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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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  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.

    • 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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