Toughie 2823 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2823

Toughie No 2823 by Beam

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Thanks to Beam for a pleasing puzzle with a few chuckles along the way. Knowing that there are no anagrams does prevent one going down blind alleys (as I might have done with e.g. 11d had it come from another setter).

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

Across Clues

1a Stun fat pig injecting drug occasionally (11)
FLABBERGAST: start with the fat that Wogan used to fight and add a synonym for a pig or brute containing the even letters of drug.

9a Brief is civil taking on criminal (7)
LACONIC: an adjective meaning civil, in the sense of secular, contains an abbreviation for a criminal.

10a Animals bit back biting adult (6)
LLAMAS: reverse an adjective meaning bit, as in ‘a bit part’, containing the abbreviation for adult.

12a The man’s on dope creating habit (7)
CLOTHES: a short form of the ‘the man is’ follows a dope or twit.

13a Sole offspring? (7)
TIDDLER: cryptic definition of a young sole.

14a Layabout rejected accepting posh soft lump (5)
BOLUS: the reversal of a layabout or couch-potato contains our usual letter meaning posh.

15a Best from lover? Mat chafes! (9)
OVERMATCH: hidden in the clue is a verb (mainly American according to the BRB) meaning to best.

17a One pays pocketing useless underwear article (9)
SUSPENDER: someone who pays contains the abbreviation for useless.

20a Young creatures eating advanced chrysalids (5)
PUPAS: some young animals contain the abbreviation for advanced.

22a Literal English spirit protects scoundrel (7)
ERRATUM: an abbreviation for English and an alcoholic spirit contain a scoundrel or scumbag.

24a House supporter going back in time (7)
HARBOUR: reverse our usual supporting garment inside a period of time.

25a Cross beam on stake (6)
BETRAY: a beam of light follows a verb to stake or punt.

26a Conspicuous incident about passport, perhaps (7)
EVIDENT: a synonym for incident contains the abbreviation for what a passport is an example of.

27a Chance firm garners endless publicity (11)
INADVERTENT: an adjective meaning firm or determined contains a type of publicity without its final T.

Down Clues

2d Starts missing starter of appetising meals (7)
LUNCHES: a verb meaning starts loses the first letter of appetising.

3d Defends solemn promise, producing fencing stick (9)
BACKSWORD: split 5,4 this could mean ‘endorses a solemn promise’.

4d Lustre of powder sweetheart picked up (5)
ÉCLAT: stick together a cosmetic powder and the heart of swEet and reverse it.

5d Crazy Horse upset employing right old lady (7)
GRANDAM: assemble an adjective meaning crazy and an old horse containing the abbreviation for right. Reverse what you have.

6d Colour of little old wound? (7)
SCARLET: definition and cryptic definition.

7d Smash Bishop, bar boobs, with Queen (11)
BLOCKBUSTER: paste together the chess abbreviation for bishop, a verb to bar or fasten, a more formal term for bodily boobs and our Queen’s regnal cipher.

8d Train  set? (6)
SCHOOL: double definition, the first a verb and the second a noun.

11d Arrange talk about opening of Raiders’ Ark (11)
ORCHESTRATE: a verb to talk formally contains the opening letter of raiders and an ark (the container, not the ship).

16d Notice believer with heart turning most vulgar (9)
EARTHIEST: knit together a word meaning notice or attention and a religious believer with the central two letters reversed.

18d Increase touching, seeing doctor (7)
SURGEON: a verb to increase and a preposition meaning touching or concerning.

19d Hospital department embarrassed after case finally logged (7)
ENTERED: start with Crosswordland’s usual hospital department and append an adjective meaning embarrassed following the final letter of case.

20d Lot of unusual liquid seen around river (7)
PORTION: lot here means destiny. A type of liquid, possibly medicine or an elixir, contains the abbreviation for river. I was confused initially by the ‘unusual’ but Collins says the ‘liquid’ is a rare word for beverage so that may explain it.

21d Force from cable in power line (6)
PROPEL: insert a cable between abbreviations for power and line.

23d Meaning almost ‘yes’, but equivocating initially (5)
MAYBE: we have to wait until the end today for Beam’s traditional ‘first letters’ clue.

The clues I liked best were 13a, 6d and 23d. Which one(s) made your day?


19 comments on “Toughie 2823

  1. The usual chuckles and the usual trademarks from Beam. 13a was my last one in and gets my vote for COTD. “Seeing” seems superfluous in 18d.
    Thanks to Beam and to Gazza for the blog and the additional chuckle at 22a.

  2. Really enjoyed this peach of a Toughie from my Thursday “sparring partner”.
    My only real problem was the parsing of 16d, thanks Gazza for the explanation.
    Gems throughout the grid but I’ll give my plaudits to 1,10&17a plus 6,18&23d.
    Many thanks to Beam and our reviewer for the top notch entertainment. Agree by the way, knowing the absence of any anagrams helps.

  3. Wot larks! Great fun while it lasted, though it would not have been out of place as a mid-week backpager. As Halcyon notes, full of RT/Beam trademarks including the very helpful clue type a Beam is not usually full of, thereby saving much scribbling and pen-sucking. Too many wonderful clues to single out any one in particular for special mention.

    To have this Beam and the backpage Silvanus on the same day is an unalloyed treat. Many thanks to RT/Beam & to Gazza.

    2 / 4

  4. I always enjoy Beam, though I also always forget to expect no anagrams. This was no exception – not one of his more challenging ones, but loads of smiles (beams!) along the way. I don’t think I’d ever seen d3d before, but it was very guessable. I initially put ‘tadpole’ for 13a, for reasons I cannot fathom, which caused a momentary pause. 6d was my favourite, I think. Big thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  5. Although I know there won’t be any anagrams typed in 16 down because earth is an anagram of heart and it fit with the checkers on a bung em em in and sort em later mission. A great puzzle to complement the Silvanus back pager. Thanks to Gazza and Beam

  6. Part two of my dream team – wish every week could be like this!
    This setter can always be relied upon to dig out unusual synonyms so I find it pays to have the BRB close at hand – needed it for ‘attention’ today and also to check on the fencing stick.
    Podium places claimed by 1&7a plus 6,11&23d. Initial read-through had me worrying where 1a was headed but in the event it was hilarious.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for the review – thought that was a very restrained illustration at 17a!

  7. What a brilliantly entertaining puzzle. Some lovely, concise misdirection and plenty of Beamish humour. My favourite will have to be 6d.

    Thanks to both Mr T and Gazza.

  8. Great fun with this setter’s inimitable style. I couldn’t see what “unusual” was doing in 20d although Gazza’s suggestion seems to be a reasonable explanation; and I am not entirely convinced by 13a. Everything else was ship-shape with many clues fighting it out for podium positions. 1a, 25a & 6d finally made the grade.

    A very satisfying day indeed in Telegraph crosswordland.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

  9. Great puzzle thanks Beam and Gazza. No particular favourites, as it was super throughout. I’ve learned to expect concise clues, a sweetheart, the Queen, initial letters … but why no anagrams? (No complaints, just curious!)

  10. Beam was very kind to us today but great fun as always. I forgot the no anagrams rule so needed the hint to parse 16d. Favourite was 11d. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  11. Great fun and a real pleasure to solve with plenty of chuckles along the way.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

  12. Regarding 17a…I have never understood why suspenders should be considered sexy. As anyone woman who has endured long legs and short stockings will tell you, tights were not invented nearly soon enough!

  13. Beam being Beam.
    Even I guessed who the setter was.
    Thought of tadpole too in 13a for no apparent reason either.
    Didn’t think about any anagram in 16d. Thought it would end in thiest or diest but came up with seethiest as a potential answer.
    Thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

  14. As Gazza said, knowing that there are no anagrams freed me of those options and probably helped speed up my solve last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed this masterpiece. 16d was my LOI and probably my favourite but the whole grid is just full of wit and wiliness. Thanks to Gazza and Beam.

  15. Thank you to Beam and Gaza. I really enjoyed having a go at this in the early hours and impressed myself getting correct answers with words I didn’t even know I knew! I suppose that’s what others would describe as bung ins! I might be late on parade but so lovely to start the day smiling.

  16. A day late to this but a lovely puzzle.
    Thanks Beam & Gazza though I’m pleased to say your hints weren’t needed.

  17. 2*/3*….
    liked 23D ” Meaning almost ‘yes’, but equivocating initially (5) ” & the hint to 22A.

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