Toughie 2285 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

Toughie 2285

Toughie No 2285 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Today Beam becomes the latest setter to reach a century of Toughies and I seem to have blogged more than my fair share of them. Not that I mind because I always enjoy them and today’s was no exception. Mind you I think I was not quite with it today because I made far harder work of this Beam puzzle than I usually do. But I got there in the end though some of the parsing needed winkling out.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    One could be either for or against (11)
PREPOSITION: A link word such as ‘for’ and ‘against’

9a    Posers like purchasing drink from the East (7)
ENIGMAS: A reversal (from the East) of ‘like’ or ‘identical’ round an alcoholic spirit

10a    Gave back record penned by Rush (6)
REPAID: ‘Gave back borrowed money’ = ‘rush’ round a 7-inch record. I was fixated with rush = reed and so had trouble here

12a    School language finally expected to include Persian? (7)
EDUCATE: ‘To school’ = the last letter of LANGUAGE + ‘expected’ round an animal such as a Persian

13a    Commonly the man followed his male conceit (7)
EGOTISM: The ‘common’ form of a male personal pronoun + ‘followed’ or ‘understood’ + ‘IS (common form of HIS) + M (male)

14a    Look back and yearn for classic record (5)
OLDIE: A reversal of ‘Look!’ + ‘to yearn’

15a    Office-holder and smart copper, crooked, pocketing million (9)
INCUMBENT: ‘Smart’ or ‘fashionable’ + the atomic symbol for copper + ‘crooked’ round M (million)

17a    Crack team in event’s covering tackle (9)
EQUIPMENT: A crack or joke and a team or players inside the first and last letters (covering) of EVENT

20a    ‘Steep’ is term to describe ski-trail (5)

22a    Turn almost rejected incorporating nude show (7)
CABARET: A reversal of a turn in sailing with the last letter removed goes round ‘nude’

24a    Intimation missing first sweetheart for a rub-down (7)
MASSAGE: Take a word meaning an intimation and change the first occurrence of the letter E (middle letter of SWEET) into A. I had problems parsing this because I kept reading the first word of the clue as imitation

25a    Form of seat that’s pronounced (6)
MANNER: A homophone of a seat (the house and land of a nobleman)

26a    African national sprinted holding baton (7)
RWANDAN: An inhabitant of a small African country = ‘sprinted’ round a baton

27a    Fix start without heartless Beam with Queen (11)
GERRYMANDER: ‘To fix (eg constituency boundaries) = a start (4) round a beam (3) with the middle letter removed + ‘with’ (3) + our Queen


2d    Measure of current in storm creates charge (7)
RAMPAGE: A unit of electric current inside ‘to storm’

3d    Go over lake keeping north like some birds (9)
PASSERINE: ‘To go over’ + one of the Great Lakes round N (north)

4d    Benefit cut shifting Republican to centre (5)
SERVE: ‘To benefit’ = ‘to cut’ with the letter R (Republican) moved to the centre of the word

5d    Fix old man up after time in bar (7)
TAPROOM: T (time) + a reversal of ‘to fix (a boat by rope)’ and a father (old man) = a bar in a pub

6d    Crack soldiers providing ‘Keep frosty’ (7)
ORIFICE: Soldiers not holding commissions + ‘providing’ + ‘keep frosty’

7d    Live current cut power lacking current? Goodness! (11)
BENEVOLENCE: ‘To live’ (2) + ‘current’ or ‘up-to-date’ (3) with the last letter removed + power (8) with the letter I (electric current) removed

8d    Reportedly reached one’s limit, getting cross (6)
PIQUED: A homophone of ‘reached one’s limit’ = ‘cross’ or ‘annoyed’

11d    Transmit here ensuring coverage for pieces (11)

16d    Whip a worker stowing away artist in boat (9)
CATAMARAN: A whip + A + a worker round a Royal Academician

18d    Periodically nutmegged, receiving supporter’s anger (7)
UMBRAGE: Alternate letters of NUTMEGGED round the usual supporter of parts of the female anatomy

19d    One that separates perhaps acquiring new lover (7)
PARTNER: One who separates round N (new)

20d    Work up on coach carriage (7)
POSTAGE: A reversal of ‘work’ + a coach (vehicle) = a charge for conveyance of an item

21d    Dexterous after opening of soft drink (6)
SHANDY: The first letter of SOFT + ‘dexterous’

23d    Tone heard rhythmically, usually monotonous primarily (5)

Here’s to the next hundred!


17 comments on “Toughie 2285

  1. Many congratulations to Beam on reaching his century (that’s approximately 3,000 clues without an anagram!). Thanks to him for the enjoyable Toughie and to Bufo for the explanations.
    The clues I liked best were 1a, 9a, 12a and 11d.

  2. Congratulations to Beam on his Toughie Century

    I found this particular crossword tougher than his usual and the answer to my emailed question ‘is it Beam or me?’ was that it was definitely him

    Thanks to Beam and Bufo

  3. Blimey….. now that was a challenge! The bottom half went in with considerably less effort than the top.

    Many thanks to Beam and congratulations on the century, and thanks to Bufo for the write-up.

  4. A much more enjoyable puzzle after two GK rich puzzles. 3d – the birds – was the only word I did not know and that was fairly easily guessed after the checking letters were filled in. So no need for electronic help today. I even spotted the usually notorious Ray T lurkers quickly today which is pleasing as I seem to regularly fail to spot them till late in the solve. For me it would rate a middle difficulty puzzle with an extra star for enjoyment

    I suspect it is back to the GK tomorrow

    Many thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and Bufo for the blog

  5. A fine puzzle to mark the occasion – tough but doable
    Many thanks and congratulations to Beam and thanks also to Bufo

  6. :phew:
    That was most definitely a tough Toughie! It was probably the toughest Beam that I have tackled but I really enjoyed it.
    I’m not totally convinced by “rush” = “raid” in 10a, and, like Bufo, assumed it was “reed” even to the point of checking my BRB for “reeped” as the answer.
    On my crowded podium today are 1a, 9a, 27a, 11d & 18d.
    Many thanks, Beam, and congratulations on your century. Please keep them coming! Thanks too to Bufo.

  7. An excellent way to reach one’s century – thoroughly enjoyed teasing this one out.
    Masses of ‘favourites’ but eventually narrowed it down to 2,3 & 8d plus 11d just because I like the sound of the word!

    Devotions as always to Mr T/Beam :rose: :heart: :good: and thanks to Bufo for the blog.

  8. A proper Toughie to mark a milestone. Tough but not too mind bending.

    Many congrats to Beam for the achievement and thanks to him and Bufo for their work today.

  9. I became a little bit confused … 2 clues starting with “Fix” and 2 clues starting with “Crack” … kept going back to the wrong clue doing it on-line. Must buy a new printer cartridge.

    Congrats to Beam for reaching 100 and thanks to Bufo for explaining the “Fix” in 27a.

  10. Evening all. Many thanks to Bufo for the analysis and to all for your comments. Much appreciated, as always.


    1. Good evening, Mr T, and many congratulations – you’ve given us a lot of pleasure, long may it continue.

  11. We got into trouble in the NW. In 2d we had used RANT as the storm part of the wordplay which gave real problems with the last letter of 14a. Took ages to sort that out. The rest of the puzzle flowed smoothly but not quickly with this setters usual generous measure of grin-worthy clues.
    Checked the word count of course.
    Thanks and congratulations on your ton Beam, and to Bufo.

  12. Knew it was a Beam just by looking at it. Well, 27a helped a bit.
    Took some time on the last two in 19d and 25a but managed to finish unaided.
    Biggest penny drop moments were in 9a and 17a.
    Favourite is the lurker in 11d.
    Congratulations and thanks to RayT and thanks to Bufo for the review.

Comments are closed.