Toughie 2512 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2512

Toughie No 2512 by Beam

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

A Beam Toughie with all his usual trademarks,apart from Her Majesty (she’s probably too busy packing for the move back from Balmoral to Windsor, via Sandringham). I found it particularly hard to get going, the SE being more straightforward to start with than the rest, but once I’d got on the ‘wavelength’ I finished in what I’d consider to be a middling Toughie time

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Independent published about politician being weak (8)
IMPAIRED The abbreviation for Independent and another way of saying published into which is inserted an abbreviated Member of Parliament (politician)

9a    Laws take bent essentially in stir (6)
AWAKEN The ‘essential’ letters found in the middle of lAWs tAKe bENt

10a    Copy speech one’s digested (4)
ECHO Hidden in (digested by) speECH One

11a    Beam is against assuming cunning (10)
CANTILEVER A preposition meaning against inserted into (assuming) a synonym for cunning

12a    File a nail with end of file (6)
ABRADE A (from the clue), a type of nail and the ‘end’ of filE

14a    Brown cloth backing exterior of elaborate material (8)
DUNGAREE A greyish-brown colour, a reversal (backing) of a [scrap] cloth, and the exterior of ElaboratE

15a    Trust former sweetheart to hang around clubs (6)
EXPECT A prefix meaning former and a sweetheart ‘hang around’ the abbreviation for the card suit of Clubs

17a    Taking time for one humble intellectual (6)
MENTAL Replace the I (one) in a synonym for humble with a T (taking Time)

20a    Waste time after wise man embraces wife (8)
SEWERAGE A period of time goes after a wise man into which is inserted (embraces) the abbreviation for Wife

22a    Philosopher some philosopher trashed on reflection (6)
SARTRE Hidden in reverse (on reflection) in some of philosophER TRAShed

23a    To burn perhaps, this is often split (10)
INFINITIVE The BRB describes this as the “To + verb form generally” which covers the first part of the clue; the second part refers to phrases where an adverb splits or goes between the to and the verb

24a    Little planning from recidivistic criminal (4)
PREP Some abbreviated (little) planning comes from reversing (recidivistic meaning relapsing) an informal American criminal

25a    Haggard woman adopting pet, possibly hurt (6)
SCATHE The eponymous woman in one of Rider Haggard’s novels ‘adopting’ a household pet

26a    Unwanted bugs sting initially (8)
NEEDLESS Another way of saying bugs or annoys plus the initial letter of Sting


1d    Friendly, even with cold interior (8)
AMICABLE   If you put the abbreviation for Cold inside AMIABLE (friendly) you get another word meaning friendly

2d    Tortilla, avocado, cheese, onion, all as starter? (4)
TACO The ‘starters’ of Tortilla Avocado Cheese Onion

3d    Expert about absorbed by spoken English (6)
ORACLE The Latin abbreviation for about ‘absorbed’ by a synonym for spoken and the abbreviation for English

4d    Organised Church welcomes support raised for Rapture (8)
RADIANCE Another way of saying organised and the abbreviation for the Church of England ‘welcomes’ a reversal (raised in a Down clue) of some support

5d    Schwarzenegger, say, accepting lead of famous baddie (10)
MALEFACTOR How one might describe Arnold Schwarzenegger for example ‘accepting’ the lead of Famous

6d    Vacuous, some vague ramble gets you violent (6)
SEVERE In 9a we needed the inside letters of several words, here vacuous (empty) indicates the need to use in outside letters of SomE VaguE RamblE

8d    Strip from guy without naked scenes (6)
DENUDE An originally American slang term for a man (guy) goes outside (without) the middle two letters of scENes (the removal of the four outside letters being indicated by naked)

13d    Go up to get prize? (10)
APPRECIATE To go up in value or to esteem highly (prize)

16d    One makes music and drink around gutted boozer (8)
CLARINET Some red wine (drink) goes round a drinking establishment (boozer) without its middle letter (gutted)

18d    Spending’s first, reportedly, to show generosity (8)
LARGESSE A homophone (reportedly) of how one might describe the first letter of Spending

19d    Land Army changing sides to begin (6)
REGION Change the letter representing a particular side at the start of an army with the letter that would represent the opposite side

21d    Man missing tackle? (6)
EUNUCH A cryptic definition – the BRB refers to the definition of this particular tackle as vulgar slang

22d    Capital of Israel? (6)
SHEKEL This capital being the currency rather than the city

24d    Game over with cut lifted (4)
POLO A reversal (lifted) of a synonym for cut and the cricket abbreviation for Over

25 comments on “Toughie 2512

  1. Unlike our blogger, the SE quadrant was the last to fall. There were enough gimmes to get me started, then I made steady progress with a couple of bung-ins which I later parsed. This is my first Beam, and thoroughly enjoyable it was too. 18d was probably my favourite, with 21d the biggest smile, or grimace.

    Thanks very much to the aforementioned for the challenge and to CS.

  2. There were a few gimmes [eg 2, 21 & 22d] but these apart it took a bit of getting into, a problem I often have with Beam. But as it progressed it became very satisfying to solve, with several chuckles on the way, of which 18d was the highlight. I even forgave the gibberish of 9a once it became clear how one was meant to solve it.
    Thanks to Beam and to CS for the blog.

  3. That was right on the edge of my Toughie capability but very enjoyable. I can pinch YS’s words: 18d was probably my favourite, with 21d the biggest smile, or grimace.

    Many thanks to Beam and to CS.

  4. Beam always gives us several gimmes with his acrostics and ‘hiddens’ before the trickier clues need to be tackled. Thanks to him and to CS for the blog.
    I got diverted by the capitalisation of the word rapture in 4d into checking out what it meant – it is apparently a belief held by some (mainly US) Evangelical Christians about the ‘second coming’.
    I ticked 20a, 5d and 21d (very amusing but I suspect it would not have been acceptable in the Telegraph a few years ago).

    1. They (those Rapturists, who are all around us in the American South) expect tp be upgathered and hoist by their own petard into heavenly glory. Bless them all.

  5. Could someone please explain CS’ undoubtedly excellent parsing of 24a? It’s beyond me. Thanks anyway CS, also to Mr Beam.

  6. A very enjoyable challenge with, as Gazza says, gimmes and tricky ones. Just right.

    18d was a bit of an old chestnut but a good laugh and ticks also to 11a, 21d (ouch) and 25a.

    CS, I read too much into 1d: Friendly = Amiable and EVEN AFTER you put a C into Amiable, the answer still means friendly!

    I must get out of the house one day!

    Thanks to all.

  7. Took me a couple of attempts to beat Mr T today but it was well worth the effort. 5d led me up several garden paths and 21d made me chuckle. Top three here were 20a plus 13&18d.

    My usual devotions to Mr T wearing his Beam hat and to CS for the review.

  8. Another day when this was more straightforward than the back pager which I am still struggling with. Just cannot get a handle on it.
    Like the rest, I thought 21d brilliant, I hadn’t realised until now that 14a was an actual material and I enjoyed the misleading 11a.
    9d was the last to go in as I really didn’t feel 4d was a synonym for Rapture with or without a capital.
    A good puzzle with 5d my COTD

  9. This one went in even quicker than today’s 2* time back pager. My last one in was 24a.
    I am ashamed to say that with my schoolboy humour 21d was obvious without needing to look at the checking letters.

    Many thanks to Beam and to CS.

  10. I’m quite pleased with myself. Just three in the SE corner held me up, not helped by wanting 18d to start with an ‘S’ for ages. I bunged in 24a – not an Americanism I was familiar with. Top spot then to 18d with 23a as runner up. Most enjoyable Mr Beam.

  11. Needed help but I got there in the end. I loved 1d – very clever. I was held up because I misspelt 12a and I recognised 16d from an earlier puzzle. Great fun! Many thanks, Beam, and thank you, Crypticsue for the hints – I needed them today!

  12. Evening all. My thanks to crypticsue for the analysis and to everybody else for your comments. I’m glad that most people enjoyed it.


  13. Missing Mr T in the Cryptic, I happily found him here–and I finished this marvellous Toughie unaided and quite pleased with myself. 21d cracked me up! I especially liked 11a, 14a, and 18d (my COTD), but the whole puzzle was ‘a thing of beauty and a joy forever’! Beam rules. Thanks to crypticsue for the review, which I’ll read now, and to Mr T.

    1. I meant to include 5d among my special likes. The Governator was a 5d in ways that most of his Republican fans still find too embarrassing for words.

  14. Excellent fun as usual. Checked the clue word count of course too.
    24a was our last one in and took considerable head scratching.
    Thanks Beam and CS.

  15. Pleased with myself so far this week. 3 out of 3 unaided in reasonable time. I’ve enjoyed them all, but found yesterday’s harder than today’s.
    LOI 9a. Like others, 21d my favourite
    Thanks to all

  16. Well it’s been a real battle but got there in the end albeit with hints required for half a dozen. Great crossword with some very clever clues – 5d, 11a & 21d would make it onto my podium & they can fight it out between themselves for who gets what medal.
    Thanks to Ray T & to CS for guiding me to the finish line – my brain clearly isn’t functioning well this evening

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