Toughie 2253 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2253

Toughie No 2253 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

There’s always a danger with this kind of grid that there will one corner that you have difficulty getting into. With me today it was the NW corner which is hard to understand because there are a couple of gimmes that I ought to have spotted instantly.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Lone Conservative oddly in some error (8)
SOLECISM: ‘Lone’ + C (Conservative) + the oddly-positioned letters of IN SOME

5a    Imprudent individual caught by this compiler’s work (6)
MYOPIC: A pronoun denoting “this compiler’s” + an abbreviation for a work + I (individual) + C (caught)

9a    Lover’s tepid about pass (8)

10a    Prepare force to overturn armadas (6)
FLEETS: A reversal of ‘to prepare or to nerve oneself’ and F (force)

11a    Go to purchase an undergarment producing mockery (8)
TRAVESTY: A go round A and an undergarment

12a    Acolyte retrospectively concerned with sin (6)
NOVICE: A reversal of ‘concerned with’ + a sin

14a    Withdrawal of English credit rejected in split (10)
RETIREMENT: A reversal of E (English) and credit inside a split

18a    Speed after group mostly in top speed (10)
ACCELERATE: A group (e.g. of spies, political activists or terrorists) with the last letter removed inside ‘top or ‘first-class’ + speed = ‘to speed (up)’

22a    Ancient Egyptian city, virtually second to none (6)
THEBES: ‘Second to none’ (3,4) with the last letter removed

23a    Navigation chart describing island span (8)
PILOTAGE: ‘To chart’ round I (island) + a span of time

24a    The woman’s chasing ultimate bottom! (6)
NETHER: ‘Ultimate’ or ‘final’ + “the woman’s”

25a    Lookout dispatched message first to last (8)
SENTINEL: ‘Dispatched’ + a message with the last letter moved to the front

26a    Stop assuming chimera’s exterior’s given new form (6)
RECAST: ‘To stop moving for a while’ round the first and last letters of CHIMERA

27a    Run down by one man in Ibiza? (8)
ISLANDER: I (one) = ‘to run down’ or ‘to defame’


1d    Boxers giving jabs round centre of midriff (6)
SHORTS: The boxers are the kind you wear. ‘Jabs’ round the middle letter of MIDRIFF

2d    Room in place containing miniature that’s mounted (6)
LEEWAY: ‘To place’ round a reversal of ‘miniature’ or ‘little’

3d    Starts to crack open someone’s head employing sap (6)

4d    The woman’s skill taking little time for love (10)
SWEETHEART: A pronoun denoting that woman and ‘skill’ round ‘little’ (or ‘miniature’) and T (time)

6d    The old left, more depressed and more cowardly (8)
YELLOWER: The old form of the definite article + L (left) + ‘more depressed’

7d    States with power careless consuming energy (8)
PREMISES: P (power) + ‘careless’ round E (energy)

8d    One records group covering another group (8)
CASSETTE: An outdated recording medium = a group or social class round another group

13d    Squalor of poor in line seems hollow (10)
FILTHINESS: ‘Poor’ inside a line + the first and last letters of SEEMS

15d    Stud perhaps more hasty hiding butt, almost (8)
FASTENER: ‘More hasty’ round a butt with the last letter removed

16d    General charged without resistance taking charge initially (8)
ECLECTIC: ‘Charged’ with the letter R (resistance) removed round the first letter of CHARGE

17d    This answer isn’t stupid! (8)
CLUELESS: This answer doesn’t lack a hint

19d    Stages raised in part, so raised (6)
ROSTRA: Hidden in reverse in PART SO RAISED

20d    Sat on the throne, we hear, and showered (6)
RAINED: A homophone of ‘sat on the throne’ or ‘ruled’

21d    Reportedly one could supply bargain basement (6)
CELLAR: A homophone of someone who could supply you with a bargain

A typical Beam puzzle


12 comments on “Toughie 2253

  1. A typical Beam indeed – I did smile at his trademark 4d being the whole word rather than just the E at the “heart”

    Thanks to Beam and Bufo

  2. Made a mess of this one. I sloppily convinced myself that all the elements of 4d could make ‘heart-throb’ ( her, art , t , erroneous H, taking=rob). That made it rather difficult to say the least.

    I suppose that means he’s had me with this one! Good puzzle all the same. Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  3. This is the second day running that I have finished the Toughie without undue difficulty and without needing a dictionary or Google. This does not happen too often! Tomorrow is Friday so I think the hat trick is most improbable! I even spotted the lurkers quickly – I often miss Mr T’s as they are so well hidden. Talking of two in a row I believe this is the second consecutive RayT with no mention of Queen.

    Lots of nice clues. One of his favourite words appears as an answer in 4d. I also liked 1a, 14a, 27a and 1d. I took a while to parse 13d

    Thanks to Mr T for another nice puzzle and to Bufo

  4. A nice challenge at just about my level of expertise–which means it cannot have been too tough. Needed help for 13d. Thin for poor is a bit of a stretch, isn’t it? 4d was my pick of a fine bunch.

  5. No Queen today but we had the throne in 20d and this has to be my clue of the day Also 2 very good lurkers as usual. Think I have seen 17 before but it still made me laugh. Some lovely innuendo and other high spots were 9 10 18 24 15 17 19 20. Thanks to RayT for his monthly Beamer.

  6. We found this one quite tricky. Last in was 14a, possibly because 4 of the 5 checking letters were vowels and not helping to point to an answer. Favourite was 4d and so clever of the setter to give us one of his trademarks in this way. Checked the word count and also pleased to see no multi-word answers here.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  7. Evening all. My thanks to Bufo for the review and to all for your observations.


  8. I found this tricky in places but I had the baseball on the TV in the background so it probably didn’t help the solving process.

    Enjoyable puzzle with thanks to Bufo and RayT.

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