Toughie 2325 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2325

Toughie No 2325 by Beam

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

I made little headway with the down clues but really got going on the across ones. After that it was a steady solve. I enjoyed this puzzle which was a typical Beam one with all his usual features.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Gory, reportedly swelled a little (8)
GRUESOME: A homophone of ‘swelled’ + ‘a little’ = ‘horrible’ or ‘grisly’

9a    Making a slip chopping head off fish (6)
ERRING: Remove the first letter from a silvery sea fish with great commercial value

10a    Start to openly gaze and lecherously eye (4)
OGLE: The first letters of OPENLY, GAZE, LECHEROUSLY and EYE. ‘Starts’ might have been better than ‘start’

11a    Unwitting detectives interrupt a copper facing gangster (10)
ACCIDENTAL: A branch of the police force to which detectives belong inside an American coin (copper) + the first name of the most famous gangster

12a    Drunk, audibly lairy, occasionally finding drink (6)
NECTAR: A homophone of ‘drunk’ + alternate letters of LAIRY = the drink of the Gods

14a    Endlessly tough holding falling water with this? (8)
STRAINER: ‘Tough’ with the last letter removed round water that falls from the sky = something it would be nigh impossible to catch water in

15a    Low-down run taking victory over a run (6)
SCURVY: ‘Low-down’ or ‘shabby’ = ‘to hurry briskly’ with one letter R (run) changed to V (victory). I didn’t know this adjectival meaning of the answer

17a    The man twice caught admitting sex over fast? (6)
HECTIC: A male personal pronoun + C (caught) + reversal of ‘sex’ + C (caught)

20a    Drive around two miles in traffic (8)
COMMERCE: ‘To drive’ or ‘to compel’ round MM (two miles) = ‘traffic’ or ‘trade’

22a    Informed of Republican in weakened case (6)
WARNED: R (Republican) inside ‘weakened’ or ‘declined’

23a    Cause to contain mass upset rejected in House (10)
PARLIAMENT: A cause goes round a reversal of M (mass) and ‘to upset’ or ‘to trouble’ = a house or legislative body

24a    Paddle round top of ocean? (4)
BOAT: A paddle (as used in table tennis) round the first letter of OCEAN

25a    The French crazy about taking new subway? (6)
TUNNEL: A reversal of the French definite article and a crazy person round N (new)

26a    Scornful of sound including Queen in publicity (8)
SARDONIC: An adjective meaning ‘of sound’ round R (queen) in a piece of publicity


1d    Campaign involves brute rejecting European advance (8)
PROGRESS: ‘To campaign’ or ‘to urge strongly’ round a brute or giant with the last letter removed = ‘to advance’

2d    Fair leader of Tories in charge (4)
FETE: A fair (outdoor function) = the first letter of TORIES inside a charge for services rendered

3d    Flash character purchasing hot material (6)
MOHAIR: A flash (short period of time) + ‘character’ round H (hot) = cloth made from goat hair

4d    Nice cop with info runs in woman (8)
GENDARME: Nice is the French city. ‘Info’ + R (runs) inside a woman

5d    Radio One declined in series on unfinished collection (10)
TRANSISTOR: A type of radio that was common in my younger days = ‘series’ with the letter I (one) moved to the end + a collection with the last letter removed

6d    Extremes of uneven sea, fearsome and perilous (6)
UNSAFE: The first and last letters of UNEVEN, SEA and FEARSOME

8d    Almost damn sweetheart supporting former partner’s alibi (6)
EXCUSE: A former partner + ‘to damn’ with the last letter removed + the middle letter of SWEET

13d    Explore excavation obtaining nearly every gem (10)
TOURMALINE: ‘To explore (on a prolonged journey)’ + a commercial excavation round ‘every’ with the last letter removed

16d    Shifting sound keeps artist up (8)
VARIABLE: ‘Sound’ or ‘practicable’ round a reversal of a Royal Academician

18d    Flower circle Matisse describes (8)

19d    Handle revolutionary end to raucous parties (6)
REVELS: A reversal of a handle or bar for imparting pressure + the last letter of RAUCOUS

21d    Inside shop a queue’s becoming dense (6)

22d    Suspicious about townie on vacation getting tasteless (6)
WATERY: ‘Suspicious’ round the first and last letters of TOWNIE

24d    Disgrace of guts turning in bar (4)
BLOT: Transpose the middle two letters of a bar that slides into a hole


18 comments on “Toughie 2325

  1. 24a and 24d held me up for ages and I revealed a letter to kick-start the solve. Apart from that hiccup, I made steady progress throughout albeit on the slow side for me.

    Thanks to Bufo and Beam.

  2. Heading for a nice Beam toughie time and then, like the previous commenters, I ground to a halt with my last two – 24a and 24d – solving them took longer than most of the rest put together

    Thanks to Beam and Bufo

  3. The top half went in considerably quicker than the bottom, where my last few took a fair amount of contemplation.

    4*/4* for me.

    Thanks to Beam, and to Bufo.

  4. Ditto on the 24s. Other than that, I thought it was not much more difficult than a good Ray T back pager, completed at a Toughie gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 4d, and 13d – and the winner is 4d for the French indicator, which obviously had to be different from the straightforward one in 25a.
    A bit of a Hmm over the repeated use of the single letter for run/runs in 15a and 4d.
    Thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  5. While solving I was thinking that, apart from the anagrams, there’s not much difference between a Beam and a Ray T puzzle – then, like others it seems, I got stuck for some time on my final two clues, the two 4-letter words in the SE corner.
    Top clues for me were 15a, 6d and 24d.
    Thanks to Beam and Bufo.

  6. Although completed correctly I had great trouble parsing a few. With thanks for the explanation I still baulk at parent= cause and series= trains. Thus reduced my enjoyment to**

  7. I really enjoyed this and, like others, I got held up in the SE corner but for a different reason. I twigged 24a very quickly, but didn’t read the clue for 24d carefully enough and put in “bolt” as my answer – wrong guts turned! I only realised the error of my ways after struggling for a long time with 26a expecting an L as the fifth letter.

    I agree with Bufo that 10a would be better with “starts” and I don’t understand in 5d how “series” = “trains” assuming I’ve unravelled the wordplay correctly.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Bufo.

  8. Failed on both 24s.
    Apart from that not much to report.
    Unless I tell you that I wrote the answer to 12a in 15a.
    That slowed me down a bit.
    Thanks to Beam and to Bufo for the review.

  9. We also found the two pesky four letter answers in the SE the hardest nuts to crack but, with a little thought, we got them.
    All good fun as usual and the clue word count spot on as usual.
    Thanks Beam and Bufo.

  10. Waited until 2.30 for this and then had to go out. Back now and see I was not alone in trouble with the 24’s. My other problem is 23a. I solved it without knowing why. Is “parent” really a synonym for “cause” or am I missing something?

    1. I wondered about parent as well but definition No.4 in Collins is “A source or cause”. I´ll have to stick with Collins for now as my BRB went for a swim!

      1. Should have checked. I see “cause” is no 6 on my online Chambers dictionary. We live and learn!

  11. Yes, it was the 24’s that did for me as well. I also struggled with the parsing of 23a – parent = cause and started off wrongly with 22a thinking that the first and last letter in the answer were the ‘case’ of weakened.

    Thanks to Mr T/Beam – you won on the 24’s! Thanks also to Bufo for the review.

  12. Very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Beam. 2 nice lurkers and no anagrams as in normal Beam toughies. Got stuck on 15 and both 24s so I just stuck 24d in as I couldn’t find anything else to fit. Never heard of 15 in this context but it could not be anything else. Thanks to RayT for a mind boggling experience – the small words are always the worst to solve.

  13. I got the 24s relatively early on. It was the 3d & 12a combo that held me up for the longest time, not being at all confident with either the character in 3d nor the drunk homophone in 12a. I was pleased to be able to finish this – and enjoyed it every much along the way. Many thanks to Beam and Bufo.

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