Toughie No 2695 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***
Thanks to Beam for an enjoyable puzzle with all his usual trademarks except a ‘first letters’ clue. I completed the four mini-puzzles in the order NW, SE, SW and NE.
Beam seems to have completed his transition from an 8-word maximum clue size to a 7-word maximum. I wonder whether he will be spurred on to yet further feats of succinctness – Brendan (Virgilius) had a puzzle in the Guardian this week with a maximum of 3 words per clue.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a It’s left controlling local political system (8)
REPUBLIC: something left from an earlier time contains a local.
5a Turned east, beginning to dither, went west (6)
EDDIED: assemble the abbreviation for east, the first letter of dither and ‘went west’ or kicked the bucket.
9a Stand almost excessively behind catching Queen (8)
TOLERATE: join together an adverb meaning excessively without its last letter and an adjective meaning behind containing our Queen’s regnal cipher.
10a Embraces embracing sweetheart causing complaints (6)
GRIPES: a verb meaning embraces contains the letter at the heart of sweet.
11a Dance in buff — desperate man gets fit (8)
FANDANGO: charade of a buff or aficionado, the desperate comic character and a verb meaning fit or be compatible.
12a Initially Manchester United retains single stand arena (6)
MILIEU: the initials of the football team contain the letter resembling one and a verb to stand or be positioned.
14a Soldiers trail army strike in retreat (10)
PARATROOPS: stitch together a trail or scent, the abbreviation by which our army reserve was known prior to 2014 and a verb to strike. Now reverse the lot.
18a On table, plan to swallow European drink (10)
CHARTREUSE: a synonym for table is followed by a plan or subterfuge containing an abbreviation for European.
22a Rough diamonds seen in charge (6)
OFFICE: bring together an adjective meaning rough or poorly and an informal word for diamonds.
23a Abandoned, showed behind, taking a run (8)
MAROONED: a verb meaning ‘showed behind’ contains A and the cricket abbreviation for run.
24a Hand is redundant without ship (6)
NEEDLE: an adjective meaning redundant or gratuitous without the usual abbreviation for steamship.
25a Salvation of one bitten by large cat (8)
LIFELINE: the Roman numeral for one is contained in the abbreviation for large and a cat.
26a Slow time in last day (6)
RETARD: the abbreviation for time goes inside an adjective meaning last or hindmost. Now append the abbreviation for day.
27a Clueless character losing head over harangue (8)
IGNORANT: paste together a character or symbol without its initial letter, the cricket abbreviation for over and a harangue or tirade.
1d Beam accepts endless argument for sanction (6)
RATIFY: a synonym of beam contains an argument without its final F.
2d Using rod, possibly getting river fish (6)
POLING: the answer is a charade of an Italian river and a cod-like fish.
3d Foreign Office? (6)
BUREAU: cryptic definition – it’s a foreign word for office.
4d United from inside target nicely turned (10)
INTEGRATED: hidden in reverse.
6d Bottom of the French class? (8)
DERRIÈRE: a word meaning bottom or buttocks that you probably learned in a French lesson. Has anyone a better explanation of what the word class is doing here?
7d Rogue revolted vocally being put inside (8)
IMPRISON: a rogue or rascal and what sounds like revolted or rebelled.
8d Detective’s men reportedly in plain clothes? (8)
DISGUISE: the abbreviation for a senior police detective and the ‘S are followed by a homophone of an informal word for men.
13d Repugnant to the French in new accommodation (10)
NAUSEATING: a French word meaning ‘to the’ goes between the abbreviation for new and a term for accommodation (in a restaurant perhaps).
15d Wine container preferably passed round church (8)
SCHOONER: a comparative meaning preferably or rather contains one of our usual abbreviations for church.
16d Most cracked crackpot concealing iffiness occasionally (8)
DAFFIEST: an adjective meaning crackpot or silly contains regular letters from iffiness.
17d Authoritarian abuse over the French right (8)
STICKLER: an informal word for abuse or criticism is followed by one of the French definite articles and the abbreviation for right.
19d Warning shot leads to surrender (6)
FOREGO: rivet together a warning shout and a shot or attempt.
20d Pain from pang in arm? (6)
21d What’s coming from plug hole? (6)
ADVENT: combine an abbreviated plug or promotion and a type of hole.
My ticks today went to 5a, 11a and 19d. Which clue(s) pleased you?