Toughie 2863 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2863

Toughie No 2863 by Beam

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A typical Beam puzzle with some amusing clues – thanks to him. We have the usual succinctness and, appropriately for today, the Queen is present though we have no sweetheart or ‘first letters’ clue.

Happy Birthday to Kath.

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

Across Clues

1a Safe outside in plum job (8)
SINECURE: an adjective meaning safe contains IN.

5a Excited first woman carrying fine daughter (6)
EVOKED: the first woman in the Bible contains an abbreviation meaning fine or satisfactory. Finish with the genealogical abbreviation for daughter.

9a You, previously found in flower shed (8)
OUTHOUSE: an old word for ‘you’ goes inside the name of several rivers in England.

10a Stretches out to see / birds (6)
CRANES: double definition, the first meaning stretches (one’s neck, usually) to see something.

11a You, the French, sample soap? (8)
TOILETRY: string together French words meaning ‘you’ and ‘the’ and append a verb to sample.

12a Trunks roughly held by trees’ bark? (6)
TORSOS: an expression (2,2) meaning roughly is held between the outer letters of trees.

14a Quality of stock about right for soup? (10)
MINESTRONE: quality of stock (4’1,4) (where stock is a store like Big Dave’s useful repository on this site) contains the abbreviation for right.

18a Sorry absconder firstly imaginative hiding record (10)
APOLOGETIC: the first letter of absconder and an adjective meaning imaginative or figurative contain an official record.

22a Pine, maybe losing heart getting award (6)
CONFER: what a pine is an example of loses its central letter.

23a Intellectual scoffed following American measure (8)
LITERATE: a verb meaning scoffed follows the American spelling of a measure of capacity.

24a Inventor with zero arrogance taken aback (6)
EDISON: reverse an expression (2,4) meaning zero arrogance or ‘airs’.

25a Falls about and cheers Queen show (8)
CATARACT: knit together an abbreviation meaning about, a short word meaning cheers or thanks, the letter identifying the Latin word for queen and a show or performance.

26a Prospects of, reportedly, spotted owls finally (6)
SCENES: what sounds like a past participle meaning spotted and the final letter of owls.

27a Live, too much inside information propagated (8)
BEGOTTEN: start with a verb meaning live or exist then insert an abbreviation meaning too much or excessive into an informal word for information.

Down Clues

1d Jabs around round’s opening for boxers (6)
SHORTS: a synonym of jabs or injections contains the opening letter of round.

2d Fur zealot feeling revolted (6)
NUTRIA: a zealot or aficionado followed by the reversal of a feeling or mood. I didn’t know this word which the BRB tells me is the fur of a coypu.

3d Cabinet secretly covering for Tories’ leader (6)
CLOSET: an adverb meaning secretly sits on top of the leading letter of Tories. Well, some of them are, others are more vocal in their support but several seem to be keeping their powder dry with a view to throwing their hat in the ring later.

4d Imprisoned, others exercised sharing time (10)
RESTRAINED: stick together words for others and exercised and delete one of the abbreviation for time at the junction of the two.

6d Drink vicar perhaps upset over gas? (8)
VERMOUTH: reverse the abbreviated title of a vicar and add a verb to gas or chatter.

7d Fracking stones securing capital (8)
KINGSTON: hidden in the clue.

8d Serious trouble from wind is astern (8)
DISASTER: … and a second hidden word.

13d Elope with current partner being reasonable (10)
LEGITIMATE: assemble an informal phrasal verb to elope or scarper (3,2), the symbol for electric current and a sexual partner.

15d Organ vessel with detailed wrinkle (8)
PANCREAS: a cooking vessel and a wrinkle without its last letter.

16d Caught over middle, say, for match (8)
COINCIDE: start with cricketing abbreviations for caught and over and add a homophone of a synonym of middle or core.

17d Look, yours truly accepts single’s solitary (8)
LONESOME: an archaic exclamation meaning look or behold and the objective pronoun meaning ‘yours truly’ contain a single and its S.

19d Craft exercise old boy’s taken up (6)
PEDALO: the abbreviation for exercise at school followed by the reversal of the abbreviation for old and another word for boy.

20d Stone sailor found under boat, oddly (6)
BASALT: an informal word for a sailor follows the odd letters of boat.

21d It precedes Mass for verger (6)
SEXTON: what ‘it’ is a nudge-nudge word for followed by a word meaning mass or large number. I’m not sure that the answer is the same as a verger but I suppose their roles may overlap.

My ticks today went to 25a, 6d and 8d. Which one(s) appealed to you?

16 comments on “Toughie 2863

  1. Top notch, very enjoyable with lots of cleverly constructed cryptic clues, nicely challenging without being mind numbingly difficult. Actually completed early morning mistakenly thinking it was (testing) back pager.
    Never heard of the falls but constructed it piece by piece from the wordplay.
    I liked lots including 10,18,22&23a plus 13,14&19d but my favourite was 12a, brilliant.
    Many thanks to the Beam and Gazza for the fun in South Devon sun

  2. 1d And 11a were my favourites although several others got ticks. Thanks to Gazza and Beam.

  3. One of my favourite setter/blogger teams, how could I fail to enjoy the experience.
    Pleased to read that I wasn’t alone in not knowing the 2d fur – at least I was OK with the drink and the birds!
    Particularly enjoyed the detailed wrinkle, the soap and the Queen show.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for the pictorial review.

  4. SW last in as I made harder work of it than I should have but once I got a couple of penny drop checkers the rest flew in. Oh well. I need the hints to parse 14a and 21d. COTD was 13d, brilliant. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  5. Lovely stuff from Beam with some terrific clues, foremost amongst which was, for me, 12a. Nicely challenging with plenty of humour.

    Thanks to Mr T and Gazza.

  6. I’ve been out for most of the day and came to this late. I really enjoyed this. I found it challenging but it was typical Beam and a lot of fun.

    It’s impossible to pick a favourite from so many good clues.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza – our Thursday Toughie dream team.

  7. RD and Jane are so right: what a ‘dream team’ this is! 2d was my last one in, though I have seen the fur advertised online a great deal over here (no, I wasn’t e-shopping, just a victim of popup ads). Really enjoyed this classic Beam, with 12a, 15d, 13d, and 21d (LOL-ing while solving it) getting my loudest cheers. Thanks to Gazza and Mr T.

    Enjoyed seeing Her Majesty and the Duke of Kent suddenly appear on the balcony earlier today.

  8. Beaten by the 4th and 6th letters of 2d, never heard of it. Tried a notable squirrel but not parse-able, and maybe a bit callous!
    Great puzzle though, thanks Beam and Gazza
    13d my favourite

  9. 2d my last in & the only real head scratch in a typically enjoyable Beam puzzle. Can’t say that I found it particularly more difficult than a fair few of his back page ones but that didn’t detract from the pleasure to be had in solving it in the least. 1d my clear favourite (great misleading surface) ahead of 13d & 24a.
    Thanks to RT & Gazza.
    Now for yesterday’s Shamus Toughie which I didn’t get round to.

      1. You’re not wrong Robert – lovely puzzle & a perfect light dessert to follow a tasty Beam main.
        Did you have a stab at our reviewer’s NTSPP ? Recommend you do if it passed you by.

  10. We also did not know the 2d fur. The challenge is going to be to remember it for next time.
    Thoroughly enjoyable solve accompanied by the usual mantra about ‘Stop looking for anagrams’.
    Thanks Beam and Gazza.

  11. Afternoon all. Completely forgot what day it was yesterday, but my thanks to Gazza and to all for your comments.


    1. Hi Mr T, I thought perhaps you were too busy celebrating our good queen’s jubilee!

        1. NO – to judge from what you’ve said about the age of your son, you’ve a long way to go before you can use that excuse!

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