Toughie No 2631 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
It’s been a long time since I blogged a Ray T or Beam puzzle (in the old days I used to blog a Ray T puzzle every other Tuesday when he alternated with Shamus) and it’s a pleasure to meet him again in his Beam guise.
This one has all his usual hallmarks and didn’t provide too many problems though 16d needed a bit of head-scratching.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Zeppelin tune, then leader to smoke joint! (7)
AIRSHIP: bring together a synonym of tune, the leading letter of smoke and a bodily joint.
5a Polished losing gladiator’s first sword (7)
CUTLASS: start with an adjective meaning polished or refined (of an accent, say) and drop the first letter of gladiator.
9a Zeppelin possibly playing, showing wildness (7)
ABANDON: what ‘Zeppelin’ were an example of (1,4) followed by an adverb meaning playing.
10a Ceremony involving King in each country (7)
ERITREA: a Russian doll clue – a ceremony contains a Latin abbreviation for king and all that goes inside the abbreviation for each.
11a One can shout, welcoming European traveller (9)
ITINERANT: string together the Roman numeral for one, a can and a verb to shout or rave. Insert an abbreviation for European into that.
12a Audibly cry out for massage (5)
KNEAD: this sounds like a verb to cry out for or be desperate for.
13a Discovers taking top off makes money (5)
EARNS: a verb meaning discovers or finds out without its first letter.
15a Stewardesses so polite holding back berserk (9)
POSSESSED: hidden in reverse.
17a Oil part in silent power turning over (9)
PETROLEUM: an acting part goes inside the reversal of an adjective meaning silent or dumb and the abbreviation for power.
19a Initially serves, and launches volley on volley (5)
SALVO: initial letters of five words in the clue.
22a Game over with vacant mob about (5)
OMBRE: knit together the crickety abbreviation for over, ‘mob’ without its middle bit and a preposition meaning about or concerning to make an old card game.
23a ‘American Way’ missing Republican, lacking a will (9)
INTESTATE: start with a major American road and remove the abbreviation for Republican.
25a Snappers circling Queen start to harass, maybe (7)
PERHAPS: the abbreviation for celebrity-chasing snappers contains our Queen’s regnal cipher and the first letter of harass.
26a Misses relief found in Gents, commonly (7)
MAIDENS: insert a word meaning relief or welfare into a common term for the public facilities called Gents.
27a Break down and do all this again (7)
RESOLVE: double definition, the first a process in chemistry and the second what you may have to do if your answers to this puzzle are wiped out by an internet glitch, say.
28a Singular couple adopting little darling (7)
SWEETIE: the abbreviation for singular and a verb to couple contain a synonym of little.
1d God upset, consumed by a weakness, greed (7)
AVARICE: the reversal of an Egyptian god goes inside A and a weakness or moral failing.
2d More willing to use exit in back (7)
READIER: a verb meaning to go out (in a permanent way) goes inside a synonym for back or hind part.
3d What could create hard border? (5)
HEDGE: a semi-all-in-one – assemble the pencil abbreviation for hard and a border or rim.
4d Fruit pulp, zest only, in long drink (9)
PINEAPPLE: the outer letters (zest only) of pulp go inside a verb to long and an alcoholic drink.
5d Court accepts the man’s case (5)
CHEST: the street-sign abbreviation for court contains the contracted form of ‘the man is’.
6d Novel heroine embraces rustic new body (9)
THICKNESS: a Hardy heroine contains a derogatory term for a rustic person and the abbreviation of new. The body here is what is often promised by commercial hair products.
7d Close shaven, cutting head (7)
AIRLESS: an adjective meaning shaven without its first letter.
8d Oddly sick ally dreads getting very heated (7)
SCALDED: odd letters from words 2-4.
14d Play for time protecting whole wicket (9)
STONEWALL: an all-in-one clue – a verb meaning to play for time or procrastinate contains an adjective meaning whole or undivided and the cricket abbreviation for wicket.
16d Up, feel great about University, occasionally (9)
SOMETIMES: a verb to feel or appear and an abbreviation meaning great or very large contain the identity of a university situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Now reverse it all (up).
17d Shakespearean character’s endless boom … (7)
PROSPER: a major character from The Tempest without his last letter.
18d … cheers Shakespeare’s old habits (7)
TABARDS: rivet together a short word of thanks and term used for Shakespeare plus the ‘S.
20d Thinnest and smallest eating nectarine’s rind (7)
LEANEST: a superlative meaning smallest contains the outer letters of nectarine.
21d Lover seems to be taking control (7)
OVERSEE: a hidden word.
23d Stuff wasting time for offspring! (5)
ISSUE: a type of material or paper without the abbreviation for time. Stuff seems rather vague as a description of the material but it works well in the surface as an exclamation of rejection as in “Stuff that for a game of soldiers!”
24d River wave, sort of catching tide finally (5)
SEINE: a type of wave or periodic oscillation contains the final letter of tide.
The clues I liked best (mainly for the humorous surfaces) were 13a, 26a and 23d. Which one(s) had you tittering?