Toughie 2456 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2456

Toughie 2456 by Beam

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ****Enjoyment **

A typical Beam crossword – all the expected elements are there – clues with no more than seven words, no anagrams, a sweetheart and the usual (stretched or otherwise) synonyms, plus the return of Her Majesty who, after the “Distanced Official Birthday Celebrations” last Saturday, has obviously decided it is safe to return to Crosswordland!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    The man’s on dope leading to habit (7)
CLOTHES An abbreviated way of saying the man’s goes on or after an informal term for a fool (dope)

5a    Device dumps after glitch returns (7)
GUBBINS An informal term for a device (which I haven’t heard for many a long year – my dad was fond of using the word) is obtained by reversing (returns) a glitch and following it with another way of saying dumps or discards

9a    Mechanic needed with fan losing power (7)
ARTISAN Remove (losing) the P for power from a blind or unreasoning fan of a party or faction

10a    Possibly having standards lowered? (7)
FLAGGED Another way of saying lowered in the sense of being languid or spiritless sounds like one might have lots of bunting

11a    Drink nearly undiluted drop in vacant solitude (9)
SNAKEBITE Almost all of a synonym for undiluted and a small part (drop) inserted into the outside letters (vacant) of SolitudE produces a drink made from a mixture of lager and cider

12a    Rocked for the audience in leather (5)
SUEDE A homophone (for the audience) of a synonym for rocked (slowly from side to side)

13a    Ancient texts are old custom almost rejected (5)
SUTRA A reversal (rejected) of an (old) archaic way of saying ‘are’ and almost all of synonym for custom

15a    Seconds after otherwise eating balanced snack (9)
ELEVENSES I wonder how many people still stop what they are doing to enjoy this morning snack? The abbreviation for Seconds goes after another way of saying otherwise (usually preceded by or) ‘eating’ a synonym for balanced

17a    Bounds, more cocky, embracing yours truly’s sweetheart (9)
PERIMETER A word meaning more impertinent (more cocky) ’embracing’ the way Beam would refer to himself (yours truly) plus his usual swEetheart

19a    Made money without station ultimately having listeners (5)
EARED Remove the ultimate letter of station from a way of saying made money

22a    Composer‘s eulogy airs occasionally (5)
ELGAR The occasional letters of EuLoGy AiRs

23a    Ignorant reportedly get a peerage (9)
BENIGHTED This adjective meaning ignorant would, if split 2,7, sound like someone was receiving a peerage

25a    Chapter by person launching garments (7)
CLOBBER The abbreviation for chapter followed by someone launching something in a high, slow arc

26a    Indecent old boy sighted, we hear (7)
OBSCENE The abbreviation for Old Boy and a homophone (we hear) of a synonym for sighted

27a    Fasten belt finally covered by some fullness (7)
SATIETY A verb meaning to fasten and the final letter of belt ‘covered’ by a word meaning some in the sense of ‘for example’

28a    Reduce some anguish or tension (7)
SHORTEN Found in some anguiSH OR TENsion


1d    Body of Church unaltered accommodating Saint (7)
CHASSIS The abbreviation for church and a two-word phrase meaning unaltered ‘accommodating’ the single-letter abbreviation for Saint

2d    Overthrow welcoming execution over exile (7)
OUTCAST Reverse (over) a synonym for execution and insert it into a verb meaning to overthrow or expel

3d    Initially having abandoned speed, takes excessive speed (5)
HASTE The initial letters of Having Abandoned Speed Takes Excessive

4d    Feeling excited about new issue raised (9)
SENTIMENT In a state of ecstasy (excited) goes about a reversal of the abbreviation for New and a verb meaning to issue

5d    Boss dropping right clanger (5)
GAFFE Omit (dropping) the abbreviation for right from the boss of a gang of workmen

6d    Undergarment that is about below neck (9)
BRASSIERE The abbreviated way of saying that is and the two-letter word used to mean ‘about’ go below an informal term for audacity (neck)

7d    Entering artist quarter (7)
INGRESS The surname of a French neoclassical painter, who I first learned of many crosswords ago, and a quarter of the compass produce a means of entering

8d    Endless end assumed, assuming rising misery (7)
SADNESS Hidden in reverse (rising) in endleSS END ASsumed

14d    Rare butterfly effect’s start around butterfly’s opening (9)
ADMIRABLE A type of butterfly and the ‘start’ of Effect go around the ‘opening’ of Butterfly

16d    Queen single in start cut being faulty (9)
ERRONEOUS The regnal cipher of our current Queen followed by a truncated (cut) verb meaning start into which is inserted a single number

17d    Probes knights perhaps surrounding rook (7)
PIERCES Knights being examples of items used to play chess – insert (surrounding) the abbreviation for Rook into a name for these items 

18d    Weed garden’s first bed raised in grass (7)
RAGWORT The first letter of Garden and a reversal (raised) of a bed inserted into a verb meaning to inform on (grass)

20d    More bitter, shown up accepting European withdrawal (7)
RETREAT A reversal (shown up in a Down clue) of a way of saying more bitter or sharp into which is inserted (accepting) the abbreviation for European

21d    Outrage seeing ‘fake news’ contains nothing (7)
DUDGEON Fake or counterfeit followed by a slang term for information (news) into which is inserted (contains) the letter that can represent ‘nothing’

23d    Powerful heartless tyrant besieging resistance (5)
BURLY  Powerful in the sense of big and sturdy.  Remove the middle letter (heartless) from a tyrant and insert (besieging) the abbreviation for Resistance

24d    Enjoyment is over following sudden wind (5)
GUSTO The cricket abbreviation for Over follows a sudden wind

So, unless 22a has had a complete ‘difficulty level’ transplant in tomorrow’s Toughie, we will have had a whole week of crosswords actually on the Toughie difficulty spectrum. I wonder if this trend will continue – I do hope so


28 comments on “Toughie 2456

  1. Not overly difficult we felt but got 2d using the first and last words of the clue without seeing the full parsing by crypticsue! Hadn’t heard of 13a but the checkers and parse helped. Last in 27a.
    Very enjoyable puzzle.
    COTD 15a.
    Thanks as always to all concerned.

  2. It seems that I enjoyed this one more than our reviewer did but then everyone knows I share Kath’s penchant for this particular setter.
    Thought Mr T was in somewhat ‘old-fashioned’ mode today with his dope, snack, ignorant person and type of dress but it was all good fun. Nice to see Her Majesty back on the scene but I have to say that 11a has no appeal at all – can’t stand either of the ingredients and doubt that mixing them together would make it any more palatable!
    1a made me laugh and 5a got a big tick for exactly the same reason as CS gave.

    Devotions to Mr T under his Beam hat and to CS for the review and the pics of our avian friends.

  3. Pretty much what we’ve come to expect from a Beam Toughie – no anagrams but a few ‘How on earth can x mean y?’ head-scratching moments.
    Thanks to Beam and CS.
    The clues I liked best were 1a and 21d.

    1. Oh yes, I forgot to include 21d in my ‘old-fashioned’ list – thank you for the reminder, Gazza.
      Still wrestling with your clue from yesterday and trying without success to conjure up an anagram. Could you put me out of my misery, please?

        1. No wonder I failed with an attempt at an anagram. You’re right, Gazza, it was very funny and probably extremely apt under the circumstances!

          1. I thought it was an anagram too and came up with Saint Luke as in the hospital, not even noticing I had the enumeration wrong.
            It was late, working every shift at the restaurant and becoming a bit soft in the head.

  4. I am in Jane’s camp on this one, which I found nicely tough and very enjoyable. I don’t think 23a works – being knighted is not the same thing as being awarded a peerage.

    5a was my favourite, nosing just ahead of 21d.

    Many thanks to Beam and to CS.

    1. The only thing I could come up with was a meaning of ‘approximately’ in a sentence like ‘The meal cost some forty pounds’. Not great though, is it?

      1. Thanks Gazza. That’s better than anything I could come up with. But they still don’t sound synonymous to me. The one is “approx” but the other is “for example”.

  5. Took a long time but eventually got there. Query 18d. Row a synonym for bed? I must be missing something. I assume it must relate to a garden, but not convinced. Like 21d

    1. In Chambers Crossword Dictionary, row is a synonym of bed but bed is not a synonym of row

  6. I enjoyed this very much. The NE corner put up the most resistance. I am pretty sure I have encountered the device in 5a and the artist in 7d in previous puzzles, but it took me a while to drag them from the depths of memory. I thought 8d was cleverly hidden (either that or it took me far longer to spot than it should have). Many thanks to Beam and crypticsue.

  7. Typical Beam crossword with some great clues as usual. I normally look for lurkers in a Beamer but 8d eluded me until the end along with 5a which I nominate as clue of the day. Ray is almost guaranteed to bring in some sort of undies and this was no different. Also liked 4 11 14 15 16 17a and both 23s. Thanks to Beam and to CS for the pics.

  8. I enjoyed this. Took a while but it’s nice to see a more marked step up in challenge from the back page. Spent way too long to get 17d so that gets my award today. Thanks to CS and Beam.

  9. Good to revisit proper Toughieland. Got the answers but needed CS’ help to get round why! Parsing 9a, 13a & 4d escaped me, so thanks CS and Beam for the much-needed brain workout. 3*/3*.

  10. I found this very tough going, properly so for a Beam Toughie. Never did finish, alas, with 8 unsolved clues when I finally gave up and went to bed last night. Even with a fresh mind this morning, I could get no further. But I especially liked these among the ones I did solve: 7, 21, and 18d. I didn’t know 5a and 25a but should have answered the others that stumped me. Just not having a good day. Thanks for the hints, crypticsue and many thanks to Beam for the learning experience. ***** / ***

  11. An enjoyable solve I liked 12 across COTD was 16 down for me, 5 across was a new word for me and I had to reread the parsing for 21 down thank you to Bean and Cryptic Sue.

  12. Generally I found the parsing difficult today ( mainly charades) and some definitions went in without the certainty that they were correct!
    I agree with Crypticsues ****/**.
    Don’t remember seeing 27a in print-usually the verb is used.
    Anyway to be fair there were no obscurities and I was pleased that I remembered the French painter !.
    Liked 6d and 23a brought a smile.
    Pleasant afternoon as I watched Royal Ascot between solves-The gold cup was my favourite !

  13. I was pleasantly surprised at the difficulty rating as 75% of this flew in pretty quickly for me for a Toughie & at that stage thought it not a great deal tougher than some of his Thursday back pagers. Predictably I ground to a halt with 2d, 11a, 13a & 27a to go.
    Revealed the 3rd letter A in 11a which enabled me to complete the NW but needed the hint for 27a. Knew it was something to do with sate but wasn’t familiar with the noun & concur with Halcyon’s point re the very stretched synonym.
    Needed help to parse 18d & Mr G for the painter but otherwise quite chuffed to have got within touching distance of an unaided finish.
    Thanks to all

    1. Hi Mr T and thank you for your usual nod to the blog.
      Quite a few of those answers sent me wandering down memory lane – enjoyed the trip!

  14. Thoroughly enjoyable as ever.
    Checked the word count and 7 is the maximum again with this one.
    Thanks Beam and CS

  15. The SW was quite hard to get into.
    Finished with 23d and 27a.
    Thanks to Beam and to CS.

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