Toughie No 2959 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***/****
We have an enjoyable puzzle from Beam with his usual economy of words (no clue contains more than six words which is a remarkable feat). Thanks to him.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Gladiator scraps about cheers nearly ended (9)
SPARTACUS: a verb meaning scraps or fights containing a short word meaning cheers or thanks and all but the last letter of a verb meaning ended or discontinued.
6a Struggle with belief (4)
VIEW: a verb to struggle and the abbreviation for ‘with’.
10a Ascent of Conservative member (5)
CLIMB: an abbreviation for Conservative and a bodily member.
11a Branch or agency covering foreign city (9)
ANCHORAGE: hidden in the clue.
12a The main man, in the main (7)
ADMIRAL: a neat cryptic definition of a top naval person.
13a Unlucky over without taking duck (7)
OMINOUS: the cricket abbreviation for over and a preposition meaning without or lacking containing the duck-resembling letter.
14a Going outside, catching cold, causing fever (8)
EXCITING: a present participle meaning ‘going outside’ contains the tap abbreviation for cold.
16a Fancy clubs with dance party (5)
CRAVE: the abbreviation for the card suit clubs and a large dance party.
19a Abrupt end to Celt language (5)
TERSE: the end letter of Celt and a Gaelic language.
21a Cut charge on shoestring (8)
LACERATE: a charge or cost follows another word for shoestring.
24a Plod arrests nabbing one with ecstasy (7)
TRAIPSE: a verb meaning arrests or captures contains the Roman numeral for one. Finish with the abbreviation for the drug ecstasy.
25a Look almost sweet after hard trim (7)
HAIRCUT: a look or demeanour and an adjective meaning sweet or attractive without its last letter follow the pencil abbreviation for hard.
27a Following proper sex this compiler’s crude (9)
PRIMITIVE: string together an adjective meaning proper or prudish, a short word for sex and the contracted form of the compiler has from his viewpoint.
28a Try hitching up motorway, backpacking initially (5)
THUMB: initial letters.
29a Hypocrisy from bank (4)
CANT: double definition, the second a verb to bank or tilt.
30a Shocking former sweetheart, guy accepts resistance (9)
EXECRABLE: assemble a prefix meaning former, Beam’s usual swEetheart and the sort of guy that might prevent your tent collapsing with the abbreviation for electrical resistance inserted.
1d Ceremony broadcast without a crowd (9)
SACRAMENT: a verb meaning broadcast or transmitted goes around A and a verb to crowd or stuff.
2d Adult kiss on island revealing truth (5)
AXIOM: the film abbreviation for adult and the letter used to signify a kiss are followed by an island in the Irish sea.
3d Naked wearing rubbish silk (7)
TABARET: a synonym for naked goes inside a word for rubbish or shoddy stuff. Not a word I knew but the wordplay is clear.
4d Be faithful embracing unrefined toadying (8)
CRAWLING: a verb meaning to be faithful or adhere to contains an adjective meaning unrefined.
5d Part of church in deterioration’s uplifted (6)
SECTOR: inset the abbreviation for the established church in England into a word for deterioration or decline with its ‘S. Now reverse the lot.
7d What aroma nicely rising enshrouds lover (9)
INAMORATA: hidden in reverse.
8d Makes water, obscuring pupils primarily (5)
WEEPS: an all-in-one clue. A verb meaning makes water or micturates contains the first letter of pupils.
9d Heavenly region around stellar twelve revolving (6)
ZODIAC: reverse a one-letter abbreviation for about or approximately, an abbreviation meaning stellar or first-class and an abbreviation meaning twelve.
15d Japan maybe supporting auto plant (9)
CARNATION: what Japan is an example of follows an automobile.
17d Charming losing Democrat fit for office (9)
ELECTABLE: start with an adjective meaning charming without its initial letter which is the abbreviation for Democrat.
18d Bare below? Possibly change material (8)
CASHMERE: an adjective meaning bare or meagre follows what might be the sort of change found in your purse or pocket.
20d Clairvoyance with endless practice produces life (6)
ESPRIT: the abbreviation for clairvoyance and a practice or tradition without its last letter.
22d One overcomes after firstly escaping bailiff (7)
EVICTOR: someone who overcomes or wins the day follows the first letter of escaping.
23d Symbol of French corruption (6)
DEVICE: the French word for ‘of’ and a synonym of corruption or iniquity.
24d Head in charge? It’s debatable (5)
TOPIC: an adjective meaning head or pre-eminent and the abbreviation meaning ‘in charge.
26d Empty catacomb contains curious piece (5)
CRUMB: the outer letters of catacomb contain an adjective meaning curious or strange.
The clues I liked most were 11a, 12a, 8d, 9d and 18d. Which ones made the cut for you?