Toughie No 2663 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
You know what to expect from Beam – a puzzle where the main difficulty comes from reconciling some of the stretched synonyms. I thought that this was on the gentle side for him although I was held up trying to parse the original 16d clue (in which there is an error and for which a replacement clue has been provided online). I also wonder whether the 15a clue is as intended because the ‘to’ seems to get in the way.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Detective’s rubbish, taking over, holding criminal down (12)
DISCONSOLATE: assemble the abbreviation for a senior police detective (plus the ‘S) and a verb to rubbish or criticise containing the cricket abbreviation for over. Now insert an informal word for a criminal.
9a Planning deficit cut takes sense in charge (9)
LOGISTICS: a deficit without its last letter contains a synonym of sense or meaning and the abbreviation of ‘in charge’.
10a A block turned in wood (5)
BALSA: reverse A and a block or wedge. We’ve had this wood very recently although I can’t remember exactly where.
11a Sad jerk purchasing Sun? (6)
TRAGIC: a facial jerk contains what The Sun is an example of.
12a Becoming visible after first appearance of bud? (8)
BLOOMING: a present participle meaning ‘becoming visible’ (through the darkness or fog perhaps) follows the first letter of bud in this all-in-one clue.
13a Square back garden containing borders of furze (6)
DEFRAY: a garden (especially in North America) contains the outer letters of furze. Now reverse the lot.
15a Caught by dearest, ran to get divorce (8)
ESTRANGE: a hidden word though the ‘to’ does rather interfere and I wonder whether ‘getting’ was intended rather than ‘to get’?
18a One accompanies guy playing, covering Queen (8)
CHAPERON: another word for a guy and an adverb meaning ‘playing’ contain our Queen’s regnal cipher.
19a Sort of betting from score studied (6)
SPREAD: an abbreviation meaning the score or the facts, as in ‘he gave me the full **’, is followed by a verb meaning studied.
21a Like Pharaoh, see keenly (8)
ASTUTELY: string together a conjunction meaning ‘like’, the abbreviated name of a famous young pharaoh and a see in Cambridgeshire.
23a Medical containers maintaining temperature for organs (6)
VITALS: small glass medical containers hold the abbreviation for temperature.
26a Put out unfinished article facing controversy (5)
THROW: a grammatical article without its last letter followed by a controversy or argument.
27a Greek character, Hero’s lover, missing sweetheart’s flirt (9)
PHILANDER: paste together the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet and the lover of Hero in Greek mythology without the central letter of sweet.
28a Order peeled cored nectarine in squash (12)
PREPAREDNESS: a verb meaning peeled and the outer letters of nectarine go inside a verb to squash or squeeze.
1d Drill part’s end oddly spread (7)
DILATED: odd letters from the first three words.
2d Symbol seen in general mathematics appears initially (5)
SIGMA: initial letters from the clue give us the summation symbol in maths.
3d Persistent stink rising and Government keeps cool (9)
OBSTINATE: reverse the abbreviation for a very personal stink and add a synonym for government containing an adjective meaning cool or trendy.
4d Drink top of sugar syrup (4)
SWIG: the first letter of sugar and what syrup is Cockney rhyming slang for.
5d From cellist, ‘Les Sylphides’ is sluggish (8)
6d Cheers old boy overturning love ban … (5)
TABOO: glue together a short word of thanks, the reversal of the abbreviation of old boy and the letter than resembles a love score.
7d … losing head, affair leads to marriage (8)
ALLIANCE: drop the first letter from an affair or fling.
8d Twist long hair around girl’s extremities (6)
MANGLE: the long bushy hair of some animals contains the outer letters of girl.
14d Soft soap less frothy on baby’s bottom (8)
FLATTERY: less frothy (of beer, perhaps) precedes the bottom letter of baby.
16d (original clue) Blame split about prudish male sharing male (9)
(revised clue online) Blame particular answer during split (9)
REPRIMAND: there is an error in the original clue giving a superfluous N. For the revised clue we need a verb to split containing an adjective meaning particular or strait-laced and an abbreviation for answer.
17d Sweet tablet twisted into spiral (8)
LOLLIPOP: reverse a type of tablet inside a spiral.
18d Virgin is pursued, reportedly (6)
CHASTE: this sounds like a synonym of pursued.
20d Fancies gentleman surrounded by revolting offspring (7)
DESIRES: the title afforded a gentleman is contained in the reversal of an old word for offspring or descendants.
22d One’s indebted after beginning of tax rise (5)
TOWER: someone who’s indebted follows the first letter of tax.
24d Candid clues occasionally confuse (5)
ADDLE: regular letters from the first two words.
25d Mole or spy, they say (4)
PIER: mole here is neither an animal nor a skin blemish. It sounds like a verb to spy or look intently.
For my podium I’ve selected 12a, 21a and 14d. Which clue(s) did you like?