Toughie 2799 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2799

Toughie No 2799 by Beam

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I thought that this was on the easier side for a Beam Toughie but it still required some thought to understand how some of the stretched synonyms worked. There are some good laughs in it. Many thanks to Mr T.

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

Across Clues

1a Huge bird with a catch losing tail (7)
TITANIC: string together a small bird, A and an informal verb to catch or arrest without its last letter.

5a Cult’s keeping empty religiose confidences (7)
SECRETS: a synonym of cult plus it’s S containing the outer letters of religiose.

9a Here French spit showing hostility … (7)
ICINESS: charade of the French word for ‘here’ and a spit or narrow piece of land projecting into the sea.

10a … the French, less than clean (7)
LAUNDER: one of the French definite articles and a preposition meaning ‘less than’.

11a Record single stays without grand arrangement (9)
LOGISTICS: assemble an official record, the Roman number one and a verb meaning stays without one of the abbreviations for a thousand.

12a Paroxysm from cast for the audience (5)
THROE: this sounds like a verb to cast or chuck.

13a Brush rubbish holding broom? (5)
SHRUB: hidden in the clue.

15a Redress sound blokes wearing a suit finally (9)
ATONEMENT: a musical sound and a synonym for blokes go inside A and the final letter of suit.

17a Oddly raid vessel captured by fellow warship (9)
PRIVATEER: the odd letters of ‘raid’ and a vessel for holding liquid are inserted into a noun meaning fellow or equal.

19a Cool beer, half cut after drink (5)
SUPER: half of the word ‘beer’ follows a verb to drink.

22a Rows, what’s heard before bedtime, we hear? (5)
TIERS: what sounds like the things coming before bedtime in a phrase warning of problems in store.

23a Made water flow on small flower (9)
SPEEDWELL: a verb meaning ‘made water’ or micturated and a verb to flow or gush follow the clothing abbreviation for small.

25a Stupidly see following current old lady (7)
INANELY: a see in Cambridgeshire follows the symbol for electric current and an affectionate term for an elderly female relative.

26a Foxy sweetheart rejected hunger (7)
VULPINE: reverse an informal term of address akin to sweetheart and add a verb to hunger or yearn.

27a Stand facing almost compact rocks (7)
TEETERS: rivet together a stand or support for golfers’ balls and an adjective meaning compact or brief without its final letter.

28a In retrospect, reached for spirit (7)
SPECTRE: hidden in the clue.

Down Clues

1d Touches muzzle of tommy guns (7)
TRIFLES: the muzzle or front bit of tommy precedes types of gun.

2d Time one fitting sails set off (7)
TRIGGER: the abbreviation for time and a person who fits sails.

3d Tatty accompaniment for Scot? (5)
NEEPS: what the Scots eat with their tatties.

4d Actors with one take displaying discipline (9)
CASTIGATE: glue together a word for the actors in a production, the Roman one and the take or revenue from those attending a sports event.

5d Deals with drink on board (5)
SALES: an alcoholic drink goes between the letters of our usual steamship.

6d Legion lacking military commander? (9)
COUNTLESS: split the answer 5,4 and it could mean lacking a nobleman. A nobleman could, in some cases, be a military commander I suppose – hence the question mark.

7d Support scrap over nag in EastEnders (7)
ENDORSE: a scrap or remnant followed by how an East Ender might pronounce a nag.

8d Treacherous person finished protecting Queen (7)
SERPENT: an adjective meaning finished or exhausted contains our Queen’s regnal cipher.

14d Insolence that is about supporter (9)
BRASSIERE: fit together an informal word for insolence, the abbreviation for ‘that is’ and a preposition meaning about.

16d Uncovered dish with brownies for us (9)
OURSELVES: remove the outer letters from a dish or part of a meal and add what brownies are in folklore.

17d On insurgence beat up nationalist (7)
PATRIOT: prior to an insurgence or violent disturbance reverse a verb to beat gently.

18d Furious about gutted tortoise getting run over (7)
ITERATE: a synonym of furious contains the outer letters of tortoise.

20d Augur rose within ancient person (7)
PREDICT: a colour like rose or light crimson goes inside a person living in northern Scotland during Roman times.

21d Free experience, again embracing sweetheart (7)
RELIEVE: a verb to experience again contains the heart of sweet.

23d Swellings troubling your eyes, say, initially (5)
STYES: initial letters of words in the clue.

24d Sweet state payment involving Conservative (5)
DOLCE: unemployment payment includes an abbreviation for Conservative.

The clues I liked best were 9/10a (Beam being rude about the folk of his adopted country?), 16d and 18d. Which one(s) made you titter?


25 comments on “Toughie 2799

  1. Not a Floughie by any means but took me less time (and brain energy) than the cryptic! Enjoyed this one, so thanks to Beam. Will now go and read Gazza.

  2. I too thought this about as gentle as we’re ever likely to get with a Beam Toughie & reckon a fair few of his back-pagers trickier. A brisk solve was somewhat delayed in the SW but all done & parsed in *** time. 13a was probably the biggest head scratch – surely the rule is no anagrams I thought & then I saw the lurker.
    Thanks to Beam & Gazza – wouldn’t disagree with your picks.

  3. Typical Beam. This was great fun but not too tricky.

    I’m embarrassed at how long it took me to parse the obvious answer to 23d, but I got there in the end with a resounding d’oh!

    Even with the question mark, I think the military commander in 6d is a bit of a stretch.

    My top two were the French couple in 9a & 10a plus a special mention for 16d.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

  4. Most enjoyable and a proper Toughie, even if on the lighter end of the Beam scale. Like Huntsman my delay was in the SW, and I needed Gazza’s parsing to understand my bung-ins at 14d and 26a. Not entirely convinced even now by the parsing of 6d, though – I just don’t “get” it. Very useful knowing that there won’t be any anagrams in a Beam … until the day there are!

    18d my COTD.

    3* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza

  5. A 19a (with an added B) puzzle with virtually every clue a podium contender. Three new words in there for me but all fairly clued so obtainable from the checkers and wordplay.
    In a strong field I’ll go for the two French clues plus 1&14 as meriting special mention but my favourite was 16d
    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza for the top notch entertainment.

  6. Beam at his best and most mischievous. Excellent fun. How can one pick a favourite? I’ll go with 23a. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  7. Apparently a count was a military commander in the Western Roman Empire….who’d have known?
    All most enjoyable thanks to Beam and to Gazza for help parsing 7d.

  8. Very enjoyable. A bit of digging revealed that count could indeed refer to a military commander in the Roman empire. Thanks to Gazza and Beam.

  9. Aah – the delightful haven that is a Mr T puzzle! More delight from the maestro today but I hope the ‘water’ in 23a is as far as he ever dives into the world of the vernacular……
    My personal top two were 22a (loved the illustration, Gazza!) and 4d.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to Gazza for the review.

  10. Maybe my fastest finish ever for a Beam (or even a Ray T) puzzle, but in its gentleness still quite enjoyable. 16d wins the Gold but there’s nary a dud in the grid, as is typical for a Beamish puzzle, and the French clues run a close second and third. Not remembering that Scottish delicacy, I did have to Google 3d for confirmation. Glad I remembered the No Anagrams rule for Beam Toughies, as 13a is a tricky little devil, innit? Many thanks to Gazza and to Beam.

  11. Testing but very enjoyable. Trademark concise clues and plenty of fun, with 16d my pick for COTD.

    My thanks to Mr T and Gazza.

  12. How strange. I found this quite impenetrable. I couldn’t understand the clues let alone solve them. I even made a mess of 3d. Because tatty was in the singular, after much thought I settled for a single swede rather than the plural neeps! Not my finest hour.

  13. i thought shrub was an anagram of brush, i now see from the comments that it was a lurker because no anagrams were permitted, where did that rule come from? and does it really matter?
    just curious

    1. It’s a Beam trademark. He uses plenty in his Ray T back-pagers but never in his Toughies apparently

      1. Ah so! Thank you very much i had no idea that particular setters had strict rules, i can never tell who the setter is. I just battle on and generally get them finished, i dont always understand how they work so i come here for the enlightenment, for example i have finished todays toughie but there sre so many that i dont understand so will come back here for the explanations thank you again kind soul

  14. I only needed the thesaurus once for 12a….it was Greek to me
    Is this the end of stretched synonyms?
    I won’t get rid of it until I’m absolutely sure.
    Thanks to RayT and to Gazza.
    I wonder if China had another campaign for the picture of 9a as they did for the summer Olympics.

  15. Easy Toughie for me, a Floughie as they say! In fact the two (back-pager and this one) took me *******.

    This is most certainly not a complaint, as excellence arrives in many forms, including easier puzzles, but I was rather hoping for a bit more toffee to chew upon (in both instances) on a Thursday.

    There, I’ve said it, and will now regret it :D

    1. It’s the blog’s policy not to quote solving times.

      Be careful what you wish for – it’s Elgar tomorrow!

  16. Did this realising it was a Ray T. (under Beam), given the number of words in the clues as well as no multiple word answers either … a give away trademark. Took me to 3.5* time but I was not expecting it to be a breeze. Needed some lateral thinking too.
    Clues I liked included 1a, 10a, 23a, 2d & 14d
    Did not know the words in 17a, 3d nor the ancient person in 20d so those held me up.
    Not sure why I tried this as I have trouble with Ray T. puzzles so pretty much expected a challenge with him as Beam.

    Paseed the time well and learnt some new words.

    Thanks to Beam & Gazza

  17. Thanks to Beam and to Gazza for the review and hints. The furthest I’ve ever got on a Beam puzzle. Still needed the hints for 13a, missed the lurker. 14d, couldn’t see the definition. 16d ditto, and never heard that brownies were elves. Favourite was 25a, LOI was 15a. Was 2*/4* for me. My venture into Toughieland this week has been very good, but judging from the comments, it’s more like Floughieland 😁

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