Toughie 2583 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2583

Toughie No 2583 by Beam

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

This crossword would have fitted very nicely on the back page of a Thursday edition of the Daily Telegraph, so, for me anyway, it doesn’t quite make it onto the Toughie spectrum. Although we have the expected concise clues, we are missing both Her Majesty and a sweetheart, and the synonyms aren’t quite as stretched as normal either.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Liquid refreshment? (12)
HYDROTHERAPY A cryptic definition of a refreshing treatment using water (liquid)

9a    New skill backing broadcast traps one fugitive (9)
TRANSIENT A synonym for impermanent (fugitive) – a reversal (backing) wiotof the abbreviation for New and some skill followed by a verb meaning broadcast which ‘traps’ I (one)

10a    Groom and page never returned (5)
PREEN The abbreviation for page and a reversal (returned) of a contraction of the word never

11a    Support rent about everybody rejected (6)
PILLAR A reversal (about) of a verb meaning to rent or tear ‘about’ a synonym for everybody

12a    Knife given excessive turning by upright member (8)
STILETTO An upright member in framing or panelling is followed by a reversal (turning) of a three-letter informal abbreviation meaning excessive

13a    Reject wasting second for grand asylum (6)
REFUGE Change the S in a verb meaning to reject for a G (grand)

15a    Crush hearts admitting politician succeeded (8)
COMPRESS Some hearts or centres ‘admitting’ an abbreviated politician, the abbreviation for succeeded being added at the end

18d    Blasting last of birds making owl noises (8)
SHOOTING The last letter of birds and a way of making owl noises

19a    Let rapture not end all empty (6)
RENTED The outside letters (all empty) of RapturE NoT EnD

21a    Sailor’s right circling sea’s opening deep (8)
ABSTRUSE An abbreviated sailor’S and an adjective meaning right ‘circling’ the opening letter of Sea

23a    Worries surrounding start of incisor decay (6)
CARIES Some worries ‘surrounding’ the start or first letter of Incisor

26a    Blundered being picked up in East End (5)
ERRED Sounds like the way a Cockney (who drops his aitches) might say picked up

27a    Persuade European assuming period is fair (9)
TEMPERATE A verb meaning to persuade and the abbreviation for European, into which is inserted (assuming) a period of time

28a    Keen to keep word ‘sex’ occasional (12)
INTERMITTENT An adjective meaning with a fixed aim (keen) into which is inserted (to keep) a word used in a defined sense and an informal term for sex [appeal]


1d    Rash man to sup oddly in time (7)
HOTSPUR A fiery person of uncontrolled temper (originally applied to Henry Percy, Henry IV Part 1) – the odd (or here the even) letters of tO sUp inserted into a period of time

2d    Diction rather associated with languor, principally (5)
DRAWL The principal letters of Diction Rather Associated With Langour

3d    Some buffoons laugh, taking charge (9)
ONSLAUGHT Hidden in some buffoONS LAUGHT Taking

4d    Note that man would put around base (4)
HEED A way of saying ‘that man’ put around the letter that is the base of the natural system of logarithms

5d    Turn to revolutionary, in part (8)
ROTATION A reversal (revolutionary) of TO (from the clue) inserted into a part or allowance

6d    Student is finished, caught by rising impudence (5)
PUPIL A simple way of saying finished is inserted into ‘caught by’ a reversal (rising) of some slang impudence

7d    Street people wearing check robe (8)
VESTMENT The abbreviation for street and some people go inside (wearing) a verb meaning to check

8d    Disturbs, making a racket in conversation (6)
ANNOYS A homophone (in conversation) of a loud sound (racket)

14d    Love god overly feminine turning tender (8)
FOOTSORE A reversal (turning) of the god of love, an adverb meaning overly and the abbreviation for Feminine

16d    Avoid endless beer during that pandemic (9)
PREVALENT After the dreadful times we’ve had in the last year, you tend to forget that pandemic can be an adjective too – a way of saying avoid or stop into which is inserted some beer without the final letter (endless)

17d    Cigarettes in abundance holding drink up (8)
ANISETTE Hidden in reverse (up) in cigarETTES IN Abundance

18d    It‘s finally his own razor, initially (6)
SHAVER The final letter of hiS, a verb meaning to own and the initial letter of Razor

20d    Cut record time, cut by someone gutted (7)
DISSECT A record and the abbreviation for time ‘cut’ by the outside (gutted) letters of SomeonE

22d    Occasionally great fellow produces gas (5)
RADON The occasional letters of gReAt and a fellow of a college or university

24d    Picture that is in publication? No (5)
IMAGE No, the abbreviated publication goes in the abbreviation meaning that is

25d    He leads among Islamic men at mosque (4)
IMAM The ‘leads’ of Islamic Men At Mosque

Had I been sent this crossword to test by one of my ‘creche’ I’d certainly have queried whether six clues requiring something to be reversed was too many, especially as there are four in a row in the Acrosses.

40 comments on “Toughie 2583

  1. What a relief compared with today’s back-pager. I found this nicely challenging and very enjoyable in spite of all the reversing.

    17d was my last one in, and I had been on the point of giving up when I finally remembered “when all else fails, check for a lurker”. I didn’t know the upright member in 12a.

    Jostling on the podium are 2d, 3d, 17d & 18d.

    Many thanks to Beam and to CS.

  2. I feel that sometimes the only difference between a Ray T puzzle and a Beam is the lack of anagrams in the latter and today’s puzzle could have appeared on the back page.
    Thanks to Beam and CS.
    My ticks went to 26a and 14d.

  3. Still fairly new to toughies, and found this harder to complete than the backpager. Enjoyed the tussle though. 27a and 28a last ones in, as was looking for alternative definitions, having been misled by the clues. Disappointing you found it so easy Crypticsue. Thanks to you and Beam.

    1. CrypticSue has been solving several puzzles a day for quite some time. She has also been reviewing puzzles since the beginning of this blog. As well as test solving for several setters. I’d be more worried if Sue didn’t find puzzles easy. Big Dave said to me at the last Birthday Bash that before starting the blog he began a puzzle hoping to finish it and now he begins a puzzle expecting to finish it. I think it’s the same for most of the blogging team. Don’t let us put you off. We don’t mean to

      1. It’s a bit weird though that CS found this 1* easy but the backpager 5* difficult, and I was the other way round. I think there’s an opportunity for a PhD in wavelength theory – despite what you said yesterday. Nuff said.

        1. Cs has a two puzzle tier system, I believe?

          PS. Who is “Nuff”?

          PPS. Back to lockdown food preparation, sorry.

          1. I do indeed. One for the back page crossword and then my Toughie scale moves from 1* for a puzzle that is more difficult than a Friday backpager up to 5* for the really tricky ones like Elgar

            Today’s Beam was about a 4* backpager

            1. Funny, I take no notice of where the puzzles are or what publication they’re in – they’re all the same in my book
              To me a puzzle is either easy, fair to middling or hard
              Elgar is in his own league

              1. 👍

                “His own league..” …As were Coventry (and others) perhaps? 😉

                But seriously, if one can be, I do struggle with the idea of rating different crosswords, (Times, FT, DT, mis-spelt left wing propaganda press, etc., ) beyond actual time spent and, perhaps, a bit of a “feeling”; but I do respect CS for her consistency , even if i’m sometimes too stupid to understand it.?

        2. I agree with you cryptor – I took much longer with this than the back page and don’t really know why

  4. I agree this wasn’t terribly difficult and I hope that those who don’t often attempt a Toughie might be tempted to give this one a go. If they completed the backpager this should be very doable. The excellent reverse lurker at 17d, my final entry, was my favourite.

    My thanks to Mr T for the fun and to CS.

  5. I’m sorry that this one didn’t cut the mustard for CS and Gazza but it was perfect for me and just the right antidote for today’s back-pager. There’s a huge sense of satisfaction in completing a puzzle and having all the entries make sense!
    Podium places here went to 18,23&26a plus 3&24d.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and thanks to CS for the review.

  6. An enjoyable canter.
    Like others last in was 17d.
    Regular “back” pager solvers should find this pretty straightforward.
    (Why do advertisers waste their money on the back of the DT?)
    Thanks to Beam and to CS, although unusually I didn’t require the hints/explanations.

    1. To reduce their tax bill – spend profit or pay a load of tax on it, there is a balance point
      Similar to using up your ‘hospitality’ tax allowance with lavish parties and junkets

      1. The hospitality allowance has always been used by me to the full and beyond. My staff have always been my biggest asset. They deserved it.

        1. Exemplary attitude towards your staff MP, agree wholeheartedly in most cases

          When I worked in the events industry it was not uncommon to have a meeting with an in-house coordinator to discuss how we could bump up the cost by any means possible. In some cases we simply increased the compulsory insurance from 1.5% to 35%, in other cases the customer demanded everything was brand new – marquees, furniture, lighting, the lot. The amount of customers paying with bin bags of cash was also astonishing
          The money was like a hot potato; everyone trying to shift it on to another supplier, bizarre

        2. We even had a budget called Research and development which was used to take everybody out in various restaurants. Some kind of industrial espionage really.

  7. Thoroughly enjoyable, especially since I finished this gentle Toughie in record time for me. But oh that back-pager! Thanks to CS and to Beam.

  8. Well serves me right for looking at the comments while still trying to figure out 17d. Not much booze I’m unfamiliar with but this is one & a lurker did occur but obviously didn’t look at it properly. Other than that no real problems though like RD thought the first bit of 12a was only something you clamber over in the countryside. Very enjoyable & far more so than the back page slog today & while I agree it was gentle still thought it a shade trickier than Mr T’s typical cryptic slot output. Pick of the bunch for me was 14d which is what I am after a very lengthy walk this afternoon in surprisingly mild weather.
    Thanks to Ray T & to CS for her review which I’ll now read.

    1. I was given a hardly started bottle of 17d for my birthday in 1976 by the landlord of my local… Only time I’ve ever seen / drunk it!

      1. Assume it’s like pastis – remember getting considerably the worse for wear on Pernod in my youth

    2. Hi, Huntsman. 17d was my LOI. I drank some of that lethal stuff in Madrid once, and it knocked me out for hours. Pernod is a breeze compared to it. I thought I remembered that Hemingway alludes to a bout with 17d in one of his stories, and I thought it was incumbent on me at the time (I was much younger) to show what a macho chap I was, grace under stress, y’know.

  9. 1d made me think about BD straightforward.
    As in the back page my favourite is a homophone: 8d.
    Thanks to Beam and to CS.

  10. I’m with RD and Jane in that this was nicely challenging and significantly more difficult than today’s rather inconsistent back pager, indeed more difficult than any Ray T to boot.
    I particularly liked the acrostic at 2d, the excellent lurker at 3d, the amusing 26a and the topical 16d.
    Many thanks to Beam and CS .

  11. Doesn’t make it into the Toughie spectrum CS? Then please tell me why I have only solved 4 clues? No don’t tell me…I feel enough of an idiot already!

  12. Quite a difference today with none of Beam’s usual suspects. Still we had 2 very good lurkers and the interesting14d which I eventually solved as my last one in. The puzzle was on the mild side today but that did not detract from the enjoyment.

  13. This had no obscurities, unlike today’s cryptic. I found this the easier of the two. Thanks all round.

  14. SE my nemesis this afternoon/evening due to never having heard of 23a, mis-parsing 19a and my inability to spell 20d anyway. Oh well! Lessons learned. Favourite was 21a thanks to Beam and CS.

  15. Afternoon all! I completely forgot what day it was yesterday… My belated thanks to crypticsue for the review and to all for your comments.


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