Toughie 2735 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2735

Toughie No 2735 by Beam

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***/****

We know what to expect from a Beam puzzle and it’s all here today including a bit of innuendo. Thanks to him.

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

Across Clues

1a Supporter of something wicked? (11)
CANDLESTICK: cryptic definition. Wicked as in ‘having a wick’.

9a Shout and swear, heard getting strident (7)
RAUCOUS: stick two homophones together – the first a verb to shout (this doesn’t work at all for me because I haven’t forgotten how to pronounce the letter R) and the second a verb to swear or utter profanities.

10a Damage from rogue state (6)
IMPAIR: charade of a young rogue and a verb to state or articulate.

12a Reportedly strain to make love potion (7)
PHILTRE: this sounds like a verb to strain or 14a.

13a ‘Art house’ trailing great old film (7)
ACETATE: the name of a well-known ‘art house’ (one of four in the UK actually) follows an informal adjective meaning great.

14a Initially Sphinx is explaining very enigmatic riddle (5)
SIEVE: the initial letters of five words in the clue.

15a One sees what’s up, in the main (9)
PERISCOPE: cryptic definition – ‘in the main’ here means ‘at sea’.

17a In amphitheatre, a sure spot for prizes (9)
TREASURES: a hidden verb.

20a Snivel about Republican endorsement (5)
BLURB: a verb to snivel or weep containing the abbreviation for Republican.

22a Egg plants? (7)
OVARIES: cryptic definition of places where eggs are produced.

24a Energy supplier connected to star, perhaps (7)
REACTOR: split the answer 2,5 and it could mean ‘concerning a theatrical performer’.

25a Courage found in alcoholic container (6)
BOTTLE: double definition, the first an informal word for courage or nerve.

26a Mass or short prayer (7)
COLLECT: double definition, the first a verb to mass or come together.

27a Expert at managing men on board? (11)
GRANDMASTER: cryptic definition – see the illustration.

Down Clues

2d Missionary position in occasionally manlier embrace (7)
APOSTLE: a position or job is embraced by regular letters from manlier.

3d Complaint affecting setter? (9)
DISTEMPER: this setter is not human.

4d Flower one caught in important date (5)
ERICA: the Roman numeral for one and the cricket abbreviation for caught go inside a date or period of history.

5d Vessel potter’s turned round revealing bust (7)
TOPLESS: hidden in reverse.

6d Sophisticated earlier city (7)
CHICAGO: staple together an adjective meaning sophisticated or stylish and an adverb meaning earlier.

7d This could be down or across! (11)
PREPOSITION: there are twelve parts of speech – which of them is exemplified by ‘down’ or ‘across’?

8d Lying back, absorbing sun, bare (6)
SUPINE: it’s quite a coincidence to get this word after yesterday’s erudite discussion on the back-page blog. A synonym for back (as a body part) contains ‘sun’ without its outer letters.

11d Sound of Queen always with live value (11)
REVERBERATE: string together an abbreviation for queen, a synonym for always, a verb to live or exist and a verb to value.

16d Stops and stands taking second short (9)
RESTRICTS: a verb meaning stands or remains contains a second or short time without its final E.

18d Latin sweetheart upset without classy charm (7)
ENAMOUR: paste together an adjective meaning Latin and the heart of ‘sweet’ then reverse it and insert the letter that means classy.

19d Struck, firstly slapped with glove (7)
SMITTEN: the first letter of slapped and a type of glove.

20d Some relief for visually impaired? (7)
BRAILLE: cryptic definition, with relief meaning ‘standing out from the surface’.

21d Free one with sex brought up (6)
UNTIED: start with an adjective meaning one or ‘of the same mind’ and reverse the informal word for sex inside it.

23d Locomotive power line around train’s front (5)
STEAM: a line containing the front letter of train.

I have 22a, 5d and 20d on my podium. Which clue(s) hit the heights for you?


24 comments on “Toughie 2735
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  1. As Gazza says, you know what to expect from a Beam Toughie, and I am delighted to say that is exactly what we got. I loved it.

    I couldn’t parse 21d. I could see the “sex” upside down in the middle of UNED, but that didn’t make sense until I read Gazza’s explanation.

    Isn’t “revealing” doing double duty in 5d both as part of the definition and as the lurker indicator?

    Picking a favourite was tough, and after some consideration I am going for 20d.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

      1. Thanks, Gazza. You mean “round”, but is that really an acceptable lurker indicator? I didn’t think it worked and so assumed that “turned round” must be the reversal indicator, although I should have considered that RayT/Beam doesn’t go in for superfluous words!

        1. Yes, ’round’ not ‘about’ – sorry. I think you can read it as the reversed text goes/is round (i.e. contains) the answer.

  2. A strange solving experience in that the LH side was filled long before I’d got anything much at all in the RH side. Finished in about the right time for a Thursday. I quite liked the cryptic definition clues at 1a, and 27a

    Thanks to Beam and Gazza

    Jane will be in crossword heaven today as once she’s given her usual devotions to Beam, she can head off to the FT where her favourite non-Irish detective provides today’s crosswords

  3. Enjoyable and straightforward.
    */****
    Thanks to Beam and Gazza.
    Would someone explain why my comment on Tuesday’s toughie was removed.

  4. 20d was one of my final entries and was a gem, easily my COTD, although 1a gave it a good run for the money. Excellent, concise clues as always, and a delight to solve. Great fun.

    My thanks to Mr T and Gazza.

  5. Who mentioned chestnuts the other day? I nearly forget the other meaning of “wicked” but remembered it in time.
    I wanted ‘crows-nest” for 15a but had to give it up.
    I’m not sure that I would class Erica as a flower. Heather has flowers but…..
    COTD? I think that has to be 12a.or the brilliant 20d. I cannot decide.

  6. The only crossword I tackled today that I can really claim to have enjoyed. 1a may be somewhat of a chestnut but it got things off to a good start and others joining it on the podium were 20&27a along with 19&20d.

    Devotions belong to Mr T/Beam for brightening my day and to Gazza for the always amusing illustrations in his review.

  7. Loved all of this as I always do with a Beam. **/*****
    Made it difficult for myself when I started by confidently put in candelabrum for 1a.
    Too many smiles to pick a favourite but I look forward to my next Beam in more ways than one.

    1. I had candelabrum as well for far too long, which made things a bit tricky up top. A wicked couple of options to start with by Beam.
      Good fun. Thanks to Ray T and Gazza.

  8. I too thoroughly enjoyed this, especially the delightful true cryptics like 1a (yes, an oldie, but a goodie), 15a, 27a. And like CS, I found the left hand side much easier than the right. I’m afraid 8a was a bung-in, but now I feel foolish, and doubly so, given my profession, for taking so long to get 26a. Warmest thanks to ‘Beam’ and to Gazza.

  9. Easily the cotw. Needed the hints to parse 24a and 21d but that’s good for me. Hasn’t heard of the second meaning for 26a but I have now. I had the wrong word in for 16d for a while but couldn’t parse it obviously. Cotd was 27a, the were many other contenders. Many thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  10. I don’t know about East/West but I found the top a lot more difficult than the bottom and I needed a couple of nudges from Gazza to get over the line.
    Lots of this setter’s trademark misdirection, wit and innuendo, impossible to pick a favourite, (if pushed would go for 27a) it was all good.
    Many thanks to Mr T and Gazza for the top notch entertainment.

  11. After struggles with Giovanni faith in my solving ability restored. Absolutely loved it & as I don’t remember clues they’re rarely old chestnuts to me. Big ticks for 1,9,12&27a plus 2,3,5,20 & 23a & they can fight it out amongst themselves to decide what podium they want. A joy from start to finish.
    Thanks to Ray T & Gazza.

  12. Most enjoyable puzzle with all the usual suspects. My favourite was the wonderful lurker in 5d. 1a was giveaway to get us going but really liked the clues in the NW. Thanks to Ray for a really good workout.

  13. Very late today although I finished this excellent Ray T Toughie last night after getting an electronic prompt or two. All the usual crafts of his art are here–and the arts of his craft, as well. Thanks to Gazza and to Beam.

  14. Wavelength is an odd thing – while I tuned into Giovanni from the off yesterday and found his a remarkably straightforward puzzle, contrary to many comments, this Beam puzzle was the complete opposite. I struggled mightily and at times thought I was interpreting a foreign language for the first time – and using just as many aids to do so. Only as each clue slowly fell, and in due course late last evening finally the puzzle as a whole, could I sit back to enjoy post hoc the wit and artistry.

    4* / 3*

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza – to whom I had to turn for several additional clues to take further steps.

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