Toughie 2615 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2615

Toughie No 2615 by Beam

Hints and tips by crypticsue

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

Another typical Beam – although it is only just a – Toughie – the extra half a difficulty star was added because of the time I spent confirming synonyms and listening to the repetition radar

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Straddle top mount? (8)
BESTRIDE The most excellent (top) and a word used to describe an animal that is ridden (mount)

5a    Confusion of curious cat losing tail (6)
RUMPUS Curious in the sense of odd and an informal cat without its last letter (losing tail)

9a    Open present (8)
MANIFEST Double definition – open or reveal; show something publicly

10a    Someone counting overs, recording every run initially (6)
SCORER The initial letters of Someone Counting Overs Recording Every Run

11a    Former sweetheart, playing hard … (8)
EXACTING A former sweetheart and a verb meaning playing or performing

12a    … reportedly dated accomplished degenerate (6)
SORDID A homophone (reportedly) of dated in the sense of went out with followed by a simple verb meaning accomplished

14a    Hide pants? (10)
LEDERHOSEN A cryptic definition of some short trousers made of animal hide

18a    Taken from under mat? It isn’t rash (10)
DERMATITIS Hidden in (taken from) unDER MAT IT ISn’t

22a    They turn article in close cut (6)
LATHES A definite article inserted into a truncated (cut) synonym of close

23a    Team score using their heads? (8)
MENTALLY A team and a score

24a    Drill oddly turned top of skull (6)
TREPAN The odd letters of TuRnEd and the upper part of the skull

25a    British qualify to receive American support (8)
BALUSTER The abbreviation for British and a verb meaning to qualify or moderate into which is inserted an abbreviation for American

26a    Sunnier seeing willow on leather, finally (6)
ROSIER A type of willow goes after the final letter of leatheR

27a    Spots son lacking resistance getting weak (8)
FECKLESS Take some small brownish spots, remove (lacking) the abbreviation for Resistance add the abbreviation for Son on the end


1d    Jostled tramp on exercise day (6)
BUMPED A chiefly North American slang word for a tramp, some school exercise and the abbreviation or day

2d    Sailor is sorry after fall from grace (6)
SINBAD A synonym for sorry goes after a fall from grace

3d    Upstanding practically formal Queen modernises (6)
REFITS A reversal (upstanding in a Down clue) of almost all of a synonym for formal and the regnal cipher of our current Queen

4d    Deprive of family jewels? (10)
DISINHERIT A cryptic definition of a way of depriving someone of everything of value in their household

6d    Bare relative remaining without bottoms (8)
UNCLOTHE A male relative and a adjective meaning remaining, each without their final (bottom) letter

7d    March saving lives for Heaven (8)
PARADISE A march ‘saving’ a simple verb meaning lives

8d    Thundering sea-god’s first spear (8)
STRIDENT The first letter of Sea-god and a spear

13d    Consider composer almost penning ‘Time after Time’ (10)
DELIBERATE Almost all of the surname of a French Romantic composer, a period of time and the abbreviation for Time

15d    What’s often said in church following worshipper (8)
IDOLATER What’s often said in a marriage ceremony in church and an adjective meaning following

16d    Trigger’s entrance with rogues Del and Rodney? (8)
TROTTERS The ‘entrance’ to Trigger and some rogues

17d    Judge supports material torture (8)
LACERATE To afflict or distress severely (torture) – a verb meaning to judge supports or goes after a type of material

19d    Firm around mid-afternoon stopped work? (6)
STRUCK Set fast (firm) goes ’round’ the letter in the middle of afteRnoon

20d    Unwilling to wear Church attire (6)
CLOTHE An adjective meaning unwilling goes inside (to wear) the abbreviation for the Church of England – so who else thought ‘surely this can’t be right?’ as we’ve already had the same word as part of 6d

21d    Island choosy passenger underrates showing regular vacancies (6)
CYPRUS The outside letters (showing regular vacancies) of ChoosY PassengeR UnderrateS


20 comments on “Toughie 2615

  1. Most enjoyable and, considering it is Thursday so Toughies are getting harder as the week advances, I am surprised I got as far as I did before needing electrons (about 60%). My absolute favourite among many is 6d. It raise a huge grin! I did not, however, see how 12a worked.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Crypticsue for the hints.

  2. It may be ‘only just’ a Toughie, as CS says, but I enjoyed it very much, though I was surprised at the near-duplication of 6d and 20d–not like Beam at all, is it? My podiium stars: 13d, 15d, and 1a. I did have to Google Del and Rodney to confirm my bung-in at 16d. 6d and 21d are also quite clever–I think I’ll squeeze them onto the podium too. I have now finished three Toughies in a row this week, all on my own. (But why do I have such difficulty with Giovanni on the back-pager?!) Thanks to CS for the review and to Beam for the pleasure.

  3. That makes three great Toughies in a row so far this week! They have all been totally different in style, but all were extremely enjoyable. I found today’s the toughest of the three, particularly in the SE corner, which took quite a bit of head scratching to finish off.

    My podium choice today is 1a, 14a & 13d.

    Many thanks to Beam and to CS.

  4. Apart from the absence of anagrams in the former I don’t think there’s much difference in toughness between a Beam and a Ray T puzzle, although this one was made a bit trickier by the virtual detachment of each of the corners of the grid.

    Thanks to Beam and CS.

    My ticks went to 14a, 27a and 4d.

  5. OK so my first thought for 4d didn’t fit and 26a had nothing to do with cricket – I can live with that!
    All good fun despite the repetition bleeps and I put 1,5&23a at the top of my pile.

    Devotions as always to Mr T/Beam and thanks to our hard-working CS for the review.

    1. I reckon your first thought on 4d was the same as mine (particularly knowing this setter’s humour) Jane, made me quite queasy!
      I’ll pretty much echo your top 3 too, although 16d raised a smile. Found it quite tough but good fun.

      Many thanks to Mr T and CS for as usual, making it all sound so simple.

  6. Agreed!
    This was a most enjoyable solve which turned out more accessible than it seemed on first pass.
    No obscurities and no split answers. Also no help with parsing needed today.
    I do think 27ac is such a descriptive word.
    Thanks to both.

  7. Took me a bit of time to get going on this one. Drill, composer amd willow all required confirmatory look ups as I wasn’t familiar with them.

    14a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Beam and CS.

  8. Excellent concise clueing made this a very enjoyable and comfortable solve. 14a was my standout favourite.

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

  9. Tougher than yesterday but that’s two days running I have completed the Toughie, they must be easy ones this week.
    14a is brilliant and brought a smile to my face.
    Thx to all

  10. Thoroughly enjoyable with all the usual generous supply of chuckles.
    Word count a maximum of 7.
    Thanks Beam and CS.

  11. Most enjoyable puzzle from Beam as usual with all his quirks. My favourites were 4d, which left a lot to the imagination, 5d which was pure RayT and 14a. Thanks to Beam for all the fun.

  12. As usual I found this harder than others. I solved this in quadrants starting in the NE and proceeding anticlockwise. Failed to spot the lurker in 18a otherwise I might have completed that corner sooner. Never heard of the composer in 13d and tried far too long to make meditation work, me being the composer of the crossword. Hey ho. Favourite was 27a. Thanks to Beam and CS.

  13. ***/*** fun. Loved the ‘cricket’ clues and the Trotters. Thanks to Beam and CS.

  14. Whenever I attempt a Beam/RayT, I initially look for a clue that contains “initially”.

    Always a gimme … but a very good one today! (10a)

  15. Toughest of the week so far for me but eventually ground out an unaided finish after a real struggle in the SE. Took an embarrassingly long time to clock the 18a lurker which with 26a finally gave me a foothold. 24a was last in after another struggle with the skull top & requiring confirmation as the drill was new to me. Sadly no all correct message so a trawl back through my answers then the penny dropped – I’d bunged in brothers for Del & Rodders without attempting to parse it.
    Thought this the third great Toughie of the week with some super clues – really liked 1,12&14a plus 4&16d but 13d was the clear pick for me as I was quite chuffed to twig the composer & get my timing right (rare for me)
    Thanks Beam & to CS.
    Ps didn’t even notice the 6&20d repetition but both good clues in my view.

    1. Good for you in getting the composer, H! His ‘Lakme’ is one of the strangest oriental jewels in the operatic repertory, but I saw an inspired production of it at our Spoleto USA Festival here in Charleston a few years ago. The ‘Flower Duet’ has become quite celebrated over the years.

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