Toughie 2237 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2237

Toughie No 2237 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I was bang on the wavelength and stormed through this until there were only 2 or 3 remaining. Then I stalled. I managed to fill in words that fitted but then had trouble justifying a couple of them (7 across and 6 down). It caused me to reduce the enjoyment rating

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Overturned U-boat reportedly hunted in dock (8)
SUBTRACT: A vessel such as a U-boat + a homophone of ‘hunted’ or ‘followed’ = ‘to dock’. I haven’t worked out what the ‘overturned’ is doing here

9a    Retreat is a quiet ruin in retreat (6)
ASHRAM: A spiritual place of retreat in Indian religions = A + ‘Quiet!’ + a reversal of ‘to ruin’

10a    Make water pipe’s opening leak (4)
WEEP: ‘To make water (when spending a penny)’ + the first letter of PIPE = ‘to leak’

11a    Cheer welcoming city Conservative getting reduced constituency (10)
ELECTORATE: ‘To cheer’ or ‘to raise the spirits of’ round the postcode for the City of London and a conservative with the last letter removed

12a    Country absolutely not embracing Republican (6)
NORWAY: A European country = ‘absolutely not!’ (2,3) round R (Republican)

14a    Brown and olive almost describes a fabric (8)
DUNGAREE: ‘Brown’ + a colour such as olive with the last letter removed round A = a coarse fabric often coloured blue and used for trousers

15a    Bootlicking troops trailing officer (6)
SMARMY: A sergeant-major + troops

17a    Twist and Shout’s number two, breaking record (6)
WRITHE: The second letter of SHOUT inside ‘to record on paper’

20a    Take off after ace right here? (8)
AIRSTRIP: ‘Ace’ or ‘first-class’ + R (right) + ‘to take off one’s clothes’. The whole clue provides the definition

22a    Aggravate raw or sensitive bits (6)

23a    Spiteful bloke, not loveless, accepts rejected affection (10)
MALEVOLENT: A man around a reversal of ‘affection’ + NOT minus the letter O (Love)

24a    Heavy metal‘s first guitarist (4)
LEAD: 2 meanings: a heavy metal/the main guitarist in a group

25a    Spotted grebe’s close circling river unruffled (6)
SERENE: ‘Spotted’ and the last letter of GREBE round R (river)

26a    Seasoning of salt since covered by sarnie’s filling (8)
TARRAGON: A herb = a salt (sailor) + ‘since’ inside the middle two letters of SARNIE


1d    Legion of dead nearly stir with energy elevated (8)
NUMEROUS: ‘Legion (as an adjective)’ = ‘dead’ or ‘unfeeling’ with the last letter removed + ‘to stir’ with the letter E (energy) moved from the end to the beginning

2d    Start to stride and take even paces (4)
STEP: First letters of STRIDE, TAKE, EVEN and PACES. I would have thought ‘starts’ would have been better

3d    Only just see following pub (6)
BARELY: A pub + a see (bishopric) in Eastern England

4d    Dissolute Frenchman rising to become stud? (8)
FASTENER: ‘Dissolute’ + a reversal of a French male forename = a device such as a stud

5d    Beam embraces sweetheart, chasing other’s heart next (10)
THEREAFTER: The middle letters of OTHER + a beam supporting a roof round the middle letter of SWEET

6d    Tell story about twice? (6)
TATTLE: This caused problems. I’m guessing that ‘to tell’ or ‘to gossip’ = a story round TT (twice = two times = T and T). I don’t like it. The whole clue could provide the definition

8d    In goal catching shot? On the contrary (6)
TRENDY: A shot (attempt) round a goal or objective

13d    Wicket bowler possibly cut taking nothing at all (10)
WHATSOEVER: W (wicket) + a garment such as a bowler + ‘to cut’ round O (nothing)

16d    Order twisted vagrant to keep distance, finally further (8)
MOREOVER: A reversal (twisted) of an honorific order + a vagrant round the last letter of DISTANCE

18d    Lift English vessel, in part lifted (8)
ELEVATOR: E (English) + a vessel inside a reversal of a part in a play

19d    Slowest set pace holding up most fit (6)
APTEST: Hidden in reverse in SLOWEST SET PACE

21d    Film’s angle is regularly producing pictures (6)
IMAGES: Alternate letters of FILM’S ANGLE IS

22d    Weak with crying with stomach heaving (6)
WATERY: ‘Weak or dilute’ = W(ith) + ‘crying’ with the middle letter moved to the front

24d    Advance without backup, say (4)
LOAN: An advance of money is a homophone of ‘solitary’


16 comments on “Toughie 2237

  1. Mr T is definitely muddling up his envelopes these days – this one was far more Ray T than Beam

    I did email the editor first thing this morning to ask how or even why the U-boat had been overturned in 7a but have yet to receive a response. 6d was my last one in and my views on it match those of Bufo’s

    Thank you to Mr T for the crossword and Mr B for the blog

  2. Enjoyable puzzle in spite of the wrong vehicle in 7a. Thanks to Beam and Bufo.
    I liked the dissolute Frenchman (4d), the different sort of Beam (5d), the double time (6d) and the heaving stomach (22d).

  3. A very similar solving experience to Bufo, racing through this until I had only a couple remaining.

    I was also confused about the overturned U-boat, and I failed to get 6d.

    Thanks to Beam, and to Bufo.

  4. Wasn’t that happy with 5d, 13d and 16d. Just stuck on 14a as didn’t realise the garment was also a fabric.
    Waiting to see the reasoning behind 7a.
    What would we do without 9a? A relative newcomer to crossword land but now used so frequently.
    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  5. This was another puzzle of two halves for me with the bottom half going relativity easily and the top half, and the NW corner in particular, giving me considerable difficulty. 2d was my last in – I discounted the correct answer initially because I would have expected ‘strarts’ rather than ‘start’ in the word play. I was hoping for enlightenment for ‘overturned’ in 7a, but I am glad I have company in being puzzled by it. All of this happening with so many first letters being unchecked made it a near perfect storm for me, and detracted somewhat from an otherwise very enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  6. Tough! But fair.

    Favourite has to be: 5d Beam embraces sweetheart … for obvious reasons.

  7. Another great puzzle from the King of Lurkage. Having got 22a i knew there would be another but it defeated me and 19d was my last one in. I therefore award it clue of the day. Also liked 5 8 10 13 15 17 20 and 22 a and d. Beamers have no anagrams which I appreciate as they get a bit boring. This cannot be said of RayT. Thanks Ray for an enjoyable hour.

  8. Another Beam masterpiece but I did encounter the same issues as Bufo with regard to 7a & 6d. Hopefully Mr T will pop in later and enlighten us.

    No particular favourite, just a very enjoyable solve.

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

  9. We also decided that a charabanc must have been inverted at some stage in the evolution of the 7a clue. We can understand the change as U-boat works much better with DOCK. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle once again from this setter. Checked the word count and all in order.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo

  10. Just back from a great day’s cricket (from an English point of view) and I can make this quick by agreeing with exactly what Jane has written.

  11. Evening all. My thanks to Bufo for the analysis and to all for your observations. 7a was just a mistake and 6d is what it is. Also, 2d would not have been better with ‘Starts’ as that would give ‘Steps’ as the answer. That’s why I added the word ‘and’ in the clue!


    1. Good evening, Mr T. Good to see you pop in as usual and thanks for answering our questions.

  12. A rather late entry from me although I did the puzzle at lunchtime. I’m glad I was not going adrift with the “bus” and “sub” problem. I found this fairly tricky despite it not featuring many odd words or unusual meanings of well known words. I also failed to find “Queen” in the clues so spent a while thinking the “guitarist” clue must involve May but it did not.

    Many thanks to Mr T for another good puzzle and to Bufo for the blog

  13. Underneath Toughie 2238 in the paper it says

    Toughie 2237 Apologies for the erroneous 7a in yesterday’s puzzle. The clue should have read: U-boat reportedly hunted in dock (8)

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