Toughie 2895 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2895

Toughie No 2895 by Beam

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty */**Enjoyment ***

This was definitely at the easier end of Beam’s range and, apart from the absence of anagrams, could well have appeared as a Ray T production. So I hope those many Ray T aficionados who steer clear of Toughies will give this one a go – I think that they’ll enjoy it.

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

Across Clues

1a Feel for company partner employing skinflint (11)
COMMISERATE: the abbreviation for company and a sexual partner contain a skinflint.

9a Reportedly, ruling is coming down (7)
RAINING: this sounds like ruling as a monarch.

10a Harry is noble welcoming good person (6)
PESTER: a noble contains the usual abbreviation for a good or holy person.

12a Monsters seen in time slips (7)
TERRORS: the abbreviation for time and a noun meaning slips or lapses.

13a Adult more desperate embracing married suitor (7)
ADMIRER: the abbreviation for adult and a rather clunky comparative meaning more desperate or more drastic containing the genealogical abbreviation for married.

14a Quits all the same losing nothing (5)
EVENS: a phrase (4,2) meaning ‘all the same’ or nevertheless without the letter that resembles zero.

15a Official shoots rook, maybe following order (9)
OMBUDSMAN: shoots (possibly green ones) and what rook is an example of in chess follow the abbreviation for an order awarded for distinguished achievement.

17a Hard sweetheart, candid and cold (9)
HEARTLESS: the pencil abbreviation for hard, the letter at the heart of sweet and an adjective meaning candid or without guile.

20a Paddy field filled by river (5)
STROP: a verb to field or prevent a cricket ball reaching the boundary perhaps contains the abbreviation for river.

22a Applauding speech after victory for Republican (7)
OVATION: start with a formal speech and change the abbreviation for Republican to that of victory.

24a Pilot ace through until war’s end (7)
AVIATOR: we have to join four separate bits in this 6-word clue – the abbreviation for ace in card games, a preposition meaning through, a synonym for until and the end letter of war.

25a Deaden live heart, arresting metabolism initially (6)
BENUMB: a verb to live or exist and a synonym for heart or crux containing the initial letter of metabolism.

26a Something brewing perhaps before new storm (7)
TYPHOON: something that you may brew to obtain ‘the cup that cheers but does not inebriate’ precedes the abbreviation for new.

27a Right always criticise boom (11)
REVERBERATE: string together the abbreviation for right, a synonym for always and a verb to criticise or rebuke.

Down Clues

2d Love less, assuming nothing sinister (7)
OMINOUS: the letter that looks like love in tennis and a preposition meaning less (especially in maths) containing another occurrence of the letter we had at the start.

3d Some gas to release around outlet (9)
MEGASTORE: hidden in the clue.

4d Detective dressed in blue and brown (5)
SEPIA: the abbreviation for a private detective is contained in what blue is a literary term for.

5d Took up tot found in grass (7)
RESUMED: a verb to tot is found in a type of grass.

6d Blithe or embarrassed about proposition (7)
THEOREM: another hidden word.

7d Kinship of family housing second husband (11)
BROTHERHOOD: a family (of children or little chicks perhaps) contains an adjective meaning second or alternative and the genealogical abbreviation for husband.

8d Possibly drill bit without resistance (6)
PIERCE: a synonym for bit or portion containing the electrical abbreviation for resistance.

11d Clear spring after flowed into river (11)
TRANSPARENT: a health-giving spring follows a verb meaning flowed and that all goes inside a river of central England.

16d Gambler taking odds with a spot (9)
BESPATTER: another word for a gambler contains the abbreviation for the odds on a horse race and A. Spot here is a verb.

18d Scholarly life summit includes baldies occasionally (7)
ACADEME: a synonym for summit or peak contains the even letters of ‘baldies’.

19d Support in number for popular leader (7)
TRIBUNE: one of 24 things supporting the upper body goes inside a number or melody. The answer was an official in ancient Rome (popular because he was elected by the people).

20d Small bite on dog, maybe bit (7)
SNIPPET: glue together the clothing abbreviation for small, a sharp bite, and what a dog may be an example of.

21d Upgrade equipment of revolting marauder (6)
RETOOL: reverse a word meaning marauder or pillager.

23d Tycoon fat cat pocketing a billion (5)
NABOB: an informal word for a fat cat or person of wealth contains A and the abbreviation for billion.

My ticks today went to 14a, 20a and 26a. Which one(s) hit the spot for you?

23 comments on “Toughie 2895

  1. Very enjoyable indeed from the mastery of brevity and smiles.
    20 across and down both made me grin broadly, thought 14a was super clever but COTD must go to the LOL 26a.
    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  2. More straightforward than usual for Beam but where’s The Queen? 26a raised a smile.
    Thanks to Beam and Gazza

  3. Great puzzle. Perhaps just on the toughie spectrum, an enjoyable if brief challenge.
    Thanks for the cartoons and to Beam.

  4. What a lot of fun this was although I would describe it as challenging with everything falling into place slowly but steadily.

    I agree with Gazza and SL that 14a, 20a & 26a were the pick of a very good bunch.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

  5. I really don’t mind which end of the difficulty spectrum a Ray T puzzle comes from, he’s such a brilliant setter and always gives us plenty of enjoyment. Not that I’m biased of course!
    More than happy to go along with Gazza’s picks of the bunch today – 14,20&26a were also my top three.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for the review and witty illustrations – really laughed over the one for 24a!
    PS I do hope Kath spots this one, I’m sure she’d enjoy it.

  6. Great stuff from Beam/RayT. Not difficult as others have mentioned but enjoyable and concisely-clued throughout. And further evidence that this setter is amongst the best exponents of the lurker, 3d being a great example.

    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza for the blog/parsings.

  7. I just loved this anagramless wonder and am happy to go along with Gazza and Jane, and others, in selecting 14, 20, & 26a as my top choices, though that brand of tea is new to me and threw me for a loop or two until I saw the light (Mr Google’s beacon). And a special shout-out for one of the greatest lurkers in some time at 1a! A charming and delightful grid thanks to Mr T, and thanks too to Gazza, as always.

  8. Cracking puzzle to crack, for which many thanks to the maestro, Mr T / Beam. While it may have been gentle by Toughie standards it still merited its “inside pages” location IMV, and I echo Gazza’s hope that other RayT back-page fans give this one a go.

    7d COTD for me, but most of the others would get podium places were it large enough!

    Thanks again to Beam, and of course also to Gazza

  9. Whilst I echo the comments re speed of solving, IMHO this was well worth the Toughie title. Several took some teasing out, with only the lurkers leaning towards “easy”. Thanks Mr T, and Gazza for the humour.

  10. Excellent stuff as usual from Beam. I for one was glad of a more straightforward toughie. Favourite, as others, was 26a. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  11. Oh dear! A DNF for me. I just do not share this enthusiasm for MrT. He is just not on my wavelength especially as I like the occasional anagram to speed me on my way.

  12. Evening all. I thought that I’d pop in early before I forget! My thanks to Gazza for the decryption and to everybody else for your observations.


    1. Good evening, Mr T, great to ‘see’ you as always. I often wonder whether you speculate as to which clues will get selected for favouritism and whether we sometimes surprise you.

      1. I’m very bad at predicting which clues people will choose to single out, so I don’t do it any more. Often a clue which I think is particularly good never gets a mention! C’est la vie…

  13. After all these years I can now see straight through Mr Terrell, but it is always great fun
    Many thanks Ray, and thanks also to Gazza – hello!

  14. Really enjoyed this puzzle and I am surprised how well it went, considering more often than not I have difficulty with RayT offerings.

    Favourites include 10a, 26a, 11d & 20d
    Thanks to Beam (or should I say RayT) and Gazza
    Fun puzzle!

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