Toughie 2943 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2943

Toughie No 2943 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza

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

Beam provides, as is his usual, an entertaining but not too tricky puzzle. Thanks to him.

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

Across Clues

1a Support for capital punishment? (7)
GALLOWS: cryptic definition with the support being a structure rather than an endorsement.

5a Main Street, taking a right (7)
SALIENT: the abbreviation for street contains A and a legal right.

9a Buff partner in endless mood (7)
AMATEUR: insert a synonym of partner or comrade into a word meaning mood or ambience without its last letter.

10a Utter, primarily complete rubbish in end (7)
DICTATE: insert the first letter of complete and an informal word for rubbish or shabby stuff into a verb to end or bite the dust.

11a Sign seen outside explosive’s storehouse (9)
THESAURUS: a sign of the zodiac contains an abbreviation for explosive.

12a Beam is, briefly, handle (5)
SHAFT: a short form of ‘is’ (as used in the previous clue) followed by the handle of a tool.

13a Occasionally tries twine making lace again (5)
RETIE: regular letters from two words in the clue.

15a Wise bottling cold anger for violation (9)
SACRILEGE: an adjective meaning wise contains the tap abbreviation for cold and a verb to anger or annoy.

17a Courtesy seeing drunk English in gang (9)
POLITESSE: a slang word meaning drunk and an abbreviation for English go inside the sort of gang that always used to be assembled to catch the varmints in Western movies.

19a Animal in river (5)
HIPPO: a superb all-in-one clue. An informal adjective meaning ‘in’ or fashionable and an Italian river.

22a Dance sailor rejected after drink (5)
RUMBA: reverse one of our usual abbreviations for a sailor after an alcoholic drink.

23a What improves vision, in the main? (9)
PERISCOPE: cryptic definition. ‘In the main’ means ‘at sea’.

25a Living without sin’s first dying (7)
EXITING: a present participle meaning living without the first letter of sin.

26a Apprentices not starting lucrative jobs (7)
EARNERS: remove the first letter from apprentices or trainees.

27a Stray soldier back in outfit (7)
DIGRESS: the abbreviation for a US ordinary soldier is reversed inside an outfit.

28a Spirit of respect respected (7)
SPECTRE: a hidden word.

Down Clues

1d Worker putting beam under overhang’s end (7)
GRAFTER: the sort of beam you may have in your roof follows the last letter of overhang.

2d Scantiest minimum worn round Tyneside? (7)
LEANEST: a word meaning minimum contains the area of England in which Tyneside is located.

3d Last Letter to the Corinthians? (5)
OMEGA: cryptic definition. Corinth is in Greece.

4d Staggers as drink flows around, right? (9)
SURPRISES: a dialect verb to drink and a verb meaning flows or originates (of a river, say) containing an abbreviation for right.

5d Angles putting fish on board (5)
SIDES: insert a freshwater fish that’s very common in Crosswordland into our usual abbreviation for ship.

6d Yale man, perhaps? (9)
LOCKSMITH: cryptic definition. Yale here is not the US university.

7d Come out with sweetheart chap picked (7)
EMANATE: string together Beam’s usual swEetheart, a chap and a verb meaning picked. I didn’t think that ‘picked’ meant the required verb without an ‘at’ but the BRB says it means ‘to *** in small or delicate mouthfuls’.

8d Support the Yorkshire struggle losing wicket (7)
TRESTLE: the Yorkshire dialect version of ‘the’ is followed by a verb to struggle without its initial abbreviation for wicket.

14d Hand over former business lodging appeal (9)
EXTRADITE: a prefix meaning former and a word for business or commerce contain a dated word for sex appeal.

16d Dull game capturing Queen almost allowed (9)
CHEERLESS: a board game contains the regnal cipher of our late Queen and a verb meaning allowed without its final letter.

17d Warn of downfall supporting Left (7)
PORTEND: a synonym of downfall or ruin follows the sailor’s word for left.

18d Rodent left smell eating gutted earthworm (7)
LEMMING: the abbreviation for left and a verb to smell or stink contain the outer letters of earthworm.

20d Campaign launch? (7)
PROJECT: double definition, the first a noun and the second a verb.

21d Direct lover seeking embraces (7)
OVERSEE: hidden.

23d Times following paper’s opening printed matter (5)
PAGES: long periods of time follow the opening letter of paper.

24d Someone assessing recruits, gauging everybody’s principles (5)
SARGE: a ‘first letters’ clue. I thought that the last word should be principals but, once again, the BRB supports Beam as it says principle has an obsolete meaning of ‘beginning’.

I ticked 9a and 8d but my runaway favourite was the excellent 19a. Which one(s) appealed to you?

27 comments on “Toughie 2943

  1. Very enjoyable indeed.
    My only real problem was 17a, a new word for me but was able to construct it from checkers and wordplay, though I’ve only ever seen the drunk synonym in crosswordland.
    Top clues in a strong field for me are 14&18d with the winner going to 19a, an excellent all in one. Vicious animal by the way but one for which I have a bit of a soft spot.
    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza (love the locksmith name!) for the top notch entertainment.

  2. This one flowed very smoothly, with 10a LOI, and my cotd. 1*/3*. Thanks gazza and beam. I hope those who don’t normally attempt the toughies give this one a go!

  3. I, too, have to nominate the brilliant 19a as my COTD; it pretty much encapsulates everything I like about Beam’s puzzles. 3 and 6d ran it close. Overall a memorably enjoyable and entertaining grid that kept on giving.

    My thanks to Mr T and Gazza, especially for the brilliant illustrations.

  4. Another brilliant display of Mr T’s trademark talents, and a very fast and thoroughly enjoyable finish for me, with 19a (a LOL moment!), 8d, 14d, & 17a taking today’s honours. Thanks to Gazza and Beam.

  5. Cracking puzzle, surprisingly gentle – indeed I did this one over coffee earlier this morning thinking it was the backpager, and I didn’t even twig the absence of anagrams! A classy crossword, as one would expect from RayT, and there was nothing to alarm the equines.

    3d narrowly my COTD, but podium places went to the sublime 24d, laugh-out-loud 6d, and wonderful 19a. On early first glance I had so wanted to put in Otter (river in Devon) but correctly thought it would be unlikely to survive the appearance of checking letters. 1* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to RayT and to Gazza

      1. Thank you Gazza, appreciated – this is a test to see if the now corrected and saved address function is working properly yet. If it goes into pre-mod please just delete my message!

  6. Don’t know why but I’m always rather chuffed when my picks match those of the reviewer – guess it’s because they know a good ‘un when they see one which means my appreciation of a well constructed clue must be getting better. Anyway my podium the same as Gazza’s with a no contest for top spot once the penny had dropped for the in river wordplay. Typically enjoyable Beam puzzle that was nicely clued throughout & completed quicker than the back-pager.
    Thanks to Mr T & Gazza.
    Ps don’t suppose there’s anyone else prepared to admit to entertaining the possibility of a lempong rodent

      1. I think, H & J, that we should now accept the mythical existence of a lempong among the world’s most fantastic creatures.

  7. Rescued by Toughie for second day running! What’s not to like about fair and amusing clues? 19a proves that clues don’t have to be long and complicated to be brilliant. Cheers to Beam.

  8. Just the job to complete my dream team of setters and bloggers! One or two answers that took a bit of teasing out but a great deal of enjoyment along the way.
    Biggest ticks went to 11,17& 19a along with 6,14&18d but any number of others came into contention.

    Devotions yet again to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for an excellent review and the illustrations which he specialises in.

  9. Pretty straightforward until it wasn’t with the last four taking almost as long as the rest and causing me some angst. High quality stuff though. Favourite was 6d, I got it straightaway but it made me smile. Thanks to Rayt and Gazza.

  10. What a splendid day in crosswordland. This was huge fun from start to finish with 19a my favourite (I toyed at first with “otter” as the answer which fitted but seemed a bit feeble so thankfully I didn’t write it in) joined on the podium by 6d, 8d & 18d.

    Many thanks to Beam and to Gazza.

  11. I haven’t tackled this Toughie but, as always, have run through the clues/H&Ts and read the comments. I’d have to agree with Gazza that 19a is a truly excellent clue and the cartoon at 11a is very amusing – just up my street.

  12. Agree 19a is a cracker and now I know why I couldn’t parse “declare” for 10a.
    Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  13. ‘‘Twas on a Thursday morning…” .Apologies to Flanders and Swan, I did this while waiting for the gas man to call. I didn’t expect to finish the puzzle but slowly the answers fell into place. And yes, the gasman did come but as the necessary spare part is not available until Monday, we are without central heating in a modern house lacking a fireplace. We hope the mild weather here in South Devon continues!
    COTD? it has to be 11a, where would we be without it?

  14. I was persuaded to give this a go after reading positive comments in the backpager blog. I surprised myself on my first sortie into toughie land by completing it in good time without help. I do appreciate that this was a particularly gentle solve but it has done wonders for my confidence. Might even have another go, but perhaps not tomorrow! Liked 11a and 14d. Thanks to all involved.

    1. Well done. As you’ve discovered today not all Toughies are Friday-level in terms of difficulty so I hope we’ll see you again commenting on the Toughie blogs.

    2. That’s great to hear you solved it. I’ve found Wednesday and Thursday are more accessible, so have a go !

    3. Mhids, if you enjoyed this one & still have access to it I’d very much encourage you to go back & try Tuesday’s Hudson Toughie – great fun & about on a par with this one in terms of difficulty. Logman yesterday wasn’t bad either.
      Well done on finishing.

  15. I’m afraid I couldn’t make head nor tail of the back pager, only managed half a dozen clues before throwing in the towel! This one though, what a brilliant puzzle, thanks Mr T! My first one in and clue of the day (week?) was 6d. Thank you Gazza for your intro, it encouraged me to have a go and I did need to check that I’d got one or two answers right (I had!).

  16. Have gradually come around to Ray T due amongst other things to his lack of anagrams and now today a Beam Toughie challenge which didn’t frighten the horses so I will be back for more of his Toughies. Liked the obvious 6d Yale man and also 11a amongst several Fav candidates.
    Thank you Beam for a fun time and also Gazza for being there in the background.

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