Toughie 2384 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2384

Toughie No 2384 by Beam

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

All the trademark references you’d expect were all correctly ‘on parade’ in this Beam crossword which, for me anyway, just crept over the border into Toughie time

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a    Peerage appear nearly blue taking to Conservative (11)
ARISTOCRACY Almost all (nearly) of a synonym for appear and a word associated with things blue or risqué, into which is inserted (taking) TO (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Conservative

9a    Smuggled booze before start of Government disposal (7)
RANGING A synonym for smuggled and a spirit (booze) go before the ‘start’ of Government

10a    Busy chef acts nice, avoiding extremes (6)
HECTIC ‘Avoid’ the extremes or outside letters of cHEf aCTs nICe

12a    Girl is so mesmerising keeping supple (7)
LISSOME Lurking in girL IS SO MEsmerising

13a    Concerned with morning sickness clutching a container (7)
MATINAL An originally French word for sickness ‘clutching’ A (from the clue) and a container

14a    Turns pale seeing fashions clothing sweetheart (5)
FADES Some short-lived fashions ‘clothing’ the heart of swEet

15a    Yours truly’s getting in a state for passion (9)
ANIMATION An informal way our setter might say ‘yours truly is’ inserted between A (from the clue) and a body of people (state)

17a    Strong return of Queen implied penning single (9)
RESILIENT A reversal (return) of the regnal cipher of our current Queen followed by an adjective meaning implied which ‘pens’ an I (single)

20a    Manage to secure head of stiff brush (5)
COPSE A nice misleading surface reading as this isn’t the sort of brush you’d use to sweep the floor. The ‘head’ of Stiff is secured by a verb meaning to manage

22a    Managed walk clenching toes occasionally (7)
TREATED A synonym for walk ‘clenching’ the occasional letters of ToEs

24a    One doesn’t dream about stars? (7)
REALIST A preposition meaning about and an informal term for an important group of celebrities (stars)

25a    Pass on right holding vehicle’s first switch (6)
DIVERT A verb meaning to pass on and the abbreviation for right ‘holding’ the first letter of Vehicle

26a    Hold back Jack’s vessel, circling area (7)
ABSTAIN An abbreviated sailor plus an S (Jack’S) and a vessel (formerly known in 13a as a container) into which is inserted (circling) A (area)

27a    Grit from shopkeeper’s is ten cents (11)
PERSISTENCE Lurking in shopkeePERS IS TEN CEnts

Down

2d    Excessive unions oddly over America supporting Republican (7)
RUINOUS The odd letters of UnIoNs, the cricket abbreviation meaning Over and an abbreviation for America all go after (supporting in a Down clue) the abbreviation for Republican

3d    Quarantine giving empty sample, say, in jar (9)
SEGREGATE The outside letters (empty) of SamplE followed by the abbreviation meaning for example (say) which is inserted into a verb meaning to jar

4d    Language of Greece has arcane meaning initially (5)
OGHAM The initial letters of Of Greece Has Arcane Meaning

5d    Cheese whiff rising, about caught too much! (7)
RICOTTA A reversal (rising) of a synonym for whiff goes ‘about’ the abbreviation for caught and a three-letter abbreviation meaning too much

6d    Greek character opposed to drink (7)
CHIANTI A Greek letter and a preposition meaning opposed to

7d    Spread talk about Old Time Religion’s opening (11)
PROLIFERATE If like me, you solved the inside backpager first, then you’ll definitely have experienced a touch of déjà vu. A verb meaning to talk foolishly goes about the abbreviation for Old, a period of time and the ‘opening’ of Religion

8d    Left over umpteen umbrellas expected after vacation (6)
UNUSED The outside letters (after vacation) of UmpteeN UmbrellaS ExpecteD

11d    Hidden family fortune detailed end of inheritance (11)
CLANDESTINE A family or tribe followed by some fate or fortune with its final letter removed (detailed) and replaced by the ‘end’ of inheritancE

16d    Smart hotshot bottling anger about computer connection (9)
INTERFACE An adverb meaning smart in the sense of fashionable and a skilful person or expert between which is inserted (bottling) a reversal (about) of a verb meaning to vex or irritate (anger)

18d    Unproductive life’s origin in lake under stone (7)
STERILE The ‘origin’ of Life inserted into one of the Great Lakes, the result then put ‘under’ the abbreviation for stone

19d    Culture seen in V&A? (7)
LETTERS A description of culture or quality in learning or literature could also describe the characters seen in V&A

20d    Timeless copies young lady’s almost wearing (7)
CLASSIC Almost all of a way of saying a young lady is ‘wearing’ the abbreviation for copies

21d    First Victorian Prince Consort familiarly (6)
PRIMAL Victorians were typically said to be this adjective meaning stiffly formal. I’m not sure, however, whether even Queen Victoria herself would be so familiar as to refer to her Prince Consort in the informally diminutive fashion required to finish solving this clue!

23d    Starts to display overly tender emotions, say (5)
DOTES The starts to Display Overly Tender Emotions Say

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23 comments on “Toughie 2384
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  1. Took a while but got there in the end with a little 27a. Don’t quite get the connection to disposal in 9a and learnt a new language thanks to 4d. My favourite clue today was 18d. Thanks to Beam and CS

  2. An enjoyable puzzle typical of Beam where the main difficulty (for me anyway) comes not from the wordplay but from reconciling the stretched elastic of some of the synonyms.
    The clues on my podium were 10a, 13a and 24a.
    Thanks to Beam and the indefatigable CS.

  3. This was completed in a time I would normally solve a back-page puzzle, however as mentioned above by Gazza, I also had a problem reconciling some of my answers with the synonyms.

    Many thanks to Beam and to CS.

  4. I always enjoy a Beam Toughie and this one was no exception.

    As Gazza says it can be a challenge with his puzzles sorting out some of the stretched synonyms, and I would cite three examples putting last the one most likely to be Pointless (as per the TV quiz show):
    – Implied / Silent : Just about OK
    – Anger / Fret : OK-ish, but for me there is a difference in intensity
    – Disposal / Ranging : Hmm …

    4d was a new word for me and 24a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Beam and to CS.

  5. I hesitated over 20a as I couldn’t equate brush with a copse. However, the BRB mentions a thicket so I suppose it will do. Very obscure.
    Agree I cannot understand 9a.
    COTD. 11d

  6. Well what an enjoyable experience after today’s stinker of a (nearly) back-pager. 2* for stirring the grey matter & 5* for the clueing. I have no problem with 9a & 20a, unlike others. Had to think about 16d, got there eventually. Thanks Beam & CS.

  7. What a pleasure to have this to turn to after that joyless back-pager. What’s a stretched synonym between friends – we all know Ray T well enough by now and I’ve no doubt that he can justify all of them!
    Podium places here went to 13&24a plus 11d.

    The usual devotions to Mr T and thanks to CS for the review.

  8. Wasn’t too keen on the surface in this rather straightforward Beam.
    17a is such a nice word and in France, very much associated to Boris Cyrulnik.
    Probably doesn’t mean anything to you but that’s what came to my mind when I saw that answer.
    Liked 24a.
    Thanks to Beam and to CS.

  9. All the usual fun that we have come to expect from this setter with lots of chuckles in the surface readings.
    It took us quite a lot longer than it did today’s blogger apparently.
    Checked the word count of course.
    Thanks Beam and CS.

  10. A first comment on a crossword for a few months. Home improvements meant a rest from crosswords for a while, followed by a period of catching up. The previous Beam Toughie seemed a bit harder than usual which I found pleasing as my only real complaint about Beam Toughie’s is that they are only slightly harder than Ray T back-pagers. So I was hoping today’s puzzle would continue the trend. Alas no – this one seemed to be at the most gentle end of the Mr T range.

    Nevertheless it was a jolly good puzzle that was fun to solve. I rather like the synonym elasticity he uses since he almost always sticks to mainstream vocabulary. I would guess I only need to look up an unknown word in a Beam/Ray T puzzle about 5 times a year – in comparison the number often reaches double figures for one Giovanni toughie. That said I was very unsure about the “disposal” synonym and had to look at the blog to check my answer.

    With thanks to Mr T and CS

  11. That was more enjoyable than the Cryptic and no more difficult. IMHO 21d is a bit dodgy. A couple of nudges needed in the SE to complete. Thank you Beam and CS.

  12. I agree with most of the comments above, particularly about the cryptic which I too thought was an absolute stinker. At least with RayT the answers are all accessible from the clues. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 18d. Many thanks to RayT and CS.

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