Toughie 2205 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2205

Toughie No 2205 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I was so busy this morning picking my losers for Aintree that I clean forgot that I was on blogging duty. By the time I realised I was left with little time before the deadline so I was thankful that the puzzle was not a stinker (even though it is by Beam and not the expected Kcit). I filled the grid fairly comfortably but there were several bung-ins that had to be dissected as I wrote the blog. I didn’t think that it was one of Beam’s better puzzles but that may just be that I didn’t have the time to fully appreciate it

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Repair top of oven part following break (11)
RESTORATION: A repair = a break (refreshing inactivity) + the first letter (top) of OVEN + a part

9a    Select area going west, no ordinary nation (7)
NIGERIA: A reversal (going west) of ‘select’ or ‘first-class’ and an area with the letter O (ordinary) omitted gives an African country

10a    Costly article reduced poverty (6)
DEARTH: ‘Costly’ + the definite article with the last letter removed

12a    Perverse if ideologue holds back schools (7)

13a    Stumped, say, caught over this compiler’s answer (7)
OUTCOME: ‘Stumped (or caught or bowled, etc) + C (caught) + O (over) + a pronoun denoting ‘this compiler’

14a    Inferior members divided by May’s first works (5)
TOMES: Members at the lower end of the body round the first letter of MAY

15a    Stamina of final United contest holding Everton finally (9)
ENDURANCE: ‘Final’ + U (United) + a contest round the last letter of EVERTON

17a    Wind almost common with one’s stomach problem (9)
GASTRITIS: ‘Wind’ + ‘common’ with the last letter removes + I (one) + he possessive ‘S = inflammation of the lining of the stomach

20a    Catches sweetheart in bushes (5)
COPSE: ‘Catches’ + the middle letter (heart) of SWEET = a dense thicket of trees and bushes

22a    Crop circle? (7)
TONSURE: A cryptic definition for the hairstyle adopted by some religious figures

24a    Rich love being disheartened in ‘Love Boat’ (7)
OPULENT: ‘Love’ + the first and last letters of LOVE in a flat-bottomed boat

25a    Soundly, one sleeps in school bed (6)
BORDER: A homophone (but not for everyone) of a pupil that sleeps at the school = a bed (part of a garden)

26a    Country flag furled nearly right (7)
ERITREA: Another African country = a reversal (furled) of ‘to flag’ + ‘right’ [real] with the last letter removed

27a    Careless state accepts Democrat employed by firm (11)
INADVERTENT: ‘To state’ round D (Democrat) inside ‘firm’


2d    Bugs and eavesdrops (7)
EARWIGS: 2 meanings: bugs or insects/eavesdrops

3d    Time done’s discharged capturing international fugitive (9)
TRANSIENT: T (time) + ‘done’ + ‘discharged’ round I (international) = ‘fugitive’ or ‘fleeting’

4d    Wireless router accesses data in operation initially (5)

5d    Revolting nonsense catches informer protecting current informer (7)
TRAITOR: A reversal (revolting) of nonsense round an informer containing the symbol for electric current

6d    Old container containing couple’s old hat (7)
OUTWORN: O (old) + container round a couple = ‘old-hat’ or ‘obsolete’

7d    Search is prompt checking vehicle’s exterior (11)
INVESTIGATE: ‘To search’ = ‘to prompt’ or ‘to initiate’ round the first and last letters of VEHICLE

8d    State discriminating against pensioners? (6)
AGEISM: I decided that this must just be a cryptic definition for discrimination against the elderly

11d    Respectful Right always need to have American degraded (11)
REVERENTIAL: R (Right) + ‘always’ + ‘need’ with the letter A (American) moved one place further back

16d    Insincere and somewhat childish, one’s tantrum (9)

18d    Evening Standard originally free when unloaded (7)
SUNDOWN: The first letter of STANDARD + ‘to free’ + the first and last letters of WHEN

19d    Prepared to miss starter getting full (7)
ROUNDED: ‘Prepared’ [grounded] with the first letter removed

20d    Care shown in sale about to begin (7)
CAUTION: Take a sale and move the letter C (about) to the start

21d    American writer with taste producing ‘The Raven’? (6)
POETRY: The American writer who wrote ‘The Raven’ + ‘to taste’

23d    Bird’s nest very occasionally raided, oddly (5)
EYRIE: Alternate letters of VERY + the odd-positioned letters of RAIDED

Finished just in time for the 1.45


17 comments on “Toughie 2205

  1. Now I found (and I checked with AN Other that it was Beam not me – apparently it was him) that this was, particularly on the LH side, a proper Toughie taking me a 5* time to sort out – when a real toughie is such a rarity these days, it comes as quite a shock to the cryptic grey matter when one turns up almost out of the blue

    Looking back, after a bit of a lie down, I did enjoy the tussle – my favourite was the lovely d’oh moment inducing 22a

    Thanks to Beam and Bufo

  2. I agree with Bufo that this was on the mild side for a Beam puzzle – with at least one clue (14a) offering a comment on the current political shenanigans. Thanks to Beam and Bufo – good luck with the gee-gees!
    I liked 16d and 21d but my favourite clue was 17a.

  3. I found about half of this surprisingly mild and the other half really tough, but, as ever with Beam, an enjoyable challenge.

    I’m not convinced by “firm” in 27a as a synonym for “intent”, nor by “done” in 3d for “ran”.

    My joint favourites were 17a & 21d.

    Many thanks to the 2Bs.

    1. I agree with both your reservations and would add that though eminently gettable from the crossers, unless there’s a much more sophisticated explanation for 8D, it is not a good clue.
      Thanks all.

    2. RD, see our response to Jane below for ran/done. As for firm/intent how about “ I was firm/intent on doing it.”

      We regularly remark to each other that Bean’s synonyms are stretched almost to breaking point!

  4. Slightly bothered about real = right and ran = done but, as we’ve come to realise, most things are possible to Mr T!
    I did briefly flirt with looking for an actual old type of hat for 6d but think I had the right ideas in my head for most of the rest.
    Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed today’s challenge.

    Podium places went to 20&22a plus 16&21d.

    Devotions as always to Mr T/Beam and thanks to Bufo for the blog. Hope your money was well spent!

  5. My brain hurts trying to understand the parsing of 27 across. I bunged in an answer that turned out to be correct, but . . . . . . . I always enjoy a Beam/RayT puzzle and this was no exception. A few clues took a bit of juggling with, but on the whole most enjoyable. Thanks to Beam and Bufo.

    1. Aver (state) has D (democrat) inserted (accepts) all that surrounded by (employed by) intent (firm)

        1. Glad to help, I do doff my cap to all those who blog an entire crossword. I just couldn’t , or more likely would be scared to ;)

  6. I did enjoy this. Most of the top third went in reasonably quickly, and then I ground to screeching halt which lasted for a good long time. The flood gates reopened with the ‘crop circle’ in 22a (my favourite). I’m not sure I find 8d very cryptic – am I missing something? Many thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  7. We solving this firmly believing we were doing a Kcit puzzle. Quite a surprised to come here and find that it was by Beam and we had not spotted all his trademarks.
    We agree with CS that is was a real Toughie, particularly in the SW corner which took ages before any pennies would drop.
    Enjoyed the challenge and satisfying to eventually get it all sorted.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

    1. Thank you for another excellent Toughie, Mr. T. If you’re still online, could I ask whether you have specific reference material that you use for finding synonyms?

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