Toughie 2831 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2831

Toughie No 2831 by Beam

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I thought that this was on the straightforward side for a Beam Toughie with fewer than usual questions along the lines ‘how on earth does that word mean that?’. It does have Beam’s usual standards such as Queen and sweetheart as well as some amusing innuendo. Thanks to Beam.

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

Across Clues

1a Supporter on pitch catching papers by mistake (12)
ACCIDENTALLY: a supporter or comrade follows a word meaning pitch or stress in speech with the abbreviation for papers inserted.

9a Ration is entirely too much keeping crew (9)
ALLOTMENT: start with a synonym of entirely and add an abbreviation meaning too much or excessive containing crew members.

10a Initially someone with affectionate intentions, naturally (5)
SWAIN: a ‘first letters’ clue.

11a Amorous heart embraces sex appeal returning (6)
EROTIC: reverse a word for heart or nucleus containing a short word for sex appeal.

12a Honour in account of French imbibing drink (8)
ACCOLADE: the abbreviation for an account or invoice and the French word meaning ‘of’ contain a fizzy drink.

13a Queen rejected struggle with criticism (6)
REVIEW: string together the reversal of our Queen’s regnal cipher, a verb to struggle and the abbreviation for ‘with’.

15a Fancies changes embroiling a Government’s leader (8)
VAGARIES: a verb meaning changes or fluctuates contains A and the leading letter of Government.

18a Uneven start about Conservative after story (8)
SPLOTCHY: a verb to start (like a nervous horse) contains an abbreviation for Conservative following the story in a book or film.

19a Groups age on dope (6)
GENERA: an age or period of time follows an informal word for dope or information.

21a Getting on line for information (8)
LEARNING: a word meaning getting or ‘taking home’ follows the abbreviation for line.

23a Imagine single girlfriend accepting sweetheart (6)
IDEATE: a single in Roman numerals followed by a girlfriend or partner containing the heart of swEet. Not a word I knew but the wordplay is clear.

26a Nice way to express boredom? (5)
ENNUI: a word from French meaning boredom.

27a Residence in Panama perhaps includes river pong (9)
HOUSEBOAT: what a panama is a type of contains the name of several rivers in England and an abbreviated personal pong.

28a It’s possibly cooler in North America? (12)
PENITENTIARY: cryptic definition of a cooler or can in North America.

Down Clues

1d Ace partner sure stripped in buff (7)
AMATEUR: concatenate the abbreviation for ace in cards, a partner and the inner letters of sure.

2d Chamber orchestra’s lead instrument (5)
CELLO: a chamber or small room and the leading letter of orchestra.

3d Detective Unit, for example, denied causing harm (9)
DETRIMENT: an abbreviation for detective followed by an army unit with the abbreviation of ‘for example’ taken out.

4d Reportedly is aware of negative votes (4)
NOES: a homophone of ‘is aware of’.

5d Sovereign occurs occasionally in gold trinkets (8)
AUTOCRAT: insert the odd letters of occurs into the chemical symbol for gold and trinkets or worthless items.

6d Catch girl with nothing on underneath! (5)
LASSO: a synonym of girl with the letter resembling zero under it.

7d Roughly large excavation concealing a mineral (8)
CALAMINE: a two-letter abbreviation for roughly, the abbreviation for large and an excavation contain A.

8d If not cloudy, take top off (6)
UNLESS: an adjective meaning cloudy without its top letter.

14d Useless youth’s first to commit bad crime (8)
VILLAINY: an adjective meaning useless or futile and the first letter of youth contain a synonym for bad or sick.

16d Change last word cut taking Mass (9)
AMENDMENT: the last word in a Christian prayer and a cut or reduction containing the abbreviation for mass.

17d Impress using great port (8)
SHANGHAI: double definition, impress here meaning to press-gang or forcibly enlist into the forces.

18d Full, eating pound, like some peanuts? (6)
SALTED: an adjective meaning full contains the abbreviation for a pound sterling.

20d Suitably pinching, heartlessly done with skill (7)
ADEPTLY: an adverb meaning suitably contains the word done without its inner letters.

22d Sound of hooter round middle of shift (5)
NOISE: what hooter is an informal word for contains the middle letter of shift.

24d Square described by Euclid? (5)
AGORA: there’s no need to try to remember your school geometry – all you need to know is that Euclid was a Greek and the word he would have used for a square or public open space.

25d Cunning copper on Met not starting up (4)
CUTE: the chemical symbol for copper and the reversal of Met after you’ve stripped off its first letter.

I’ll pick out the amusing surfaces in 1d, 6d and 8d for my podium. Which one(s) tickled you?

20 comments on “Toughie 2831

  1. Typical Beam/RayT with lots of undressing going on. I didn’t find this overly tough and it was a lot of fun.

    It doesn’t get any better than Silvanus and Beam on the same day.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

    1. I was going to say that too but you’ve beaten me to it. A win double if ever there was one.

  2. 7d & 15a took precisely as long as the rest put together. So a good start but a sloooow finish, thank you Beam. Wondered what illustration Gazza would choose for 6d! Satisfactory but could do better…

  3. I thought this was great fun, a very typical Beam puzzle which was teased out rather than flowed.
    My ticks mirror those of our reviewer but I’ll add the lol 27a into the mix.
    Many thanks to our esteemed setter and Gazza.

  4. A marginally quicker solve than the back-pager & equally enjoyable. Certainly not fiendish but taxing enough for the likes of me. 5d&12a my last 2 in & the only real head scratches – pointlessly tried to justify decorate & then lemonade for the latter & only got it once I’d twigged the wordplay for the former. 27a my favourite.
    Thanks to Beam & to Gazza.

  5. 23a was also new to me but, as Gazza pointed out, clear from the wordplay. I needed the hints to parse 3d and 17d, but once explained, obvious. A case of being wise after the event. Apart from those I had no problems. Favourite was 27a. Great fun as always with Rayt. Thanks to him and Gazza.

  6. As earlier commenters have said, a day of puzzles comprising Silvanus and Beam is one to treasure. This was another high class, concisely clued grid full of typical Beamish humour. 27a was my favourite of many.

    Thanks to Mr T and Gazza.

  7. Mostly straightforward with the exception of 18ac.
    ‘Uneven’ bears little resemblance to the BRB entry.
    And while I’m being grumpy..vain=useless?….maybe but only just!
    Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

    1. Yes, I noticed that about the BRB definition for 18a, Chris. On the other hand, I’ve always thought of splotches as uneven and Collins says, “a splotch is a large uneven mark or stain …”

    2. CM. I think vain = useless, both meaning ineffectual, is fine. At least you didn’t use the dreaded S word, so well done for that.

      *Stretched, not the 4-letter S word, I hasten to add!

    3. CM. I assume splotchy refers to uneven/erratic marks or patterns. As in dappled, mottled, blotchy.

  8. Very enjoyable although held up a bit by the SW corner and a trip to the dentist. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  9. Another excellent Beam Toughie. Held up by 7d a bit–googled to be sure of its ‘minerality’–but otherwise smooth sailing. 17d and 27a my top choices but not really a dud in the grid. Thanks to Gazza and Beam.

  10. Typical Beamer with so many laughs and aaah moments. So many great clues with lots of innuendo as usual. Struggled with 7d but with good clues it was difficult to find a favourite. Thanks to Ray for beaming on the day.

  11. 24d made me smile as I only learnt the word a few weeks ago on Wordle… my one and only fail on that puzzle and on the day there were two words… the other was far easier!

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