Toughie No 2711 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
You know what to expect from Beam and this one was probably less tricky than we sometimes get from him with the synonyms not quite as stretched as usual. Thanks to him for the entertainment.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Dangers of weapon’s gripping short butt (7)
MENACES: a weapon plus the ‘S surrounds a butt without its last letter. The weapon could be either a spiked club or a disabling spray.
5a Mother’s endless worry? Answer is cosmetic (7)
MASCARA: assemble an affectionate word for mother, a verb to worry without its final letter and the abbreviation for answer.
9a More treacherous European dropped by more deceitful (7)
SNAKIER: a comparative meaning more deceitful loses its first abbreviation for European.
10a Spleen’s absorbing single spirits (7)
WRAITHS: a word for spleen or bad temper contains the letter resembling a single.
11a Clothes sturdily made, head to tail (9)
TRAPPINGS: start with an adjective meaning sturdily made or brawny and move its first letter to the end.
12a Musical ability not needed in Eurovision initially (5)
ANNIE: the initial letters of five words in the clue.
13a Old man keeping almost slow and square (5)
PLAZA: a short word for one’s old man containing an adjective meaning slow or lackadaisical without its last letter.
15a Free more time embracing nearly frigid sweetheart (9)
EXTRICATE: a synonym for more and the abbreviation for time contain an adjective meaning frigid without its last letter. Finish with Beam’s usual swEetheart.
17a Has a turn in end maintaining grave (9)
SATURNINE: a hidden word.
19a Horned animals attack hikers finally (5)
GOATS: a phrasal verb to attack followed by the final letter of hikers.
22a Explorer died by rifle (5)
DRAKE: the genealogical abbreviation for died precedes a verb to rifle or comb through.
23a Grand chap’s tense facing single old bag? (9)
GLADSTONE: knit together the abbreviation for grand ($1000), a young chap plus his ‘S, the grammatical abbreviation for tense and a word meaning single.
25a Part of Airbnb booking, possibly housing people (7)
ELEMENT: what could possibly mean accommodation booked online (1-3) contains a word for people.
26a Frenchman adopting say, daughter, went back (7)
RENEGED: one of our usual French male forenames contains the abbreviation meaning ‘say’. Append the abbreviation for daughter.
27a Left eviscerated in precipitous retreat (7)
SHELTER: insert the outer letters of left into an adjective meaning precipitous or very steep.
28a Become hot mess following start of summer (7)
SWELTER: a word meaning a mess or a confused mass follows the starting letter of summer.
1d Indiscretion with girl upset sweetheart (7)
MISSTEP: yoke together the title used for a girl and the reversal of an endearment such as sweetheart.
2d Falls once more over trap’s middle (7)
NIAGARA: reverse an adverb meaning ‘once more’ and add the middle letters of trap.
3d Piece about Republican producing tweet (5)
CHIRP: a piece (of wood or potato possibly) contains the abbreviation for Republican.
4d Plain girl’s first in cool sex tips (9)
SERENGETI: insert the first letter of girl in an adjective meaning cool or calm and finish by reversing an informal word for sex.
5d Yours truly walks oddly and whines (5)
MEWLS: a pronoun identifying ‘yours truly’ and odd letters from walks.
6d Marine is a force in extreme environment (9)
SEAFARING: insert A and an abbreviation for force into an adjective meaning extremely hot.
7d Insect queen raised sentient thing (7)
ANTENNA: stick together an insect and the reversal of a Stuart queen
8d Simple stone in gold, shell-like, for quotation (7)
AUSTERE: insert the abbreviation for a stone avoirdupois between the chemical symbol for gold and what sounds like the thing that shell-like is an informal term for.
14d Welcome holding hands after a union (9)
AGREEMENT: a verb to welcome containing a word for hands or workers follows A.
16d Sign put outside the man’s storehouse (9)
THESAURUS: a sign of the Zodiac contains the contracted form of ‘the man is’.
17d Sailors send a signal up limiting distress (7)
SADNESS: our second hidden word but this one is reversed.
18d Swing door fronting facility for the audience (7)
TRAPEZE: a type of door precedes a homophone of a synonym for facility or effortlessness.
20d Stress consumes doctor within (7)
AMONGST: a word meaning stress or anxiety contains one of the abbreviations for a doctor.
21d Meagre usurer after shilling (7)
SLENDER: someone who could be a usurer (though he/she is not necessarily so) follows the abbreviation for shilling.
23d Snapper with good roll used up (5)
GATOR: the abbreviation for good and the reversal of a roll or register.
24d Seeing that transgression is supported by Church (5)
SINCE: a transgression precedes one of or common abbreviations for church.
Top clues for me were the amusing 12a, 4d and 8d. Which one(s) did the business for you?