Toughie 2647 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2647

Toughie No 2647 by Beam

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

You know what you’re going to get with a Beam puzzle and all the usual components are present today although there are possibly fewer stretched synonyms than usual.

Thanks to Beam for the entertainment.

Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.

Across Clues

1a A person with pins and needles? (11)
HABERDASHER: we get started with a gentle cryptic definition of a specific retailer.

9a Shock from breaker’s end in power cut … (7)
OUTRAGE: insert the last letter of breaker into a power cut.

10a … floored by tangle inside plug (6)
AMAZED: a tangle or complex arrangement goes inside an abbreviated plug or promotion.

12a Worthy sweetheart after shortly embracing yours truly (7)
SOMEONE: the ‘heart’ of sweet follows an adverb meaning shortly containing ‘yours truly’.

13a Document, it legally covers license (7)
ENTITLE: hidden in the clue.

14a Endless drag before filthy place is fit (5)
LUSTY: combine a verb to drag or carry without its last letter and a filthy place.

15a More certain about right outcome for resignation (9)
SURRENDER: a comparative meaning more certain contains the abbreviation for right and an outcome or result.

17a Notice young woman in dark, sharing male … (9)
DISMISSAL: insert the title of a young woman into an adjective meaning dark or gloomy then remove one of the duplicated abbreviations for male.

20a … exhales from occasionally briefer kiss (5)
REEKS: regular letters from the last two words. As a Scot might say to wish someone a long life “Lang may yer lum ****”.

22a Notes produced by singers for the audience (7)
TENNERS: a homophone of singers (and a really old chestnut).

24a Pilot ace through until end of war (7)
AVIATOR: string together the abbreviation in card games for an ace, a preposition meaning through, a synonym of until and the last letter of war.

25a Inducement of sex rejected in advance (6)
MOTIVE: reverse an informal word for sex inside a verb to advance or progress.

26a Queen in top ten single reversing apathy (7)
INERTIA: weld together what resembles an abbreviation meaning top or excellent, TEN and a single in Roman numerals. Now reverse that and insert an abbreviation for queen. I remember Willie Whitelaw accusing his political opponents of ‘going around stirring up apathy’.

27a Spy, possibly shirtless, faces international ‘scandal’ (11)
INVESTIGATE: collate ‘possibly shirtless’ (2,4), an abbreviation for international and the suffix that’s been attached to every scandal since the early 1970s.

Down Clues

2d Science of a particle with variable (7)
ANATOMY: ‘a particle’ (2,4) is followed by an algebraic variable.

3d Different son consuming regular cuppa? (9)
ELEVENSES: an adverb meaning different or otherwise and the abbreviation for son contain an adjective meaning regular.

4d Degenerate after diamonds getting bird (5)
DRAKE: a degenerate or libertine follows the abbreviation for the card suit diamonds.

5d Rock idol talked oddly (7)
STARTLE: an idol or celebrity and odd letters from ‘talked’.

6d Stood before court and ended eviscerated (7)
ERECTED: glue together a literary preposition meaning before, the street sign abbreviation for court and ‘ended’ without its innards.

7d Fuse board contains trace current rising (11)
CONSOLIDATE: the reversal of a trace or small amount and the symbol for electric current are contained in a board or control panel.

8d Impressions of male wearing gaiters pulled up (6)
STAMPS: the abbreviation for male (the one we had previously in 17a) goes inside the reversal of another word for gaiters.

11d Mundane blunder in batch overturned experiment (11)
TERRESTRIAL: a verb to blunder or transgress goes inside the reversal of a batch or group. Add an experiment.

16d Getting the next round in? (9)
RELOADING: … in a firearm.

18d Evening Standard’s first open when free (7)
SUNDOWN: assemble the first letter of standard, a verb to open and ‘when’ free of its contents.

19d Catalogue of exquisite misery (7)
ITEMISE: our second ‘hidden’ clue.

20d Wear and tear taking train (7)
RAIMENT: a tear or opening contains a verb to train a weapon or camera, say.

21d Divorce finally, say, giving grounds (6)
ESTATE: the final letter of divorce and a verb to say.

23d Spoor smell could expose new trail initially (5)
SCENT: the initial letters of five words in the clue.

My ticks went to 14a, 27a and 16d. Which one(s) appealed to you?


36 comments on “Toughie 2647

  1. Whilst I agree that you do know what to expect from a Beam, but what I didn’t expect was to solve it in a back page time so I’d sum it up as ‘enjoyable while it lasted’

    Thanks to Beam and Gazza

  2. Excellent puzzle, but I think ‘free’ for ‘free of contents’ is a bit of a stretch. I’m glad it is in a clue where the rest of the construction and the answer are obvious. Thanks to all.

    1. I think it’s free in the sense of unoccupied, vacant – as in ‘Is that cubicle free?’.

  3. Really enjoyed this one. Loved 3d and 18d. 11d foxed me a bit, got it from the word play, but someone please tell how it’s mundane….not the twentieth entry in BRB by any chance??🤭

  4. This was nicely challenging and great fun, although I felt slightly let down at the final hurdle when I discovered that 18d, my last one in, was an American word.

    Interesting that gaiter(s) turned up both in this Toughie and today’s back-pager.

    My top two were 14a & 16d.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

  5. Seemed more difficult at first than it was.
    Some quirky moments but I like the style.
    Unusually I didn’t need help with any parsing.
    Thanks to both.

  6. Lovely crossword. A good deal easier than the previous two days but every bit as much of a pleasure as they were. I guess it’s safe to say my enjoyment lasted for a fair bit longer than CS. One of the things I most like about Ray T productions is that the wordplay is clever without being overly convoluted or opaque. A steady solve with the usual quota of Toughie head scratching but all correctly parsed for a change. Like Buzza the wordplay got me to 11d & it wasn’t a synonym I’d have immediately brought to mind either which is why I liked the clue – it has a podium place alongside 17&27a.
    Thanks to RayT & Gazza.

  7. A completed and fully parsed Beam toughie is always pleasurable experience for me. Happy days. Hard to pick a favourite from so many contenders but I’ll go for 17a. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

    1. My first two thoughts for 1a were “seamstress” and “dressmaker”, but alas both were one letter short of the required eleven.

  8. Needless to say, this took me far longer than it did for Gazza but what tremendous fun it was and such a delight every time an answer slotted into place. Favourites galore but I think 16d produced the loudest laugh.

    Devotions as always to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for the review.

  9. Excellent fun from one of my favourite setters. Nothing too difficult just some quality clueing and commendably brief as ever. 16d was my COTD once the penny dropped.

    My thanks to Mr T and to Gazza.

  10. Like RD I too had to eliminate the ten letter definitions for 1a,took a while to come up with the eleven!
    A mixture from Beam with strait forward cluing interspersed with difficult parsing and a ***/*** for me.
    Agree with Young Salopian with16a for the favourite followed by7d which was the key for solving the puzzle.
    Thanks to Gazza for the pics and Mr Beam for a pleasant afternoon.

  11. Loved it! Took a while to get going but once I’d finally twigged 1a and 7d it fell steadily as one mini penny drop moment followed another.
    Amazing how this setter can just up the difficulty a notch as or two with his Beam hat on without changing his style or resorting to obscurities.
    In a very strong field I’ve chosen 27a plus 11d with top spot going to 16d, brilliant.
    Many thanks to Mr T and Gazza for the entertainment.

  12. I found this Beam to be most enjoyable, though I did need a bit of electronic help to finish, with 18d (but I don’t know why RD gets so upset when an American word appears in a puzzle) and 27a–much to my shame. I really should stop doing the Toughies late at night because often I just relent and go electronic at the slightest blip. All of Ray T’s signature devices helped me along; it was just my impatient sleepiness ‘wot done me in’. Favourites: 12a, 20d, 16d. Thanks to Gazza for the review and to Beam for the usual pleasure.

    1. I think RD’s argument is that in a UK crossword, Americanisms should be indicated as such.

    2. I don’t understand why a few people get upset, or even mention it, when an (unidentified) American word (especially if it’s well-known here) appears in a UK cryptic. Most setters, editors, solvers and regulars on this blog are perfectly happy with it (and it’s been going on for decades). Still, I guess everyone is entitled to air (repeatedly) their own personal bee in bonnet…

      1. I think we would be upset by the American spelling of an English word but when the answer is obviously American that’s fine. After all, we accept limited French and German etc. don’t we.

    3. I bet ladies of our grannies generation who wore such things didn’t think of this underwear as American

  13. Pleasure to solve. Nothing obscure, nothing to check or look up and all fully parsed. My favourites were 27a and 3d. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  14. I managed half of this but I now have to cook the dinner. I will return to Beam later but I thought I’d comment now because “later” could be Sunday! I loved what I have solved so far. Like others, I went through everyone who uses needles and pins – including The Searchers – but none were long enough. I loved 17a and the simplicity of 4d. As I haven’t finished yet I will not nominate a favourite clue.

    Many thanks to Beam (whom I take to be Ray T in disguise?) and to Gazza for the hints, which I am doing my best to not look at.

  15. The first read through did not throw up one answer but, undaunted I started in the NE corner and fought my way around the clock. Sorry, CS, for me this was not a back pager. I must say I wasn’t sure about 1a. As a sewer I felt they sold accessories rather than the basic pins and needles but, hey ho, the answer fitted!

  16. A lovely solve as usual with the usual Beamisms including HM, 21 great lurkers and a touch of youknowwhat. Favourite was 17 but there were many good clues which needed a bit of lateral thinking. Thanks to RayT. When will he get a weekly slot?

  17. Evening all. My thanks to Gazza for the decryption, and to everybody else who left a comment.


  18. Had a few answers scattered all over the grid to begin with but gradually closed the gaps.
    Had to check a couple of synonyms in 12a and 14a namely.
    17a is a bit naughty but made me laugh.
    Nice charade in 24a of course.
    Liked 27a a lot.
    Thanks to Beam and to Gazza for the review.

  19. As ever from this setter, an absolute pleasure to solve and parse.
    Word count maximum of 7 too.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

  20. Thought I was going to fail miserably, but perseverated and finally completed in way longer than back page time. 25a last one in, put no-vice first, then notice, before forehead thumping d’oh moment. Love the word haberdasher so will choose that as favourite. Thanks to all.

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