Toughie 2189 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2189

Toughie No 2189 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Beam is back with his trademark short anagram-free clues and one-word answers. As usual it was enjoyable and not too difficult and as usual I had to stop and persuade myself that some of the definitions were strictly accurate. There was a problem with 4 down which I didn’t notice when solving because I just bunged the answer in.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Stomach bug overwhelms powerless wimp (7)
MIDRIFF: ‘To bug’ or ‘to annoy’ round a wimp with the letter P (power) removed

5a    Notice old boy’s always showing resistance to Left (7)
OBSERVE: The abbreviation for ‘old boy’ + the possessive ‘S + a word meaning ‘always’ with the letter R (resistance) moved nearer the front

9a    Pens combustible articles about gutless reporter (7)
CORRALS: Pens (for cattle, etc.) = combustible articles round the first and last letters of REPORTER

10a    Surreal gag doesn’t stop Labour’s leader … (7)
STRANGE: Take a word meaning ‘to gag’ or ‘to choke’ and remove the first letter of LABOUR

11a    … rejecting form perhaps with ordinary current leader (9)
EDITORIAL: A reversal of what could be a form (animal’s home), O (ordinary), and a current = a leader (leading article)

12a    Bowl over trapping hard shot (5)
PHOTO: A bowl and O (over) round H (hot) = a shot taken by a camera

13a    Give pained expression sitting on butt (5)
ENDOW: A butt + an exclamation denoting pain

15a    Fix pipe oddly making U-turn in great machine (9)
APPLIANCE: A reversal of ‘to fix’ and the odd-positioned letters of PIPE inside ‘great’ or ‘first-class’

17a    Blasphemy when rejected upset good in church (9)
SACRILEGE: A reversal of ‘when’ + ‘to upset’ and G (good) inside the Church of England

19a    Initially golfer is mad missing easy, easy putt (5)
GIMME: First letters of GOLFER, IS, MAD, MISSING and EASY

22a    Explorer beginning to do search (5)
DRAKE: The first letter of DO + ‘to search’

23a    Drink could make phoney bore heard (9)
CHAMPAGNE: Homophones of ‘phoney’ and a bore (something that causes annoyance)

25a    Go abroad missing golf in Dubai? (7)
EMIRATE: Remove the letter G (golf) from a word meaning ‘to go and live abroad’

26a    Quibbling first woman carrying credit card that’s rejected (7)
EVASIVE: The first woman in the Bible round a reversal of a brand of credit card

27a    Some excess heat heats cover (7)

28a    Idiosyncrasy going round opposite directions for journey (7)
TRANSIT: An idiosyncrasy round two directly opposite points of the compass


1d    China acquires revolutionary weapon (7)
MACHETE: A china (rhyming slang) round the name of an Argentine Marxist revolutionary

2d    Terrible cut bound to get discoloured (7)
DIRTIED: ‘Terrible’ with the last letter removed + ‘bound’

3d    State of India’s occasionally almost scorching (5)
IDAHO: A US state = alternate letters of India + ‘scorching’ with the last letter removed

4d    Charm of Conservative caught by error in end (9)
FASCINATE: Following emails between the great and the good of Crosswordland this clue has now been changed in the online version to “Charm a Conservative caught by error in end’. A word meaning ‘to charm’ is formed from A and C (Conservative) in ‘error’ all inside ‘end’ or ‘destiny’. The clue could have been corrected simply by inserting ‘a’ between ‘of’ and ‘Conservative’, but the resulting clue would then have exceeded Beam’s (self-imposed) eight-word limit

5d    Floating on lake is river bird (5)
OUSEL: An English river (there’s one in Yorkshire, another in Sussex and a Great one that flows into the Wash) + L (lake)

6d    Big equipment, small changes to opening (9)
STRAPPING: ‘Big’ or ‘tall and robust’ = a word for equipment with the letter S (small) moved from the end to the beginning

7d    Capital is managed topping advance (7)
RANGOON: The old name for the former capital of Burma = ‘managed’ + ‘to advance’ (2,2)

8d    Reportedly first person with spotted blemish (7)
EYESORE: Homophones of a first-person pronoun and ‘spotted’

14d    Stand controlling strike and catching live rising fish (9)
WHITEBAIT: ‘To stand’ round ‘to strike’ and a reversal of ‘to live’ = the fry of various species of herring, sprat, etc.

16d    Stop accepting a student’s common (9)
PREVALENT: ‘To stop’ round A and L (learner = student)

17d    Regret seeing ship’s stern while capsizing (7)
SADNESS: A reversal of the abbreviation for a steamship, a stern and ‘while’

18d    In secrecy, an idea to give poison (7)

20d    Stick-up traps idiot (7)
MUGGINS: A reversal of ‘to stick’ + traps

21d    He, say, last to move pieces in check (7)
ELEMENT: He is the atomic symbol for helium. The last letter of MOVE + chess pieces in ‘check’

23d    Island summit east, not south (5)
CRETE: A Greek island = a summit with the letter S (south) removed + E (east)

24d    Square old man’s bearing nearly slow (5)
PLAZA: A public square = old man (father) round ‘slow’ with the last letter removed

I wonder if Beam will ever try to fool us by throwing in some anagrams and multiword answers.

22 comments on “Toughie 2189

  1. I’d agree with Bufo’s prologue and the ratings. As for Beam fooling us with anagrams and multi-word answers, I doubt it but now I’ve said that he may change the habit of a setting lifetime

    Thanks to Beam and Bufo

  2. Agree, not too difficult today. First time I remember hearing of Beam’s 8 word limit for his clues. My favourite-as a former chemist-
    has to be 21d, tho’ I thought 23d was also ingenious.

    1. He imposes the same constraints when he sets back pagers as RayT. Usually on alternate Thursdays

  3. Very enjoyable and not too strenuous – thanks to Beam and Bufo.
    My ticks were awarded to 9a,13a, 1d and 20d.

  4. Loved it. Beam’s consistently concise cluing and the refusal to employ anagrams is admirable. 20d made me smile, so probably my pick.

    Many thanks to MrT and Bufo

  5. 20d gets my vote; that word always brings a smile to my face.

    Not too tricky today, and very pleasurable.

    Many thanks to Beam, and to Bufo.

  6. This was my sort of Toughie – challenging but eventually solvable with persistence, and a lot of fun.

    After I had worked out the answers, 15a, 6d & 17d took quite a while to parse. For 11a I needed my BRB to check “form”. I was so relieved to find what I thought were all the bits of the “Russian Doll” in 4d, I am ashamed to say I never noticed the extra A in the answer.

    20d was my favourite and it was also my last one in as I spent far too long looking for a plural.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Bufo.

  7. I agree with all of the above. I thought this was a hugely enjoyable puzzle. My last in was 21d – great clue, but my knowledge of chemistry is so woefully lacking and that I needed Bufo’s review to understand why it was what it was. Many thanks to all.

  8. Been a busy day so my tired brain needed a few hints to complete the grid. I would like a couple of anagrams should Beam ever change his rules, however, I am glad of the 8 word limit. There are a couple of setters who, by the time I’ve read their convoluted lengthy clue, not only have I lost the will to live but I have forgotten how it all began!
    Favourite? 23a as I’m about to pour myself a reviving drink.

  9. Would have finished sooner if Mr Sheffieldsy hadn’t spelled Idaho as Idaha and both of us failed to notice it for some time. Overall very good fun.

    Thanks to Bufo and Ray T.

  10. A bit tricky at the top which I confess to having failed to finish.
    I had too many answers which just had to be what they were but I couldn’t have seen why had my life depended on them – good thing it didn’t.
    My favourite was 20d.
    Thanks to Beam and to Bufo.

  11. Took a while to get and successfully parse the snaky 1a,4d and 15a.
    Quite liked the homophones in 8d and 23a.
    Thanks to Beam and to Bufo

  12. Grrrrrrr.. all those who found this not too hard .
    Though I admit there were more than one “gimme”.
    I am very annoyed with myself for missing 21 d despite having all the checkers .
    I found the clueing in 4d and 14d very difficult though I did get there in the end .
    My best liked would be 1d, 13a , 16d, and 23a .
    Thanks to all concerned .

    1. 21d is the last letter of [mov]E followed by MEN (pieces, in a board game) inside LET (check) so E LE MEN T.

  13. Enjoyable, and mostly straightforward, though I did get a little stuck at the close in the NW corner. Oh, and the capital gave me a bit of grief. It’s a little before my time is the only excuse I can offer.

  14. Excellent work-out as usual from Beam. Took me far too long to nail 1a – brain refused to see beyond ‘line’ for the second part of the answer which simply wouldn’t parse and also played havoc with 4d.

    Podium places awarded to 19&23a plus 1&20d.

    Devotions to Mr T/Beam and many thanks for checking in with us. Thanks also to Bufo for the blog.

  15. Thank you for the explanation of 4d; I have to admit I just bunged it in because it fitted the letters I had, without understanding what was going on.

  16. Finished off this morning. I’m always pleased with myself when I can completely finish off a Toughie unaided. Doesn’t happen often enough, but is getting slightly more often. Very enjoyable. My thanks to Ray T.

Comments are closed.