So English following endless speculation about umpire (9)
THEREFORE: A speculation with the last letter removed round an umpire + E (English)

4d    Cross and coarse when overheard (4)
ROOD: A cross or crucifix in a church is a homophone of ‘coarse’

5d    Censorious expression over banter with ace dropping class (8)
TUTORIAL: An exclamation of rebuke or mild disapprobation + O (over) + ‘to banter’ with its letter A (ace) moved nearer the end of the word

6d    Outstanding victory, own goal’s let in (5)
OWING: A victory inside ‘own goal’

7d    One on horse, on one’s high horse? (8)
CAVALIER: This word for a knight can also be used to describe someone who is haughty

8d    Cuddle nice soft lassie, all losing heart (6)
NESTLE: The first and last letters of NICE, SOFT and LASSIE

14d    Woman is accommodating, holding up shoe (8)

16d    Notice surprised expression over Queen seeing bottom (9)
POSTERIOR: I haven’t quite worked this one out. The first six letters are a notice (stuck on a wall) and the last letter can represent ‘Queen’ but I don’t see how the remaining two letters equate to ‘surprised expression’ or ‘surprised expression over’. I await enlightenment

17d    President takes one in with his empty achievements (8)
TRIUMPHS: The incumbent US president round (one) + HIS with the middle letter removed

18d    Vegetable, practically uncooked food (6)
RADISH: ‘Uncooked’ (3) with the last letter removed + food

20d    Way to keep air rising inside dish (7)
LASAGNE: A way (narrow road) round a reversal of ‘air’ = a pasta dish

22d    Beat United in no-score draw? (5)
OUTDO: The 3-letter abbreviation for United inside O O (a representation of a no-score draw)

24d    Periodically call in mob to top (5)
CLIMB: Alternate letters of CALL IN MOB

25d    Reportedly pitched forward (4)
BOLD: A homophone of ‘pitched’ or ‘delivered a ball’ = ‘forward’ or ‘impudent’

Is anybody else getting bored with this fine weather?


24 comments on “Toughie 2050

  1. Thanks for the hints. I had problems with 16d as well mainly due to trying to use ER for queen. Oi is in the the brb and is then reversed – I think.

    1. Oi may be in the BRB, but its definition is “interjection – used to attract attention, etc.” which is hardly a “surprised expression” – which is the point Bufo was trying to make.

      I also checked:
      Collins – “interjection (Brit) a cry used to attract attention, esp in an aggressive way”
      ODE – ” exclamation (also oy) British informal used to attract someone’s attention, especially in a rough or angry way”
      SOED – “interjection & noun. colloq. Also oy. (a cry) attracting attention.”

  2. Bother! There is one clue I can’t parse, which of course is the one clue that Bufo can’t parse!

    That aside this was right up my street for a Toughie. It was great fun from start to finish and nicely challenging, with everything gradually falling into place with a bit of work.

    28a is a star rekrul spanning five words of an eight word clue, and 22d was my favourite although I had ticks all over my page.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Bufo, and also in advance to whomever decodes 16d.

  3. I agree with Liverpool Mike -“Oi” as an expression of surprise, then reversed.
    Not too difficult, I thought. I admired the several back lurkers esp 28a.

  4. Not too tricky, however it took me a while to work out the stone in 15a. I also opted for ‘oi’ reversed in 16d, but I wasn’t totally convinced.

    Many thanks to Beam for an enjoyable puzzle, and to Bufo for the notes.

  5. I can imagine saying Oi! if i’m surprised, eg at someone cutting me off in traffic, but I agree that is not the precise dictionary definition.

    I though 14d was a nice hidden. 28a was impressive too.

    I was confused by SAT as exam, thinking of it as a verb, so thank you Bufo for ming me of the SAT exam, and for the homophone of bold which i missed.

    the surface for 22d is intriguing

    Many thanks Beam

      1. Like a lot of homophones, it depends on your accent, which depends on where you were brought up. The ODE gives bold as pronounced “bəʊld” and bow/ed as “bəʊl/d”, which looks pretty similar to me.

  6. An enjoyable puzzle to while away a gorgeous afternoon in Shropshire. Definitely not at the hard end of Beam’s difficulty range but good fun nonetheless. Like RD I enjoyed the rekrul but not overly keen on 16d , perhaps Mr T may drop in later to sort us out.

    Thanks to all

    PS also thought 1a as very clever ’round and round the ragged…..etc

  7. A really fun Toughie with a couple of very clever rekruls. Just agree with everyone that 16d is poor.
    Yes, Bufo, I am bored with this hot weather. So muggy. Oh for a good thunderstorm!

  8. Really enjoyed this one, of course, although there did seem to be a fair bit of ‘stand it on its head’ going on!

    I didn’t have a problem with ‘oi’ reversed at the time of solving but I guess there is some merit in the subsequent comments. I suppose the very fact that in a piece of writing it would usually be followed by an exclamation mark was enough for me.

    Smiled at 20d – I seem to recall that we had folk complaining about the alternative spelling quite recently.
    Top three for me were the scientific water feature, the globe-trotting sailor and the glorious surface read of 17d.

    Devotions to Mr T/Beam and to Bufo for the blog. Yes, I’m another who wasn’t designed to be a hothouse plant!

  9. I have a bad habit of finishing (or not) a puzzle and putting it aside to comment later…then forgetting until it’s too late over there. Not today though. I did enjoy this though like most others was flummoxed by the “oi” in 16D. Loved 1A and 9A, and special mention for 17D, not because I liked the clue but because the solution is on the mark. Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  10. I wondered if it was just me because this was my least slow Toughie solve this week. Looks like I’m in good company though, which is always nice.

    Very much enjoyed, and I marked 21a, despite not usually like having reminders of current affairs (see also 17d). 7d is runaway favourite for reasons.

    Thanks Beam and Bufo – less of a B-team than an A-Team, not least because it features Mr T.

  11. A largely problem free solve in back page time. Is it just me or is Mr T in Beam mode becoming just a little predictable?
    I couldn’t see a problem with Oi – as in Harry Enfield’s Self Righteous Brothers?

  12. Evening all. Many thanks to Bufo for the analysis and to all for your comments.


  13. Lovely stuff once again from Beam with chuckles all the way through. Had to keep chanting the mantra “Don’t look for anagrams, there won’t be any.” And then, last of all, I checked the word count.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  14. **** for difficulty, the same for entertainment value. Mind you, I solved with half an eye on the equally enjoyable Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, so I perhaps didn’t give this as much thought as I should.

  15. Well. Mr K can now add a 12 letter reverse lurker to his databank.
    I thought RayT was responsible for today’s back page which I found much harder than this one.
    Kept swearing in fact.
    Thanks for the fun and to bufo for the review.

  16. Thanks to Beam and to Bufo for the review and hints. Super puzzle, it’s the first time I’ve ever completed a Beam Toughie. I too, couldn’t parse 16d. I thought 28a was quite amazing, but my favourite was 1a. Last in was 5d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  17. Always seem to miss the rekruls, viz the 12 letter 28A ; knew what the answer must be from the checkers but failed to parse !

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