Toughie 2767 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2767

Toughie No 2767 by Beam

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

As usual with Beam there were a couple of synonyms that required a bit of thought but I found this very much at the easier end of his spectrum. Apart from 11a possibly this could have appeared as a Ray T back-pager.

Many thanks to Beam.

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

Across Clues

7a Lady in pub’s imbibing singles … (8)
BARONESS: another word for pub with its ‘S containing singles.

9a … slowly, a short drink, in trouble (6)
ADAGIO: A and an alcoholic drink without its last letter go inside a word meaning trouble or fuss.

10a Appeared oddly clammier (4)
CAME: odd letters from the final word.

11a Red imitation of drink French rejected (10)
SHAMEFACED: stick together French words for ‘of’ and a drink (which might be followed by “à la crème” or “au lait”) – now reverse that and append it to an adjective meaning imitation or fake. Did anyone else get sidetracked into trying to make it work with a caffeine-free drink?

12a Court sweetheart in empty declaration, emotionless (6)
WOODEN: a verb to court followed by the heart of sweet inside the outer letters of declaration.

14a Clothing curvy character wearing damsel’s first girdle (8)
DRESSING: the curviest of our 26 letters is spelled out inside the first letter of damsel and a verb to girdle.

15a Happen to live facing sea (6)
BETIDE: charade of a verb to live or exist and a term for the sea. The answer is a verb to happen which these days is mostly seen following ‘Woe’.

17a Spreads top of short pants (6)
STREWS: the first letter of short and a type of trousers usually made of tartan.

20a Student ran, celebrating, gaining admission (8)
ENTRANCE: hidden.

22a Manservant left Queen following anyway (6)
BUTLER: the abbreviation for left and our Queen’s regnal cipher follow a conjunction meaning anyway or notwithstanding.

23a Trouble, fiery occasionally, with sex in part (10)
IRRITATION: start with regular letters from fiery then insert an informal word for sex into a part or portion.

24a White china plate’s finish (4)
PALE: what china is rhyming slang for and the last letter of plate.

25a Worship about taking till doomsday (6)
REVERE: a preposition meaning about or concerning contains an adverb meaning eternally or “till doomsday”.

26a House landlord eventually providing copious water? (8)
DWELLING: the final letter of landlord and a present participle (often followed by ‘up’) meaning providing copious water.

Down Clues

1d Vault from feline over a rake (8)
CATACOMB: a feline animal precedes A and a verb to rake.

2d Reportedly complete mess (4)
HOLE: homophone of an adjective meaning complete or entire.

3d Former sailor found in hold? (6)
NELSON: double definition. The hold may be full or half.

4d Underground place maybe giving topless humiliation (8)
BASEMENT: remove the top letter from a synonym of humiliation.

5d Nuisance hurt hospital department holding idiot (10)
HARASSMENT: assemble a verb to hurt or injure and our usual hospital department with an idiot being inserted.

6d Animal playing, catching tail of game bird (6)
PIGEON: a farm animal and an adverb meaning playing or ‘in production’ containing the tail letter of game.

8d Cautious swallows along with drink (6)
SHANDY: an adjective meaning cautious or reticent contains a conjunction meaning ‘along with’.

13d Dogged, check this compiler’s crossword, finally (10)
DETERMINED: string together a verb to check or stave off, a possessive pronoun identifying what belongs to the compiler and the final letter of crossword.

16d Dingy colour almost masking a fabric (8)
DUNGAREE: an adjective meaning dingy or dull is followed by a primary colour without its last letter containing A.

18d Pure clothed in chaster lingerie (8)
STERLING: hidden.

19d Resisted and passed on snatching iron up! (6)
DEFIED: a verb for which ‘passed on’ is a euphemism contains the reversal of the chemical symbol for iron.

21d Rising number divided by radius for bottle (6)
NERVES: the reversal of a prime number contains the abbreviation for radius.

22d Sausage could provoke British ire (6)
BANGER: an abbreviation for British and a synonym of ire.

24d Streak showing skin (4)
PELT: double definition – streak here is a verb meaning to go swiftly.

On my podium today were 11a, 3d and 24d. Which clue(s) did you select?


18 comments on “Toughie 2767
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  1. I wondered if I had missed something – no complaints from me, this was a lovely puzzle, but barely 2* (like Gazza I found 11a the hardest clue), and as far as I can see no Nina, hidden theme or anything. Well, I daresay we’ll need all of our little grey cells tomorrow. Many thanks for Ray for lots of smiles and to Gazza for the explanations.

  2. Exactly what we have come to like and expect from a Beam puzzle; brevity, conciseness and wit. The 7a/9a combo proved to be favourites alongside 24d. Great fun.

    Thanks to Mr T and Gazza.

  3. Enjoyable puzzle. I was indeed sidetracked on 11a and although 14a had to be what it was, the parsing took way too long. 6d was my favourite.

    Thanks to Gazza and Beam.

  4. Always a delight to get a Beam/Gazza combination. Yes, I did make a meal of 11a and was slightly bemused by 21d appearing in the plural but there was plenty of this setter’s usual humour on display.
    17a raised a smile and I hope there were plenty of deserving 20a students celebrating admission to their choice of further ed. this year.
    Favourite was 24d.

    Devotions to the revered Mr T and many thanks to Gaza for the review and the reminder of the Two Ronnies 22a sketch.

  5. Like Jane, I also made a meal of 11a and to answer Gazza’s question: Yes, I tried to make it work with a caffeine-dree drink (and ended up thinking that I had succeeded). It was my LOI but also my COTD. I found this quite a delightful Beam offering, one whose wavelength I was quite in tune with. Glad I tried this one last night before hitting the wall on today’s backpager. Thanks to Gazza for parsing 11a correctly for me and to Beam. I always enjoy your work, Mr T.

    Off to get my Booster Jab….

  6. I too fell into the caffeine free trap, but as my French is almost nonexistent I’m not too 11a. Favourite was 13d. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  7. Very enjoyable indeed with any difficulty coming not from obscurities but clever and imaginative clueing, just how it should be.
    The SW was the last to fall where I took far too long to spot the lurker at 20a and was initially thrown by the “bottle” being in the plural. I was however quite pleased that Gazza confirmed my parsing of 14a.
    I particularly liked 22&26a plus 3,13&22d
    Many thanks to Mr T and Gazza for the top notch entertainment.

  8. A perfect Toughie for me from the master of brevity. Good fun and nicely challenging.

    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza dream team.

  9. I too went down the decaf blind alley & never emerged from it. No real favourite but as always an enjoyable solve with, for me, a few tricky parsings.
    Thanks to Beam & Gazza

  10. RayT had his easy hat on today.. Two lovely lurkers as usual and the very impressive 11a. We always get a laugh from this setter and today was no different. Pants, sweetheart and ER make an appearance as normal and no nasty anagrams. Luckily no chess!
    Thanks to Beam for a great puzzle.

  11. 11a was our last one in and we did try to use the stimulant free drink too.
    Good fun as ever from this setter.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

  12. Re 15a, may I please question whether “sea” and “tide” are strictly synonymous? The sea is still the sea whichever way the tide is flowing.

    1. Chambers lists “sea-water (poetic)” as one of the meanings of tide and Chambers Crossword Dictionary has ‘sea’ as one meaning of tide.

      1. Maybe, but we don’t sing “Oh I do like to be beside the tide side” or say “She sells tide shells by the tide shore”. And a ship doesn’t go to tide – it goes to sea.

    1. Hi Mr T, anyone would think you had other things to occupy your mind! In case we don’t ‘see’ you again beforehand, may I wish you and yours a very enjoyable Christmas – such as it can be in these strange times.

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