Toughie 2975 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 2975

Toughie No 2975 by Beam
Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

We know what to expect from Beam and he’s given us an entertaining though not too tricky puzzle. Many thanks to him and it’s good to learn from 24d that he’s in good shape.

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

Across Clues

1a Caught drunk then given a hand (7)
CLAPPED: the cricket abbreviation for caught and a past participle meaning drunk.

5a Flash skin of pectorals showing muscles (7)
TRICEPS: a flash or short time and the outer letters of pectorals.

9a Characters with inclination to the right? (7)
ITALICS: cryptic definition.

10a Devour entirety inside ice cream container (7)
CONSUME: a synonym of entirety or total goes inside what your 99 might be served in.

11a Exhale in public revealing boob (9)
OVERSIGHT: a verb to exhale is contained in an adjective meaning public or visible.

12a Fool, missing sweetheart, embracing Romeo’s plan (5)
CHART: start with a verb to fool or swindle, remove Beam’s swEetheart and insert the letter that Romeo represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet.

13a Scion is last of famous Victorian (5)
SPRIG: the last letter of famous and a self-righteously moral person like someone living in the Victorian age.

15a Artificial proteins in cerebellum’s covering (9)
INSINCERE: a well-hidden (that’s shorthand for ‘it took me a while to spot it’) word.

17a Bar change, Lord embraces Gabriel (9)
ARCHANGEL: a second hidden word in a row.

19a Redundant former partner returned gift (5)
EXTRA: fuse together our usual former partner and the reverse of a word meaning gift or knack.

22a Discards useless material, possibly scrap initially (5)
DUMPS: a ‘first letters’ clue.

23a Settles deceit about Democrat victory, overwhelming (9)
LANDSLIDE: a verb meaning settles or touches down and a deceit containing the abbreviation for Democrat.

25a Follow jailbird with a record (7)
CONFORM: charade of informal terms for a jailbird and a criminal record.

26a Old mariner holding forth (7)
ORATING: the abbreviation for old and a non-commissioned sailor.

27a Doubt party accepts American president’s first (7)
SUSPECT: a party or faction contains an abbreviation for American and the first letter of president.

28a Rodent killer catching large snake (7)
RATTLER: an animal that kills rodents contains the clothing abbreviation for large.

Down Clues

1d Fashion purchased by Greek characters? (7)
CHITONS: an all-in-one clue. A word, from French, meaning fashion is contained inside the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet pluralised. These things (new to me) are loose tunics worn in ancient Greece.

2d Ace partner sure peeled in buff (7)
AMATEUR: string together the cards abbreviation for ace, a partner and the inner letters of ‘sure’.

3d French bread’s giving cramps, perhaps (5)
PAINS: the French word for bread plus the ‘S.

4d Crafty, stooping to eat seconds (9)
DESIGNING: a present participle meaning stooping or condescending contains the abbreviation for seconds.

5d Understood diplomacy involves Ireland’s leader (5)
TACIT: a synonym of diplomacy containing the leading letter of Ireland.

6d Bar formerly including church for chastity (9)
INNOCENCE: another word for a bar or pub and an adverb meaning formerly containing one of the abbreviations for church.

7d Teach English repeatedly about old money (7)
EDUCATE: two occurrences of an abbreviation for English contain an old gold coin.

8d Protect excess heat heater contains (7)
SHEATHE: our third hidden word.

14d Good chap’s pitch for Prime Minister (9)
GLADSTONE: assemble the abbreviation for good, a word for a boisterous chap (as in ‘a bit of a ***’) and a synonym of pitch or intonation.

16d Advance over in push for glory (9)
SPLENDOUR: insert a verb to advance (money possibly) and the cricket abbreviation for over in a verb to push or encourage.

17d Shanghais sailors around Channel (7)
ABDUCTS: the plural of an abbreviation for sailors contains a channel.

18d Scientist occasionally inhibits males’ bonds (7)
CEMENTS: occasional letters from scientist contain some male persons.

20d Minor test having intravenous injection (7)
TRIVIAL: a test contains the abbreviation for an intravenous injection.

21d Punisher with rage concealing empty violence (7)
AVENGER: a synonym of rage contains the outer letters of violence.

23d Almost top before Cambridge University check (5)
LIMIT: a word meaning top or cover loses its last letter and that’s followed by a university in Cambridge (not the one in the UK).

24d Beam maybe showing small hard behind (5)
SHAFT: knit together abbreviations for small and hard and a naval word meaning behind. LOL – Beam is apparently proud of his tight buns!


The clues I liked best were 11a, 23a and 24d. Which one(s) rang your bell?

20 comments on “Toughie 2975
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  1. I have to say this was right up my street, full of wit, clever wordplay and minor PDM’s.
    In a pedigree field my top dogs are 1,11&25a plus 24d.
    Many thanks to Beam and Gazza for the top-notch entertainment

  2. I romped through this one and then I ground to a halt staring blankly at 1d, which I did not manage to get.

    Many thanks to Beam, and to Gazza for the dissection (and the 1d explanation).

  3. I thought this was an engaging and nicely crafted puzzle that was not too tough but still asked plenty of questions. The typically concise clues held plenty of laughs and possible favourites, but 11a came out on top.

    Thanks to Mr T and Gazza.

  4. Thanks to having been born in Thebes, around 399 BC (or so it often seems these days), I did know 1d, even though it was my LOI, and thought it quite clever, along with 4d, 11a, 24d, & 25a, but I just enjoyed the whole grid, really, and the stimulating ozone of an anagramless puzzle. Thanks to Gazza and Beam.

  5. Brilliant setter whichever slot he occupies but he did give me a hurdle to cross with that 1d – thank you for the illustration of same, Gazza.
    Almost every clue was tick-worthy but I settled for a short list of 23&25d along with 16&24d.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T/Beam and many thanks to Gazza for the review – only one cartoon today but you made it a goodie!

  6. I didn’t see this Toughie to solve, but I have read the clues/H&Ts above (as I always do) – and solved a fair few of the clues in my head along the way. And what a cracking puzzle it is – wouldn’t be out of place on the back page on a Friday (or even a Thursday, maybe). I’m still gigling at 11a and 24d – Ray T’s schoolboy humour at its best!

  7. Loved it. Sadly beaten by letters 4&6 of 1d & had to use the dictionary but an otherwise quick solve. As Jane says they’re all tick-worthy but maybe 11&23a plus 24d stand out though the 2 lurkers & particularly 15a top notch. Everyday a school day in crossword land – today’s wardrobe ancient Greek clobber & cami knickers.
    Thanks to B&G

  8. Set off like a house on fire before slowing down to a crawl. Still I managed to get everything and parse everything except 1d and 13a both of which were new words for me. Favourite was the brilliantly concealed 15a. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  9. We have been blessed with three splendid and entertaining toughies so far this week. Lots of misdirection and smiles in all. I hope tomorrow continues the trend.
    Thanks to Beam and Gazza

  10. Good Thursday Toughie, thank you Mr T – and of course Gazza.

    Ton not familiar so while I had the chis I didn’t have the tunic, my last one in and for which dictionary assistance was required. Otherwise straightforward and very polished, as we’ve come to expect and enjoy!

  11. I thought I had finished but I hadn’t. 1d remained incomplete but I only realised when I started reading the blog. Regardless it would have required a trip to google so I’m not too upset. 15a gets my vote. Thanks to Beam and Gazza.

  12. Well I enjoyed that – despite needing a bit of help! It’s been a long time since I’ve had time to do a second crossword in the morning and I love having a go at the toughie. For me it’s a bit like watching University Challenge and feeling elated when I get the answer to one or two questions! Many thanks to Gazza and Beam. It’s still very cold here so I’m glad to have the day to myself.

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